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  • Rachel M. Reis

What my day of CFRE test experience was like

Updated: May 4



I had spent about four months studying.


I had tried to take the day off before to study, but long behold, I was the big dumb-dumb that thought it would be a good idea to take the test before a special event my work was having. So, because special events are sometimes how the Devil likes to torture fundraisers, I did not get to take that day off.


I chose electronic proctoring and for a Saturday hour I knew I would be awake. Very important. If you’re not an early riser, don’t try to impress anyone.


And apparently, while I do many things well, reading instructions was not one of them. So CFRE is pretty clear that you need to log in about thirty minutes before because they’re going to have you take pictures of your test space. Like anything in life - don’t cheat. I had to take pictures of the left side of my desk, the right side, and what was behind my computer, clearly showing that I had no materials around my desk. Then, before they let you into the test, an electronic proctor reviewed my pictures.


I work off a computer desk that has a tray for a keyboard and in reviewing my pictures and screen, they saw that I had papers on there, so I was asked to remove those.


It was kind of strange in that they could clearly see me, and think they could probably hear me, but the electronic chat was going. So they would ask me to remove papers or clean my desk, and then I would have to slowly move my computer screen so they could verify that it was clean, and I would ask something like, “Is this clean enough?” And there would be no response and so then I typed things out.


It was kind of weird. Like Orwellian, but voluntary.


I also have this habit of reading things out loud to myself, so I was mumbling and reading some questions during the test. A proctor came on and told me to stop which was kind of a bummer, but I know they were just trying to make it fair. And most likely, someone had cheated that way.


I just understand things better when I can read them outloud, so I was momentarily frustrated, but I stopped.


While you are given about four hours to complete it, I finished it in about an hour and half. After answering 200 questions, and frankly, a little cranky from not being able to read things out loud, I just wanted to be done. I didn’t go over it.


You can definitely mark questions and come back to them, so I answered those, and submitted the final test. It’s graded almost automatically so I knew I passed that same day.


That’s it - best of luck in your own studying journey!


Xoxo Rachel