Quiz Result: Straight Shooter

Based on your responses, you are planning to write (and PASS!) the CFE in 2024 and you have finished your Core and Elective PEP courses recently or plan to finish them in the very near future. 


You completed your courses on schedule, which is no easy feat, take pride in that! This will help you immensely in your quest to conquer the CFE in 2024, since the critical technical is still fairly fresh. You don’t need to go back and relearn everything. During your CFE study, your focus will be on case writing and learning to APPLY the technical that you already know in a very time constrained environment. Worried that you actually don’t remember much (you are not alone)? Take comfort in that you will also refresh on all your technical automatically as you debrief cases, as long as you debrief well (we’ve got a free resource for that – see below). 


You are motivated to get this final step in your CPA journey completed and will do what it takes to pass the CFE on your first try.

What to do now...

Focus on completing PEP if you have not already, and then concentrate on getting through Capstone 1. Cap 1 should take between 5-15 hours per week (on the lower end at first and then on the higher end as you get closer to the presentation), which will leave you a bit of time to do a few spot checks on your technical each week. We open CFE Success Academy for early access first thing in January every year, so you can get a head start before Cap 1 starts up.

How to approach your technical review...

For your technical spot checks, download our most tested topics super pack to prioritize which topics to focus on (free! See link below). Go to the FR, MA and your role section, and pick a few of the more common topics from each. Then pull up the new e-Book, available on D2L, and do an example problem from the end of the chapter. Don’t waste your time with too much reading. And definitely do not read the eBook from front to back! Get into ACTION. Do the work, and the technical will stick with you. We help you prioritize which topics are most important in CFE Success Academy by offering 5-30 min videos on the most tested and most complex topics, and offer AO style drills to make sure you learn how to apply your technical CFE style and within tight time constraints.

How much time for CFE study?

Shoot for 240+ hours of CFE study time, this is enough since you completed your PEP technical courses recently.  If you take 6 weeks off work and study full time, treating CFE study like your full time job, that is 240 hours right there (6 x 40 = 240). Or you might take 4 weeks off work, and then do 20 hours per week part time (4 x 40 + 4 x 20 = 240) starting around the same time that Cap 2 starts (i.e. 8 weeks before the CFE). 


So you don’t need to do much prep before Cap 2 starts. Just work in a few technical spot checks weekly while completing Cap 1 to reassure yourself that you know your stuff, try for 5-10 hours per week starting in January for the May CFE or April for the Sep CFE. If you find you need a bit more technical review, better to figure that out before it is too late to ramp up your study hours.

How many practice cases to write up?

Ideally, you will  write and debrief at least 8 x Day 2s, and 24 x Day 3s, and 3 x Day 1s.  This is a LOT more Day 2 and Day 3s than what is scheduled for Capstone 2 (Cap 2 has 4 x Day 2s and 11 x Days 3s). Why so many more? The more past CFEs you write AND debrief, the better you will do when you write your CFE. Most other candidates are doing about this amount of practice cases, so you need to keep up with the pack. 

Case writing will account for about 176 hours of study time, and the remaining 64 hours will be more focussed on technical study. Each Day 1 takes about 8 hours total, 4 hours to write and 4 hours to debrief. Each Day 2 takes about 10 hours total, 5 hours to write, 5 hours to debrief. Each Day 3 takes about 3 hours total, 70-90 min to write and the remaining time for debrief. So you end up with 3 x 8 hours (Day 1) + 8 x 10 hours (Day 2) + 24 x 3 hours (Day 3) =   176 hours of case writing total. There are now 13 past CFEs (=13 Day 2s and 39 Day 3s), so lots of options if you need more practice. But shooting for 8 is a great balance. 

We’ve got case calendars that show you how to fit these cases in, based on the amount of time you have off work. Included in the Toolbox, downloable below.

A common mistake you must avoid at all costs...

Spending too much time on Capstone 1! Pretty much everyone passes Cap 1. The odd group has to redo their presentation. But you do NOT need to spend 15+ hours per week perfecting your Cap 1 work, even though many people do. Yes, you need to pull your weight for your team. But don’t be a perfectionist. You should still be carving out time to do your technical spot checks in preparation for the CFE. You do not want to wait until Capstone 2 starts and then realize that you feel very behind on technical, you can’t get that time back. Pretty much no one fails Cap 1, but 25%+ fail the CFE. So don’t forget about your CFE study (as much as you may want to!).

Get your Custom Study Plan Complete Toolbox ...

Including a PDF of the above plan, our most tested topics superpack to guide your technical study, case calendar, debrief checklist and your custom CFE study plan fillable worksheet.