CFE examination scheme

The CFE Exam contains the following four areas of fraud examination each of which represents a separate examination:

  • Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes
  • Law
  • Investigation
  • Fraud Prevention and Deterrence


Financial Transactions and Fraud Schemes

Examines general accounting concepts and describes hundreds of the most common employee defalcation schemes including financial statement fraud, asset misappropriation, bribery and corruption schemes. This section also highlights industry-specific fraud including healthcare fraud, financial institution fraud, insurance fraud, securities fraud, consumer fraud and many more.



Focuses on the statues and principals involved in prosecuting fraudsters through both the criminal and civil systems, as well as legal pitfalls you may encounter in conducting an investigation.



Provides the basic tools and techniques necessary to gather information and evidence when conducting a fraud examination and identifying perpetrators.


Fraud Prevention and Deterrence

Explores why people commit fraud and what can be done 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.


Exam progression rules

  • Candidates must pass all four areas mentioned above in 30 days and submit them to the ACFE for grading.
  • The pass mark for each area is 75%.
  • The examination is administered via computer so one can take it at a convenient time and location.
  • The examination is made up of 500 multiple choice questions (125 from each area, 75 sec for each one i.e. 2.6 hours) including true / false questions designed to test the knowledge in the aforementioned four areas.
  • The order one submits the exams is not relevant.


Examination rules

A candidate needs to pass all four sections of the examination in any order within 3 consecutive attempts. Each attempt has 30 day limit (this is the maximum allowed time).

If a candidate on his 3rd attempt has not passed all four areas, in his 4th attempt he will need to attempt the sections he passed in his 1st attempt again and any sections he has failed in his 3rd attempt.