Studying for the Certified Financial Planner Exam

Posted: September 9, 2015 in Attorney, Business

The Certified Financial Planner exam has become one of the most definitive marks of proficiency by financial professionals. The Certified Financial Planner course will increase the financial professional’s competence in the field, but is also the key to seeing their business grow. One of the advantages of studying for the Certified Financial Planner certificate is that it provides a comprehensive understanding of how things fit into the client’s financial situation. Those wanting to become a stockbroker, tax professional, insurance agent, trust officer, banker, or mortgage loan officer, must complete the course and receive their CFP certification.

What You Should Expect

If you are planning to enroll in one of the Certified Financial Planner courses, you should have an idea about the program. It will take at least 1,000 hours of study time to complete the course, including the exams. That is assuming you pass the exam the first time.

The CFP exam has five parts to it:

1. Insurance (modules on ethics, education planning, and the financial planning process)
2. Investment
3. Tax
4. Retirement
5. Estate Planning

The Exam

The CFP exam is 10-hours long and is in three parts. One four-hour exam session on Friday, and two three-hour exam sessions on Saturday. The exam has 285 multiple-choice questions that need to be answered, which includes two complete case studies. The case studies are specifically designed to enable the student to proactively apply the study material to a client or family member in real life.

The CFP exams are conducted thrice every year, in March, July, and November. The passing rate for the exam is 50 to 60%. The odds of a student passing the exams are the highest during the first exam, and then slowly diminish with subsequent exams. So students who are not successful in the first attempt should not get discouraged, but keep working hard to pass the exams. Andrew M Wyatt is an attorney, a CRPC and was recently awarded his AAMS certification. He is also working towards his Master of Business Administration in Financial Planning degree at California Lutheran University.


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