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The Certified Financial Planner Examination (CFP) is designed to assess whether a financial professional can effectively apply their knowledge in a real world setting. This exam is multiple-choice and is delivered in a pencil and paper format.
Individual CFP questions fall into two distinct categories, stand alone and scenario based. With the scenario based questions the candidate will be given a segment to read and then be asked to answer between 10 to 20 questions immediately after. The exam covers all areas of financial planning while questions will focus on both critical thinking and problem solving.
Potential candidates should look closely at the eligibility requirements before signing up to take their CFP. Not only is a bachelor’s degree or higher a requirement but it is also necessary for the candidate to have extensive knowledge in over 100 integrated financial planning topics. Starting in 2012 this requirement must be met by a CFP board certified capstone course.
All candidates should understand that this exam is only offered 3 times per year and will last approximately 10 hours. It is broken down into two days with one 4-hour session on Friday followed by two 3-hour sessions on Saturday. The CFP is currently offered at at least 50 testing centers around the country. Candidates will have the opportunity to choose their testing center when they register for the exam.