10 Tips to Clear CFP Certification in First Attempt | ApnaCourse

by | Jan 17, 2017 | Financial Management

Certified Financial Planner, as most you know, is a Gold Standard Certification in the field of Personal Finance. The candidate will have to take 5 examinations if he/ she has enrolled through ‘Regular Pathway’, else just 1 examination if enrolled through ‘Challenge Status Program’.

Below are 10 tips to clear CFP Certification in first attempt.

Regular Preparation: It is recommended that the preparation is done on a daily basis. The no. of hours spent is immaterial. The purpose is to be in touch with the subject regularly.

Syllabus Coverage: One has to cover the entire syllabus specified by FPSBI. This is because every domain would be tested in the examination. It is equally important to cover the syllabus in the specific sequence.

Sequence of Preparation: It is advisable to cover the syllabus in the sequence prescribed by FPSBI, i.e. Introduction to Financial Planning, Risk Analysis and Insurance Planning, Retirement Planning and Employee Benefits, Investment Planning, Tax Planning and Estate Planning and finally Advanced Financial Planning. Though one can take the first four exams in any order, it is recommended to follow the above sequence.

Simplifying Concepts: Certain concepts would be slightly technical, for example – Derivatives in the Investment Planning module. It is important to break the entire concept into small segments. This would give us a better understanding and would facilitate easy scoring opportunities in the examination.

Use of Financial Calculator: The calculator that is allowed in the examination is FC – 200V. It is important to know the functionality and various formulae that can be applied using the financial calculator. It is recommended to practice the numericals using the financial calculator (multiple times) so that we would be solve the questions in the examination seamlessly.

Use of Open Office: The use of Open Office is an add-on to one’s preparation. Certain questions like Loan amortization, finding CAGR/ XIRR can be solved in quick time by using Open Office. Though one might have used Excel, it is advisable to use Open Office atleast few days before the exam just to have a feel of it. This is because, the examiner would provide access to Open Office and not to Microsoft Excel.

Revision: On completion of preparation, revision plays an important role. Perhaps, revision is a process wherein you’ll recollect all important topics and formulae. This would provide the necessary ingredients before attempting Practice Tests/ Mock Exam.

Importance of Practice Tests & Mock Exam: One has assess his/ her preparation and here comes the importance of taking up Practice Tests and Mock Examination. Practice Tests would give us an idea about our understanding of individual concepts. On the other hand, Mock Exams would set the tone for Exam environment that would give us an understanding of Exam pattern, time management in the examination and much more.

Discuss important concepts: It is highly recommended to discuss important areas/ concepts with peers (who are preparing for the examination) and/ or with Subject Matter Experts to gain a profound understanding of such topics. This would facilitate answering complex questions in the examination without much confusion.

Exam Day: You should be completely relaxed and rested on the examination day. You should have equal amount of rest the day prior to examination day. Ensure you have arranged all stationery that you’ll have to carry to the examination hall the previous days itself. Do not revise/ read anything new during the last week of preparation. Finally, reach the examination hall well in advance (atleast 30 minutes prior to start of examination).

If the above 10 steps are followed religiously, success is ought to be yours!

Now, it’s time for your examination. All the very best!!

Lakshminarayanan R, CA,CFP,CWM,CertIFR
A Chartered Accountant, a Certified Financial Planner (CFP) and a Chartered Wealth Manager (CWM) with 6+ years domain experience in Financial Planning and Wealth Management. He is the director at Fourth Dimension Wealth Management Services (P) Ltd. and was the proprietor at Intelliplan Investment Advisors. Read More.

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