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A 101 on the CFP® Certification Exam

If you are looking to become a CFP® professional, you will first need to take the CFP® Certification Examination, administered by the CFP® Board. This 6-hour exam will test your ability to apply a broad base of financial planning knowledge to real-life financial planning situations.

Here is everything you need to know to prepare:


  • You will be eligible for the certification exam after meeting the education coursework requirement, although you may register prior to completing the course.
  • The education requirement can be met with a CFP® Board-registered Program, equivalent coursework subject to the CFP® Board Transcript Review, or a pre-approved designation, credential, or degree.
  • You must send verification of your coursework completion to the CFP® Board before the Education Verification Deadline.

Registration and Fees

  • To register, create an account. Then click on “Certification Requirements” to access the exam application.
  • We recommend registering as early as possible, as the exam fee will increase. Review the exam rates here.
  • You may reschedule or change your test location up to 5 days prior to the exam, however a $100 fee is applied for changes made 5–29 days in advance.
  • The postponement fee is $100, which may only be applied once per registration..

What to Expect

  • The computer-based exam is offered in an 8-day testing window, and administered on one day during two 3-hour sessions with a 40-minute break. You should set aside a full 7 hours for the exam.
  • Candidates select their test day and location ahead of time. There are more than 265 testing locations across the country.
  • You are encouraged to take a sample test demo ahead of time.

Learn more about the CFP® Certification Examination. Students enrolled in the BU Program can attend two live test prep reviews and a webinar about how to prepare for the exam, and get exam-taking tips from students. Come join us today!

Best regards,

Carolynn Tomin, CFP®, Program Director

Boston University Online Financial Planning Program

Enrollment Advisor: 617-502-8822