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CFI Exam Information


The examination is based upon 15 major content areas. Each of the content areas is briefly described and followed by an outline of the topics included in the area. In addition, the number of test items devoted to each major content area is noted. The examination is composed of 160 items. (140 scored items, 20 research items) Performance on the research items do not affect your score. The research items are not identified.

1. Preparation and Interview Setting (12 Questions)
2. Legal Aspects (13 Questions)
3. False Confessions (6 Questions)
4. Interpretation of Behavior (15 Questions)
5. Accusations (8 Questions)
6. Showing Understanding/Rationalization/Themes (9 Questions)
7. Assumptive Question (6 Questions)
8. Enticement Question/Baiting Question (6 Questions)
9. Denials/Backing Out (12 Questions)
10. Statements (10 Questions)
11. Telephone Interview (7 Questions)
12. Fact Gathering/Cognitive Interviews (12 Questions)
13. Sexual Harassment Interviewing (8 Questions)
14. Behavioral Interviews (8 Questions)
15. Field Interviews (8 Questions)
  140 Total Questions

A number of categories overlap into other areas.  There are 3 types of questions asked on the exam (Recall, Application & Analysis).  A 95 raw score (69.5%) is the cut score to earn the CFI designation

Applicant experience must meet one of the four following criteria listed below, as well as two to four years in a public or private position responsible for investigation, interviewing or interrogation. Experience as a full time faculty member at an accredited educational institution teaching interview and interrogation techniques shall meet the one of the three education/experience requirements listed below.

  1. Bachelor’s degree or higher plus two years of experience as stated above.
  2. Associates degree plus three years of experience as stated above.
  3. High school diploma or GED plus four years of experience as stated above.
  4. Minimum two years experience as a full time faculty member at an accredited educational institution teaching interview and interrogation techniques.
  • In addition, a person convicted of a felony, any crime of moral turpitude or misdemeanor relating to honesty, theft, embezzlement, fraud or the like shall be ineligible to become a CFI.
  • Applicant must provide a copy of certified transcript of education ONLY if using college degree rather than experience to qualify.
  • Applicant must successfully pass the prescribed background, which may include a criminal background check, and examination process.

For further information regarding the CFI exam and to submit an application please visit