Preparing for the examination

The CFRE examination consists of 200 multiple choice questions.  Of these, 175 questions count toward your score.  The other 25 questions are questions that are being tested to make sure they are psychometrically sound; these 25 questions do not count toward your score.  Candidates are encouraged to review our Candidate Handbook, Test Content Outline, and Resource Reading List as part of their preparation for the CFRE exam.

No two candidates come to the exam with the same knowledge base. Since experience and educational backgrounds are unique, these differences must be taken into consideration when determining a study method. While some individuals may take the exam without any preparation, the majority become involved in some form of exam preparation. Because the exams measure mastery of the application of the fundraising body of knowledge, it is impossible to train or teach to the exam.

A fundraising professional who has met the eligibility requirements to sit for the examination should have the knowledge needed to take and pass the examination. However, CFRE International does recommend that you review the content areas covered on the exam by using the Test Content Outline. You might want to review the Test Content Outline for topics or subtopics with which you are less familiar. If you find a particular area with which you are not familiar or comfortable, that would be an area on which to focus your study or review. Or, you may want to do a surface review of all the content areas, even those you believe you know well.

*Beginning with the first testing window of 2016, CFRE International is using an updated Test Content Outline (linked above). For frequently asked questions about these changes, please click here

You can find more information on preparing for the CFRE exam by clicking on the menu to the left.