Exam Application Process

Candidates who have not recently graduated from a CFLE-approved academic program can attain certification by completing the CFLE exam. In order to qualify to sit for the exam you need to have at least a bachelor's degree from an accredited college/university.

To learn more about the history and purpose of the CFLE designation, as well as to find information about the application processes and the requirements for maintaining the CFLE designation, see the CFLE standards & criteria document.

Please see the bottom of this page for forms and other materials related to the CFLE exam and exam application process.

You can apply for Provisional or Full Certification. Provisional Certification is available for individuals who have a minimum of a Bachelor's degree and can demonstrate content knowledge in each of the ten family life content areas, but who have not yet earned sufficient work experience hours in family life education to qualify for Full status.

Full Certification is available for individuals who have the required amount of Family Life Education Work Experience. The amount of hours depends on your degree level.

CFLE Exam Study Group

NCFR offers the CFLE Exam Study Group to provide an online group study experience to individuals interested in taking the CFLE Exam. You can join the CFLE Exam Study Group listserv at any time after you have decided that you are interested in taking the exam, whether a month before testing or more than a year prior to your intended testing window. Only individuals who have not yet taken the exam may participate.

This is a non-moderated list. Members of NCFR staff are also members of the list and will monitor communication, but it is the responsibility of the group members to organize themselves and coordinate communication. If you are interested in joining the group, please email Maureen Bourgeois with "Exam Study Group" in the subject line. 

What to submit to take the exam

Applicants pursuing provisional or full certification through the CFLE exam must submit the following:

  • Exam application form and CFLE exam fee (Please note: application fees are non-refundable).
  • Original Official transcript showing degree completion. Transcript must have watermark or embossment or other authenticating marks as described on the document. It does not have to be mailed directly from the school or be in a sealed envelope. If you would like to submit an electronic transcript it must an official transcript and be emailed directly to maureenbourgeois@ncfr.org from the university. Please note that we cannot accept photocopied, scanned, or faxed transcripts.
  • Signed copy of the CFLE Code of Ethics

In addition to the items listed above, applicants pursuing full certification through the CFLE exam must also submit:

The CFLE exam

The CFLE exam is based on the results of an extensive practice analysis survey distributed to more than 8,000 family professionals. The exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions.

The exam content is based upon 10 FLE Content Areas. The percentage of questions for each content area is as follows:

Families and Individuals in Societal Contexts13%
Internal Dynamics of Families12%
Human Growth and Development12%
Human Sexuality8%
Interpersonal Relationships9%
Family Resource Management10%
Parenting Education and Guidance11%
Family Law and Public Policy8%
Professional Ethics and Practice5%
Family Life Education Methodology12%

Study and review materials

The CFLE content and practice guidelines provide a detailed outline of concepts included on the CFLE exam.  The exam resources include all books used in developing the exam questions, as well as other relevant resources. Applicants are not expected to read all books listed; rather, they can review resources as needed. There is also a list of sample exam questions that can be reviewed when preparing for the test.

All of the exam study materials are also gathered together in our comprehensive exam study information and materials document.

There is no official study guide prepared by NCFR. However, Dixie Gabalis and Katie LaPlant developed an exam study guide when they were preparing to take the exam, and have made this guide available to CFLE exam candidates through NCFR.

In addition, candidates have found NCFR's publication Family Life Education: Integrating Theory and Practice to be a helpful resource. It is available for purchase through the NCFR Store.

Exam testing locations

The exam is available via computer-based testing at specified Schroeder Measurement Technologies (SMT) testing sites throughout the United States and Canada. Find a testing center near you on the Iso-Quality Testing website, following the instructions below:

Option #1

  1. Select your country
  2. Select your state (if in United States or Canada)
  3. View a list of cities that have locations for the test

Note: This list just provides the cities. For the addresses of the locations, use Option #2.

Option #2

  1. Click on the "Take A Test" tab
  2. Click on "Locate a Testing Center"
  3. Using the instructions on the website you can navigate the map to find a testing center near you. Move the cursor over a location to find the address of the site.

Note: You cannot schedule your exam date until your application has been approved by NCFR. Candidates are given login and password information once they have submitted the CFLE exam application and been approved to sit for the exam.

The exam is also administered on-site at the NCFR Annual Conference, taken using pen and paper.

Exam testing dates

Testing dates for computer-based testing

Submission deadline for provisional or  full certification

March 10 - 29, 2014Feb. 14, 2014 
July 14 - August 2, 2014June 20, 2014

November 4 - 22, 2014

October 10, 2014

At the 2014 NCFR Annual Conference:

Written exam location/date/time

Submission deadline for full certification

NCFR Annual Conference

Baltimore, Maryland

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Time: TBA


October 10, 2014


Score reporting

Exam scores are reported as a scaled score rather than a raw score of questions answered correctly, and is pass-fail in nature.

The reporting scale ranges from 0-1000, and the minimum passing scaled score will be set at 700. A candidate who achieves a scaled score at or above 700 on an examination will have passed the examination, while a candidate who scores below a 700 will have failed the examination. Candidates who do not receive a passing score will be provided with diagnostic information so that they can see areas of strength and weakness. Candidates who receive a passing score will not receive any diagnostic information. They will only be told that they passed the exam.

Each examination is constructed to meet the content requirements described in the corresponding content outline. Each test form uses different questions, and therefore may vary slightly in difficulty. As always, a candidate's score will be based on the number of questions answered correctly but the raw score will be converted to and reported as a scaled score. 

Proper psychometric procedures are employed to make certain that form difficulty is taken into account and that no candidate is at an advantage or disadvantage and therefore, raw scores are converted to scaled scores that represent comparable levels of achievement.

All CFLE Exam Information and Materials

This document combines all of the CFLE Exam preparation materials into one document.

Exam Application Form

For applicants applying for Provisional or Full Certification through the Exam Application Process.

CFLE Exam Study Materials List

List of books used in developing the CFLE Exam questions, as well as other helpful resouces for preparing to take the CFLE Exam.

Exam Study Guide

A list of subject areas to study for the CFLE exam prepared by Dixie Gabalis and Katie LaPlant

CFLE Content and Practice Guidelines

These guidelines represent the content from the University and College Curriculum Guidelines and the knowledge, skills, and abilities included within the examination for the Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE) designation.

Sample Exam Questions

Sample questions similar to those on the CFLE Exam.