Everything You Need To Know About CMFAS Exam Before Taking It

Everything You Need To Know About CMFAS Exam Before Taking It

What is the CMFAS exam?

The CMFAS (Capital Markets and Financial Advisory Services) is an examination structure that consists of many modules that are administered by IBF (Institute of Banking and Finance).  Under the FAA (Financial Advisers Act) of the Monetary Authority of Singapore, you need some sort of licensing to become a financial adviser. The CMFAS certification allows you to work as a financial representative in Singapore.

How and where can I register for the exam?

You can register for the exam online on the IBF portal. You must create an account to register and gain access to their services. It is recommended that you register for the exam at least a month in advance. This will give you enough time to prepare.

How can I get access to the study guide?

Once you have registered for the exam successfully, you will be granted access to it. You will be authorized to use the study guide till the day of your exam, after that your authorization will be revoked.

Do I self-study or is external training required to pass the exam?

You can prepare for the exam by yourself. If you find it difficult to self-study, you can get training from external institutions as well. These institutions are not affiliated with IBF and their training costs vary.


How difficult is the CMFAS exam?

The difficulty depends on your preparation. The questions are tricky, and some require the memorization of important facts and figures. The questions are designed in such a way that a candidate who does not read the question carefully, picks the incorrect answer. You should be well prepared for the exam, especially if you are taking the M6 as it is the toughest among all modules.


What kind of questions are asked in the CMFAS exam?

In the CMFAS and all other exams conducted by the IBC, there are three kinds of questions:

  • Multiple Choice Questions
  • Multiple Response Questions
  • Case Study Questions

Multiple Choice Questions have one correct answer. Multiple Response Questions have multiple correct answers, and to score a point you have to select all the correct answers. Case study questions are usually asked in Module 6 and 6A. These questions have a case study and 2-3 MCQ or MRQ relevant to the scenario.  Most of the questions are application-based. These questions will test your knowledge in real-life situations.

Which exam(s) do I need to take to conduct regulated activities in Singapore?

Please refer to below table issued by MAS: Notice SFA 04-N22 Competency Requirements for Representatives of Holders of Capital Markets Services Licence and Exempt Financial Institutions (Page 37)

What is the latest update on CMFAS Module to RES?

Please refer to below table notice: Implementation of New Capital Markets and Financial Advisory Services Examinations (CMFAS Exams)

How much is the CMFAS Res exam fee?

Please refer to below table notice: Implementation of New Capital Markets and Financial Advisory Services Examinations (CMFAS Exams)

What is the course outline of the CMFAS exam?

The course content for all modules is different. Module 1B covers financial crimes, market conduct, and CPFIS while module 1A has an additional topic of the trading infrastructure. Module 3 covers rules for fund management. Module 4A and 4B cover rules for advising on corporate finance. Module 6 and 6A cover investments, risks, REIT, foreign exchange, CFDs, and ETFs. Module 10 covers financing, pricing, and investing in Real Estate Investment Trusts.

What are the different modules of the exam?

The CMFAS exam has many modules. These are:


If you want to pursue a career as a financial adviser in Singapore, it is mandatory for you to get the CMFAS certification. The CMFAS exam is quite tricky and requires a lot of effort but all the effort is worth it once you get the certification.

For more information on the implementation of the new CMFAS Exams, please refer to the announcement on IBF Exams Webpage and Examinations FAQs on Transitional Arrangements for the Implementation of the new CMFAS Exams.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the minimum requirements for becoming a financial adviser?

You need to fulfill these requirements before you enroll for the CMFAS exam:

  • You must be at least 21 years old
  • You must have the GCE ‘A’ Level Certificate or a diploma awarded by an accredited institution in Singapore
  • You must pass the M5, M9A of the CMFAS modules first.

The M5, M9, and M9A modules cover the rules and regulations of financial advisory and policies regarding investment and life insurance.

There are many alternatives like CFP (Certified Financial Planner), AFC (Associate Financial Consultant), and CLU (Chartered Life Underwriter). These certifications are recognized internationally. The CMFAS is necessary if you want to pursue your career as a financial expert in Singapore

The IBF has developed various policies to uphold the standards, these include:

  • Candidates are not permitted to disclose any information about the test to anyone.
  • Sharing the study guide with anyone else is strictly prohibited
  • Candidates who are found cheating will have to face severe consequences.

Yes, for USD 75 (excluding GST), you can reschedule your exam. You must reschedule one working day before (by noon) your exam. You can only change the exam date; changing the module is not allowed.

Yes, the exam is electronic and once you submit your exam, your transcript will be displayed instantly. Apart from the grade, your transcript will also display a detailed analysis of your performance where you will be able to tell the chapters where you did not perform well. 

Follow these tips and tricks and ace the CMFAS exam on your first try:

  • Read about finance and accounting from external sources as well. Many websites provide access to rich financial resources and articles.
  • The exam contains questions that require mathematical calculation. For this, you will have to memorize some formulas as well.
  • Look out for the appropriate option.
  • Give yourself enough time to prepare for the exam. To pass the exam, you need to process and absorb everything you have studied. People who attempt the exam without preparation are more likely to fail.
  • You will encounter different types of questions; it is important to know how to answer each question.
  • During the exam, don’t put too much pressure on yourself.
  • Consider failing as a learning experience. Remember, failure is nothing but a delayed success!

The recommended time to prepare for the CMFAS exam is 50-80 hours. Based on your experience and expertise, these hours can differ.


If you have enough time, it’s smart to start learning from chapter one. If you don’t have enough time, we recommend you use the official study guide and practice questions. This will make you well prepared even if you don’t have enough time to study. 

No, marks will not be deducted for selecting the wrong answer. Do not leave any question you don’t know the answer to.

There is a full list of professional accredation do not need to take EIP, e.g. CFA, CPA. Pleaes refer to the official document: Notice SFA 04-N22 Competency Requirements for Representatives of Holders of Capital Markets Services Licence and Exempt Financial Institutions – Page 41

Picture of Anthony Atkinson

Anthony Atkinson

Anthony is the Senior Exam Consultant in CMFASExam

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