About the Exam
The CFP® certification examination is a key requirement for achieving CFP® certification. By passing the exam, you demonstrate that you've attained the knowledge and competency necessary to provide comprehensive personal financial planning advice to your clients. CFP Board is here to guide you with the support, tools and resources you need for a successful exam experience.
HOW WE DEVELOP THE CFP® EXAM
To develop CFP® exam content that reflects the current practice of financial planning, CFP Board regularly conducts a Practice Analysis Study to identify the important tasks performed by planners and assess the knowledge and skills needed to perform these tasks. It is the largest research project in the U.S. related to the body of knowledge for financial planning, incorporates a multi-method approach and is led by testing experts to assure the exam remains current, reliable, valid and legally defensible.
CFP Board also works with volunteer CFP® professionals to develop the exam. These volunteers include Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) who serve as item writers and reviewers, as well as members of the Council on Examinations, which is made up of SMEs with considerable experience with the CFP® exam who provide final review and approval of all exam questions.
The criterion for passing the CFP® exam is established through a process known as Standard Setting, during which CFP® professionals determine the minimal competency level required to pass the exam. CFP Board does not predetermine the pass rate for the exam or have an established percentage of questions that must be answered correctly to pass.
Before You Take the Exam
When is the Test Offered?
The CFP® exam is offered three times a year across 8-day testing windows that take place in March, July and November. You'll be able to select your test day and testing location from a network of convenient testing centers.
Who Can Take the Exam?
Candidates are eligible to sit for the CFP® exam after completing the education coursework requirement. However, you can register for the exam before completing your coursework. You can also sit for the exam before completing the bachelor’s degree (or higher).
Where Can I Get Exam Prep Resources?
We offer many resources to guide you through the process of taking the CFP® exam, as well as on how to develop a study strategy to help you succeed.
Familiarizing Yourself With the CFP® Exam
The more you learn about the exam and prepare for it, the more confident you'll feel on exam day. You should understand the format, topics, testing process and how scoring is measured. CFP Board also provides resources to help you prepare, such as a Practice Exam with authentic questions and an online forum for connecting with other candidates.
The CFP® exam is a 170-question, multiple-choice test that consists of two 3-hour sections during one day. Each section is divided into two distinct subsections. The exam includes stand-alone questions, as well as questions associated with case studies.
Exam Topics & Content
The exam is a comprehensive test of your financial planning knowledge. Gaining an understanding of the content the exam will cover, including the Principal Knowledge Topics, will help you prepare.
Exam Locations & Experience
The CFP® exam is offered at more than 265 Prometric testing centers nationwide. It’s important that you feel comfortable when sitting for the exam and know what to expect.
Exam Scoring & Results
The CFP® exam is a pass-or-fail exam. As a test taker, you’ll want to understand how the exam is scored, how you’ll receive your test results and how to interpret those results.
Register for the CFP® Exam
The CFP® exam is typically offered during three 8-day testing windows per year — March, July and November. The next exam window open for registration is July 11-18, 2023 and the registration deadline is June 27.
Start your journey to CFP® Certification
- Track your progress with the CFP® Certification Tracker
- Post your resume at the Career Center
- Connect with a mentor who can guide you
- Register and prepare for the exam
- Find career and financial support
- Connect with other candidates at our online forum