My CFP Certification Quest – Part 2

This year is almost over as December is upon us. It has been 2 weeks since I took my CFP exam and 4-6 weeks remaining for the sit and wait game to be over so I can get the results. 

When I posted a blog last June about my CFP Certification quest, I just completed the CFP Online Course and crossed the first hurdle(education eligibility requirement of the CFP board) towards getting the CFP Certification.  Next I wanted to take on the biggest challenge to appear for the CFP exam in Nov. I want to face the exam well prepared because I kept hearing it was a tough one. In the last post, I promised to share my experience about the CFP course from BU, so let me talk about that before going to the review classes.

Boston University CFP Course

I signed for BU course in Nov 2008 when they ran very good special of $1737 to celebrate their anniversary or something. I just happen to come across while I was searching for CFP course providers. I quickly did comparison with other providers and their offerings for the course. It came out BU is the least expensive with some good history of passing rate. So I signed up for the Online Self study course hoping to study myself which will be vaild for limited time of 18 months only.

—  Course Content

No predesigned study material from BU. You can pay extra $500 for the books they recommend and they will send to you or you can buy it yourself. I bought most of my books myself online at and for better price and saved few hundred dollars. I first took few weeks to review the course material and made decision to continue otherwise I had the option to discontinue within a month and get refund.

I started studying more religiously by finishing the reading assignment from the book followed by reading online material. It took me almost 4 months to finish my first module. I was bit disappointment but I don’t know how to speed it up because you only got limited time to spend after full time work and family time. I was doing my level best and moved along.

— Assignments

There is no particular home work or assignments given by tutors since there is none for the self study route. You are your own teacher to gauge yourself. So I just tried to keep up with the reading assignments they had for each module for atleast 2 modules. For the rest 4 modules, I skipped the reading assignments and only concentrated on the online materials because I felt most of them are covered in the online material. So its up to each individual capability and time availability to select their path.

— Course Support

As I told, I skipped the reading assignmens and started going thru online material only for rest of the 4 modules to go faster. Even that took almost 2-3 months for each module. I felt the time period is short for self study if you want to do both books and online material. I only need tutor clarification few times in the whole of my study time. It wasn’t bad. Once you send the email, you get reply with clarification in 1-2 days. They only answer the questions on the topics not on the exam questions directly. They made sure I understood the problem first and always asked my opinion about possible answers and explanation before before giving directions to find the answer myself. That helps to go through the material again and find the answers.

— Course Exams

They had exams for every module. It contined 50 questions, 42 multi-choice questions with 2 case studies that had 4  questions each.  I had to get above 73% to pass the exam. I was allowed to take as many times as possible to pass and improve my scores. It was a big bonus so I took exams multiple times and improved my score as much as possible to almost “A” to most of the modules. But I had to go through wrong questions and analyse them deep enough to find their answers so I can try another time to score better. It seems like they have set of questions and never gets repeated often so it’s different most of the time.

I was able to complete all the module just 10 days before the end of the expiration and got the CFP course certificate in August 2010. If you want my referral to get some course discount with BU, please don’t hesitate to email me.

Signing up for Review Class

I waited for my course certificate to arrive before signing up for the review class. Just to be sure that I have completed it successfully and no issues. Meanwhile, I started doing my research to find out a good Review class which has more options and avenues to get more exposure to all topics necessary for the exam.  Since I took the self study course, this time I want to take choose the class that gives both Traditional and online classes if possible so I can get the feel for the topics personally from the instructor. There were lot of review classes available starting from $1000 to $1500 and will talk more about in the next post.

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