Hi readers! My name is Gus Patel, and I have offered to help with updates to content on the UFE Blog. I have recently been in your situation, having written the 2013 UFE. Currently, I work as an Audit Senior at BDO Canada LLP. In my spare time, I enjoy being active, as well as teaching students about accounting concepts.
Last Thursday and Friday were the days.
They were the days you’ve been waiting 12 weeks for. After writing, what might possibly be one of the most challenging and mentally exhausting exams of your life, it’s finally UFE results day. You are anxious, quivering nervous excitement, hoping desperately to see your name on the UFE results page. As it gets closer to the final hour your heart beats as you constantly refresh the main results page at 12:00 sharp in Ontario. You quickly scroll through the page, not finding your name through a quick glance, you decide to look up and down the page, but your name is not there…. You sit back like you just hit a brick wall, and you get that deep sinking feeling in your stomach. I failed the UFE!
Sorry, I know that was a bit dramatic, but for some people it is not too far from how you’re feeling, trust me – I was in that situation too. Your mind often has a way of hyping a situation to always be the “be-all-and-end-all” situation. That if you don’t pass the UFE the first time, that the world will be over. It may feel that way at first, but at some point you’ll come to realize that it was just an exam (maybe not just any exam).
Looking back on the experience, I think the hardest thing to me was looking my eager friends, family, and my girlfriend, who were also anxiously waiting for me to tell them that I had passed, that I didn’t. Of course, then there is that awkward moment where they stumble to try and find their words to console you. I think the last thing any writer who doesn’t make it through the process wants to hear is, “Don’t worry – you’ll study hard and do it again next time”. Not a lot of people can understand what you went through. On a positive note, hopefully soon after, you will run into a successful repeat writers, perhaps several in your office – they will reach out to you in understanding support. Actually, looking back I was really surprised by how many people did reach out to me, even being at one of the Big-4 firms.
The first thing to get into your head is, it does happen, people can be unsuccessful the first time, or even the second or third time writing, you can fail this exam. The Board of Evaluator’s objective is designed to do just that! It doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. If you get the UFE Success book by Densmore (which I strongly suggest you do at some point) it has some strong statistics, “… the flow-through rates (of the UFE) are as high as 99% in ASCA, are averaging around 97% in British Columbia and have historically been around 94% in Ontario but are rising. These statistics demonstrate that experienced writers can, and are, making it through the system. Passing the UFE is a very achievable goal.” If nothing else, keep that in your head. You can pass.
As for now, if you have just found out that you had an unsuccessful attempt, do not fret – it’s okay in the moment to feel upset, angry, emotional… it’s part of being human, but do not let it consume you. I am a strong believer that things do happen for a reason, and coincidentally enough, there is always a reason behind why you didn’t pass. It wasn’t an anomaly I can assure you of that.
You have questions, I know you do. Luckily for you, I’ve been through this process once – I was very meticulous in my second attempt in trying to reach at every possible resource in order to gain an advantage along my 2nd attempt, and I want to pass every bit of it to you. Like I said, you can do this – if you really want to. Looking back on it a year later, believe it or not, it is somewhat of a blessing in disguise because it will make you a stronger person.
However, do not fret about any of it for now. First order of business I want you to do is nothing. When I say nothing, I mean it – keep your head out of the UFE game, it is of ultimate priority that you rest and recover so that you can hit next year ready to attack. Your goal in the next little while is reach to your friends and loved ones for support, get past the feeling of depression, self pity and doubt, and relax and forget all about this process. Have fun again and enjoy the holidays, and don’t even think about the UFE until the beginning of next year.
There are more resources than ever today for repeat writers. Don’t worry, UFE Blog will be right here, helping along the way.
A note from Tom, the UFE Blogger:
I want to personally congratulate Gus, who I’ve worked with for some part of this year. I was nervous to be one of the people clicking refresh on the results page at 12 noon. I was even more thrilled to see Gus’ name there shortly after. I’m happy to bring Gus’ voice, as an experienced writer, to this blog and I hope that the many candidates that must write the UFE a second or third time benefit from his experience and support. Congratulations Gus!