Question to everyone who has passed the CFP exam

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Nov 28, 2008 11:53 pm

I will be done with my sixth course by the end of December. I was wondering how long it took you guys to actually study the review books/test bank questions/review class before you actually took the CFP exam?


I was hoping to take the late March exam, but I'm not sure if 2.5 months will be adequate time to study for the exam. I've been studying about 5 hours Monday-Thursday after work and about 10 hours Friday-Sunday. What do you CFP test passers recommend? Thanks!
Nov 29, 2008 12:00 am

Glad I'm not the only one who thought it would be a great year to start the CFP course work.  I finish the courses in May, and was advised to take it in July. 

Couple of colleagues have told me don't wait more than 2-3 months after you finish the course.  And of course, take a week off before the exam to cram, using the book/cd or one of the cram courses.

Nov 29, 2008 1:09 am
gvf:

Glad I'm not the only one who thought it would be a great year to start the CFP course work.  I finish the courses in May, and was advised to take it in July. 

Couple of colleagues have told me don't wait more than 2-3 months after you finish the course.  And of course, take a week off before the exam to cram, using the book/cd or one of the cram courses.

 
Whew, that gives me reassurance that it is possible to pass the exam within 2-3 months of cram reviewing. Did you happen to take a live one week review course too? I full intend on taking one, but it kills 6 days out of the month of my weekend study time, which totals to about 60 hours.
Nov 29, 2008 7:17 am

2 1/2 TO 3 MONTHS SHOULD work. Take the live review. Answer as many practice questions as you can. And if the review course provider offers practice exams, real simualted exams that take the full number of hours as the real exam, do that too. You will learn what you need to know in the live review, more than the courses that you took over the last two years
And the last two days or so, before the exam, dont study too heavy. You want to go in with a clear head.
Last thing - make sure you know the calculator backwards and forwards

Nov 29, 2008 9:39 am

chris-you study 50 HOURS PER WEEK and you're not to the cramming part yet? wow. I am half done with classes too, but do about 10-20% of that. crap.

 
someone out there tell me this is like college-- no way I am working that hard for only one final exam!!
Nov 29, 2008 5:24 pm
newnew:

chris-you study 50 HOURS PER WEEK and you're not to the cramming part yet? wow. I am half done with classes too, but do about 10-20% of that. crap.

 
someone out there tell me this is like college-- no way I am working that hard for only one final exam!!
 
Well it's a little different for me, I started in October and by putting in about 50 hours a week or so...So I've been finishing a course every two weeks. Yes it is like college, but instead of half assing your studies and just "getting by" with a passing grade, I feel like this exam is more comprehensive and in order to pass you'll need a lot more than a C like college.
 
You'll should be fine as long as you put in the work, don't let my post discourage you in any way.
Nov 29, 2008 11:14 pm

Chris, If you're averaging a 90 or more on your section exams, you'll be just fine.  Honestly, I didn't find the exam all that challenging, especially when comparing it to the CPA exam.  Perhaps I was older, wiser and better prepared, but I left ten hours of testing feeling like I really nailed the thing, and that was with probably 100 hours total in the review section and only completing the first two modules before I decided to challenge the exam. (a CPA designee can challenge without completing all the modules).  I may have barely passed for all I know, but I sure felt like I knew the material I was tested on and didn't think it was overly complicated...not nearly as tough as my Kier practice review tests.

 
Sure, if you struggled to pass the series seven, then the CFP will really challenge you - it's considerably tougher than that.  On the other hand, if you've passed all three CFA exams, this should look like a walk in the park in comparison.
Nov 29, 2008 11:31 pm

Indyone, just curious, do you use both designations or only one? (I believe in a previous thread you indicated a desire to only do taxes for "legacy" clients.) So is it Indyone, CFP or Indyone, CFP, CPA?

Nov 30, 2008 5:36 pm

It's Indyone, CPA, CFP.  Don't know why that order...just sounded better to me.

 
...and yes, I don't market myself as an accountant.  I'm an investment advisor that just happens to also be a CPA.
Nov 30, 2008 7:54 pm
Indyone:

It's Indyone, CPA, CFP.  Don't know why that order...just sounded better to me.

 
...and yes, I don't market myself as an accountant.  I'm an investment advisor that just happens to also be a CPA.
 
Indyone,
 
How long did it take for you to study the review material after you passed the 6th course?
Nov 30, 2008 8:34 pm

Again, I only did the first two courses before I challenged the exam.  I'm guessing I had all of 100 hours in exam prep after I decided to challenge.

Dec 1, 2008 9:55 am

Did you use a prep company for the CPA exams?

Dec 1, 2008 11:24 am

I'm assuming you meant CFP, and if so, yes, I used the College for Financial Planning's study guides (since I'd already paid for them), along with a friend's Kier test bank CD.  I spent most of my time with the test bank CD...probably 70%, and found it tougher than the real thing.

 
If you DID mean CPA, I used a review program from a company called Micromash.  This was back in 1990, so I doubt if that company survives under that name today.  Their stuff was great, although I had a lot of friends swear by the Becker review course, which I believe is still in existence.
Dec 1, 2008 11:44 am

Yes I did mean CPA.  I've reviewed the becker website and I believe it will be the one I use once I get the okay from the state to test.  I'm actually looking forward to diving into the material and taking my mind off the markets. 

Dec 1, 2008 1:11 pm
ChrisVarick:

I will be done with my sixth course by the end of December. I was wondering how long it took you guys to actually study the review books/test bank questions/review class before you actually took the CFP exam?


I was hoping to take the late March exam, but I'm not sure if 2.5 months will be adequate time to study for the exam. I've been studying about 5 hours Monday-Thursday after work and about 10 hours Friday-Sunday. What do you CFP test passers recommend? Thanks!
 

I did about 15-hours of studying in addition to a week long review course.  I should have done more but I passed.  I give a lot of credit to Brett Danko and his training program (www.brettdanko.com).  Even if you didn’t take his courses, I highly suggest that you take his review course.  His materials are concise and the practice questions are fairly strong representations on what you will find on the exam.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


I find that the below approach is and effective way to study for the CFP® exam:


 


Quickly review the pre-study materials before the review course.  The goal is to get through the material, even if you don’t understand it all.  If you have time, go back through the materials again.


 


While in the review class, remove and put aside pages for the material you know.  Take notes on the materials that you don’t know.  You are now left with a smaller packet of materials to study.  Too many people make the mistake of studying the parts that they already know.


 


After the review class is over, make a quick pass though the now smaller packet of study materials.  Continue to remove the pages that you know.  Take practice exams and lookup what you got wrong on the exams.  Repeat this part of the process as much as necessary or for as long as you have time.


 


When it comes to extensive exams like the CFP®, it becomes more important to get though everything rather than try to understand every detail.  With the above approach, you will get through everything and will not be stuck knowing some sections really well and knowing very little about the other sections. 


 


--WM

Dec 2, 2008 5:01 pm
WealthManager:
ChrisVarick:

I will be done with my sixth course by the end of December. I was wondering how long it took you guys to actually study the review books/test bank questions/review class before you actually took the CFP exam?


I was hoping to take the late March exam, but I'm not sure if 2.5 months will be adequate time to study for the exam. I've been studying about 5 hours Monday-Thursday after work and about 10 hours Friday-Sunday. What do you CFP test passers recommend? Thanks!
 

I did about 15-hours of studying in addition to a week long review course.  I should have done more but I passed.  I give a lot of credit to Brett Danko and his training program (www.brettdanko.com).  Even if you didn’t take his courses, I highly suggest that you take his review course.  His materials are concise and the practice questions are fairly strong representations on what you will find on the exam.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


I find that the below approach is and effective way to study for the CFP® exam:


 


Quickly review the pre-study materials before the review course.  The goal is to get through the material, even if you don’t understand it all.  If you have time, go back through the materials again.


 


While in the review class, remove and put aside pages for the material you know.  Take notes on the materials that you don’t know.  You are now left with a smaller packet of materials to study.  Too many people make the mistake of studying the parts that they already know.


 


After the review class is over, make a quick pass though the now smaller packet of study materials.  Continue to remove the pages that you know.  Take practice exams and lookup what you got wrong on the exams.  Repeat this part of the process as much as necessary or for as long as you have time.


 


When it comes to extensive exams like the CFP®, it becomes more important to get though everything rather than try to understand every detail.  With the above approach, you will get through everything and will not be stuck knowing some sections really well and knowing very little about the other sections. 


 


--WM

 
15 hours a week for how long? Or just 15 hours total...
Dec 3, 2008 11:09 am

I used the kier books, and flashcards. I recorded 205 hours of total study time over about 3 months.

Dec 4, 2008 1:19 pm
ChrisVarick:
15 hours a week for how long? Or just 15 hours total...
 

Total, but the number can be deceptive.  Please remember that I went to the review course which was intensive.  I estimate that 5-hours of the 15 were pre-review course and the other 10 were post-review.  I also didn’t count time listening to audio versions of the flashcards that the instructor offered.  I listened to them for about 30-minutes each way to and from work for over a week.  I also continually reduced the number of flashcards that I listened to.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


With that said, I do truly believe that the review method that I posted is very effective.  Review only what you don’t know and be sure to get through every topic rather than know everything about some topics.


 


--WM

Dec 11, 2008 2:03 pm
WealthManager:
ChrisVarick:
15 hours a week for how long? Or just 15 hours total...
 

Total, but the number can be deceptive.  Please remember that I went to the review course which was intensive.  I estimate that 5-hours of the 15 were pre-review course and the other 10 were post-review.  I also didn’t count time listening to audio versions of the flashcards that the instructor offered.  I listened to them for about 30-minutes each way to and from work for over a week.  I also continually reduced the number of flashcards that I listened to.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


With that said, I do truly believe that the review method that I posted is very effective.  Review only what you don’t know and be sure to get through every topic rather than know everything about some topics.


 


--WM

 
Wow 15 hours? That's actually quite impressive. Thanks for the recommendation, unfortunately I don't live near Danko classrooms, but I think I will take on a Kenneth Zahn class. Are they pretty much similar?
Dec 12, 2008 9:57 am
ChrisVarick:
WealthManager:
ChrisVarick:
15 hours a week for how long? Or just 15 hours total...
 

Total, but the number can be deceptive.  Please remember that I went to the review course which was intensive.  I estimate that 5-hours of the 15 were pre-review course and the other 10 were post-review.  I also didn’t count time listening to audio versions of the flashcards that the instructor offered.  I listened to them for about 30-minutes each way to and from work for over a week.  I also continually reduced the number of flashcards that I listened to.<?: prefix = o ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office" />


 


With that said, I do truly believe that the review method that I posted is very effective.  Review only what you don’t know and be sure to get through every topic rather than know everything about some topics.


 


--WM

 
Wow 15 hours? That's actually quite impressive. Thanks for the recommendation, unfortunately I don't live near Danko classrooms, but I think I will take on a Kenneth Zahn class. Are they pretty much similar?
 
Stop worrying about getting your CFP until you are actually hired AS A PRODUCER.  In fact, don't bother until after you've survived 3 years or so. 
 
Just stop it.