CFP-Certified Financial Planner

The CFP exam questions cover financial planning, financial data analysis, steps & measures to reach financial goals. Get CFP questions here.

Becoming a Certified Financial Planner

Achieving the credential of a CFP (Certified Financial Planner) in addition to your degree in finance or business is a great way to boost your career and get more professional recognition within the community. Becoming an CFP helps you hit a niche where the earnings are high, and the competition is relatively low.

Becoming a financial planner requires the CFP credential, achieved as a result of an intense and challenging certification process. The CFP exam tests both the knowledge and understanding of financial planning, and the ability to apply this knowledge to real life, adapt to unusual situations, and provide the most suitable financial planning solutions to your clients. The CFP credential designates true financial planning professionals, so the exam it depends upon is rather challenging.

The CFP exam is given over 2 days, and consists of 285 CFP questions. The passing score varies between 50 and 60 percent. The preparation is the key as only 40 percent of exam takers end up passing it.

With CFP courses being a great preparation option (they are usually available through universities and colleges), one should not discard textbooks, study guides and interactive practice exams which can be purchase online. It is a good idea to use as many preparation channels as possible. Most CFP holders recommend that candidates start their exam preparation at least three months before the test date to be able to get at least 300 hours of study time.

The CFP exam is divided into seven sections that reflect the areas candidates should be highly proficient in:

  • Principles of financial planning
  • Estate planning
  • Income tax planning
  • Risk management and insurance planning
  • Retirement planning
  • Employee benefits planning
  • Investment planning

Where should you start your exam preparation? There may be more than one answer to this question. You may want to start with finding a reliable CFP practice exam. This interactive preparation tool can help you determine your strengths and weaknesses as you go through all topics. This way you can ensure that you spend enough time mastering the topics you aren't good at.

CFP practice exams are also a great way to get used to the interactive exam environment, as well as to get an idea about the question types, exam setup and overall experience. You can also think of exam taking strategies and time management techniques to make sure you get the best score you can. Some industry insiders and CFP certification holders share some exam taking tips that might be useful:

  • Time management is key. Make sure you have enough time to at least mark the answer to a question. Even if you guess, you still have a 25% chance to get it right.
  • Eliminate answers. Rule out wrong answers and look at the question again. If still unsure, guess and move on. CFP scoring rules do not punish for incorrect answers, so guessing is the way to go if you don't know the answer.
  • Read the question and all answers carefully before making your choice. Sometimes it's all about tiny details.
  • Look for clues in the question and answers.
  • Keep calm. If you studied properly, you most likely know the answer. Just concentrate and don't panic.

With around 70,000 professionals holding the CFP credential today, this certification is a great way to improve your career and to boost your earning potential. Although the exam is challenging, the rewards are worth it.

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