Highest Pass Rate on 1st Round CPA Exam
KUBS is proud to inform you that the School achieved the highest pass rate in the country on the first round Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam 2018, far outstripping other universities in South Korea. The 1st round result of 53rd CPA exam has been released on March 16. On this exam (February 11), Korea University has produced a total of 187 successful 1st round CPA candidates. This achievement reaffirms KU’s position as the best institute for nurturing certified public accountants, especially by the support of a CPA prep program called ‘Jeongjincho’.
Korea University's business school runs the largest CPA preparation study group, Jeongjincho. Located on the third floor of the KUBS Main Building, Jeongjincho provides the best environment for students to focus on their studies. Jeongjincho offers a variety of learning materials including textbooks and lectures. The group also provides chances for students to meet with our alumni who passed CPA and currently work as accountants to give advice and support a strong network. Below is an interview held with academic advisor of Jeongjincho, Professor Han Sang Yi and Jeongjincho manager, Ha-Rim Oh (Business’11, CPA 52nd) about Jeongjincho.
Jeongjincho Academic Advisor, Professor Han Sang Yi and Manager, Mr. Ha-Rim Oh
Q. Korea University achieved the highest pass rate on the first round of 53rd CPA exam, what do you think was the secret to our students’ remarkable result on the exam?
Professor Han Sang Yi | In fact, the first round exam was more difficult than we expected. On challenging exams like this, the key to success is to keep calm – don’t panic, do the best you can do. I guess this was not an issue for our students though, because Jeongjincho students were well-prepared to solve challenging questions.
Q. You mentioned that Jeongjincho has contributed to the Business School’s outstanding performance on the exam. Could you tell us more about Jeongjincho?
Professor Han Sang Yi | Sure, basically the first round CPA exam is held at the end of February and the second in June. Jeongjincho, therefore, opens applications after each round; 2nd round preparation group in March, a short-term intensive study group from July to August, in addition to 1st round preparation group from September. Applicants go through a thorough selection process, like a national archery team, and we select 69 students in the order of their performance on the entrance exam.
Mr. Ha-Rim Oh | Once admitted, Jeongjincho students can participate in our structured training program. Students admitted on March should sit on practice exams held every month to prepare for the second round exam. Candidates must be prepared for 4 subjects on the second round CPA exam: Tax Law, Financial Management, Cost Accounting, and Financial Accounting. They take an exam on additional subjects, accounting audit. So it is indeed a very demanding exam to prepare. Students are asked to leave the group if they do not achieve satisfactory grades. Students admitted in September also go through practice exams and classes. Although it is a demanding program, our students stick to the end, building a strong bond among the group. Just so you know, you don’t necessarily have to be a business student to enter Jeongjincho, as long as you are a Korea University student who is willing to study for CPA exam.
Q. How exactly the Business School support Jeongjincho? Could you give us details, please?
Mr. Ha-Rim Oh | To start off, the School provides studying area to each of 69 students. Students gain access to a range of learning materials – about 40% of online class fees are supported by KUBS. More importantly, Jeongjincho students can receive the scholarship up to 15 million won per annum, funded by accounting firms. The scholarship goes to 10 distinguished students every year. Jeongjincho students also have free access to the key textbooks and reading materials.
Jeongjincho Student supports is open to non-members as well. Any Korea University students can gain full access to updates of CPA exams and information sessions or job openings at accounting firms. If you add us on Kakao Talk Plus, you can receive information about signing up for classes and practice exams. Please note that accounting firms sometimes conduct information sessions in private, of which you can get updates from us. Practice CPA exams are available free of charge to all Korea University students.
Mr. Ha-Rim Oh, Manager of Jeongjincho
Q. What is the most challenging part for students preparing for CPA exams? Can you give any advice?
Professor Han Sang Yi | Exam preparations are like a battle against yourself. Especially exams that demand long-term preparation, you feel vulnerable, unsure and weak, apart from external factors such as relationships. Seeing students’ struggle every day, I feel resilience is the key to success in exam preparation, being able to continue their steady work.
Mr. Ha-Rim Oh | Back in my exam preparation days, the most challenging part was when the exam is getting close. I was exhausted mentally and physically, but that was when support from my friends at Jeongjincho helped me get over a hard time. Once I got improved grades right before the second round exam, I felt myself back on track, and I was able to keep it positive until the end.
Q. (To Professor Yi) What do you think makes a great accountant? Can you think of any personality traits or skills that are best-suited for the job?
Professor Han Sang Yi | In general, disciplines in business administration look at how to achieve their goal or maximize profit, if you like. They are quite one-dimensional compared to accounting. In accounting, sticking to its principle (convention of conservatism) brings about social benefits as well. That is why in the U.S., the term ‘public accounting’ is widely used for accountants who work at accounting firms. Apart from careers in public sectors, not many people put ‘public’ on their job titles. Accounting however is closely connected to public interest, so I think the society needs individuals with integrity and strong responsibility as accountants.
Q. Could you give us any other advice on students who prepare for CPA or who is thinking of CPA preparation?
Mr. Ha-Rim Oh | If you are thinking of CPA exam, I suggest you work on it. I presume the reason a lot of people feel they are not ready yet is because of the uncertain nature of exam preparation; that there is no finite duration of the exam preparation. They are worried that the amount of time they spent on exam preparation does not come to a good end. Nevertheless, I can assure you that regardless of the result, it will be worth the time spent. On a survey conducted by the Financial Supervisory Service, generally, it takes 3 to 4 years to pass the CPA exam. CPA preparation will be a great way to start off careers other than the accountant, so I would strongly suggest you prepare for the CPA exam. CPA is highly applicable to other professional areas.
Professor Han Sang Yi | You know how accounting is often referred to as the language of business. I think it would be nice for any individuals to have some levels of accounting background, especially those in business, law or other public sectors. Accounting is crucial in the capitalist society – it is the foundation of decision making, performance evaluation and the distribution of resources. Moreover, people pay more attention to STEM these days (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics). I guarantee you will not lose anything by studying accounting and statistics.