planning

UFE Readings for the Week

For those looking for some timely UFE content to read and don’t want to go through the archives to find it, here are some timely articles as you get through your UFE prep courses and start your pre-UFE study periods.

Happy reading while you’re getting into the groove of things. Stay tuned for our yearly ‘what might be on the UFE review’ later this week.

In the meantime, what are the big issues you’re having at this point?

Choosing a UFE Prep Course

A new year, the CKE results around the corner and some requests in the comments tell me that candidates are looking for more information on UFE prep programs out there. I haven’t taken each individual course myself so I can’t rate them but I’m hoping candidates that have taken them in the past can give us some input in the comments. Outside of that, please visit their web sites and checkout what you get as part of the course to make your decision.

On a similar note, in the past I’ve discussed a UFE schedule and we got some great comments from past students on what worked for them in their respective provinces. I do recommend you check the previous articles out.

So here is the major stuff out there and what I know about it.

  1. Densmore Consulting Services offers the Densmore Prep Program. I took this program for SOA and UFE prep and it offers an excellent introduction to case writing as well as the emotional aspect of writing these exams. Densmore has excellent and experienced instructors, plenty of case marking as part of the course and books/presentations that you can learn from. Learn about the fees for the course here. Densmore has also added online versions of the course which are a little less expensive at $1,000 without marking and $1,600 with marking. As far as I know, this is the leading UFE prep program out there based on the number of candidates that take it which means that you’ll most likely end up in some large lectures. All the instructors were very willing to help those with questions though which is a very positive thing.

  2. Professional Accounting Supplementary School (PASS) offers its comprehensive UFE prep course through the summer as well. I took this course for CKE but not for SOA or UFE. I can tell you that Mr. Walfish has a very strong technical background and offers a good CKE course. Like Densmore, PASS has begun to offer and online version of their course in the winter which is available for $595.

  3. In Ontario, the ICAO offers the UFE Finalist Preparation Program. I have no personal knowledge of how these courses are since I haven’t taken them. If you’ve taken it, please let us know your experience in the comments.

For those looking for further alternatives, a number of newer courses and programs have sprung up in the past few years which look promising.

  1. ExaMENTOR has been around for a number of years now offers a number of UFE related services including in-class workshops, marking services and coaching services. They’re also in some more locations than you might find the other programs above which could reduce your travel costs. For those looking for a more individual experience and attention, exaMENTOR may be worth trying. Prices range based on your choices and may be a good value for the size of the class, check it out.

  2. CPA Formula is a new online training program which offers a mix of video lessons, case marking and virtual/in-person tutoring and some method to compare yourself to candidates in other provinces. You can learn a little more about what they offer here. CPA Formula is priced a little lower than the major lecture-style courses mentioned above and may be a good value for candidates who can part with the classroom setting.

(Full disclosure: exaMENTOR and CPA Formula advertise with UFE Blog) 

So what’s best for you?

Wish I could tell you! You’ll have to go through what each program offers and decide which one will work best for your situation. I do recommend you have some support though, even if it’s just strictly marking support from a professional marker. I’ve known people who have passed the UFE first try with just a little marking support but for most I still recommend a course, especially if you haven’t done a lot of case writing in the past.

Decisions, decisions…

Are you a past UFE writer who took a course? Let us know how your experience was!

UFE 2013 – Next Steps

It’s time to dust off the ol keyboard and get started thinking about the UFE again.

Before you fall into a UFE panic, the good news is that we’re going to ease into things. Always remember, the goal is to be at your best on the UFE writing days, not after, not before. Many of you will be going on UFE prep courses over the next few weeks. Use those well as they’re solid learning opportunities, and also a great place to have some fun after classes before you dig in. The critical period will be the four week prior to the UFE when you will hunker down and start doing UFE case writing 5 days a week, full days. Before this, don’t go too crazy with the cases. Do what your prep courses recommend or do the 1-2 (max) per week of the older UFE cases to get into the groove of things and learn how they differ from SOA cases if that applies to you.

Some additional suggestions for next week:

  • Get an understanding of your strengths and weaknesses. If you wrote SOA you’ll get feedback about where you performed well and where you performed poorly. This is a good basis, but remember that you wrote a bunch of other cases during June so go back and look at your marks to see any trends. Most people should have a good understanding where they need work. This is what you’ll focus on first in your UFE study period. You want to target your weaker areas first with cases that test them.
  • Make sure you download and print out the full set of UFE cases for the past three years at least. UFE cases are found in the UFE Report for each year which can be found on your Institute’s web portal.
  • If you’re an Ontario writer, open up an old UFE cases and see how it’s different. Look at the marking guide/solution. SOA cases are marked different from UFE cases. I’ll explain the differences tomorrow.

That should keep you busy and get you a good start to this year’s UFE season. I’ll post some other tools and helpful files for people to get them started planning throughout this week. Check back soon 🙂

What other UFE stuff are you doing this week?

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