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5 Myths About CFP Exam Review

Some CFP Review Providers Have Pass Rates Over 90%
The CFP Board publishes the national pass rate for each exam, which is usually 55% or so. For a CFP review provider to advertise or say they have 90%+ pass rates, that means other CFP review providers would have to have a 5-10% pass rate. It’s just not true. Any CFP review provider with pass rates of 10% or less would be out of business. Those CFP review providers that are honest about pass rates on the CFP exam, would tell you their pass rates are 50-60%, which is not much better than the national average.

In Order to Pass the CFP Exam, You Need to Buy Hundreds of Dollars of Materials
Not true.
The job of a CFP review provider is to narrow down the CFP material to what is most likely to be tested on the CFP exam. Any review provider that charges for their materials is not doing their job. They have too much material, it’s not exam focused enough and their costs are too high. Kaplan, Keir and the College for Financial Planning all charge extra for their CFP review materials.

All CFP Review Providers are the Same
Definitely not true!
Many students will look at price or review schedule or get a referral from a friend when deciding their CFP review provider. I would suggest none of those are the most important. The most important is the review provider’s commitment to your success and passing the exam. No other review provider is as committed to our student’s success than The Dalton Review®. No other review provider allows students to take the review twice before sitting for the CFP exam. No other review provider has live instruction before the review (Instructor Office Hours) and live instruction after the review (Post Review Q&A). No other review was developed by former members of the CFP Board of Examiners.

It’s Perfectly Reasonable to take a Review from Someone Who Never Sat for the CFP Exam
No, it’s really not.
The first question you should ask your CFP review provider is, “Did my instructor sit for the CFP exam?” Would you trust a doctor that didn't pass the medical board exam or attorney that didn’t pass the bar exam? How does anyone have a clue about what’s likely to be tested on the CFP exam and how to teach the material if they never sat for the CFP exam or they never served on the CFP Board of Examiners or they never wrote a question for the CFP exam? Ken Zahn never sat for the CFP exam, never served on the CFP Board of Examiners and never wrote a question for the CFP exam.

Exam Tips and Tricks is Enough to Pass the CFP Exam
No way!
The CFP exam is a professional level exam, equivalent to the CPA, CFA or bar exam. While exam tips and tricks may make you feel confident and they may work in class, they are unlikely to work on the CFP exam. A CFP review provider’s goal should be to teach students the material that is most likely to be tested. If a student learns the material, then they are more likely to answer the question correctly. The Dalton Review® and Kaplan are the only review providers that teach students the material. No other review providers structure their review to teach the difficult material to students. The other CFP review providers will simply provide tips or tricks and tell you to you to “guess” at the more difficult material. Guessing is not a strategy to passing the exam. Learning the material and being prepared is the best strategy to passing the CFP exam.

Joseph M. Gillice, CPA, CFP®

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