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Repeat Writers: How to Prepare for a 2nd Attempt

Published December 7, 2020 by Michael Levi

Okay, now that we understand how to interpret the results (please read our blog Repeat Writers - What Went Wrong During the CFE? before you read this blog), let's figure out what to do to make sure you are successful on the next CFE.

Obviously, the way forward will be a bit different for everyone, depending on where you were weak the first time around.  So I'll try and make this general enough to capture all the weaknesses, and you can see which specific points relate to your situation.

Study Plan

The first thing to do after you have analyzed the results is to put together a study plan.  It's still early and you don't have to attend Capstone 1 (even if you failed Day 1) and you don't have to attend Capstone 2.  Figure out a rough game plan, including when you are going to focus on technical, what areas you will focus on, and when you want to start your case writing. You can also start inserting cases you plan to write into different weeks.  

We would be happy to review your study plan or discuss how to prepare an effective plan.

Technical Studying

Based on your results, ask yourself where you need to improve from a technical perspective.  If you failed either financial accounting, management accounting or your depth area, you need to spend some time brushing up on technical in those areas.  If you failed based on Level 4 of the Day 2 and 3 Pass/Fail Assessment Model then you may need to brush up in other areas.  This can consist of going back to Challenge/Module exam notes or textbooks to review your technical. 

You may also want to consider the PASS technical review courses in Management and/or Financial Accounting for the CFE or purchase technical resources which are available for all 6 competencies , especially if you did not take PASS courses or acquire technical resources when preparing for the module exams.  

Keep in mind that one area where technical studying is unlikely to help is strategy and governance.  For this competency, the only way to improve is through practice case writing and using common sense.

Case Writing | Comp

If you failed on the comp role (i.e. level 3), it could indicate a technical problem, given that on the comp the competency you chose can be tested at the elective level.  If there were holes in your technical that prevented you from addressing some of the requireds on the comp you will want to make sure to fill in the technical gaps.

However, there may very well be a case writing issue.  You should, therefore, try to practice writing more role comps.  It may also be somewhat useful to do multi questions that have the competency relating to your role in them, although keep in mind that on the multi, the competency will only be tested at the core level.

Another issue that may have impacted your performance is the wealth of information that you needed to process and the many requireds you needed to address.  At PASS, we have a structured comp approach that may help you digest the information and stay on track. If you want to discuss this, give us a shout.

Multis

Almost everyone will need more practice on multis.  The problem is that you may have already written all of the past CFE cases.

Some people find it helpful to write cases again but others find that it is not that useful given that they remember the solutions.  If you would like fresh cases you can purchase cases from PASS.  

Even better, you may want to consider taking our CFE comprehensive course where you will not only have the opportunity to write additional cases but also learn techniques to help you move up the levels to greatly increase your chances of getting "competent." One session, specifically designed for repeat writers, includes a professional marker going over how the case is actually marked and what you need to do to be successful.  You may also wish to consider CFE Personal Counselling which involves having a professional marker mark your practice exams and then go over them with you in detail .

In conclusion, give us a call at 416 224-9929 or 416-560-3797. We'll look at your results and together, come up with a game plan on how to pass the CFE on your second attempt.

We know it is not pleasant to have to go through this again, but the truth is that you will likely have a better shot at passing the second time around, as you will benefit from all the case writing and studying you did the first time.  It did not come together this past September, but with proper planning, you can do this!

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