When you want to become a financial planner, getting your certification will make a difference. But, first, you must pass the CFP (Certified Financial Planner) exam. The right prep course can help you study properly for this big exam.
Choosing one of the best CFP exam prep courses will prepare you for the exam and get you there faster. There are several great options to consider. But, first, let’s look at some of the top CFP exam prep courses.
Top 5 CFP Exam Prep Courses
1. Kaplan CFP
One of the most trusted names in test prep is Kaplan. They have been helping students for decades. So when you need to prepare for the CFP exam, you can trust Kaplan.
The Kaplan CFP test prep course will provide plenty of practice questions and case dedicated materials. As a result, you will have everything you need to prepare for the exam properly.
Choose from OnDemand or Live Online options. The OnDemand option offers 25+ pre-recorded review classes. You can work on your test prep at any time and from anywhere.
The Live Online option gives you 11 class sessions if you prefer a set schedule. You will get to interact with the instructor, as well.
The Essential Review Package offers an excellent set of materials. You’ll get a pre-study assessment, review books, instructor email access, a performance tracker, and more. This is a self-study program and comes in at $449.
Choosing the Premium Review Package will give you access to Live Online or OnDemand review classes. You will get the same materials as the Essentials package, along with CFP exam podcasts, a mock exam, an eLibrary, and webinars. You will also get PassProtection, which means if you don’t pass, you will get a free Premium Review Package for up to three exam cycles.
Wiley is known as one of the best CFP exam prep courses. They offer adaptive learning technology with old-school instructors. This combination might be just what you need to prepare for the CFP exam.
With Wiley, you get a mobile-friendly option you can access on your smartphone or tablet. This makes it easy to study on the go from anywhere. The coursework is straightforward to work through, as well.
With the virtual classes from Wiley, you get even more. If you choose the Gold CFP review courses, you can attend a seven-week virtual CFP course from a Professor. Those seeking a more traditional classroom experience will enjoy this option.
Wiley also gives you a test assessment with more than 1,000 practice questions. You can test yourself and figure out how prepared you are for the actual exam.
Choose from three different packages:
- Self-Study – For $395, you can get two full-length mock exams, a two-volume study guide, and more than 1,000 practice questions.
- Silver – For $545, you can get an exam planner, the FocusMe adaptive review technology, video lectures, and bite-sized lessons.
- Gold – For $695, you can get 15+ hours of video lectures, unlimited access until you pass guarantee and the CFP Virtual Classroom with seven weeks of recorded classes.
Along with all of these packages, Wiley also offers individual options. For example, you can get the CFP Test Bank for $175 or the CFP Study Guide. The CFP Mock Exam is $75, as well.
You get 14 days to try Wiley before you commit. After that, you can register for two weeks of free access without even giving up your credit card info.
3. Dalton CFP Review
Dalton offers an excellent CFP exam prep course. You get a pass guarantee with live instruction and plenty of practice questions. They are known as a high-end test prep provider. With a virtual classroom, you can learn in a live environment with an instructor. If this is how you prefer to learn, Dalton is a good choice.
They offer a pre-study program, live review classes, and a post-study program. In addition, you get a pass guarantee with the Guarantee to Pass bundle when you choose Dalton.
Choose from two options with The Dalton Review, offering virtual and on-demand instruction, textbooks, exam readiness predictor, mock exams, and more. The cost of this package is $1,395. In addition, you can get the Guarantee to Pass Review for $2,195. It includes everything in The Dalton Review, along with a calculator book, digital flashcards, individual coaching, and much more.
Both options give you plenty of great test prep materials. In addition, Dalton offers excellent prep options if you’re serious about passing the CFP exam the first time.
4. Zahn Associates
You can choose Zahn Associates for your CFP exam prep with a good reputation and in-person classes. This option provides one-on-one tutoring and plenty of exam prep materials. You will get plenty of quizzes, cases, final exams, and more to prepare you for the CFP exam.
Zahn offers three options: OnDemand, Virtual, and Live. No matter how you prefer to learn, they have the right option for you. The cost depends on the option you choose and the course you prefer.
You can also hire tutoring through Zahn Associates if you need additional help.
5. CFP Pocket Prep
The CFP Pocket Prep option may not be everything you need to prepare. However, it can be very helpful as a supplemental study tool. This app will give you 700 CFP exam questions to practice anywhere you go. You can even start with a free version, but it’s rather limited.
Work on all eight CFP subjects with questions of the day, quick 10 quizzes, time quizzes, and more. You will even be able to gauge if you’re ready for the exam or not with this app.
The basic prep option is free, but you can upgrade to premium for $29.99 per month, $71.99 per quarter, or $179.99 per year. With the free option, you get 45 questions and explanations, mobile and web access, a question of the day, the quick 10 quizzes, and timed quizzes.
Upgrading to premium will give you access to the full 700-question bank with explanations. You will also get a pass guarantee, missed question quiz, weakest subject quiz, and the ability to build your quiz.
CFP Pocket Prep is one of the most affordable ways to prepare for the CFP Exam. However, it may not offer everything you need to prepare properly.
Frequently Asked Questions About the CFP Exam
What does it take to become a certified financial planner?
You will need to meet four requirements to become a certified financial planner. You will need to have a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, pass the CFP exam, gain the necessary work experience, and have good professional ethics.
Is the CFP exam difficult?
Yes, the pass rate for the exam is just above 60%, according to the CFP Board. While this is higher than other accounting and finance tests, it’s still a very difficult exam. However, with the right CFP exam prep course, you can make the exam much easier to pass.
What is the cost of the CFP Exam?
The CFP Exam isn’t cheap. It will cost $825 if you register during the Early Bird period. Those waiting until the Standard period will pay $925. Late Registration is possible, but it costs $1,025. Exam costs and dates are found on CFP.net.
How much can I make as a CFP?
If you become a CFP, you will gain the ability to earn a nice salary. According to Payscale.com, the average salary for a CFP is about $69K per year. However, the salary range is about $49K to $117K per year.
How long will it take me to become a CFP?
After completing your bachelor’s degree, you will still need between 4,000 and 6,000 hours of work experience. Once you have completed the experience requirement, you will likely need about 1,000 hours to study for the exam. It can take many years to become a CFP.
Should I take the CFP Exam?
If you work as a financial advisor and want to add to your credibility, becoming a CFP is a great step. But, of course, you don’t want to take the CFP exam without properly preparing. Therefore, you will need one of the CFP exam prep courses listed above to help you get ready for the test.
It’s a pretty big commitment, and it’s not cheap. Make sure this is the career path you would like to take before committing to take the CFP exam. Most experts recommend a minimum of 250 to 300 hours to study for the exam.
How many questions are on the CFP Exam?
The CFP exam consists of 170 multiple-choice questions specifically concerning financial planning. Topics include tax planning, estate planning, retirement planning, professional regulations and conduct, risk management, investments, insurance, and financial planning principles.
The CFP exam is weighted. That means certain areas of the test have more importance than others. As of this writing, the exam is weighted as follows:
- Retirement savings and income planning – 17 percent of the exam.
- General financial planning principles – 17 percent of the exam.
- Investment planning – 17 percent of the exam.
- Risk management and insurance planning – 12 percent of the exam.
- Estate planning – 12 percent of the exam.
- Tax planning – 12 percent of the exam.
- Professional conduct and regulation – 7 percent of the exam.
- Education planning – 6 percent of the exam.
In addition to testing knowledge of financial planning, the exam also tests other important areas. For example, CFP candidates must demonstrate the ability to gather information, analyze the information, communicate with clients, implement a plan, and monitor the outcome.
How long is the CFP exam?
The CFP exam takes a total of 6 hours to complete. Therefore, the first testing session is 3 hours. CFP candidates are then given a 40-minute break. After the break, the final 3-hour session begins.
Is CFP an important certification?
According to the CFP Board, 86 percent of consumers would rather work with a financial planner who has passed the CFP exam. And 90 percent of consumers believe that a financial planner with certification is more trustworthy, knowledgeable, and professional than a financial planner with no designation.
If you’re interested in becoming a CFP, you must pass the exam. However, with the help of the right CFP exam prep course, you can fully prepare. Not only can a good prep course help you prepare, but it can also cut down the amount of time you will need to study.