CFE Preparation: The Final Countdown

The CFE begins in three weeks, so now is an excellent time to consider some of the finer points of your CFE preparation strategy. Here are some ideas to help ensure you are at your best on the big day:

Confidence

If you’ve been preparing by drafting your case responses under examination conditions, you’ve likely been getting lower competency rankings than if you’d given yourself more time. While this is an excellent method to prepare you for the CFE, it can still take a toll on your confidence when you continuously receive improvement points and criticism.

You may also be cross-marking your response with your study team. While comparing your response to others can help improve your case writing, it can also sap your confidence as the CFE approaches.

Don’t worry, this is part of the preparation process; you’ve made it this far and you deserve to be here!

Remaining confident through all three days of the CFE is essential. If you lose confidence, you may find you type slower, or overthink and second-guess your analysis. Here are a few suggestions to help maximize your confidence in the upcoming weeks:

  • Write a confidence case: after you’ve completed your Capstone 2 work, review your case tracker and identify a case you performed particularly well on. Write this case again under the same conditions. Seeing familiar material will be refreshing and will help you have a good idea of how to approach the case.
  • Keep good company: working with others and providing honest critiques is an excellent way to prepare for the CFE during Capstone 2. However, as you approach the end of Capstone 2 and conclude your group case writing sessions, be mindful of who you spend time with. The words of others can go a long way to positively or negatively impacting your confidence, so focus on friends and others who inspire you and lift you up. Avoid negativity!

Energy

No doubt you’ve had to perform at least one late-night cram before a final exam. Avoid this before the CFE. Showing up fatigued or burnt-out can impact your ability to perform at your peak. You might be able to get through a multi-hour final exam on little sleep but getting through the three-day CFE when exhausted will be a real challenge.

Instead, consider ways to arrive at the exam centre feeling fresh and energized. Take a break and have some fun. Switch up your routine. If you’re rested and excited to write the CFE, you’ll be at your strongest.

Calmness

During the week before the CFE, try to find ways to help remove stress from your life (if only temporarily).

Delegate: Little nuisances (or big problems) pop-up every day. Many don’t need to be addressed right away but can rob you of your calm state. Consider ways to shield yourself until the CFE has passed. Is there someone who you can task with handling the small things on your plate for a short period?

Go offline: Find ways to limit the intrusion of electronic communications that cause you stress. Can you put your work (or personal) email on auto-respond? Do you have a trusted person that can monitor your incoming communications? Consider avoiding social media on exam days.

CFE eligibility: The eligibility threshold to proceed to the CFE is achieving an overall module grade of 75 percent, and nothing would be more stressful than spending the final days before the CFE appealing your overall module grade. To avoid this scenario, do not miss the final deadlines to submit module work on Wednesday, September 4, when three submissions are due:

  • Day 3 case (CHHP)
  • Surpass Week 7 activity
  • End-of-module survey

If you experience any issues achieving the required overall module grade, contact the CPAWSB Extensions team to discuss your situation at cpaextensions@cpawsb.ca.