Approaching Things Differently the Second Time Around

Though it may not feel like it at the time, one of the best ways to learn something is to fail at it. Read on for ideas on how to make failing a module, course, or exam a learning opportunity.

Before you throw your coffee at the screen, we know how frustrating and disappointing it is to fail, especially if you’ve worked hard. But, after you’ve had some time to vent your frustration, consider incorporating some of these ideas into your preparation the second time around.

Find the gaps: Was there a topic that you were uncertain on? Try reviewing the notes you made while learning it the first time. Underline or highlight what got you stuck and then write out an explanation (using your own words, without referring to your notes or other resources). Compare your explanation with the one in your resources. Go back to your resources and fill in the gaps.

Why this helps: Identifying your gaps helps you focus your attention where it counts.

Teach someone: How would you teach the concept to someone unfamiliar with it? Identify the key points that you would share in a short presentation. If you have a tutor or a study buddy, practice teaching the concept to them. Or teach the concept to a child in a way that they will understand. (You can never be too young to start developing business acumen, right?)

Why this helps: Teaching something new to someone requires that you start simply. Once you can describe a concept simply, you can start to build on it.

Review your habits: Did you take advantage of all the resources available to you? Did you attend the chats or just skim the transcripts? How did you incorporate facilitator feedback into your next assignments? Did you post questions to the D2L discussion boards or ask your facilitator?

Why this helps: CPA Canada provides many resources to learners. If there are some that you haven’t used or haven’t used as often as you could, consider using them next time. You might uncover a tip or tool that helps everything fall into place.

Seek the support of our Learner Support team: If you are repeating the CFE, you may want to consider seeking counselling support provided by our Learner Support team when preparing for your next CFE attempt.

Why this helps: Learner Support team assists candidates in competency development areas. They will help you identify competency gaps based on your CFE transcript and develop an individualized study plan to assist you with preparing for your next CFE attempt. To schedule a counselling appointment with our Learner Support team please contact