The Ultimate CFE Exam Preparation Guide

Mark Fellhauer, Kevin Chan
| 7/17/2023

Future CPAs! Summer has arrived, and if you're bracing yourself for the Common Final Examination (CFE), you’re likely feeling a rollercoaster of emotions. Excitement? Check. Fear? Yep. A touch of anxiety and a dash of uncertainty? You bet. 

Take a deep breath; it's all part of the CFE Exam Preparation journey.

In this article, Crowe MacKay's 2021 successful CFE writers, Mark Fellhauer and Kevin Chan, share how they approached their CFE study leave, helping them pass AND survive the CFE. For additional accounting student tools and resources, browse our student hub.

Student Woman at Computer

CFE Preparation: Your Full-time Summer Job

First off, preparing for the CFE is no small task. You've put in a lot of effort to reach this stage. Now, it's time to tackle it head-on. This summer, your CFE preparation is your new full-time job. Remember that week off before the CFE preparation began? When time seemed to have a pause button? Well, brace yourself. Once you plunge into the study pool, time will zip by.

CFE Exam Study Partners: Your Perfect CFE Allies

Keeping on track can be challenging when you're engrossed in the world of CFE. That's where a study partner comes in handy. Wake up at 8:00 a.m., write cases, debrief, and study until 4:00-5:00 p.m. Sounds intense. Trust us; the hard work pays off. With every passing week, you'll see your skills sharpening. Before you know it, case writing will become second nature. Fewer "oh no" moments, more "I’ve nailed this" instances. The mantra here? "Trust the process!"

Students Talking Asking Questions

Pre-Exam Butterflies? Expected!

As the day creeps closer, you might feel the nerves or start doubting yourself. That’s completely normal! When immersed in CFE Preparation, it's only natural to have some pre-exam jitters. Remember, all the hard work you've poured in over the summer has readied you for this. Deep breaths, no panicking. You've got this!

Balancing 'Me Time' in Your CFE Exam Preparation Schedule

Remember to schedule time for yourself amidst the whirlwind of the CFE leave. Planned breaks and off days are just as crucial as those intense study sessions. Try to meet up with friends or fellow CFE aspirants at least once a week. This allows you to decompress, share a laugh, and remember that there's a world outside the CFE.

Plan activities like camping, BBQs, golf, or movie nights — whatever takes your mind off the CFE for a while. With the exam taking up prime real estate in your thoughts, you'll cherish these moments.

Students Collaborating

Carving Out Your Unique CFE Journey

Everyone’s CFE journey is unique, so create the best CFE experience for yourself. Push any lurking doubts aside. You've done the work, and you're more than capable. And always remember, YOU CAN DO THIS!

As the lovable Dory from Finding Nemo puts it, "Just keep swimming." Sure, the CFE isn't quite an adventurous journey through the ocean, but a little humour goes a long way!

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Mark Fellhauer
Mark Fellhauer
Kevin Chan
Kevin Chan