AFE and CFE Testing Fees and Passing Scores
The passing score for AFE tests taken after June 30, 2014 is 70%, and for CFE tests, 74%. The testing fees are as follows: Member fees - $200 to initially take an exam ; $150 to retake an exam. Non -member fees- $275 to initially take an exam ; $210 to retake an exam.
Testing is offered through the SOFE testing website at Test.com where the AFE and CFE tests are offered as well as the CRE Reading Program tests. The link to SOFE's testing website is under "Files" on the landing page in the Members Only area. If you are not a member of SOFE and have never taken a SOFE test or if you are not a member and have not taken a test since March of 2012, complete and submit the non-member test account access form here (coming soon).
It is recommended to pay online at the time of the test. Anyone who must pay by check must complete a test registration form. SOFE members paying for the test online do not complete a form in advance of the test. However, they must still arrange in advance for a SOFE approved proctor to be present during their test(s). Click here for instructions on accessing tests on the SOFE testing website.
Registering for SOFE Examinations — You do not have to be a member of SOFE to take the examinations, however, it is less expensive to take the test if you are a member. If you plan to take more than one test per year, it will save you money if you are a member. If you are paying online, complete the non-member test account access form (coming soon) online here. If you are paying by check, then you must send your check with a test registration form for arrival at least two weeks prior to the date of your test. See "Paying by Check" below for more information. For the AES exam, see the information at this link.
Paying Online — If you are paying online for your test, you pay at the time you take the test, so there is no need to pre-register for your test. SOFE's testing site accepts online payment by credit card or by your PayPal account. If you pay online for your test, you may take your test at any time mutually convenient for you and the SOFE approved proctor who will be present for your test.
Paying by Check — There is additional time required to allow a test being paid for by check. If paying by check for your test, you must complete the test registration form and mail it as directed on the form. Additional stipulations for paying by check - Retests - If you wish to retake a test in less than two week's time, you must pay online. There are no exceptions to this requirement. To pay by check for a retest , you must designate on your test registration form which test and which date you will be taking the test at least two weeks prior to the test date . Failure To Show Up For An Exam Test takers who do not show up on time forfeit the test fee and the next test will be charged at the retest fee. Refunds A request for refunds for canceled tests which cannot be rescheduled may be made within 24 months of the check date and will be subject to an administrative fee of $50 for members and $75 for non-members. Failure to provide written notice of inability to take the test to SOFE and to the proctor in advance of the exam day will cause forfeiture of the full testing fee and the retest fee will be charged at the next registration for the exam.
Testing Dates SOFE Members paying online may take tests any day of the year mutually agreed upon by the test taker and the SOFE Approved Proctor (see "Approved Proctors" below) the test taker directly arranges for in advance of the desired test date. Non members who wish to take a test and pay online must complete and submit a the non-member test account access form online and must wait to hear from SOFE about their test site access before arranging their test dates and proctors. (see Registering For AFE And CFE Examinations above)
Tests not paid for online are not available the following days: Fridays, weekends, national holidays, during the week of the SOFE Career Development Seminar and the week immediately following it, and from mid December to the second week of January. The test date(s) can be no earlier than two weeks from the date the Pay by Check Form and the payment check are received by SOFE See form under "Paying by Check" above.
Test site user support — SOFE is available to assist you during the following business hours: Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. ET, excluding holidays and the week of the SOFE Career Development Seminar and the week immediately following it, and from mid December to the second week of January.
Approved Proctors — You must reserve your test date and time in advance directly with an approved proctor. All CFEs in good standing who have had the CFE designation for a month or more and have a suitable office space for testing are eligible to proctor the tests if they choose to do so. SOFE members seeking a proctor may consult the SOFE Member Directory located in the Members Only area of the website to see all CFEs in their area to contact regarding their availability to proctor. Instructions on seeking a proctor for non members are here.
Log In Information — The link and instructions for accessing SOFE's test.com website is in the Members Only area under "Files".
Test Format — Each examination has 50 randomly selected multiple choice questions. A limit of three hours is allowed for each test. The exams are proctored by volunteers from the SOFE membership and from the state insurance departments. Click here for instructions on accessing tests under the new testing delivery system.
Test Results — Test results are displayed on the screen at the conclusion of the test. An email indicating pass or fail will be emailed to the examinee, proctor and SOFE at the conclusion of the test. The actual score will not be included in this email. If the test was passed, then a certificated will be emailed as well. At any time, you can go into your history and view your prior results as well as the completion certificates.
Retests — You may re-take any test. There is a $75 retest fee. As of July 1, 2014, the retest fee is $150 for members and $210 for non-members. For retests, follow the above instructions regarding paying online or by check. If you took the initial test before March of 2012 and have not since retaken the test, contact SOFE at least one week before you plan to retake the test.
Conditional Credit Policy — Effective January 1, 2012, a candidate for Accredited Financial Examiner designation (AFE) and Certified Financial Examiner designation (CFE) will be subject to the conditional credit policy as stated below:
The passing grade for each of the tests of the Accredited Financial Examiner designation (AFE) is 60 prior to July 1, 2014; thereafter it is 70. A candidate who passes any test of the AFE will earn conditional credit for that test. This conditional credit expires 36 months after the testing date. If a candidate does not successfully pass the remaining tests within the 36 months, the test associated with the conditional credit must be retaken.
The passing grade for each of the tests of the Certified Financial Examiner designation (CFE) is 66 prior to July 1,2014; thereafter it is 74. A candidate who passes any test of the CFE will earn conditional credit for that test. This conditional credit expires 36 months after the testing date. If a candidate does not successfully pass the remaining tests within the 36 months, the test associated with the conditional credit must be retaken.
An application reflecting fulfillment of all requirements for a designation must be submitted within thirty-eight months following the month in which the applicant passed his/her first exam for that designation track.
The requirements for obtaining the Accredited Financial Examiner (AFE) and Certified Financial Examiner (CFE) designation are:
Pass all the SOFE exams (AFE or CFE track) within a 36 month period.
Meet the 2 year (AFE) or 3 year (CFE) current continuous regulatory work experience requirement.
Be a member of SOFE in good standing.
Submit the designation application to SOFE headquarters
Study Materials Required For AFE and CFE Examinations
There are specific textbooks which must be used to study for the examinations. Below is a list of these textbooks and materials. They are:
AFE1: Life Insurance 15th Edition - Kenneth Black, Jr.
AFE2: Fundamentals of Risk and Insurance, Emmett J. Vaughn & Therese M. Vaughn (11th Edition) and Insurance Operations (SOFE) (Stock Number: SABI25)
AFE3: Life and Accident & Health Insurance Accounting 5th edition Insurance Accounting and Systems Association
AFE4 - Property & Liability Insurance Entities: AICPA Audit & Accounting Guide, 2015 (Updates to the AICPA Audit and Accountin Guide: Property & Liability Insurance Entities guidance were not significant, and members may study from either the 2015 edition or the 2016 edition) ; Accounting Practices and Procedures Manual, by NAIC-March, 2016; Property-Casualty Insurance Accounting, IASA 9th Edition
CFE 1: 2018 Edition of the Financial Condition Examiners Handbook (FCEH) published by the NAIC
CFE2 Enterprise Risk Management Best Practices: From Assessment to Ongoing Compliance : Anne M. Marchetti, 2011, ISBN: 978-0-470-91740-4, Enterprise Risk Management (SOFE) (Stock Number: SABE06) and NAIC OWN Risk and Solvency Assessment (ORSA) Guidance Manual as of 2017 http://www.naic.org/documents/prod_serv_fin_recievership_ORSA-2014.pdf
CFE3: Reinsurance; Edited by Robert W. Strain; Strain Publishing Company, New York, 1997, Reinsurance Practices
Upcoming CFE3: Reinsurance (SOFE) (Stock Number: SABR19)
CFE4: NAIC Financial Analysis Handbook - 2017 Annual / 2018 Quarterly
Customized textbooks must be ordered directly through The Institutes using SOFE's Customized Stock Number (noted on Main Testing Page and in Study Guides).
Textbooks provided by IASA are now discounted for SOFE Members (more information on Main Testing Page).
All other textbooks for the exams may be purchased from the Actuarial Bookstore (a mail-order bookstore), Amazon.com® or Booksamillion.com®(Internet-based bookstores).
Orders can be mailed, faxed or phones in. The actuarial Bookstore ships via UPS within two to three days. Or you can order on line using the link from SOFE's website or at http://www.actuarialbookstore.com/.
In addition, state insurance libraries and public libraries may lend these books.
In addition to the textbooks, the Society provides study guides as an aid for study. And please keep in mind that these are just tools to help you prepare; they are not all inclusive of the material upon which you will be tested. Note: There are no study guides for the SOFE tests through any sources other than provided on SOFE's website. Click here to access the study guides.
Veterans Benefit for SOFE Exam Fee Reimbursement
The Department of Veterans Affairs has approved under Section 122 of PL 106-416 , SOFE's AFE and CFE exam fees for reimbursement retroactive to January 31, 2011. The VA's Licensing and Certification Reimbursement application form is here. You must apply for VA benefits before using this form. The VA benefits application forms links are here. Questions about eligibility or filing must be directed to the Veterans Administration. Information assistance on the GI Bill under which this funding is provided is here and here. Forms must be submitted to the VA address provided in the form instructions. Do not submit forms to SOFE. More information here.