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The Toronto-based Financial Planning Standards Council (FPSC) has released the results of the FPSC Level 1 examination in financial planning and CFP examination, which took place across Canada in Dec. 1, 2017.

A total number of 1,015 candidates wrote their exams, which are a requirement to obtain either the FPSC Level 1 certification in financial planning or CFP certification, in 40 locations across Canada.

The FPSC Level 1 examination, the first exam on the path to CFP certification and a requirement for FPSC Level 1 certification, was completed by 542 candidates and had an overall pass rate of 69%.

The 439 first-time writers of this exam earned a 72% pass rate while the 103 candidates reattempting the exam received a 53% pass rate. To qualify to write the four-hour multiple-choice exam, candidates must have completed an FPSC-approved core curriculum program successfully.

The CFP examination, the final exam on the path to CFP certification, was written by 473 candidates — the highest number since 2010. The overall pass rate on the CFP examination was 64%.

Of the candidates who wrote the exam, 329 were first-time writers (73% pass rate) while 144 were reattempting the exam (43% pass rate).

To qualify to write the six-hour CFP examination, which combines constructed-response and multiple-choice questions, candidates must have obtained FPSC Level 1 certification and successfully completed an FPSC-approved capstone course.

“We are pleased to see such a large the number of candidates seeking certified financial planner certification, which represents the highest level of knowledge, skills and abilities in the financial planning profession,” says FPSC president and CEO Cary List, in a statement.

After three years of qualifying financial planning work experience, successful CFP examination candidates can apply for CFP certification. There are approximately 16,500 CFP professionals across Canada, the FPSC says.