Personal Financial Specialist (PFS) Exam 

    The PFS Exam is a comprehensive financial planning exam that covers all of the disciplines that make up personal financial planning.  Of particular importance are the professional responsibilities that CPA financial planners have as they practice financial planning.  Also, the exam reflects the importance of a holistic approach to financial planning as client needs are being discussed with the use of case studies.

            NEW! CPA/PFS Referral Program

    PFS Credential Holders:
    Refer a new PFS applicant or a PFS exam
    taker and get a $350 PFS dues credit.
    Sample exam tutorial video          
    A Pre-exam Study Calendar
    for the final 2 weeks before the exam 

    Exam Preparation options:  In-person Classes, Online choices, Self-study CPE



     PFS Exam Information

     Do you need to take the PFS Exam?

    You may not be required to take the PFS exam if you have successfully passed another comprehensive financial planning exam.  Check the CPA/PFS Eligibility Requirements page. 

     2014 Exam Dates:

    Summer exam window: June 19 - July 31, 2014
    Fall/Winter exam window: December 15, 2014 - January 26, 2015



    Exam Registrant 
    Categories and Costs:

    On, select the correct exam registration

    If you have never registered and paid for the PFS exam in the past

        Select "First time exam registrant": 
          $300 ($225 early bird) - Current PFP Section members
          $400 ($300 early bird) - Current AICPA members
          $500 ($375 early bird) - Non-AICPA members

    If you have taken and not passed a previous PFS exam:

        Select "Exam Retake": The re-take fee is $100.

    If you have registered and paid for the exam in the past but have never taken the exam

        Select "Exam Deferral":
     The deferral fee is $100.

    Discounts and Reimbursements Available

    • PFS Exam Sponsorship - This program reimburses $200, $400 or $600 of costs depending on the type of review program used.

    • PFP Section Discount - $125 off exam review course and $100 off exam.
    • 10% Discount - if both the self study exam review course and the PFS exam are ordered together.
    • Volume Pricing - ask us about special pricing for two or more CPAs from the same firm taking the exam.

    Registration & Scheduling Process:

    Upon purchase of the exam, you will receive an email confirming your purchase.  Then six weeks before the beginning of your exam window, you will receive a "Notice To Schedule" email with a voucher code # and a link to set up an account online and schedule the specific date and time at a testing center.  Download a step-by-step guide.

    You must read the Registration & Scheduling Terms & Conditions prior to registering.  It contains vital information for scheduling, re-scheduling, deferring, and much more. 

    Test Center Locations:

    Almost 300 locations nationwide.   Find the closest one

    Test Center Regulations:

    Be prepared.  Know what to expect.  Download a PDF of the regulations. 

    Approved Calculators

    Hewlett Packard:  12C, 10B, 10B II Plus, 17BII,
    Texas Instruments:  TI BAII Plus
    Victor:  V12, Victor 10 

    Exam Length:

    5 hour exam (including a 30 minute break) with 160 multiple-choice questions.

     Multiple Choice Questions:

    A discrete multiple choice question consists of a stem that includes factual or scenario data and provides four or five options.

     Case Studies:

    Approximately 50% of the exam will be in a scenario or case study format.  They will vary in length and include short scenarios followed by 1-5 multiple-choice questions and two comprehensive cases with 12-18 related multiple-choice questions.

    The fact pattern of each case study will contain sufficient information to enable the candidate to answer the question.

    This part of the examination is designed to test the candidate’s analytical reasoning skills and ability to apply financial planning theory and methodology in a comprehensive manner.

     Exam Content Specification Outline:

    Download the content specification outline for the comprehensive body of knowledge tested on the PFS Exam.  The eleven major topical areas provide a framework or "blueprint", for knowledge tested on the exam (updated January 2012). 

     Preparation for the Exam:

    Choose the format you like:  a self-study review course, a live review class, or an on-demand web review class rebroadcast.


    More questions?  

    Go to the CPA/PFS Credential Overview web page


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