Tag Archives: ufe fail

The post UFE-results experience, from an "experienced writer"

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!

The post UFE-results experience, from an “experienced writer”

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!

Advantages of failing the UFE

Today’s post is a sponsored guest post produced by exaMENTOR.

In the words of Winston Churchill, “Success is stumbling from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm.” And he knew what he was talking about. Churchill had failed the sixth grade, and went on to lose the election in every public office role he ran for. Despite these many setbacks, he was eventually elected British prime minister at the age of 62.

So the UFE results came out and you did not see your name on the list. You did not pass the UFE. At this point, you start to doubt many things – whether you’ll pass it next year, whether you’ll make a good professional accountant and whether the stars will ever align for you to finally receive your designation. You are feeling lost, confused and uncertain. What went wrong? What do I do now? How do I start again?

While it might seem of little consolation at the time, your failure to pass the UFE places you, ironically enough, in an exclusive club. Here are some of its members:

  • Henry Ford’s first three companies were flops: the first one went out of business, he abandoned the second and the third went downhill because of declining sales.
  • After an early performance, Elvis Presley was told by the manager of the legendary Grand Ole Opry, “You ain’t going nowhere, son. You ought to go back to driving a truck.”
  • Thomas Edison’s teachers told him he was “too stupid to learn anything.”
  • Soichiro Honda was left unemployed after he was rejected for an engineering job at Toyota.
  • JK Rowling was fired from her secretarial jobs because she was caught writing creative stories on her computer.
  • Walt Disney was fired by a newspaper editor because he “lacked creativity.”

The list goes on. Admittedly, it can be difficult to associate your own struggles with those on this list of famous celebrities. The point is that we all experience failure. Don’t be surprised during a frank conversation with some of the folks in corner offices when you hear stories about how they too encountered failure, including not passing the UFE on the first attempt.

So is it simply a coincidence that all of these successful people encountered failure at some point in their lives? Or could it be that failure is a necessary stumbling block on the path to success? Perhaps we need to experience failure to become more motivated to achieve our goals, to build “thicker” skin, to learn to never to give up, and to prevail despite temporary setbacks? Although it can seem counterintuitive, failure is not merely a coincidence in these and countless other success stories. It is not a stretch to say that the failures experienced by successful people actually lay the foundation for their future successes. Each person takes away particular lessons from their personal failures, but what they share in common is their commitment to their long-term goal and the courage to struggle towards it. They did not give up, sit back and simply accept what they were told by their bosses, peers or potential employers. With their personal goal at the center of their focus, they kept at it and proved all of those doubting people wrong.

You are probably thinking that this is not the whole story. Even if failure is a necessary and inevitable part of eventual success, doesn’t failure also result in a lot of personal misery, disappointment and under-achievement? This is also true. Not everyone who fails at something will later succeed in it. However, every one who has failed and who embraces their failure will. It’s about caring enough about yourself and what you’re doing to take on the challenge again, to work hard and have patience.

Dealing with failure is an opportunity for inner growth. Embrace it. This is the time to get stronger by understanding and addressing your weaknesses. This is your opportunity to become an unstoppable machine that slowly and steady approaches your destination—success.

So what’s the moral of the story? While you need to give yourself some time to mope around and deal with your feelings, please understand that you are not alone. Seek out and talk to people who have had similar experiences. After sometime, start thinking about what you need to do next. Revisit your preparation process to figure out what went wrong and what you should change to do better next year.  Most importantly, get help. You do not need to struggle through this process alone. So get up, dust yourself off and have the courage and to work harder and work smarter. Your name will be on that list next year.

As Maya Angelou said, “You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.”

Historical examples used in this posted are based on We got fired! by Harvey Mackay and www.businessinsider.com.

Sponsored posts are content that has been produced by a company, which is either paying for the post or has a business relationship with UFE Blog, and they’re always clearly marked. The content of regular posts produced by UFE Blog are never influenced by advertisers or sponsors in any way.

So you think you failed the UFE – 2013 edition

For days..err…weeks after the UFE is finished one of the most popular searches that lands people here is something related to failing the UFE.

1 i think i failed the ufe
2 failed the ufe
3 i failed you + blog
4 i think i failed the 2012 ufe
5 i think i failed the ufe 2012
6 think i failed ufe
7 thought i failed the ufe for sure
8 ufe exam 2012 failed
9 what i can do after failed ufe

Certainly group #7 there is quite sure of themselves! Group #3 is probably not UFE related so not sure why they’re coming here. Group #9 may already be studying for the next UFE.

If you’re one of those in this year’s bunch who thinks they failed the UFE with a variety of levels of certainty, you’re not alone. I poke fun a little above but I get that this is a challenging time for many whose futures may rely on this. A lot of people feel this way after the UFE. Even Gold Medallists feel this way sometimes after the UFE. It may be the biggest exam of your life and it’s normal to feel like you blew it. 

I wrote about this last year so please go check it out. The advice stands for this year’s writers. Hang in there.

If any previous UFE writers have any tips for this year’s cohort on getting through the next few months please do share!

Help for Experienced Writers

Helping experienced writers is something I struggle with because it’s difficult to give good advice if I haven’t lived the situation. I’ve had writers come to me and ask me what they should be doing right now. Should they be writing one case a week or two? Should they be only studying technical or should they be writing cases, too?

The truth is there are no easy answers. It depends on why you didn’t pass the previous time(s), how you study best, what your strengths and weaknesses are and a host of other possible reasons. A lot of people think there is some magic path to success – if only they do x cases, or if they study in this specific way – it will work. Of course, everyone probably knows deep down it can’t be that easy. Not everyone fits neatly on the UFE path.

So my advice to you is this:

Take time to honestly reflect on what the problems are.

  • Did you fall into the trap of too much technical at the expense of writing cases? Or maybe the opposite is true.
  • Did you study alone, or with a study group that didn’t work for you?
  • Did you not study enough or too much (be careful here!)
  • Did you allocate time correctly on the exam? Or did you not manage time well? Or the host of other technical reasons that can exist.
  • What were the problems on your mock cases prior to the exam?
  • Is it a language, communication or writing problem?

As you can see, the list can be long. Each varying answer can lead to a different suggestion. I think the best thing you can do is do an honest assessment and focus on the factors which hurt you last time.

The answer may be a great place to start in making changes to your 2013 strategy.

This may mean taking a repeat writers’ course out there or reading a book. Or maybe you need something more individual such as a tutor, one of the smaller programs out there or just a really good study partner.

Given how much time, effort and money goes into the UFE I think it’s worth investing in this activity as well as in a solution suitable to you. We’ll be around here to keep offering help and advice, too.

But as I said above, I’m not a repeat writers. If you are or have been, please drop us a line in the comments and let us know what you did and why. I know there are many that would benefit here just to know they’re not alone.

UFE Podcast for second time writers

Saw that over on CA Accounting Designation Revealed, they’ve got a Podcast up of an interview with Kayla Switzer discussing everything UFE for experienced writers. It sounds like a good listen for anyone rewriting the UFE this year so head on over and check it out!

What is your weakness? Know what your transcript is saying!

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 www.KaylaSwitzer.comFeel free to contact Kayla if you have any questions or just want to vent! 

Knowing why you failed the UFE is an important first step in moving on. I have been receiving a lot of emails from students requesting an explanation of their transcript because they are confused about what exactly it is saying. It is confusing! So let’s go through a sample in more detail and you can use it as a guide to understand your transcript better.

Transcript Sample

This is an example of a student who failed at Level 1. The sufficiency grouping of 1 means that this student was close to passing the UFE, but needed one or two more indicators at Competent to pass. A student with a sufficiency grouping of 10, which is the highest sufficiency grouping (i.e. the furthest away from passing Level 1) would have needed several more indicators at C to pass.

The decile rankings for the Comprehensive and the Non-Comprehensives are to rank you against your peers for the three day exam. In this example, the student has a decile ranking of 7 on the Comprehensive and 8 in the Non-Comprehensive (the multis), which means that the student was was in the bottom 30% on the Comprehensive and the bottom 20% for the multis. Another way to look at it is that the honour roll students would have a decile ranking of 1, which means they would be in the top 10% of all writers.

In this example, this student passed at Level 2 and Level 3. This student only barely passed Tax at “standard marginally met”. This could mean that the student was weak in tax technical, that they didn’t notice an entire tax indicator, or maybe that the student had poor time management and always left tax to the end and didn’t tend to provide enough depth.

There is also a lot of reading between the lines to do. For example, did you focus primarily on the Level 2 requirements getting green, and then got yellow and red in Level 3? This is a time management issue because although of course you need to do well in PM and Assurance, if you don’t leave enough time for Level 3 you won’t be able to pass the UFE.

So now look at your own transcript. What is it saying? What level did you fail at? How many reds and yellows did you get? Can you read between the lines to find out what it all really means?

If you have more questions on your specific transcript please feel free to contact me through my website at www.KaylaSwitzer.com. I love to hear from all of you!

I failed the UFE. What do I do now?

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 www.KaylaSwitzer.comFeel free to contact Kayla if you have any questions or just want to vent! 

When I first failed the UFE it was mind-numbing. Failing the UFE wasn’t something I could forget over the weekend. I couldn’t just continue on like it was no big deal. I was devastated. But as time went on it got a little better, and by Christmas I was starting to feel normal again. But I didn’t really know what to do. I had so many questions! And I know you probably do too, so I will tell you that there’s not much to do now but there are a few things. In fact there are deadlines for appealing and ordering your PAR so you should think about that right away.

I appealed my results. I don’t necessarily recommend you appeal. I paid the (high) cost of appealing and didn’t get a pass, which everyone will tell you is the most likely result. I still wanted to do it though, just to be sure, so that when I was studying I was 100% confident that I had failed. But if you do appeal most people will say you’re crazy because they will likely think you are just putting yourself through failing again – and you are. In the spring you will most likely get an email that says that they have reviewed your paper and that you failed. But I didn’t let this bother me and you shouldn’t either. Whatever your decision is it is just that. Your decision.

In fact, there are a several decisions you should be making right away and planning will feel good because you will feel in control of your UFE destiny. Here are a few things you should be doing right now:
  1. Determining whether or not to appeal. Make sure you have a good understanding of your transcript to make this decision. I explain the transcript in detail in my book but basically it comes down to where you failed. If you failed at Level One with sufficiency level of 1, you have the highest chance of passing on appeal… and your chance is about 1%, at the most. So the likelihood of passing is clearly low, and becomes pretty close to 0% chance of passing on appeal with a sufficiency rating greater than 1.
  2. Determining whether or not to order your PAR. I talk about the PAR a lot in my book as well and this is of course a personal choice as well, just as much as the appeal. But the PAR is confusing, so if you are going to order it make sure you have someone who can help you determine what it is actually saying because it’s not obvious when you see it. You can actually hire someone to review your PAR and make it more manageable for you to understand. The PAR is not helpful for a level 1 fail, but is quite helpful at a level 2 and 3 fail.
  3. Sign up for an experienced writer’s course (if that’s what you want.) I provide mentoring one-on-one if you are looking for an experienced mentor/marker.
  4. Remember: “They can because they think they can.” Virgil (Classical Roman Poet) So stay positive! You can do this!

Happy Holidays!

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