Preparing for the Exam

Exam Candidate

Each individual taking the exam begins their journey in a unique way depending on a combination of his/her education, work experience and previous training.  Candidates have their own study habits and test taking styles. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to exam preparation, CBOR recommends each candidate thoughtfully review the guidance and reflect on subject areas whereby more study time may need to be allocated.

The Certification Board of Regents (CBOR) recommends CFM® exam candidates have at least one or more of the following:

  • A minimum of two years of full-time floodplain management experience; OR
  • A higher education degree in a related field; OR
  • Completed the four-day 0273 Managing Floodplain Development through the National Flood Insurance Program course.

Exam Make Up

The CFM® exam measures a person’s knowledge of a community’s responsibilities under the National Flood Insurance Program and related floodplain management topics. The CFM® exam contains questions in the proportions shown for the following seven topic categories:

Percentage Category Approximate # of exam questions
20-25% Floodplain Mapping 24-30
20-25% NFIP Regulatory Standards 24-30
15-20% Regulatory Administrative Procedures 18-24
10-15% Flood Insurance 12-18
10-15% Flood Hazard Mitigation 12-18
10-15% Natural and Beneficial Functions 12-18
5-10% Overall Context of Floodplain Management 6-12

Study Resources

ASFPM has a collection of exam study resources available on their website.  The CFM® Exam Resource collection is a curated set of technical references that were used to develop and validate each of the 120 questions on the CFM® Exam. The resources are organized by seven different categories which are common to a floodplain manager’s job duties or responsibilities.

The most frequently cited technical reference for the CFM® Exam is FEMA Publication 480, “National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) Floodplain Management Requirements, A Study Guide and Desk Reference for Local Officials”. This resource also contains a series of quizzes (learning checks) with answers in the appendices. FEMA 480 is available for download in the ASFPM Library.

ASFPM has also developed an online Exam Study Course. The purpose of the course is to help you better prepare for the exam by assessing your current knowledge and skillset against the many floodplain management topics and concepts. You will also learn what additional training and support materials are available to help you close any knowledge gaps. The workshop course contains a floodplain manager skill assessment and 60-question NFIP knowledge check.

Digital Exam Prep

The CFM exam is a digital exam that can be taken at a Testing Center, Live Online-Proctored or at an In-Person Event. Meazure Learning is the test provider. Candidates can familiarize themselves with the Meazure Learning interface and navigation tools. Once you register to take, a set of instructions will be provided for candidates to review prior to taking the digital exam. Previewing this information before exam day can be an effective way to reduce anxiety and is a recommended best practice for exam preparation.

Exam Day: What to Expect provides a detailed walk through of the entire check-in process including videos of what you can expect during your exam. 

The Test-taker Resource Center details how to create an account, describes system requirements, displays a full video showing the test-taking experience, lists FAQs and includes a link to test-taker support.

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