Differences Between Dalton and Kaplan CFP Review for the CFP Exam
I understand that it can be difficult for students to determine the differences between CFP review courses, so I thought it would be helpful to point out the major differences between The Dalton Review® and the Kaplan CFP Review for the CFP exam.
The Dalton Review was developed with the philosophy that students don’t need to score a 100% on the CFP exam. Students only need to study the material that is most likely to be tested on the CFP exam. Our former members of the CFP Board of Examiners developed our study materials to help students cover the 90-95% of the material most likely to be tested. It takes, on average, 100-125 hours to complete our pre-study materials and, with 1,500 questions in the test bank, it will take another 40-50 hours to complete the test bank. The total time commitment with The Dalton Review® is about 200 hours, including attending the review.
The Dalton Review® offers students a tremendous value. We allow students to take the review twice before taking the exam, at no extra cost. Truly a great value for students looking for a little something extra when preparing for the CFP exam. Taking the CFP review twice before the exam certainly isn’t necessary, but can be helpful if you completed your CFP education requirement more than 9 months ago. We also stick with students if they are not successful on the exam, which means students can take our review again at no extra cost if they don’t pass the exam.
An Insider’s Perspective on the Kaplan CFP Review
I spent a number of years at the company that Kaplan acquired to get into the CFP review business, so I have a unique perspective on their CFP review course. The Kaplan review materials and review structure were developed in the mid-nineties. At the time, there weren’t many CFP education programs in the country. So the review was developed with the philosophy of having to teach students all of the CFP education material. This was appropriate at the time, given there were less than 20 CFP education programs in the country.
Over the years, the Kaplan CFP review has gone from 3 volumes and no online test bank to 7 volumes of books and 5,000 questions in their test bank. Yes, that’s right... 7 VOLUMES of books (it’s not a coincidence they use the word “volume” to describe their review materials). At 2 minutes per question, it takes about 170 hours to get through the test bank. You begin to see what I mean about the Kaplan design being more of an education program than a review course.
Today, there are over 300 CFP education programs and Kaplan’s design is now outdated. Students no longer need a review that covers 100%+ of the CFP education material. Students need a review provider that tells them what’s most likely to be tested. I cannot believe part of the sales pitch for Kaplan’s customer service is to emphasize 5,000 questions in their test bank. That would make me run in the opposite direction! If you wonder why the Kaplan CFP review is the most expensive review in the country at $1,348, (as of 4/24/09) it’s because of all the materials they require students to purchase.
In summary, the major differences between The Dalton Review® and Kaplan CFP Review is that the Kaplan CFP review methodology is outdated, overwhelming and overpriced. The Dalton Review® is exam focused, concise and provides students with the greatest value and the clearest path to success.
Joseph M. Gillice, CPA, CFP®
Dalton Education, LLC
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What Professionals Say About Dalton
"I recommend Dalton's CFP study program to anyone who is planning to sit for the test. It is thorough, well guided, and offers many resources for individual support. I can honestly say that I went into the exam KNOWING that I was going to pass."
"It came down to the enrollment advisor's responsiveness in addressing my questions/concerns as primary and then the ability to be flexible with online courses and working through the coursework. Absolutely would recommend Dalton! After having taken the exam (and passed!) last week, I appreciate Dalton's questions even more as they were more realistic to what I saw on the exam. Thank you! Keep up the good work!"
"Combined with hard work and dedication, Dalton Education made sure I had what was needed in order to succeed. Without their experience, diligence, and structure, I would have spent more time worrying about what to study and when rather than putting in the hours needed to pass. Dalton knows how to get it done the first time around!"
"I have thoroughly enjoyed the Dalton Education CFP study program. I completed the 10 week review for the exam, including a 4 day live review. I successfully passed the CFP exam and I owe my success to Dalton and their incredible team of instructors. The Dalton materials, coursework, virtual classroom and schedule are not only intuitive and user friendly for a working mother, but they are top notch. I felt prepared for the exam, and after passing the exam I realized how Dalton had not only prepared me for everything but they over prepared me. I have a deep understanding for financial planning, and I look forward to taking my career to the next level. Thank you Dalton! A huge shout out to a team of highly intelligent and helpful instructors!"
"Dalton provided me the materials, resources, and structure that I needed to complete my certification. From the beginning, I greatly appreciated a detailed schedule for staying on track with the material while allowing you the flexibility between deadlines to manage your work and personal life alongside my certification work. It helped me plan study time accordingly and gave me a practical benchmark for preparation time. That said, each professor teaching the material stood out to me whether it was because of their experience with the CFP exam, pedigree, and/or knowledge and presentation of the material."
"What I love about the CFP course through Dalton is the flexibility. I have co-workers who are taking the program through other providers and they are stuck all day on a Saturday reviewing and taking tests – not for me. Also, the exam prep materials are amazing! I love the flash cards and the Quick Sheets. The instructors are amazing and I have felt very supported along the way. I would definitely recommend Dalton to others."
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