Become a CFP® Professional

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Frequently Asked Questions

Important Note: CFP Board is transitioning to a computer-based testing format for the CFP® Certification Examination beginning with the November 2014 exam. The final paper-based CFP® exam will be administered in July 2014. Learn more about the computer-based CFP® exam >

The FAQs below relate to the paper-and-pencil exam format for the July 18-19, 2014 exam administration.


1. What should I bring to the exam?

You should bring the following items to the exam site:

  • Admission ticket
  • Valid Government-issued photo identification, such as a driver’s license, matching name under which you registered 
  • #2 pencils (or other comparable soft graphite or mechanical pencils)
  • One or more battery-powered, hand-held, non-programmable, dedicated financial function calculator (See Calculator Policy)

Food and drink (including water) are not permitted in the exam room. Individuals who require access to food or liquids for medical reasons during any of the exam sessions are required to file a Special Accommodations Request Form with CFP Board. All exam sites provide access to water fountains located outside of the exam room.

2. When will I receive an Admission Ticket for the exam?

You will be emailed an admission ticket two to three weeks before the exam date. The exact time and location of the exam are printed on the ticket. You must bring the ticket with you to the exam on both days. In general, you must report to the testing facility by 12:30 pm on Friday and 8:30 am on Saturday. While every effort is made to use facilities within the city you listed on the application, facility availability, facility conditions and contingency plans may require use of a facility outside this city. CFP Board authorizes Prometric (exam administrator) to use exam site facilities within a sixty mile radius of this city if necessary.

3. What are the exam times?

The exam is a paper-pencil exam, administered in three sessions: one four-hour session Friday afternoon and two three-hour sessions on Saturday. You must report to the examination site no later than 12:30 pm Friday and 8:30 am Saturday. The exam will begin as soon as candidates have been checked in, seated, and the instructions read. No one will be admitted once the exam has begun. This is a timed exam, and any breaks you take during a test session are at your discretion; you will not receive any extra testing time to make up for those breaks. There is a one-hour lunch break between the second and third sessions on Saturday.

4. What if I fail to appear for the exam?

If you fail to appear for the exam, you will forfeit the entire exam fee. Certain allowances are made for medical or other emergencies.

CFP Board will consider waiving the fee forfeiture in the case of a medical or other emergency. Your request for such a waiver must be made in writing and supported by verifying documentation from a third party. For example, in the case of a medical emergency, a written statement from your physician which clearly states that you were physically unable to appear for the exam due to personal or immediate family medical issues is required. If another type of emergency, then you must provide third party verification for your late withdrawal notice or the reason you were unable to sit for the scheduled exam. Your request must be received within ten business days after the exam dates. Requests received after the ten business day timeframe, or not supported by verifying documentation, will not be reviewed. Requests will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis after the ten business day timeframe.

5. Does CFP Board offer a review course to assist with exam preparation?

CFP Board does not offer a review course for the CFP® certification exam. However, for the convenience of those interested in pursuing certification, CFP Board has compiled list of exam review course providers. These courses and their providers are not endorsed or recommended by CFP Board. Additional exam review course providers can be found by searching online.

6. Aside from a pass/fail score, what information will I receive with my exam results?

The Diagnostic Summary Report provided with your exam results includes a graph of your performance across the 8 Job Task Domains and identification of the Principal Topics in which your performance was deficient.

7. Where can I find exam statistics for previous exams?

Exam statistics for previous CFP® exams are available here. The statistics provide a comprehensive look at exam cycles, including information about pass rates for first-time examinees and those who re-take the exam.

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