Preparing to Test

The CDFM exams are closed-book, proctored exams offered year-round, designed to evaluate candidates seeking professional certification in the field of defense comptrollership. Each of the 4 examination modules contains 80 multiple-choice items, and candidates are allowed 2 hours to complete each exam. The exams may be taken in any order, and a candidate must take and pass Modules 1, 2, and 3 within a 4-year time frame to earn CDFM certification. Module 4 must also be taken and passed to earn the CDFM-A designation.

Download the CDFM Candidate Handbook for SDFM’s complete guidance on exam preparation.

CDFM candidates are not required to take any course or purchase any study materials to take the exams, and attending or purchasing courses or study materials is not a guarantee of passing the exams. However, the following are some SDFM-approved resources that may assist you in your studying efforts. 

Questions? Contact certification@sdfm.org or (703) 549-0360

CDFM Exam Blueprints and Reference Lists

Candidates are encouraged to review the exam blueprints (exam specifications) to assess their level of knowledge in each of the domains and identify the areas in which they believe they need additional preparation. 

SDFM recommends using the CDFM exam blueprint specifications and suggested reference list to form a study plan, which may include the official CDFM Practice Test App or the Enhanced Defense Financial Management Training Course.

IMPORTANT: Updated CDFM Module 1, 2, 3, and 4 exams are available as of May 29, 2024. Both the current (“Old”) and updated exams will be available from May 29 – September 30, 2024. The “Old” exams will be permanently retired on September 30, 2024. See our Exam Development page to view the 2024 CDFM & CDFM-A Exam Blueprints and FAQs.

New 2024

  • The “Old” CDFM Module 1-3 Exam Blueprints can be found in the CDFM Candidate Handbook or downloaded as a stand-alone document here.
  • The “Old” CDFM Module 4 Exam Blueprints can be found in the CDFM Candidate Handbook here.
  • The “Old” CDFM Module 1-3 Exam Reference List can be found in the CDFM Candidate Handbook or downloaded as a stand-alone document here.

CDFM Practice Test App

The CDFM Practice Test Mobile App for Modules 1, 2, and 3 is a supplemental assessment resource for individuals preparing to take the CDFM exams. This tool is designed to help build your confidence and identify areas in which additional exam prep. The design of the examinations is set forth in the exam specifications (blueprints) provided below, which define the competency areas (domains) and subdomains covered on the examinations, as well as the approximate percentage of examination items covering each competency area.

3 Modules–3 Months–Unlimited Access!

$59.99 gives you 3 months of 24/7 access to:

  • 320+ practice questions in all CDFM exam module 1, 2, and 3 domains.
  • 380+ flashcards featuring important acronyms you may encounter on the exams.
  • 240+ glossary flashcards to ensure you’re familiar with the necessary terminology.
  • The CDFM Candidate Handbook and additional resources to help you prepare.
  • The ability to create custom quizzes and tailor your learning.
  • An advanced progress-tracking tool that indicates how you are performing on each question and in each domain.
  • Mobile App and web access.
  • You can also purchase the CDFM Practice Test on the web here.

Disclaimer: None of the questions on the Practice Test appear on the CDFM exams, but they are written in the same format and style as the live exams. The Practice Test should only be used to gauge your familiarity with concepts. To get a feel for navigating the Pearson VUE testing platform for computerized testing at-home and in a test center, explore the Pearson VUE Demo Test here.

A number of study aids are available as preparation for the CDFM exams. No single study tool should be considered the only basis for exam preparation. SDFM strongly recommends a minimum study and review time of three months based on the CDFM exam specifications (blueprints) in a variety of formats, which may include:

Original Department of Defense guidance documents online

  • EDFMTC and Course Materials
  • Training courses
  • SDFM Chapter study groups

No tools can guarantee you will pass an exam. Passing an exam is not based on the amount of money spent or the number of resources utilized. It is based on successfully applying your knowledge across the spectrum of the field.

Questions or Comments about the CDFM Practice Test App? Contact HLT’s Customer Service:
E-mail: feedback@hltcorp.com

Call: 319-246-5271