You failed the UFE. F**k!

Today we have a guest post from Kayla Switzer’s Blog: I Failed the UFE! Now What? You can also get in touch through her web site at

You failed the UFE. F**k! By now it is probably settling in, but it doesn’t feel good. It feels horrible. You are devastated. Failing the UFE sucks!

I know as well as anyone how that feels. When I failed I felt like I would never be able to show my face at work again. I hated seeing people! Failing the UFE made my normally fun, upbeat self into a bedraggled poor-me self. It wasn’t pretty. But it does get better, I promise.

But right now you feel awful.

Remember that you are not alone. There are so many people who have failed the UFE before, so search them out and use them as a resource. If you’re anything like me your head is spinning with questions right now! Ask questions so you can put your mind at ease. I didn’t want to talk to anyone at this time though. I didn’t care if they had failed the UFE or not, I just didn’t want to talk about it. I wasn’t ready to talk until January, so if it takes you some time to feel ready that’s okay. Don’t rush yourself, there’s still lots of time.

And if email is better, feel free to shoot me an email. I’m always ready to answer questions. And sometimes it’s easier to ask over email, right? Email me through my website at I’m always available.


  1. It really sucks to fail UFE as I failed not once but twice. I was left devastated both times when all around me people passed in West Coast where the pass rate is always very high. This time around I didn’t have a job either. But I passed this year.

    It sucks to fail and it is normal. But repeat writers can pass and they are as smart as those who passed the first time!

    • Congratulations on passing this time around. Thank you for sharing your story and I share the sentiment. I think everybody who they let write the exam is already very smart. I know somebody as well that passed this year on their third try. Thanks again for sharing.

      I encourage anyone else who wishes to share their story to post below. You can do so anonymously.

  2. No prob. I will always have a soft corner for repeat writers. But I did the Densmore way till the end and didn’t cheat the process even by .5%

  3. I am also a third time writer that passed this year. What helped me was the program that Bruce Densmore offered in Toronto for experienced writers. I followed his plan 100% and did not make any alterations or modification. I kept making the same mistake consistently, hence resulted in 2 unsuccessful attempts.

    For those who were unsuccessful, keep your head up high. You are almost there.

    • Congratulations Vicky, I’m happy to hear you passed! Thanks for the advice. I agree with you, it’s worth taking, and more importantly, following, a UFE course. There’s a lot more to the exam than just technical accounting knowledge so a course will help with that.

      Congratulations once more, you’ll no doubt be an inspiration to a lot of repeat writers!

    • Congrats Vicky!
      I will be a 3rd time writer … Can you share what you did wrong the second time around? And I did densmores initial prep course, so I’m curious to know why the repeat writer course is beneficial?

  4. I am a third time writer who passed this year.I also followed Densmore way.Bruce told me you have tried your way twice , now you follow my way. True, there were some people who broke the rules and passed but that didn’t work for me and I become third time writer. It was hard on my ego!

    I forced myself to focus on my main weakness: understanding what happening in the case and finding answers in it rather than rely on what I knew. This forced my analytically skills to improve.

    So, I spend 30%- 27% reading and outlining and understanding the case. it was hard as initially I would go over the limit of 30%. Then I focused on micro management, if I went beyond time allocated to specific indicator I would skip to next. This helped me to maintain the micro and macro time management.

    Then, I just did 3.5 UFE cases during the 4 weeks as I focus on quality rather than quantity. My debriefing was faster as I was not reading the EG.

    At the end of the day, I knew that it is not what you know but how you approach UFE. When I walked out of the exam, I knew I passed even though I found comp fairly hard and the last multi of the 3rd day was brutal.

    • Just want to highlight the very true comment at the end. It’s not what you know as much as how you approach. Congratulations on the pass this time!

  5. Hello everyone. This is a great blog and thank you for setting this up!

    I have failed the ufe twice now and feel very lost because I have done everything in my power to prep and felt my approach was appropriate and on par with all those that have passed. I am still in disbelief, shock and disappointed in myself. I guess my next step would be to wait to receive the summary sheet outlining which level(s) I’ve messed up on. I think it’s very inspirational that people that have failed multiple times still have the fighting spirit to tackle the UFE for the third time and succeed. I’m sure time will heal but I would really appreciate if I can reach out to anyone that’s been successful after the 3rd attempt and would like to share their journey/insights with me. Thank you so much.

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Commenting Guidelines

I love open conversations. Casual is fine, professional is fine, but this is a community so anything abusive, demeaning or annoying will be removed at my discretion. Below is a guide to help keep you on the straight and narrow.

  1. 1. Use a name or alias. I understand wanting to keep your name personal, so make something clever up and stick to it. We can't tell each other apart if everybody is "Anon".
  2. 2. Remember the point. This is a community to discuss, debate and assist each other to pass the CFE or discuss other CPA things. Let's act like we're all the intelligent professionals that we are supposed to be.
  3. 3. No personal attacks. It's okay to disagree with opinions or advice but argue the point, not the person.
  4. 4. Don't be obnoxious. You should be proud if you are the next honour roll writer or work for a prestigious firm but don't be obnoxious by using it to feel better than others.


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