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Your Complete Guide to Passing the CFP Exam in 2024

The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) exam is one of the most challenging financial planning exams. In 2023, more than 9,800 candidates took the exam, but only 64% succeeded.  


The number of CFP® exam-takers is increasing. According to a post-exam survey, the 2023 season saw the highest number of candidates. 


The survey also shows that ‘demonstrating expertise’ is a key reason individuals took the CFP exam. At least 78% of them said they wanted to have a career as a financial planner to prove their expertise, and around 66% dreamed of becoming an expert fiduciary. 


Today, the US has over 330,000 financial advisors, and only around 93,000 are CFPs. However, most organizations and individuals trust a CFP when it comes to managing finances. In addition to in-depth knowledge, the professional is recognized by the public, firms, and advisors. 


However, chartered financial planner exams aren’t easy. 


What is the CFP Exam?

The exam is for the financial industry, as the bar is for the legal industry.


The certified financial planner certification gives you an opportunity to stand apart from the crowd. It not only makes you a certified financial planner (CFP) but also shows that you have the in-depth knowledge to help individuals and organizations with their financial planning.


When it comes to structure, the exam:


✔ Is six-hour long (computerized)

✔ Has 170 multiple-choice questions

✔ Tests your understanding of financial planning in the real world


It is divided into two sessions (each session of 3 hours). You have a mandatory 40-minute break. 


Although the test is related to finance, you can only use a non-programmable financial calculator. The CFP Board provides the essential formulas and tax tables required for the exam. 


Why the CFP Exam?

Around 86% of consumers believe hiring a certified financial advisor is better than someone who hasn’t passed a certification exam. Also, 81% think an advisor should be one who can handle all aspects of their financial affairs. 


With a financial planner certification, you can help people make financial decisions.


Here are some more reasons to take the CFP test:

  • Most financial institutions, firms, and individuals trust CFP-certified professionals for their financial decisions.


  • The US has over 10,000 organizations with CFP-passed employees. 


  • The CFP certification is the standard for the financial planning profession.

Eligibility for Taking the CFP Exam

The board wants to ensure that you are capable of sitting in the exam and prove that you can be an experienced planner. To do so, you must complete the essential educational requirements.


You can prove your eligibility by enrolling in and completing a board-approved program or an equivalent CFP exam course.

Additional Information: A  Certified Financial Planner course helps you prepare for the exam. In addition to providing the necessary information, the course includes custom programs to help you understand the importance of financing planning in the real world. 


In addition, you are eligible for the exam if you’ve professional designations in the following areas:


  • Chartered financial consultation or analyzation 


  • Doctorate in Business Administration


  • Accountancy (certified only)


  • Law (licensed attorney only)

CFP Exam Topics: What You Will be Tested for


The exam checks your ability to apply the fundamentals of financial planning to real-world situations. It also tests your critical thinking and problem-solving skills. 


Some principle topics include:


  • General financial planning principles


  • Investment and tax planning


  • Estate planning


  • Risk management


  • Insurance planning


  • Income planning and retirement savings


  • Financial planning psychology


  • Professional conduct and regulation


Apart from these topics, the CFP exam will test your knowledge of different daily life topics, including:


  • Client-planner relationships


  • Collecting and analyzing information


  • Developing, communicating, implementing, and monitoring recommendations


  • Evaluating the financial status of an individual/firm

What is the CFP Exam Passing Score?


First things first, there isn’t an articulated score. 


It is a pass-or-fail game, and the scores are determined via a psychometric process that checks the minimum competency required to become a professional. 

If you fail, the board tells you the areas where you scored low, but there aren’t detailed explanations. Apart from that, you can reappear for the exam. For that, you need to wait for the next session. 


Additional Information: The CFP exam testing window is three times annually: March, July, and November.


How Can You Prepare for the CFP Exam

Cracking the CFP is challenging, true. But with hard work and the proper guidance, you can pass the test. 


The best approach involves:


✔ Deciding the proper testing window

✔ Creating an effective study routine 

✔ Taking practice questions 

✔ Joining an excellent certified financial planner examination course

✔ Positive attitude


Experts believe it’s necessary to spend 6-7 months preparing for the exam.  


Taking the CFP Exam

Are you dreaming of having a career in finance? The CFP exam is the stepping stone. 


For preparation, you can rely on Nissim Tutoring. Here, you get virtual, live, and hands-on tutoring for CFA. Also, you get a real classroom with a real instructor.


Write to us at jnissim@nissimtutoring.com for more information.

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