Before you’re even allowed to sign-up for the CFP® exam, you have to complete the education requirement. To fulfill this requirement, I took evening classes at UCLA Extension for 2 years. You can get through all the classes (there are 8 of them not including the 1 day Ethics class) in less than 2 years if you choose to take more than 1 class per quarter. Since I was working full-time and had no finance background whatsoever, I chose to take 1 class at a time so I wouldn’t be overwhelmed with all this new information. Some people prefer to take the classes online or a combination of online and ground (i.e. on campus). I took all of them on campus because I learn better when I can interact with my professors and classmates (probably because I’m an extrovert and I like structure/routine).
If you have one of these degrees or professional credentials, you can bypass most of the classes and just take the Capstone (comprehensive) class. Once you pass that class, you’ll be eligible to sign-up for the exam.
For someone who didn’t major in finance or never worked in the finance industry, I suggest taking 1 class at a time like I did. If you rush through all the classes and don’t develop a strong foundation, you’ll have a much more difficult time studying for the CFP® exam. Passing the exam takes mastering the material. Merely understanding it will not be enough.