Description of the ICFE examination

The ICFE has been created by Cambridge English Language Assessment in cooperation with the ACCA (Association of Chartered Certified Accountants).

Based on workplace situations, the examination is targeted at levels B2 and C1 of the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) scale.  It includes realistic texts, tasks, and topics that finance professionals encounter in everyday working life.

The examination consists of four papers – Reading, Writing, Listening, and Speaking – which together last approximately 3.5 hours (not including breaks).

The Speaking test gives candidates the opportunity to demonstrate their skills during face-to-face interaction. Candidates take the test in pairs with two Cambridge English examiners.

Areas typically covered include the following:

  • Financial reports
  • Banking and insurance
  • Bank investments
  • Ethics and corporate governance
  • Accounting software and IT
  • Company appraisals
  • Mergers and acquisitions

The following table presents the format and content of the ICFE examination:

Section Time Description # of items Marks (% of total)
1 Reading 75 minutes 6 parts 54 questions 25%
2 Writing 75 minutes Part 1: Letter (120–180 words)
Part 2: Memorandum (200–250 words)
2 parts 25%
3 Listening about 40 minutes
  • 4 parts
  • Texts take the form of recordings of discussions, meetings, interviews, announcements, broadcasts, etc., in the context of finance and accounting.
30 questions 25%
4 Speaking 16 minutes per pair of
candidates
Part 1: Interview
Part 2: Long turn
Part 3: Collaborative task
Part 4: Discussion
  25%
Last Update At: 2015/02/16 - 21:59:26

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