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Domains (Knowledge Areas)

The CTFA advisory board has determined that a competent trust advisor professional's expertise includes the following domains: 

  • Fiduciary Principles and Applications
  • Integrated Planning and Advice (Financial and Tax)
  • Asset Management - Interaction of All Asset Types
  • Administration of Trust Accounts
  • Risk/Compliance Management
  • Ethics
  • Relationship Management

Please review the CTFA Examination Outline for additional details, as well as the FAQ Document and Webinar on Exam Changes.

Study Resources 

While ABA recommends these resources as appropriate examination preparation, ABA does not guarantee that you will pass the exam by completing these educational programs or studying these materials alone. The CTFA exam assesses not only your knowledge of the topics on the exam outline, but also your application of that knowledge. You should refer frequently to the CTFA Exam Outline when preparing for the exam.

  • Certificates

  • Schools

  • Exam Prep

  • Reference Guide

  • Other Options

Schools

ABA Wealth and Trust Schools

Younger generations of clients are looking for expert help in planning their financial futures. Are you ready to address their unique needs? Invest in training from ABA Wealth and Trust Schools to build expertise and sharpen your competitive edge.

Levels 1 and 2 have been redesigned to include all content covered for the Certified Trust and Fiduciary Advisor (CTFA) designation. The advanced school has been reengineered to include lectures and applicable case studies to strengthen your expertise and provide continuing educations credits.

Explore the Schools

Exam Prep

CTFA Exam Online Prep

An interactive, user-friendly online course that allows students to study at their own pace, with access to resources and practice tests modeled after an actual exam.

Take the Course

Reference Guide

Reference Guides to Wealth Management and Trust

The 4-series reference guides, updated annually, are comprehensive resources for today's wealth advisor, including expanded topics to meet diverse client expectations, with two entire volumes focused on integrated planning and advice. 

View the Guides

Other Options

Non-ABA Options

*This is not an endorsement of the program or its sponsor.

Exam Format, Scoring and Reporting

  • 200 multiple-choice questions (see Sample Questions)
  • Maximum 4 hour timeframe allowed
  • The February exam will only cover laws and regulations in effect through 12/31 of the prior year. All other exams will cover current laws and regulations.
  • Calculators will be provided
  • Instant "Pass/Fail" outcome provided for most computer based exams at test sites. Occasionally, instant outcomes are not provided while statistical analysis is conducted.
  • Official score reports delivered via email within 6 weeks after the close of the exam window 
  • For full details, read the Certification Exam FAQs 

Examination Misconduct

All persons taking one of ABA Professional Certifications' examinations are expected to abide by all rules and regulations governing the examination before, during and after the examination. Possession of copies of any current or previous examination given by ABA Professional Certifications (formerly ICB) is not authorized and is a violation of the rules governing certification exams. Persons taking an ABA Professional Certifications examination are not permitted to take notes about the examination.

Any person found to have violated any of the rules governing ABA Professional Certifications exams, or to have conducted themselves in a dishonest or unethical manner with respect to the taking of an ABA Professional Certifications exam is subject to sanctions determined to be appropriate by ABA Professional Certifications, in its sole discretion, including, but not limited to: denial of certification; denial of the right to take any or all ABA Professional Certifications examinations. Answer sheets provided at paper/pencil testing sites determined, before grading, to have been completed by a person who has violated ABA Professional Certifications examination rules will not be graded. We reserve the right to pursue any and all remedies available to it, including legal remedies, with respect to any violation of its examination rules against anyone who violated ABA Professional Certifications examination rules or aided another in violating these rules.

Any person found to have violated any of the rules governing ABA Professional Certifications exams, or to have conducted themselves in a dishonest or unethical manner with respect to the taking of an ABA Professional Certifications exam is subject to sanctions determined to be appropriate by ABA Professional Certifications, in its sole discretion, including, but not limited to: denial of certification; denial of the right to take any or all ABA Professional Certifications examinations. Answer sheets provided at paper/pencil testing sites determined, before grading, to have been completed by a person who has violated ABA Professional Certifications examination rules will not be graded. We reserve the right to pursue any and all remedies available to it, including legal remedies, with respect to any violation of its examination rules against anyone who violated ABA Professional Certifications examination rules or aided another in violating these rules.

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