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)
|3 Listening||about 40 minutes||
16 minutes per pair of
Part 1: Interview
Part 2: Long turn
Part 3: Collaborative task
Part 4: Discussion