UK students improve accounting exam scores

The University of Kentucky's Gatton College of Business and Economics said Thursday that its accounting students are doing better on their certified public accountant exams as a result of a new program that lets them prepare for the exams while simultaneously earning master's degrees.

Previously, students completed their coursework then studied and took the exams.

Of the students who released their scores to the university, 95 percent passed the auditing section of the exam and 96 percent passed the regulation section. Assuming that those who did not release their scores failed the exam, the pass rates were 81 percent on audit and 82 percent on regulation, said John Smigla, director of the Master of Science in Accounting program.

In years past, UK's pass rates were 39 percent for audit and 43 percent for regulation.

"That's a heck of an improvement," Smigla said.

Those who released their scores averaged 85 to 87, well above the 75 required to pass. Two students in each section of the exam scored 99.

Smigla credited the program's coordination of coursework that ties directly into exam preparation.

"That's what is so innovative about this program," he said.