Tips for Success the CFP Exam

The certified financial planner (CFP) exam is no cakewalk. Aspiring financial planners need to master a vast array of topics in financial planning, from investment management to estate planning. It can be overwhelming to figure out where to start and how to best prepare for the exam. But with the right tips and resources, you can increase your chances of success on the CFP exam and achieve your dream of becoming a financial planner.

Understand the format of the exam

The CFP exam is composed of 170 multiple-choice questions spread out over two three-hour sessions. It’s important to be familiar with the content areas tested. These include financial planning principles, tax planning, retirement planning, risk management and insurance, investment planning, and estate planning. Understanding the breakdown of the questions and time allocation for each subject area will help you create a solid study plan.

Use practice exams and study materials

The key to passing the CFP exam is preparation. Making use of practice exams and study materials can help you identify areas where you need improvement. The FAAA partners with education partners to provide practice exam questions, and other resources, for aspiring CFP professionals within Australia. The FAAA also offers a range of educational resources and study materials for its members. Other resources like books, study guides, online courses, and review sessions can also help test-takers on their CFP journey.

Know your learning style

Everyone has a unique way of processing and retaining information. Prior to commencing your study plan, identify your learning style so you can customise your approach to studying. For example, some people are audible learners and may benefit from listening to podcasts, explainer videos, and audiobooks to absorb study material. In contrast, visual learners may benefit from mind maps, flashcards, charts, and diagrams. Once you have identified your learning style, customise your study plan to maximize your learning and overall success.

Connect with other CFP hopefuls

Studying for the CFP exam can be an isolating experience. But, connecting with other aspiring financial planners can help provide a sense of support and accountability. Joining a study group or forming one with your peers can help you stay motivated, provide new perspectives, and offer a supportive community. Joining professional organizations like the Financial Advise Association Australia (FAAA) can give you access to study groups and other individuals going through the same process.

Stay motivated and organized

Studying for the CFP exam can be a long and arduous journey. To stay motivated, create achievable study goals and track your progress. Breaking down broad goals like “I will study for four hours” into smaller, specific goals like “I will finish two sections of my textbook” can make a significant difference for your productivity. Additionally, stay organised by creating a study schedule and sticking to it. Keep your notes, textbooks, and practice exams in a single location so you can access them easily when needed.

Becoming a certified financial planner takes time, dedication, and hard work. But with the right resources and tips, you can overcome your fear of the CFP exam and achieve your goals. Understanding the content area tested, using practice exams and study materials, knowing your learning style, connecting with other CFP hopefuls, and staying motivated and organised are all key components to increasing your chances of success. Remember, the CFP exam isn’t just about passing a test, it’s about gaining the knowledge and skills required to help future clients reach their financial goals.