• Step 4 - Pass the CFE Exam

    OverviewWoman Working 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 Schemes - tests 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.

    The CFE Exam you take will correspond with the year/edition you are using to study. For example, if you’re studying with the 2021 CFE Exam Prep Course, you will take the 2021 CFE Exam.

    A particular CFE Exam is only valid for a period of two years after the release date. For example, the 2021 CFE Exam will be valid until December 2022. If the study materials or exam you have are expired, we will provide you with the most current version of the exam.

    CFE Exam Format

    NEW! The CFE Exam platform has changed! Read more about the new requirements.

    The CFE Exam is administered through Prometric’s exam delivery system. You have the option to take your exam in one of two ways:

    At a private location of your choice using Prometric's online proctoring platform.

    At a Prometric Test Center site in your area.

    Upon receiving approval from the ACFE, you must schedule your exam appointments directly through Prometric. You will have 60 days to complete all four sections of the exam. Changes made within 30 days of an exam appointment will be subject to additional fees.

    Remote proctoring allows you to take the CFE Exam from the comfort of your own home or office without having to travel or test near other people. However, remote proctoring is not right for everyone. You also have the option to test at any of Prometric’s testing centers located throughout the world, if you have technological or logistical challenges with online remote testing.

    Which Testing Option is Right for Me? Online Remote Testing In-Person Testing Center
    Convenience of taking the exam at your home
    Requires a quiet, tidy location for testing
    Requires access to a computer, webcam, and stable Internet
    Secure testing location and equipment provided
    Requires scheduling in advance
    Costs included in exam application fee

    Remote exams are offered using Prometric’s ProProctorTM online software. Confirm your computer and network’s compatibility to allow remote proctoring.

    System Requirements:

    At the time of your appointment, you will be required to present a valid, government-issued ID (e.g., a driver’s license or passport).

    If testing remotely, you will also need to have access to a:

      Computer capable of installing a lightweight app

      Web camera capable of a 360-degree environmental check*


      Stable internet connection

      Web camera

      Private Location

    Additional remote proctoring technical requirements include:

      Screen resolution: 1024 X 768

      Operating system: Windows 8 or above/MacOS

      Web broswer: Latest version of Google Chrome

      Web camera resolution: 640 X 480p

      Microphone: Enabled

      Download speed: 0.5 mbps

    *The web camera can be external or built into a laptop, but you must be able to move it around to show a full room scan.

    Note about VPN, Firewall and Security Settings

    For remote testing, we generally do not recommend using a corporate/work VPN, computer or network due to potential firewall, permissions and security settings that might not be compatible with the ProProctorTM application. Although some candidates have success testing from a work computer, we suggest using a personal computer or choosing a testing center to complete your exams. If you do choose to test remotely on a corporate computer, make sure you review the following instructions:

    Prior to scheduling your exams, we recommend running a system check to ensure that your network and computer are compatible with Prometric's system. However, receiving a passing result during the system check does not guarantee your network will allow the application to successfully launch. Firewall and/or security settings may restrict your ability to launch the application.

    Connecting your computer through a VPN (corporate or personal) will limit performance of the exam delivery software and may cause ProProctor to block your access completely, so you’ll need to disable it prior to your exam. Reach out to your company’s IT support team for assistance on identifying your VPN and disabling it. If you choose to test from the office, we strongly recommend you involve your IT team to resolve any issues, including potential firewall issues, long before test day.

    CFE Exam Details

    NEW! The CFE Exam platform has changed! Read more about the new requirements.

    Taking the CFE Exam
    Scheduling Your CFE Exam
    Reschedule/Cancellation Policy
    Submitting the CFE Exam
    CFE Exam Results
    CFE Exam Retakes
    Frequently Asked Exam Questions

    Taking the CFE Exam

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

    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.

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

    Scheduling Your CFE Exam

    We strongly recommend you schedule your exams at least 30 days ahead of time to secure the appointments of your choice. When your exam application has been approved, you may schedule your exams:

    1. Login to your Certification Portal by clicking on your approved exam application.
    2. Click on the green “Schedule Exam” button. Make note of your eligibility number. It will take you to the Prometric website.
    3. Select the remote proctoring or test center scheduling link.
    4. Enter your Prometric eligibility number (your ACFE member number) and the first four characters of your last name when prompted.
    5. Schedule your first exam appointment.
    6. Return to the Prometric website and repeat steps 3–5 for the other three exam sections.

    Please note the reschedule/cancellation policy to ensure you are not subject to any fees if you need to make changes.

    Reschedule/Cancellation Policy

    There is no charge for changing or canceling an exam appointment 30 days or more before a scheduled appointment. Changes made between 3 and 29 days are subject to a $35 fee, paid directly to Prometric at the time of the appointment change. You may not reschedule an exam less than 3 days prior to your appointment. If you fail to show up for an exam or cancel within 3 days of a scheduled appointment, you will be subject to a $50 rescheduling fee (paid directly to the ACFE) and forfeiture of an exam attempt.

    Submitting the CFE Exam

    After you have completed a section of the CFE Exam, your exam section will automatically submit when you choose End Exam.

    CFE Exam Results

    After completing each section of the CFE Exam, you will receive a Notice of Completion via email. The ACFE will email your complete exam results within 3–5 business days of your FINAL exam submission, unless CFE Exam Review Course rules apply. 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

    CFE Exam retake fees are $100 per section. You will receive instructions on how to pay exam retake fees with your exam results email. Within 3-5 business days of paying the retake fee(s), your exam access will be sent to you by email.

    Each section must be passed in three attempts.

    Find helpful information about taking the proctored exam on our Frequently Asked Exam Questions">Frequently Asked Exam Questions page.