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How to Prepare for the Exam

Carefully explore the CRC® Program Policies Manual and CRC® Candidate Handbook.

Review the CRC® Test Specifications. The four-hour, 200-question multiple-choice exam covers the domains of practice and knowledge required to perform tasks listed in the CRC® Test Specifications, and should be well understood before taking the exam.

Download and review the current year’s COLA updates here.

View a summary of the Practice Analysis conducted to determine the CRC® Test Specifications.

View a summary of how the CRC® pass point is determined.

You may determine your own study path to prepare for the CRC® exam and are not required to purchase study materials offered by InFRE or any other source. When purchasing InFRE study materials, there is no advantage given to CRC® Candidates regarding meeting eligibility requirements, scheduling an exam or any other certification related policies and procedures.  InFRE provides optional print, and online exam preparation resources to help Candidates prepare for the CRC® exam.

InFRE’s CRC® Study Guides contain quiz questions at the end of each chapter to use in confirming your knowledge.

CRC® Candidates who purchase study materials may be eligible to take online quizzes to receive credit toward CFP® continuing education requirements. InFRE CRC® courses 2 & 3 are approved to meet your CFP® continuing education requirements. After passing the course exam, CFP® credits can be self-reported for free or InFRE can report credits for $25 per course.

Review the 18 hours of elearning review courses to confirm your understanding, which are free when you purchase a complete set of CRC® Study Guides.

About the Exam

Prepare for the CRC® examination by first reviewing the CRC® Test Specifications. The four-hour, 200-question multiple-choice exam covers the domains of practice and knowledge required to perform tasks listed in the CRC® Test Specifications and should be well understood before taking the exam. 175 of the questions are operational and contribute equally to each Candidate’s total score. Each question has a single correct response and there is no penalty for guessing. The remaining 25 are pilot questions which do not count towards the Candidate’s score. Pilot questions are randomly dispersed throughout the examination and there is no indication of whether a question is an operational or pilot question.

You may choose to use your own study materials and other resources to prepare.  InFRE also provides optional print, and online exam preparation resources to help candidates prepare for the exam.  Please note that the exam may test your knowledge of the most recent retirement plan contribution limits and thresholds. Click here to download and review the current year updates.

For information about how the CRC® exam items are developed, constructed, administered, scored, analyzed and reported refer to the CRC® Policies Manual, Section 4.

Click here to view a summary of the Practice Analysis conducted to determine the CRC®Test Specifications.

How to Schedule Your Exam

When you are ready to take the CRC® exam, you may pay your exam fee online, or call 847-756-7350 ext. 134. After paying your exam fee, you will receive an email from InFRE with information about how to schedule your exam approximately two months prior to the exam week.

Special arrangements will be provided to Candidates with a disability (as defined by Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act) who submit the Special Testing Accommodation Request and Documentation of Disability-related Needs by Qualified Provider Forms. Note: These forms must be submitted and approved by InFRE prior to scheduling your examination. If you require special testing accommodations due to a disability, access the Request for Special Testing Accommodations form here.


Exam Schedule and Fee Payment Deadlines

Exams are administered at Prometric computer-based testing centers. Testing windows for upcoming exam administrations are as follows:

Testing Window
Exam Fee Payment Deadline
April 13 – 25, 2020March 21, 2020
July 13 – 25, 2020June 22, 2020
October 12 – 25, 2020September 21, 2020

Your exam may be scheduled on Monday through Saturday during the testing period.

Additional Information

On the Day of Examination

Candidates should plan on arriving at their designated testing center at least 30 minutes prior to their scheduled exam time. If you arrive after your exam start time, you may not be admitted to the examination site.

What to Expect at the Prometric Testing Center

  • Candidate Check-In
    • Candidates will be asked to present their IDs.
    • Candidates will be asked to empty and turn out their pockets.
    • Candidates may be “wanded” or asked to walk through a metal detector.
    • Inspection of eyeglasses, jewelry, and other accessories will be conducted. Jewelry other than wedding and engagement rings is prohibited.
    • Religious headwear may be worn into the testing room; however, it may be subject to inspection by a testing center administrator before entry into the testing room is permitted.
    • Prometric provides lockers for Candidates to store backpacks, purses, mobile phones, jackets, food, drinks and medical supplies.
  • During the Exam
    • An online calculator will be enabled for use during the exam.
    • No breaks are scheduled during the exam. Candidates who must leave the testing room to take a restroom break will not be given extra time on the exam.
    • Accessing mobile phones or study materials during the examination is prohibited.
    • Smoking is prohibited at the testing center.
    • All examinations are monitored and may be recorded in both audio and video format.

In the event of inclement weather, check the Prometric website for closures:


Pass Point Determination and Failing the Exam

The pass point for each form of the examination is determined by the Board of Standards and Policy Development based on credentialing industry accepted practice. Candidates who fail the exam may retake the exam during the next testing window and there is no limit as to the number of times one can take the exam. Retesting during the same testing window is not allowed.  Click here to view a summary of how the CRC® pass point is determined.


To Reschedule/Cancel Your Examination:

If you decide to reschedule your exam within the same testing window or cancel your examination appointment, to avoid additional fees you must do so 30 days or more before your scheduled appointment. Examination appointments cannot be rescheduled or cancelled less than five days of a scheduled appointment. Candidates who do not arrive to test for their appointment will be considered a no-show and must submit an exam window transfer fee before scheduling their exam for another testing window. For more information about exam scheduling policies, please review the CRC® Candidate Handbook.


Examination Fee Refunds

Candidates who have not tested for the CRC® examination may request an examination fee refund less a $150 processing fee within one year of their registration date. No examination fee refunds will be granted after one year of the Candidate’s registration date. It is the Candidate’s responsibility to know and understand the CRC® eligibility policy as stated in Section 3.1 of the Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) Program Policies Manual and no examination fee refunds will be granted after a Candidate has tested and fails to meet the eligibility requirements.



The following information is taken from the CRC® Policies Manual, Policy 2.6 – Confidentiality Conflicts of Interest.  The Board of Standards and Policy Development (BOS) and its testing administrator stores, processes and uses data collected from registration forms and test score reports. Data is stored only to the extent necessary for processing and validating registrations/examination scores and in compliance with related record-retention policies and regulations. The BOS may develop and publish statistical data regarding the exams provided that the identities of the Candidates are not divulged. Under no circumstances will individual data or test scores be shared with any entity outside of the BOS and its testing administrator, unless permission is obtained from the Candidate or Certificant or otherwise required by law.


Contact Us

For questions about the exam procedures, email or call 847-756-7350 ext. 134.

The CRC® Candidate Handbook contains essential information for Certified Retirement Counselor® (CRC®) program candidates. Please read it carefully and keep it readily available as a reference until you have achieved Certificant status. Candidates are responsible for knowing the contents of this Handbook.