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Applied Financial Planning (AFP) Certification Examination


Exam Format

Paper Based

Exam Duration

AFP Exam 1 = 3 Hours
AFP Exam 2 = 3 Hours

Question Format

AFP Exam 1: Stand-Alone Multiple Choice
AFP Exam 2: Multiple Cases with multiple questions - Constructed-Response Format

Questions Per Exam

Exam 1: 100 to 110 (including possible pilot questions)
Exam 2: 3 - 4 cases with multiple questions (written response)

Attempts Allowed Per Exam

Important: For successful completion of the AFP certification examination, both AFPI and AFP2 must be completed. The initial enrolment period set for completion of both examinations is 1 year. After 2 unsuccessful attempts of either Exam 1 or 2, you are required to wait six months before re-enrolling in the AFP.

Candidates who complete only one of the two required examinations during the initial enrolment can transfer the mark from the successful exam attempt to the new enrolment. The remaining examination must be successfully completed within 2 years of the date of successful completion of the other exam. This mark transfer will be allowed once only.

Passing Score


Candidates must earn a score of 60 or greater to pass each of AFP Exam 1 and AFP Exam 2. The marking methodology is further explained in the Candidate Guidelines

Enrolment Period 1 year (no extensions allowed)


The AFP Certification Examination assesses the theoretical and applied knowledge possessed by fully competent financial planners as identified by industry experts and set out within the PFP® Professional Competency Profile. The AFP Certification Examination requires that you successfully complete two examinations.

Although not required, CSI strongly encourages candidates to successfully complete the AFP Exam 1 prior to attempting AFP Exam 2. The assessment in AFP Exam 2 builds on the content and depth examined in AFP Exam 1 with a greater expectation for candidates to analyze, evaluate and formulate strategies to present solutions for client situations.

AFP Exam 1: Standalone Multiple-Choice Format

The exam is three hours in duration and includes 100 to 110 independent multiple-choice questions, including possible pilot questions.

The approximate exam weighting of AFP Exam 1 by core competency is as follows:

Competency AFP Exam 1
% Weighting by Competency
1. Professional Conduct and Regulatory Compliance 7%
2. Client Relationship and Practice Management 5%
3. Asset and Liability Management 10%
4. Risk Management and Insurance 14%
5. Investment Planning 20%
6. Tax Planning 14%
7. Retirement Planning 20%
8. Estate Planning 10%

AFP Exam 2: Case Based, Constructed-Response Format

This examination is a constructed-response examination featuring 3 - 4 case studies. These case studies reflect typical financial planning situations that a financial planner may encounter. Each case study has 3 - 5 related questions, which may include sub-questions. For each question, candidates are required to construct a response to the posed question and provide a written response (in long-hand) in the examination book. The examination may also include a number of charts or data sheets requiring completion (e.g., cash flow, statement of net worth, etc.). Candidates have up to three hours to complete the examination.

A case study scenario is used to test candidates’ ability to demonstrate the competencies and ability to apply the professional knowledge and skills as set out in the PFP® Professional Competency Profile. The case studies and questions presented on AFP Exam 2 will focus on the candidate’s ability to apply their financial planning knowledge to demonstrate professional competence in the practice of financial planning.

On AFP Exam 2 the assessment of the PFP® Professional Competency Profile is weighted by competency groupings, with an approximate range of +/- 5% variation for each grouping, as follows:

Competency AFP Exam 2
% Weighting by Competency
1. Professional Conduct and Regulatory Compliance 7%
2. Client Relationship and Practice Management 7%
3. Asset and Liability Management 15%
4. Risk Management and Insurance 12%
5. Investment Planning 15%
6. Tax Planning 15%
7. Retirement Planning 23%
8. Estate Planning 6%

Preparing for the AFP Certification Examination

Candidates should use the PFP® Professional Competency Profile, any course or learning materials from the completed prerequisite educational route or other learning resources, the examination weightings and the Candidate Guidelines as their study materials in preparation to write the AFP Certification Examination. As only the Competency Profile is the basis for the examination, candidates should cross-reference the profile with their study materials to identify any gaps in the materials or their own knowledge, and research independently to fill in those gaps to ensure that they possess the required knowledge and skills and ability to apply those in an examination environment.

Prior to enrolling in or preparing for the AFP Certification Examination, we strongly recommend candidates access and review the support materials listed below to determine readiness for successful completion of the AFP Certification Examinations.

The video below provides guidance on preparing for the examinations and using the resources below.

  • The PFP® Professional Competency Profile identifies examinable competencies and knowledge areas.Candidates should use this as a base for preparation as only the content listed therein will be subject to testing on the AFP Certification Examination.
  • The AFP Candidate Guidelines provides information on exam development, differences between AFP Exam 1 and AFP Exam 2, the Competency Profile and samples of the types of questions that candidates will encounter on each exam.
  • Sample AFP Exam 2 is available after registering for the certification exam. The Sample AFP Exam 2 provides an opportunity for candidates to practice responding to in-depth and complex questions similar in structure to those that they will encounter on AFP Exam 2. It should provide candidates with a clearer understanding of the examination structure and questions of AFP Exam 2, and the level and depth of knowledge required for the AFP Exam 2.
  • Click Here for AFP Certification Examination FAQs.
  • Financial Planning Integration Course (FPIC) - The FPIC is an optional course that provides students with integrative and practical exercises as well as tests that are similar to those in the AFP Certification Exam. The course also includes the most current version of the course materials in the PFP education path. The FPIC can assist students in addressing their current level of knowledge, experience and readiness before writing the AFP Certification Examination.
  • Course Materials - Candidates are encouraged to use the course materials from their qualifying education program, along with any other reference materials, to evaluate their knowledge, skills and readiness to write the examinations against the Competency Profile.

Continuing Education (CE) Credits

Click the links below or the buttons at the top of the page on the right side to access CE accreditation information. To search for specific course information, press Ctrl + F and then enter the course name to search the document for the information you are interested in.

National/Provincial (Excluding Quebec)
Download CE Chart (PDF, 163 kb)

Quebec (IQPF/CSF)
Download IQPF/CSF Chart (PDF, 182 kb)

Please note: While CSI makes every effort to ensure that the information is up-to-date, we are unfortunately unable to fully guarantee its accuracy. The information listed in the charts above may be subject to change.

More detailed information on CE Credits are available.