made an important decision — to pursue earning your Certified Financial Planner
(CFP) designation. As you prepare to move forward with the testing process and
your career, we’ve assembled some key pieces of information here that will help
you prepare for success. As you read on, you’ll learn more about the
registration process, the testing costs involved, what to expect on the day of the exam, the types of content you’ll
be assessed on and more. We wish you the best as
you prepare for this important step.
Exam Purpose and Background
exam assesses your knowledge and expertise in applying a variety of important
financial disciplines to real-world situations and opportunities. This
standardized exam continues to ensure that those who earn the CFP designation
have achieved a high standard of knowledge and background. In turn, those who
become CFPs uphold the reputation of the financial industry and they become even better equipped to meet the needs of those
who will rely upon their financial guidance.
CFP Exam Eligibility
haven’t already, you can qualify to sit for the CFP exam by finishing a
comprehensive financial planning curriculum through a CFP Board Registered program.
Another way to qualify is by completing the CFP Board’s prescribed education
coursework through either the Transcript Review or Challenge Status options. You can find complete details on all of the CFP
eligibility requirements and methods of meeting these stipulations by visiting www.CFP.net.
How to Register for the CFP
You can find complete registration details and requirements
online at www.cfp.net. In general, you’ll need to create a CFP Board online account, then log
in to your CFP Board account and finish the exam registration form. After that
you’ll pay your exam fee and schedule your test.
There are three exam cost tiers, based on how early you
register to sit for the CFP exam. The Early Bird fee is $625, the Standard fee
is $725 and the Late Registration fee is $825. See www.CFP.net for complete details, including
specific dates that correspond to each fee tier, based on available testing
you register, you’ll learn about specific times and locations available.
When to Arrive for Your Test
It is very important that you arrive at your designated
testing center at least 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time.
exam is broken into two three-hour sessions.
What to Bring:
One form of government-issued Identification, showing your
name, signature and photo (including IDs such as a passport, a driver’s
license, state/province ID, national ID or military ID). Note: Your
name on your ID must exactly match the way your name appears on your
also want to bring at least one battery-powered financial function calculator
that cannot be programmed.
What Not to Bring:
- Electronic devices, including cell phones and calculators
- Written notes or printed materials or aids of any type
- Any kind of drink or food
CFP Exam Practice Test
What to Expect During Your Exam
Format/Number of Questions
exam is administered via computer. The test consists of a total of 170
Principal Knowledge Topics
are eight Principal Knowledge Topics that you will encounter as part of the CFP
exam. Here’s an overview of each of these areas, along with the approximate
percentage that each area represents as part of the overall exam.
Knowledge Topic 1: Professional Conduct and Regulation (7%)
Knowledge Topic 2: General Principles of Financial Planning (17%)
Knowledge Topic 3: Education Planning (6%)
Knowledge Topic 4: Risk Management and Insurance Planning (12%)
Knowledge Topic 5: Investment Planning (17%)
Knowledge Topic 6: Tax Planning (12%)
Knowledge Topic 7: Retirement Savings and Income Planning (17%)
Knowledge Topic 8: Estate Planning (12%)
Job Task Domains
make your way through the CFP exam, you’ll also encounter specific real-world
tasks from the CFP Board list of Job Task Domains that are aligned with these
and Defining the Client-Planner Relationship
Information Necessary to Fulfill the Engagement
- Analyzing and
Evaluating the Client’s Current Financial Status
- Developing the
- Monitoring the
within Professional and Regulatory Standards
Calculating Your Passing Score: The CFP exam doesn’t require a specific score to pass. Instead, you will receive either a pass or fail result. Your results will be sent to you via secure email within four weeks after your testing window.
How Can I Prepare for the CFP Test?
That’s a great question. We’ve broken down the answer into three parts.
- Do yourself a favor and study. Do not walk in unprepared. We have recommended prep materials below, but that only helps if you actually try. Plus, studying is actually proven to be the best antidote to test anxiety.
- Take care of yourself. Make sure you’re eating well, exercising, and sleeping. All of these things are scientifically linked to brain performance. If you take care of your body, you’ll be helping your grades.
- Get a study guide or set of flashcards. Some people study better a certain way. Find your study strengths and make the most of them. We’ve tried to make it easy for you by tracking down the best study guide and flashcard set for your exam. Below you’ll see links to both!