UFE Experience from a guy that never worked at a firm

Today we have a guest post from Minh D-N who wrote the 2012 UFE in Montreal, QC without any experience in a CATO or Accounting Firm. 

I’m Minh D-N from Montreal, QC. Wrote the UFE in 2012 and successfully passed it on the first attempt. Never worked in an accounting firm and never touched anything related to accounting outside school prior to this year.

I read UFEblog a bit too late… after the UFE and  found it interesting enough to provide my perspective on the UFE.  I think there are many tips and advice that are interesting on this blog. So I wanted to contribute my experience and views. I’m writing this entry to bring a positive light for the candidates of the UFE in 2013, especially those who do not work in a firm or never worked.

I never worked or touched any accounting related topic outside school until 2012, and I still passed the UFE. The UFE is only an academic exam. You should not stress because you are not working. In fact if you aren’t working, you have more time to study and write cases which is to your advantage. Plus, you don’t have to mix the theory (E.g. UFE examinable material) and the reality. If you don’t have a job, don’t stress about it, you’ll get one quickly after the UFE results.

To pass, all I did in the months preceding the UFE is focus on my studies without burning myself out, while enjoying every little free moment that I had escaping for a few hours the reality of the studies. It’s a long an grueling process leading up to the 3 days of the exam.

I don’t want to focus on what to do before and on the UFE days on this entry, but on the state of mind on those days. I did not over-stress or under-stress at the exam days; it’s just 3 days of cases writing, not that different than the weeks practicing before. Think about it, I can ‘pass’ the past UFEs, but I may fail this year. Why can I do well in practice but not on the exam? It’s because of what happens in my head. In my mind, if I am sitting in the examination center, it’s because I am capable and at the same level as the 3,000 other candidates through Canada.  I said to myself that I may not work in a firm, but I am there in the same room as the best and brightest of the Big 4/CATO, and I deserve the right to pass. The reality of the UFE is that you are battling time and yourself.

I hope my insight can provide some positive light for some, even if the UFE 2013 is in a few months.

UFE Blogger: Thanks Minh, for sharing your story. I think Minh makes an excellent point comparing the past UFE practice exams to the real thing, the big difference is a state of mind.

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