CFP® Exam

The CFP examination is a six-hour, computer-based exam consisting of a combination of stand-alone, multiple-choice (20%-30%), and case-based constructed-response (70%-80%) questions. The test specifications are published in the FP Canada Blueprint: CFP Examination. Each question on the exam focuses on specific elements of the FP Canada Standards Council™ Competency Profile and integrates several financial planning areas. The CFP exam is administered twice a year and is available in English and French.


November 2020 CFP Exam

The November exam continues with a new format and new dates.

New format: FP Canada is offering a new online proctoring option for candidates writing the CFP exam this November. This option provides candidates with flexibility and convenience, and ensures all candidates have access to write the certification exams. Candidates have the option to continue with the traditional in-person exam test centre experience or to write the exam in an online proctored format from their home or other private location, providing a secure alternative to traditional test centres.

New dates: The CFP exam will now take place on November 24, 25 and 26, 2020.

All individuals who have registered for the November exam have been contacted with details on how to confirm their registration, pick a new date and select an exam format.

Visit the November exams webpage or review our FAQs for more information

Results Available for the CFP® Exam

A record 1,389 candidates wrote the November 2019 CFP exam, the final exam on the path to Certified Financial Planner® certification. The CFP exam candidates included 1,045 first-time writers and 344 candidates who were re-attempting the exam. Among first-time writers, the pass rate was 53% and among repeat writers, the pass rate was 16%, for an overall pass rate of 44%. CFP exam pass rates naturally fluctuate from administration to administration as a result of differences in the candidate population and levels of candidate readiness.

The next sitting of the CFP exam will take place on November 24, 25 or 26, 2020.


Select a topic below to learn more:

Important Dates
Fees
Eligibility
Exam Locations
Practice Exam
Study Toolkit
Preparation Checklist

 

Important Dates

September 16Examination Preparation Webinar
September 29Early bird registration ends
Last day to request an alternate examination location, French examination, or testing accommodation
October 27Exam registration closes
Last day to request a refund, postponement, or change exam location
November 4Last day to successfully complete Introduction to Professional Ethics (IPE)
Last day to provide core and advanced curriculum educational transcripts
November 24-26CFP examination takes place at locations across Canada
To be determinedResults released for the CFP examination

 

Fees

 

Early Bird Discounted
Rate ends two months
before exam sitting
After Early Bird
Registration
closes one month
before exam sitting
Exam Registration & Practice Exam   $925 + tax$1025 + tax
Exam Registration$750 + tax$850 + tax

To view a complete list of examination fees, including alternate location, postponement or withdrawal fees, click here.

 

Eligibility

To write the CFP exam, you must have successfully completed an FP Canada-Approved Core Curriculum education program, the FP Canada Institute™ Introduction to Professional Ethics (IPE), an FP Canada-Approved Advanced Curriculum program and the FP Canada Institute CFP Professional Education Program within the past four years. You will need to submit transcripts that indicate your successful completion of all FP Canada courses, through your FP Canada™ Portal, approximately one month prior to the scheduled examination sitting or such other date as established by FP Canada. If you are rewriting the exam and have met the requirements within the past four years, you do not need to re-submit your transcripts.

Submit Your Transcript

 

FP Canada offers alternate paths to CFP certification for candidates with the following qualifying credentials: Relevant Professional Qualifications, Pl. Fin., and Foreign CFP Professionals. To apply for an exemption based on those qualifying credentials, you will need to submit documentation from the governing body confirming your qualifications and good standing through your FP Canada portal, no later than one month prior to the exam.

Submit Your Documentation

If you hold a relevant professional qualification in good standing in Canada, you may be eligible for exemption from FP Canada-Approved Core Curriculum and Advanced Curriculum programs and the FP Canada Institute Introduction to Professional Ethics, and may proceed directly to the FP Canada Institute CFP Professional Education Program. Relevant professional qualifications include:

  • CPA
  • CFA
  • FCIA
  • LL.B./J.D.

Submit Your Documentation

If you hold the Pl. Fin from IQPF, you may be eligible for exemption from all education requirements and may proceed directly to the CFP examination.

Submit Your Documentation

If you hold a CFP credential from an FPSB member organization, you may be eligible for exemption from all education requirements and may proceed directly to the CFP examination. Following CFP certification, you must successfully complete the FP Canada Institute CFP Professional Education Program within one year to maintain the certification.

Submit Your Documentation

If you hold the QAFP certification and wish to pursue CFP certification, there are two options available to you:

Option 1: To qualify to write the CFP examination, you must successfully complete the FP Canada Institute QAFP Professional Education Program within one year of QAFP certification or the FP Canada-Approved Advanced Curriculum and the QAFP-to-CFP Certification Bridge Program.

Option 2: If you have not completed the QAFP Professional Education Program, to qualify to write the CFP examination you must successfully complete the FP Canada-Approved Advanced Curriculum and the CFP Professional Education Program

You must successfully complete the CFP examination within 4 years (or 4 attempts) of successfully completing the CFP Professional Education program. If you are not successful on the exam within four years (or four attempts), you will need to successfully repeat the CFP Professional Education Program.

 

Exam Locations

Candidates have two options for the administration of the CFP exam: writing the exam at an in-person testing centre, or via online proctoring with their own computer from home or another private location. You will be asked to select an in-person test centre or online proctoring as your exam location as part of the registration process for the CFP exam.

Online proctoring provides candidates with the opportunity to write the exam from home or another private location using their own computer, webcam, microphone and internet connection. The exam is written in a secure environment on downloaded software – the same exam software that is used at in-person test centres. Before selecting online proctoring as an option, consider if your computer system meets the technology and system requirements necessary for participation in online proctoring. Note that there are no exceptions for these requirements. More information on technology and system requirements can be found in the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.

You will be asked to indicate your preferred exam location on the CFP examination application. FP Canada will strive to accommodate your preferred location, but if the location has reached capacity your second preferred location will be assigned to you. In the rare event that your first and second preferred locations are at capacity, an alternate exam location will be proposed to you. A list of standard locations is available in the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.

 

Practice Exam

The Practice Exam is a study tool to help prepare you for the CFP examination. It allows you to experience how the actual exam looks and feels – and most importantly provides feedback on your performance. Candidates who have prepared with the Practice Exam have often reported feeling more familiar with the exam software, said the diagnostic report provided useful feedback on their performance and said they felt better prepared to write the exam. We encourage you to take advantage of this tool and recommend that you complete the Practice Exam early in your preparation process.

Order the Practice Exam

 

Based on the FP Canada Blueprint: CFP Examination, the Practice Exam has the same structure, format and types of questions as the actual exam and uses the same software that you’ll use on exam day.

After purchase, you have a total of nine hours to complete the six-hour exam and you may only write it once. You can log in and out as many times as you wish provided total time logged in does not exceed nine hours. You can view the Practice Exam questions, their response options and the rationales for each correct and incorrect answer as often as you like until exam day. Self-scoring will require additional time beyond the time it takes you to complete the Practice Exam. There is no time limit for self-scoring or for reviewing the diagnostic report – you can use it right up to exam day.

Following completion of the Practice Exam, you will receive detailed sample responses for all exam questions to allow you to self-score the exam, as well as a diagnostic report to help you identify areas that may require more study. The self-scoring feature can provide unique insight into what is required for successful completion of the exam. By comparing your practice answers to the sample responses, you will understand:

  • The structure of the scoring process;
  • The rationale for why one answer is correct or incorrect; and
  • What types of responses may be required to earn marks.

You may perceive that the level of difficulty of the actual exam varies from the Practice Exam; however, materials on the Practice Exam have appeared on actual FP Canada examinations. With more time to write the Practice Exam than the actual exam, access to study materials while you write it and that your performance on the Practice Exam has no direct consequences may impact your perception of the level of difficulty. When you write the actual exam, there may be some differences in administration settings and there are tighter time constraints for writing; these factors could make the actual exam seem more difficult than the Practice Exam.

Refunds are not provided for the purchase of the Practice Exam. Use of the Practice Exam is restricted to candidates who have registered or are registering to write the CFP examination and is for personal study use only. The Practice Exam is updated annually for currency and the exam questions were last refreshed in January 2020. The Practice Exam is available in English and French.

View the Terms & Conditions

If you have questions about the Practice Exam, please contact us at info@fpcanada.ca. Questions or comments received less than 2 days prior to the CFP examination will be answered after the examination. There are no additional explanations or tutoring on the Practice Exam content. Please refer to your study materials to better understand the concepts presented in the Practice Exam.

 

Study Toolkit

Tips and tools to help you prepare to write the CFP examination.

Maximize your study efforts for the CFP examination with an exclusive webinar facilitated by FP Canada Standards Council’s Examinations department. The Exam Preparation Webinar for the November 24-26, 2020 CFP examination will be held on September 16, 2020. To help exam candidates gain insight into the exam and exam processes, the webinar will answer frequently asked questions such as:

If you miss the live webinar, you will be able to view it online.

If you are registered for the CFP examination, you have access to more than 50 sample exam questions on your FP Canada Portal including sample case studies, retired exam questions – both multiple-choice and constructed-response, keys to competency and much more.

Access These Tools

Familiarize yourself with the examination software by using our exam software tutorial. The tutorial gives you an opportunity to experience how the software will work.

Try the Software Tutorial

Arriving to your exam prepared and knowing what to expect is your best strategy for success. For detailed information about the CFP examination, refer to the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.

We strongly encourage you to use the FP Canada Standards Council Competency Profile, and materials from your FP Canada-Approved Core Curriculum and Advanced Curriculum programs, CFP Professional Education Program and Introduction to Professional Ethics course to prepare for the CFP examination. It’s important to understand that the elements of financial planning competency focus not only on knowledge required, but on how CFP professionals must behave in practice. The questions on the CFP examination will refer to one or more elements of competency. You’ll be expected to understand the competencies and how they should be applied in practice.

Please note: FP Canada Standards Council does not review, recommend or endorse any external study help providers, courses or materials as representative of the CFP examination.

 

Preparation Checklist

This checklist will help you prepare to write the CFP examination. For detailed information about the CFP examination, refer to the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.

Log in to your FP Canada Portal to register for the exam.

  • The FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination is required reading for all FP Canada examination candidates.
  • View the Examination Preparation Webinar, facilitated by FP Canada Standards Council’s Examinations department, to gain insight into the exam and exam processes.
  • Purchase the Practice Exam. Candidates who have prepared with the Practice Exam often reported feeling more familiar with the exam software, said the diagnostic report provided useful feedback on their performance and said they felt better prepared to write the exam.
  • Review more than 50 multiple-choice sample exam questions, as well as eight sample constructed-response cases – these are available on your FP Canada Portal.
  • Familiarize yourself with the exam software by accessing the Software Tutorial.

In-Person Test Centre

  • Bring your Admission Ticket. Approximately two weeks prior to the exam, you will receive an email directing you to download and print your Admission Ticket from your FP Canada Portal. The address of your exam location will be printed on the Admission Ticket.
  • Bring photo identification. Along with your printed Admission Ticket, you must bring valid, government-issued photo identification containing both your photograph and signature. The name on your identification must match the name on your exam application, education transcripts and Admission Ticket. For examples of acceptable pieces of identification, please refer to pages 19 in the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.
  • Bring a noiseless, non-programmable financial calculator. For a listing of approved calculator models, please refer to pages 20-22 in the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.
  • Arrive early. Please report to the examination centre by 8:15 a.m. and be registered and seated to hear instructions by 8:45 a.m. The writing of the exam will begin at 9:00 a.m.
  • For instructions on what to bring, what not to bring, what you may keep on your desk during the exam and other important details, please refer to pages 22-24 in the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.

 

Online Proctoring

  • Bring your Admission Ticket. Approximately two weeks prior to the exam, you will receive an emailed Admission Ticket with log-in details and information related to preparing your exam location and accessing your exam during your scheduled time. If you change your exam time, a new Admission Ticket will be generated.
  • Bring photo identification. Along with your printed Admission Ticket, you must bring valid, government-issued photo identification containing both your photograph and signature. The name on your identification must match the name on your exam application, Core Curriculum Program transcripts and Admission Ticket. For examples of acceptable pieces of identification, please refer to page 19 in the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.
  • Bring a noiseless, non-programmable financial calculator. For a listing of approved calculator models, please refer to pages 20-22 in the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.
  • Ensure your computer station is prepared 30 minutes prior to your scheduled exam time to reduce potential connection issues. The first 15 minutes of the booked time will be for the onboarding process with an onboarding associate from ProctorU. Candidates should begin the log-in process at least ten minutes prior to the scheduled start time. Note that there may be a wait-time for an onboarding associate but candidates should stay connected should a delay occur – any onboarding delay will not impact the time allocated for exam writing.
  • For instructions on what to bring, what not to bring, what you may keep on your desk during the exam and other important details, refer to pages 22-24 in the FP Canada Guide to the CFP Examination.

 

Key Resources

Guide to the CFP Examination
FP Canada Blueprint: CFP Examination
FP Canada Standards Council Competency Profile
QAFP™ Certification Policies
CFP® Certification Policies

 

Questions?

If you have any questions regarding the CFP examination or your responsibilities or rights as a candidate, contact FP Canada's Certificant and Student Services at info@fpcanada.ca, 416-593-8587 or 1-800-305-9886.