CDFM Exam Preparation

Self-Study Information

This self-study tool encompasses all of the reference material used in writing questions for the Certified Defense Financial Manager examination. For your convenience, it is organized into three modules to parallel the structure of the exam. Most references are hyperlinked to actual source documents to save you time in locating study material. To further ease your work load, we cited pertinent sections of larger documents, such as the Financial Management Regulations. Still, you will find a significant amount of material you will need to review. Here are a few tips to help you get started.
  • Begin your self study with the module you know the most about. This will increase your confidence and let you get used to the level of detail of the questions in an area where you feel most comfortable. Remember, most of us know a lot about two or three of the areas already. Capitalize on what you already know!
  • Read all of the narrative material in the Reference Guide. Much of it was prepared by the subject matter experts who wrote the more than 900 questions in the item bank. Reading this material closely will give you a good idea of what experts feel a certified financial manager should know in a given area.
  • Spend enough time. It's hard to tell sometimes how much time is required, but you will see certain subjects and references coming up many times throughout your review. You will know when you have a good grasp of the subject matter.
  • If possible, talk to other people who participated in the Enhanced Financial Management Training Course, in group study, or who took some or all of the CDFM. They can help by giving you an idea of how much you need to review.
Self Study Components
DoD Financial Regulations
In addition to specific official documented references (these are the source documents for the examination questions), other supplemental study material is recommended. As you work through the different competency areas, you will find the majority of references are already somewhat familiar to you. Most prevalent are the DoD Financial Regulations…better known as FMR. Since these references are extensive, we list here the chapters for you to concentrate on as you prepare. Don't forget to review Volume 1 of the FMR for definitions. The FMR's are all downloadable free from the web at
OMB Circulars
Another common reference is the OMB circular. These are also easy to download by going to All of the original legal citations from 10 US Code and 31 US Code are available through the fiscal law section – or by going directly to Simply enter the title (i.e., Title 10 or Title 31) and section number – and the search engine will provide the text almost instantly.
DoD Publications
All DoD publications, instructions, directives, manuals, etc., are available on the web at
DoD "Greenbook"
The DoD "Greenbook" is available at
Army Cost Manual
Almost all study materials you will need to prepare for the test are easily accessible by computer – and are free! You will not need extensive study of Service specific regulations, directives and the like, because all of the questions are asked from a Departmental perspective. One exception is the Army Cost Manual, which covers common cost estimating topics and is readily available at
Please see the test content page for more details.


"How to Become a CDFM in 8 Weeks"

Created by Mr. Toney Williams MS, CDFM, CFE, DFMCP3



"How to Become a CDFM in 8 Weeks"

© 2012 Toney Williams. All rights reserved.

Updated: October 10, 2014