Writing the June UFE?

When asked what to do for the June UFE my simple answer is that it shouldn’t change from what you’d do as a repeat writing for any other UFE.

Study Schedule

In general, there is no reason you shouldn’t follow the average UFE study schedule which is to slowly ramp up by doing a case on the weekends in April and then go full time, two cases per day max Monday to Friday for the 3-4 weeks prior to the UFE with weekends off to avoid burnout. If you can get some cases in there that you haven’t done before, even better.

Some of you will have constraints like employers that won’t let you have that much time off and you’ll have to adapt like the repeat writers of the past. Do extra cases on nights and weekends but don’t let it throw you off – many before you have done this under similar conditions and succeeded.

Always remember to watch for burnout and take your foot of the gas if needed.

Focus on Process

Although not all, the majority of writers that are unsuccessful the first time have process issues, not knowledge issues. My advice for the majority is to focus on your outlining, time management, priority setting and writing so that you can convey the right ideas on the right things quickly. Simple to say, hard to implement and this will take you practice. Learning to debrief properly will help you.

Don’t do it alone

Find a group or study buddy to debrief and review with. The independent and honest feedback is valuable and in my view, a key success factor in passing the UFE. You know what you wrote, or meant to write for your case and people have a tendency to assume that everybody understands their response the same way. An honest third party is the best way to avoid this error and they can tell you what they read and the gaps that exist between your response and the marking guide.

I think most of the advice on this blog is pretty timeless so feel free to flip through it for advice on certain areas or topics. What’s even more valuable is the feedback from other writers, past and present – what are you changing for the June UFE or what would you recommend for upcoming writers? Let us know in the comments!


  1. Hey,

    Writing For The First Time? Any Tips On How To Start. I WantTo Understand The Following:

    1. The Different Levels Of competency Required
    2. How To WorK On Strengthening My Outlining Skills

    • I’ll start with the second one, as the answer to the first will be a long one.

      2) Write and debrief lots of practice cases (Densmore gives a good schedule of writing, and marking guides which are much more helpful than trying to go from the UFE reports). Try to simulate the urgency and time constraints of the exam as in those conditions outlining is vital.

      My best advice is always make sure to allot your times and stick to them. If you do that, the rest will come.

      1) The marking is needlessly convoluted, like the rest of the process. But I’ll try to explain it. Basically in each case there are a number of requireds that must be addressed, and each can get one of five marks

      – NA – Not addressed
      – NC – Not competent
      – RC – Reaching competency
      – C – Competent
      – HC – Highly competent

      While there are five marks, there are only 3 different scores (NA & NC = 0, RC = 2, C & HC = 4). And each required is assigned to one of six different areas (PMR, Assurance, Tax, Governance, Finance, MDM).

      That’s the background, from there the actual grading is on three levels, each must be passed to progress to the next and therefore pass the exam.

      Level 1 – Each required has a maximum of 4 points, to pass this level you must average 2 points each (50%).

      Level 2 – Here you must score a C (or higher) on at least half each the PMR and Assurance requireds

      Level 3 – You must score an RC (or higher) on at least half of each the Tax, Governance, Finance, MDM requireds.

      So yeah, there are seven different ways to fail and you can ace 90% of the UFE and still get failed if you bomb on one area… but if it’s any consolation, you don’t need to worry about that until you’re done and have two months to think about nothing else but that.

  2. Do they post the 2014 Board of Examinators UFE report anywhere online?

  3. Is CPAFormula.com a viable service provider for the CFE Exam?

    • No used them previously but failed UFE. Not as good as promoted. mentor NEVER arranged to meet with you although they do reply your emails promptly. Not find it a great help…

    • UFE repeat writer

      Don’t use CA Formula, used it and failed the UFE. Won’t recommend as there is no specific help they provide to you. Very brief exam marking notes, don’t like their technical review video.I didn’t feel it worth the money.

  4. Will you be updating the site for CFE this year?

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