Become a CFP® Professional



The CFP® Certification Examination is offered three times per year, in 5-day testing windows in March, July and November.

The CFP® Exam consists of two 3-hour testing sessions separated by a scheduled 40-minute break. A 7-hour appointment is scheduled to allow time for check-in, and security procedures.

Candidates select their test day (Tuesday-Saturday) and test site location from among Prometric’s network of testing sites. In the U.S. there are more than 250 convenient locations. 

2016 Exam Calendar

Education Verification
July 26–30, 2016 March 22, 2016 June 28, 2016 July 12, 2016
Nov. 15–19, 2016 Aug. 2, 2016 Oct. 18, 2016 Nov. 1, 2016
Mar. 14-21, 2017 Nov. 21, 2017 Feb. 14, 2017 Feb. 28, 2017

*Candidates may reschedule within the existing as late as five days prior to their scheduled appointment, subject to seat availability and rescheduling fees.

Beginning with the March 2016 CFP® Exam, a new exam blueprint is in effect that incorporates the findings from the 2015 Job Task Analysis.


Candidates are required to complete the Education coursework requirement for CFP® certification prior to sitting for the computer-based exam.  Candidates may, however, register for the exam and secure a seat prior to completing their educational program.

Scheduling is on a first-come, first-serve basis. Candidates are encouraged to register for the exam 60 days or more in advance to help secure their preferred testing date and testing site location.

All exam registrations are contingent upon CFP Board receiving verification of completion of the Education coursework requirement by the Verification Deadline, which is 30 days prior to the onset of each window. If verification is not received by the deadline, candidate eligibility for that exam is withdrawn, the reserved seat is released and a $100 withdrawal fee is applied. 

The coursework requirement can be met in several ways, including completing a CFP Board-Registered Program, completing equivalent coursework subject to CFP Board's Transcript Review process, or having one of the designations, credentials or degrees pre-approved by CFP Board.

Registration Process

IMPORTANT: You can now register for the CFP® Certification Examination prior to completing the Education requirement. CFP Board, however, must receive verification of your completion by the Education Verification Deadline. If verification is not received by deadline, you will be de-registered, your seat will become available to other candidates, and you will be charged a $100 Withdrawal fee.

2016 Exam Registration Pricing and Deadline Schedule

A new pricing and registration deadline structure took effect with the March 2016 CFP® Exam. The registration period for each exam administration has been extended to aproximately three months, and that period is now broken into three phases: Early Bird Registration, Regular Registration, and Late Registration.

Candidates are encouraged to register as early as possible to benefit from the Early Bird Registration price and for the best date and site availability.

July 2016 Exam Registration Schedule

Type Opens Closes Fee
Early Bird March 22, 2016 May 31, 2016 $595
Standard June 1, 2016 June 28, 2016 $695
Late Registration June 29, 2016 July 12, 2016 $795


Create an online account: If this is your first time applying for the CFP® Certification Examination, you will need to create a secure online account with CFP Board and then log in to start the registration process.

Create an Account

Login to your account: If you have previously registered for the exam or have already created your online account, you may simply log in to your secure CFP Board account to start the registration process.


If you have any questions about registering for the CFP® Certification Examination, please contact CFP Board at 800-487-1497 or

Verify Education Requirement

View acceptable qualifying documentation for the education coursework requirement


Veteran Affairs

The fee for the CFP® Certification Examination is eligible for Veteran Affairs (VA) reimbursement through the License and Certification Approval System (LACAS) under United States Code Title 38, Chapter 3689. Go to (Licensing and Certification section) for more information.

Exam Locations

The CFP® exam is administered in more than 265 locations in the U.S.

Testing site locations

International Test Sites

CFP Board will establish international test sites for the CFP® Certification Examination on a case-by-case basis for a site fee of $1,475 in addition to the regular exam fee.

Rescheduling/Cancellation Policies

Rescheduling Confirmed Appointments with Prometric

You may reschedule your exam date, test site location, and in some cases scheduled test start time, within the testing window you are scheduled.  There is no charge for scheduling changes made 30 days or more in advance of exam day.  Changes can be made 5-29 days in advance of exam day with payment of a $100 scheduling change fee.  No changes to exam schedules are permitted less than 5-days in advance of your scheduled appointment. Exam fees are also forfeited for no-shows.


CFP Board must receive verification of completion of the Education coursework requirement for CFP® certification by the Education Verification Deadline. Failure to meet the deadline results in de-registration, release of the seat to other candidates, and application of a $100 withdrawal fee.

Candidates who are fully registered with CFP Board (i.e. exam application completed, exam fee paid, and education verification completed), but have not scheduled an appointment with Prometric will have until the withdrawal deadline (5 days prior to initial exam date) to secure an exam seat with Prometric. Failure to secure an exam site with Prometric will result in de-registration and application of a $100 withdrawal fee. Note that it is highly recommended to schedule your exam date with Prometric as soon as possible to ensure a seat at your desired exam site.

If you are fully registered but wish to sit for a future CFP® exam, please submit your request to withdraw your exam registration to before the withdrawal deadline. So that we can accurately process your request, please be sure to include the date and time for the exam for which you are registered. A $100 withdrawal fee will be applied to the exam fee.

Any requests received after the withdrawal deadline will be reviewed under the Medical or Other Emergencies policy.

Medical or Other Emergencies 

Failure to Appear

If you fail to appear for the exam, you will forfeit the entire exam fee. 

Waiver Request

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 as to the reason you were unable to sit for the scheduled exam.

Your request must be received within 10 business days after the close of the exam window. Requests received after the 10 business day timeframe, or not supported by verifying documentation, will not be reviewed.

Retake Policy

If you fail the CFP® Certification Examination and elect to retest, you are required to retake the entire exam. You will have to pay the current exam fee for each retake.

Effective January 2012, CFP Board has implemented the following limits on the number of times an individual can attempt the CFP® Certification Examination:

  • Individuals may attempt the exam a lifetime maximum of five times. (Individuals who have attempted the exam four or more times prior to January 1, 2012, will be permitted a maximum of two additional attempts.)
  • Individuals may attempt the exam a maximum of three times within a 24-month period. If an individual attempts the exam on three successive administrations, a one year sit-out period (three exam administrations) is required before registering for another attempt.

Policy Exceptions

CFP Board enforces the policies and requirements for CFP® certification in a consistent manner. Exceptions to established policies and requirements are granted in only the rarest of circumstances. CFP® certificants and applicants for CFP® certification who wish to request exceptions to specific policies or requirements of CFP Board may complete and submit a Policy Exception Request Form. The request will be reviewed by CFP Board staff, and a written determination letter sent to the requestor by certified mail, postmarked no later than thirty days from the date the request is received at CFP Board. Individuals unhappy with a decision stated in a determination letter may submit a written appeal to CFP Board’s Policy Exception Committee. Written appeals must be received at CFP Board no later than thirty days from the requestor's receipt of the determination letter. The Policy Exception Committee meets four times each year (once per quarter). The decision of the Policy Exception Committee is final.

Download the Policy Exception Request Form

Submit completed Policy Exception Request Forms to:

CFP Board
Attn: Policy Exception Requests
1425 K Street NW #800
Washington, DC 20005

Review and Appeals

For security reasons, exam material is not available for review. Neither the staff of Prometric nor of CFP Board will discuss specific exam questions. You may submit your comments about exam questions in writing via email to or by mail to: 

CFP Board
Attn: Exam Administrator
1425 K Street NW #800
Washington, DC 20005

All comments about exam questions must be received by CFP Board by midnight Eastern Time on the Wednesday following the close of the examination window. The Council on Examinations will review comments relating to the exam but will not make written responses to comments.

Appeals of exam policies are handled by CFP Board's Policy Exception Committee. CFP® professionals and applicants for CFP® certification may complete and submit a Policy Exception Request Form

Exam Dates


CFP® Certification Examination

July 26–30, 2016
(Registration Deadline: July 12)

Most Recent Exam:
CFP® Certification Examination
March 15–19, 2015

Find An Education Program

The 2013 Household Financial Planning Survey shows that those with a financial plan feel more confident and report more success managing money, savings & investments than those who have not.

Employment for personal financial advisors is projected to grow much faster than the average for all occupations through 2020. Bureau of Labor Statistics

In a March 2012 survey of American consumers, 60% indicated they would benefit from the counsel of a financial planner or advisor.

If you hold one of several degrees, licenses or credentials, you can take the CFP® Exam after completing a single capstone course.

Classroom or online learning? Full-time or part-time studies? There are CFP Board-Registered Programs designed to meet your needs. 

Achieve the certification that is rapidly becoming the industry standard: CFP® certification.

Professionals who have already earned their CFP® certification have enjoyed an average income increase of 30%.

Demand for personal financial advisors is expected to grow 41% by 2016, according to Money Magazine and

More clients who work with a CFP® professional are satisfied or very satisfied, compared those who work with an advisor without certification.

If you're up for the challenge of helping people achieve their financial goals, financial planning is the career for you.