I Failed the CFE, Now What? PAR?

Once you have decided on whether to order a remark, next you need to decide on whether to order a PAR, short for Performance Analysis Review. Again, this decision will depend. In my experience with candidates who have ordered a PAR in the past, some find it useful, some not so much. But often the students that say it was not useful change their minds after they spend more time reviewing it.

What a PAR will tell you:

The PAR gives you specific feedback on each AO and gives a reason or reason (s) as to why you did not achieve competence. Your PAR will often contain some relevant quotes from your response to illustrate issues identified in the feedback.

Overall themes will become apparent. For example:

  • Did you miss some AOs completely? This could indicate poor time management or a technical deficiency.
  • Were parts of your response technically incorrect?
  • Did you lack depth on the AO? For example, not explaining the implication sufficiently in your WIR analysis.
  • Did you not address a sufficient number of issues within the AO? For example, not enough WIR issues.

While it is unlikely that you will remember the specifics of each case, these themes can be interesting and helpful to note.

Reasons to Order a PAR:

If you were surprised at your result and are not sure what happened, a PAR could be quite helpful.

You may also find a PAR useful if you failed at multiple levels, and you are not quite sure what to focus on in your study.

This is your second or third time failing and you are not sure what you need to improve.

Reasons Not to Order a PAR:

You plan to rewrite the May 2024 CFE. The Sep 2023 PARs will be released in early May 2024 so you will only have a couple of weeks to review the PAR and make use of it in your study. If you plan to rewrite in May, it is better to use the PAR funds to order some one-on-one marking earlier on, so that you have time to incorporate the feedback into your study plan.

If you have a good idea of what held you back and what your weaknesses are, you probably won’t find a PAR that useful. If you know exactly what went wrong, then you likely will not get much new information from your PAR.

Also, if you failed at just one level, you already have some clues about where your issues are.

Specifically re: Day 1

If you failed Day 1, you will get an automated (and free) PAR automatically, no need to order it. You will get this shortly after results are released, and at the latest by Aug 28, 2023. You will be notified via email when the report is ready, and you will download it from your candidate portal.

This automated PAR can help you understand where you went wrong on Day 1. The automated PAR does not give you quotes directly from your paper and is automatically populated based on the marking grid filled out by your marker, so the comments are more generic, but still focussed on the specific areas that you need to improve.

Once you have reviewed your automated PAR, then you can decide whether to invest in the personalized Day 1 PAR. Don’t order your Day 1 PAR before reviewing the free automated version.

Costs (can vary slightly across provinces):

All 3 Days: $1,100 (vs $725 for Remark and $1,750 for both PAR + Remark)

Day 1: $450 (vs $275 for Remark and $675 for both PAR + Remark)

Days 2 & 3: $700 (vs $500 for Remark and $1,150 for both PAR + Remark)

If you have the budget for only a Remark or only a PAR, pick the PAR, unless you were completely shocked that you failed, then pick the Remark.


December 18, 2023 (Monday). PARs take about 4.5 months to complete. So you should get it by early May 2024. Enough time to make use of it for the Sep 2024 CFE but very limited time to make use of it for the May 2024 CFE.

The Bottom Line:

A PAR can be interesting, but is expensive. You can absolutely pass on your next try without it, many people do. But a PAR will likely save you a bit of time, allowing you to focus on your specific weaker areas. If this is your second time failing and you have no idea why, get the PAR.

If you do spend the money on the PAR, make sure you use it! It is a substantial document and will take time for you to work through it. You will want to be rewriting certain AOs as you go along so you can truly understand where you went wrong.

If you take a prep program with some group or one-on-one coaching, you will be able to pinpoint your weaknesses pretty early on. If you are choosing where to spend your money, it would be better spent on current help rather than dissecting the past.


Join the Live Q&A in the Facebook group on SATURDAY Dec 2, 2023 at 2pm PST / 5pm EST. The recording will be in the group if you missed it.

If you need help interpreting your results, feel free to send me an email with your results letter and I can give you my thoughts.

Wondering whether to order a Remark? Read this.