Each year, accounting and finance seniors take a large, nationwide CPA exam. This exam is a crucial step toward becoming a CPA, but the process of signing up for, studying for, and ultimately taking the four-part exam is daunting.
Students must sign up for the CPA exam months in advance to ensure they find a time and location that works for them. Additionally, students need to develop a plan to pass all sections of the CPA exam within 18 months of each other, or they will lose credit for the “older” sections of the exam. Last, but certainly not least, students must develop a plan to likely study for 500 or more total hours to pass the exam. Exhausted from 17 straight years of school, 500 hours of independent studying is not exactly what students are excited about.
Amy Napolski, a Senior Account Manager at Becker Professional Education, has devised a presentation that intends to break down and overcome the obstacles students face when it comes to this exam. This week, as she does every spring, Amy came to campus to lead an informational session for our seniors interested in taking the CPA exam. Through her presentation, she explains how CPA exam review companies, like Becker, break studying down into short modules, filled with videos, practice problems, and practice exams. She also urges students to take and pass all four parts of the exam by the end of 2023, as it is undergoing major changes in 2024.
Amy provides this service to a select number of colleges across Minnesota and the upper Midwest. Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s are on that list because they have the critical mass needed to make Amy’s trip worthwhile and a reputation for strong results. Our pass rates regularly exceed that of national and Minnesota averages, as well as exceed that of our (unnamed) rival. Most notably, our 2011 Bennies placed 3rd in the entire nation in terms of passing rates. Furthermore, in 2018, Amy Fursa (2017 CSB grad) won the Elijah Watt Sells Award as one of 110 individuals in the nation to score a cumulative average that exceeded 95.5 across all four sections of the exam. This feat is especially impressive considering 86,000 individuals took the exam that year!
Students found the info session to be very helpful. “I was intimidated going into the session,” one said, “But by the end, I had begun the registration process to take the exam!”
With Amy Napolski’s help, most of the students attending the session will be CPAs by the end of 2023, continuing the great tradition that is the Saint Ben’s and Saint John’s Accounting and Finance Department.