• Step 4 - Pass the CFE Exam


    OverviewMan Looking at Computer


    Before earning the CFE Credential, you are required to pass the CFE Exam. The CFE Exam tests your knowledge of the four major areas that comprise the fraud examination body of knowledge:

    Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemestests your comprehension of the types of fraudulent financial transactions incurred in accounting records. To pass Financial Transactions & Fraud Schemes, you will be required to demonstrate knowledge of the following concepts: basic accounting and auditing theory, fraud schemes, internal controls to deter fraud and other auditing and accounting matters.

    Law — ensures your familiarity with the many legal ramifications of conducting fraud examinations, including criminal and civil law, rules of evidence, rights of the accused and accuser, and expert witness matters.

    Investigation — includes questions about interviewing, taking statements, obtaining information from public records, tracing illicit transactions, evaluating deception and report writing.

    Fraud Prevention and Deterrence — tests your understanding of why people commit fraud and ways to prevent it. Topics covered in this section include crime causation, white-collar crime, occupational fraud, fraud prevention, fraud risk assessment, and the ACFE Code of Professional Ethics.


    CFE Exam Format

    NEW! The CFE Exam platform is changing! Read more about the new requirements.

    The CFE Exam is administered online via computer.

    The exam contains four sections.

    The CFE Exam is a closed-book and closed-notes exam.

    The CFE Exam can be taken at a time convenient for you.

    The exam has a number of controls to ensure integrity and each exam is generated from a master database. No two exams are exactly the same.


    To be eligible for the CFE Exam, you must be an ACFE member and have an approved CFE Exam application on file.

    The CFE Exam you take will correspond with the year/edition you are using to study. For example, if you’re studying with the 2019 CFE Exam Prep Course, U.S. Edition, you will take the 2019 CFE Exam, U.S. Edition.

    A particular CFE Exam is only valid for a period of two years after the release date. For example, the 2019 CFE Exam, U.S. Edition will be valid until December 2020. If the study materials or exam you have are expired, we will provide you with the most current version of the exam.



    CFE Exam Details

    NEW! The CFE Exam platform is changing! Read more about the new requirements.

    Taking the CFE Exam
    Request Your CFE Exam Activation Key
    Entering the CFE Exam Activation Key
    Submitting the CFE Exam Activation Key
    CFE Exam Affidavit
    CFE Exam Results
    CFE Exam Retakes

    Taking the CFE Exam

    You have 30 days from receiving your exam key(s) to take all your exam sections and submit them for grading.

    You must take each exam section within 24 hours of unlocking it.

    Once you start a section of the exam, you must complete it in one sitting.

    You are not required to complete all four sections in one sitting. In fact, we recommend only taking a section or two at a time.

    You must pass each section of the exam within three attempts.

    After you have completed a CFE Exam section, you must select Submit CFE Exam before entering the next section's exam key. If you fail to submit after completing each section, you will lose your progress and may have to retake exam sections.

    A CFE Exam affidavit must be submitted for each submission of the CFE Exam.


    Requesting your CFE Exam Keys

    IF YOU STUDIED WITH THE CFE EXAM PREP COURSE

    1. Select Request Exam Key within the course.
    2. Your Exam Keys will be sent by email within 3-5 business days.

    If you studied with the Fraud Examiners Manual:

    1. You will receive access to the CFE Exam when your CFE Exam application is approved.
    2. Open your CFE Exam and select Request Exam Key within the software.
    3. Your Exam Keys will be sent by email within 3-5 business days.


    Entering the CFE Exam Key

    Once you have requested and received your CFE Exam Keys:
    1. Open the CFE Exam software.
    2. On the home tab, select Enter Exam Key.
    3. Copy the Exam Key for the section you want to take and paste it into the box provided.


    Submitting the CFE Exam

    After you have completed a section of the CFE Exam, submit your CFE Exam section:
    1. Select the Submit CFE Exam button on the Exam tab of the CFE Exam software. You must select Submit CFE Exam before entering the next section's exam key. If you fail to submit after completing each section, you will lose your progress and may have to retake exam sections.
    2. Please allow 3-5 business days for review of your CFE Exam.

    CFE Exam Affidavit

    A CFE Exam Affidavit, verifying the completion of your exam without assistance, is required for each submission of the CFE Exam. Upload your completed CFE Exam Affidavit to the Certification Portal upon completion of your exam submission.


    CFE Exam Results

    You will receive notification of your exam results, via email, within 3-5 business days of your exam submission. To pass, you must accurately answer at least 75% of the questions in each section of the CFE Exam. CFE Exam scores are only released when you have not achieved the 75% pass rate. This procedure ensures the integrity of the testing process. The ACFE Board of Regents oversees the exam process.


    CFE Exam Retakes

    If you studied using the CFE Exam Prep Course and do not pass, you may qualify for the Money-Back Pass Guarantee. If you qualify for the Money-Back Pass Guarantee you will receive a Retake Exam Key with your results. If you do not qualify for the Money-Back Pass Guarantee or have studied without the CFE Exam Prep Course and do not pass, you may retake the CFE Exam for $25 per section. Within 3-5 business days of receiving the retake fee(s), your Retake Exam Key(s) will be sent to you by email.

    Each section must be passed in three attempts. A CFE Exam affidavit is required for each submission of the CFE Exam.

    FAQs

    When and where can I take the CFE Exam?

    The CFE Exam is a computer-based program, which you may take at any time. We do not use testing centers and do not have designated times when we administer the CFE Exam. To be eligible to take the CFE Exam, you will need to be a current member of the ACFE and have an approved CFE Exam Application on file.


    I requested my CFE Exam Keys today, when will I receive them?

    If your CFE Exam application is approved, your CFE Exam keys will be emailed within 3-5 business days.


    My exam application is not complete; can I request the CFE Exam?

    If you request your CFE Exam Keys before your CFE Exam application is approved, your Exam Keys will not be sent to you. Your CFE Exam Keys will be sent to you by email within 3-5 business days of your CFE Exam application approval.


    How much time will I need to take the CFE Exam?

    Each question has a time limit of 75 seconds, and each section takes approximately 2 hours and 5 minutes to complete. Although the total exam time is approximately 8 hours, applicants have 30 days from when they receive their CFE Exam Keys to finish the exam. Applicants may take each section of the exam at their own convenience, as long as all sections are completed by the end of the 30 days. Each CFE Exam Key expires 24 hours after it has been entered.

    You have 30 days to complete all four sections of the CFE Exam and submit it to the ACFE for grading. You must complete each section in one sitting, but you do not have to complete all four sections at once.


    I submitted my final exam section today, when will I get my exam results?

    You will receive your CFE Exam results within 3 to 5 business days. The results will be sent to you by email.