Monday, December 13, 2010

UFE Results – How to survive failure Part 2

A week has officially passed since the day of your dreaded results, and by now, the reality has sunk in.
You may still be feeling bitter and angry and hate the world or you feel hopeless and tired, and scared.

Regardless, Even 1 week post results, It is ok to feel like Shit. I can only imagine how hard the first week back at work would be for you.

People asking you, “How do you feel?” and “Are you OK?”

People purposely avoiding you, and not wanting to socialize. IT really does SUCK.

This is why failing the UFE is so bad:

1) It must be one of the only tests in the world where studying the second time is harder than studying for the first. I say this because, in order to study for the UFE, you need to practice, and in order to practice, you need cases. And unfortunately, like most UFE writers, you would have done the 2006-2009 Cases + the 2010 one that you failed. And in order to get more cases, you need to get a prep program, and you will need to Pay or Pirate.

2) You get fired. There are some small firms that literally fire you if you fail the UFE. Most big 4 firms are more considerate and offer a one-strike policy. But failing the UFE is a big deal. For those of you who are commenting that failing the UFE is not a big deal, it is a bigger deal than you think. This must be one of the only exams in the world where failure leads to a loss of a job. This isn’t a University exam where you can write it next semester with no repercussions. Everybody’s situation is different, but losing a job or being at risk of losing a job is terrible. Big 4 Firms have fired All star performers at work... for the sole reason that they failed the UFE. This is a huge confidence shock.

3) Big 4 Firms offer very little support for repeat writers. Big 4 firms do everything to help first time writers pass. But if you fail and are a repeat writer, you have to do everything on your own. You have to pay for the UFE again, you have to pay for prep courses out of your own pocket, you have to pay for diagnostic reports out of your pocket, and the firm forces you to take time off work to study in August and September with no paid UFE leave like if you are a first time writer. The opportunity cost of failing the UFE can be greater than $5,000 not to mention emotional and physical stress.

4) Failing the UFE can destroy friendships and relationships. For the first time in your life, you may feel yourself not wanting to hang out with friends for the sole reason that they all passed and you didn’t, and you feel like you no longer belong. I have seen friendships destroyed because of failing the UFE, where a person no longer wanted to be part of their social group.

. I want all you failed UFE candidates to do these things and remember these things:

1) Forget UFE for a while. Its Christmas time. Spend time with the people who love and care about you. As hard as it is to not be bitter around your friends who passed UFE, remember, they are still your friends, and when you do pass, which you will, they will party it up with you.


1) For someone who writes the UFE four times, there is a >98% pass rate. I’m not saying that you will write the UFE four times, but the probability of failing this test four times is close to zero. For second time writers, “P(Passing|Failed 1st attempt) >90%”.

I’m not going to turn this blog post into something positive and how you guys should cheer up with a bunch of constructive advice. It’s still way too early. I just wanted to bring one Do and Remember element for each of follow up blog posts. I’m sure thousands of others have already told you guys that failing the UFE is not the end of the world. But trust me, it will feel that way for a long time. You guys are still hurting, and it is ok to feel deep and dark inside.

The accountant’s friend
Successful UFE candidate – 2nd attempt


  1. I despised my Big 4 firm with the burning passion of a thousand flaming suns. But even I can admit they provided the second-time-writers with AWESOME, personalized support.

    And if an exam destroys friendships or relationships, then maybe it's because you're placing too much emphasis on one small thing.

    Repeat after me: IT'S JUST AN EXAM. No, really, it is. It's just an exam. No matter what anyone tells's still just an exam.

    1. I failed the 2013 UFE, 2014 UFE and lucked out and passed the 2015 UFE. For those of you thinking that the UFE is just an exam – well yes, it is just an exam, but it is also potentially the MOST important exam in your life! The reason why it is so devastating to fail the UFE is because you spend so much time and money into the studying process (seriously, what exam requires 2+ months to prepare?)

      That’s why I think for those who failed the 2015 UFE, you should definitely not give up and write the CFE. Yes, you won’t get the CA title, but who cares?? 10 years from now, no one will care if you are a CA or CPA.

      I was finally able to pass on my last attempt because a friend referred me to an amazing tutor. Asking her for help was probably the best decision I made. CFE writers should contact her at (Website: I have written the UFE 3 times, and had different mentor for each of my attempt, Narmin is seriously the most knowledgeable and the best out there. She has helped so many students to pass, and I am sure she can help you too.

      Keep looking forward and make 2016 CFE your final attempt!

  2. i know of someone who only a few months of experience as that person got laid off and was finally allowed to write UFE and end up spending more than $7000 for it about pressure

    This person failed the UFE given all the stress of getting rehired and the financial strain

    for some ppl it was more than just an exam ... I told that person not to give up as the lay off was not that person fault and to fight back

  3. I got fired after failing the 2010 UFE

    for those of you who think its "just ane exam" , you obviously have never been through it, or think its like an university exam

    losing a job is a serious thing to me, and i don't know what i'm going to do especially i have to write again and don't have the experience

  4. To 'DECEMBER 14, 2010 9:34 PM'

    I know some ppl are like it is just an exam...they just don't understand, I can bet if they have failed they would not be so optimistic failing an exam

  5. about* failing an exam

  6. I'm also an unfortunate person who got fired after failing 2010 UFE, it was my second failure, and my firm has a 2 strike policy.

    This was my second time writing, and i think the stress just got to me, =(

    I was really disappointed, but theres nothing you can do but just move on from now on,

    i will definitely say that it's very difficult to just move on with life. I know thers worse things in life than failing UFE, but its been a very sad and traumatic experience, =(

  7. To jclovely

    I dont know if you know this , i have failed UFE too and i have ordered this book ' i have failed UFE , now what' by kayla Switzer edited by Densmore. its on on Densmore website. I know ppl who followed it and passed UFE as repeated writer
    and I also know of someone who passed UFE on their 3 rd attempt!

  8. I failed the 2010 UFE, 2nd time around and unfortunately I am on my way out of the firm. The firm did provide a tone of support and at the end of the day it is what it is. Exams don't measure real life skills or abilities, they do however test you under pressure situations (which are not reflective of real life).

    It's just an exam, it's a "passable" exam and it's just a matter of time before it happens. I have to pay for the 2011 UFE + prep courses. If I get a job before the UFE it won't be accounting related. But you know what? Who cares because in the grand scheme I/we will pass the 2011 UFE and move on.

    The designation is a great thing to have, keep your foot on the gas and we will all pass this thing.

    Thankfully my firm is letting me complete the 30 months before I get the boot. I have nothing but good things to say about how they treat UFE writers.

    Anyways guys keep your head up and if you decide to change careers it could be one of the better decisions you've made to this point.


    3rd Timer

  9. Hello everybody...

    I wrote the 2009 and 2010 UFEs

    In 09, i missed by a couple indicators (Lvl 2)
    In 10 , it was Lvl 1 indicator!!!!

    Every night i convince myself to do CGA
    and when I go to work, i convince myself to give it another shot in 2011 (mind you i am in government and i cannot understand your pain if you lost your job, even if i tried)

    I am really sorry to hear that some of you got fired......

    One thing i wanted to say is that the CA (and all designations) are like franchises. The CA being the most lucrative/prestigious/expensive requires a lot....and for myself and those who failed more than 2ice....the questions become "How bad do we want the membership to this franchise?"
    "Is it gonna serve us well in our lives?"

    Personally i really want it and i believe that it will serve me well (which depends on me).....but thinking this will be the 3rd summer lost and there goes my savings.....(not to mentioned writing and debriefing comps again) kinda holds me back....

    Folks I ll give it one more shot...wanna know why? Cuz they owe me, this is my designation and its an investment that HAS TO PAY DIVIDENDS!!!!

  10. If you failed at Level 1 you should appeal it. The only people that passed on appeal last year was at level 1.

  11. what does failing level 1 and being in group 1 and 2 means?

  12. Failing level 1 means you don't have enough points to pass the exam. Failing level 2 means you did not have enough C's in Assurance and/or PMR (financial accounting).

  13. so why do they put ppl in sufficiency group in level 1 and only group 1 and 2 can appeal and group 3 to 9 can't?

  14. Anyone can appeal, if you're in sufficiency level 4 or beyond there's no point in appealing as it suggests you needed 4 more C's to pass. If you're at that level you really need to revamp your game plan. I'm not saying you shouldn't be a CA I'm suggesting that a lot of work needs to be done in order to pass.

    Level 1 has the best chances of passing at the appeal level if you look at the summary sheet they mail you with your results. I'm appealing a level 2 fail, probably won't happen but I had enough points to pass so we'll see what may come of it.

  15. I think failing level 1 and being group 2 means that you were 1 indicator away from passing or at most 2 indicator depending on RC or C.

  16. Ladies & Gentlemen, I'm not going to trivialize failing, but LIFE GOES ON! I was a successful 3rd time writer in 2010.

    After each time that I failed, I genuinely thought it wasn't a big deal because it wasn't! Everyone else around me acted weird, but that was beyond my control. I did everything I could to continue....why? Because life goes on.
    You got fired?!?! So did I! Get another job! There are people in 3rd world countries dying because they don't have drinking water or food. And you're world is falling apart because you failed this STUPID exam? That's what it is, a STUPID exam! Not saying that you are stupid for failing it, but it's such a black box, you don't know what they want, but you have to keep blind faith and maintain confidence when proceeding.

    Advice: Failing ONLY at level 1 with a sufficiency grouping of 1 means you LITERALLY failed by missing 1 C - I recommend appealing. This was the case for me in the 2009 UFE. I realized too late what sufficiency grouping meant. If you were that close, DEFINITELY continue writing the exam and give it your ALL!

  17. I asked around...failing level 1 and being in sufficiency group 1 and 2 means that the candidate was close...thats why they are allowed to appeal.

    I think every one case is differ, i know ppl who got the rough end of the bargain ...imagine.... and they could not take the pressure or it affected them so much that they failed

  18. Good on ya for passing 3rd time around, I agree with everything you said. It's a dumb exam, it's a black box and life goes on. People have treated me differently at work and I think to myself "guys wake up it's an exam, it doesn't mean life goes downhill from here".

  19. how come there is no posting for January!!!!

  20. I will not lie I passed the exam on my first shot. It is just a game. I will repeat. It is just a game. So like in any game you all you have to is practice and improve from case to case and you will pass. To all those who failed pick your fucking head up and kick some ass.

  21. I know a guy who works at the 7th largest firm in BC and he still works there despite failing the UFE 3 times including 2010 and now the office is trying to get him another shot, if it was any other firm or situation the person would have been fired, however the guy has been groomed to be partner. So it depends on firms and if they like you or not, you can be great at your work but failing the exams and be fired, however if your dad owns a company and uses the accounting firm as a service provider, then the firm decides not to fire your ass for failing the exam 3 times, how fair is that! the industry is based on favouritism not how competent you are!

  22. A.D. will pass this year, I have faith!

  23. I failed the UFE, and a guy from my firm with a heavy degree of Asperger's Syndrome (an autistic syndrome, where people that have this syndrome does not know the difference between what is sensitive or not), decides to laugh at people for failing the UFE, right in front of their face, in front of all their co workers, and when asked to stop, he starts continuing and going at the insult again. People with Asperger's Syndrome deserved to get fired!

  24. I agree, making fun of those who failed the exam is inapropriate. I am not sure if this individual with Aspergers could control what he was doing. This might just be his handicap.

  25. I have been deciding whether to go CA or CGA, and some of these comments are a bit of a downer. However my "care-free" personality keeps telling to go CA and roll with it even if I fail. Fingers crossed.






  27. I failed 2012 ufe at level 1 with a sufficency grouping of 2. The decile ranking was 7 and 9. Should I appeal or not?

  28. We should have more jews write, those idiots increase the fail rate

  29. I failed the 2012 UFE. I had just moved to Ontario and had found a new job (a month before the UFE result). When my firm found out about the result, one of the managers assured me that I would not be judged based on this failure and should concentrate on work.

    For the past four months I've been working hard to ensure that my job is secure. About 2 weeks ago I had a performance review and got wonderful comments about my work.

    Last week HR calls me into their office and tells me I'm no good at audits (mind you- I only ever did ONE section for ONE audit so far), the co-ops get it better than me and that they get why I failed the UFE and I got the boot. They didn't say the next sentence but I know that its true, they did not want to invest any time and energy into someone who had failed the UFE.

    It has been a ROUGH couple of days, but everyone around me is optimistic and want me to finish off my 3 month of experience (as I'm ready to give up)and write the UFE this September.

  30. fuck the UFE and the useless CA designation

  31. oh yeah, and FUCK ALL OF YOU CAs out there.

    you know NOTHING. absolutely nothing.

    you can write up a case and fucking memo. ooooh you're sooo special.


  32. ^ Anonymous above has some serious butt-hurt. He must have failed 3 times.

  33. CA is so screwed up. they are a money making organisation. They are so corrupt and fail students on purpose. They don't care about giving a good education.

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