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Monday, December 20, 2010

Accounting Majors Score Lowest in Verbal and Writing Among All Grad Students

Discover Magazine, Verbal vs. Mathematical Aptitude in Academics:

It isn’t too difficult to find GRE scores by intended major online. ... That got me wondering about the average mathematical and verbal aptitudes of those who intend to pursue graduate work ....

Accountants Chart 

Accountants never made it into the “blue bird” reading group.

Major Verbal Quant Writing
Philosophy 589 636 5.1
English 559 552 4.9
History 543 556 4.8
Art History 538 554 4.7
Religion 538 583 4.8
Physics 534 738 4.5
Anthropology 532 571 4.7
Foreign Language 529 573 4.6
Political Science 522 589 4.8
Economics 504 706 4.5
Math 502 733 4.4
Earth Science 495 637 4.4
Engineering, Materials 494 729 4.3
Biology 491 632 4.4
Art & Performance 489 571 4.3
Chemistry 487 682 4.4
Sociology 487 545 4.6
Education, Secondary 486 577 4.5
Engineering, Chemical 485 727 4.3
Architecture 477 614 4.3
Banking & Finance 476 709 4.3
Communications 470 533 4.5
Psychology 470 543 4.5
Computer Science 469 704 4.2
Engineering, Mechanical 467 723 4.2
Education, Higher 465 548 4.6
Agriculture 461 596 4.2
Engineering, Electrical 461 728 4.1
Engineering, Civil 457 702 4.2
Public Administration 452 513 4.3
Education, Elementary 443 527 4.3
Engineering, Industrial 440 710 4.1
Business Administration 439 562 4.2
Social Work 428 468 4.1
Accounting 415 595 3.9

(Hat Tip: Brian Leiter.)

Update: From Dan Shaviro (NYU):

Update: Tax Update Blog, If U Rite Like This, Shud U B N Accountant?

http://taxprof.typepad.com/taxprof_blog/2010/12/accounting-majors.html

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Comments

This is pretty bad. Accounting majors with lower verbal scores then engineers?

I suppose that most accountants who can actually function don't really need graduate degrees to excel in their field anyway, whereas a lot of other technical fields require the advanced degree.

Posted by: Aaron | Dec 20, 2010 1:15:44 PM

And this is news how?

I've taught the MST Tax Research & Writing class at a regional university for a number of years. This is now surprise.
If anything, the 150 hour rule has exasperated the problem. We have 5th year seniors trying to function in a post-grad setting, and their weaknesses/shortcomings are showing.

Posted by: Doug | Dec 20, 2010 2:10:35 PM

Ummm most business schools require the GMAT. Also PhDs in Business and Accounting prefer GMAT scores. This whole GRE score thing? Kind of irrelevant to the advance degrees we choose. :)

Posted by: Donna | Dec 20, 2010 2:34:00 PM

Accounting is the language of business, and accounting majors are the best in that language.

Posted by: Woody | Dec 20, 2010 6:45:16 PM

I'd be more convinced if they hadn't misspelled "intended" on the chart.
I guess it was developed by an Accounting major.

Posted by: J. Wiedwald | Dec 20, 2010 11:03:57 PM

I think you posted the wrong graph. This graph relates verbal and writing. Another graph in the original paper brings in the quant scores and is considerably more interesting, particularly the low correlation between quant and writing scores.

Posted by: jmike | Dec 21, 2010 5:32:37 AM

Accounting majors are still getting lots of job offers.

And how 'bout those unemployed lawyers?

Posted by: save_the_rustbelt | Dec 21, 2010 6:27:18 AM

Agree with Donna. This is completely irrelevant. These are the scores for people taking the GRE that reported accounting as their intended major of graduate study. Anyone applying to a graduate accounting program these days (Masters or Ph.D.) has to take the GMAT. If they're taking the GRE, it's no wonder they scored so low.

Posted by: Andrew | Dec 21, 2010 7:43:23 AM

I agree with Doug. The top accounting students take the GMAT and get their MBA or their MACC. I believe that the "accountants" taking the GRE would, on average, be the lowest tier of accounting students.

Posted by: David | Dec 21, 2010 12:50:39 PM

Well, speaking as someone who has undergraduate and post-graduate accounting degrees, and a BA in English literature and language ... :) Mind you, I'm Kiwi, perhaps this is just an American phenomenon.

Posted by: Tribeless | Dec 21, 2010 6:18:43 PM