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July vs. November – When should I take the CFP Exam?

If everything goes according to plan, I’ll be taking Estate Planning in the Winter and Practicum in the Spring.  That means I would qualify to take the CFP Exam as early as July 2013.  The next exam after July is November.  As of right now, I feel really conflicted as to which exam I should take.

If I take the July exam…

Pros: getting it over with sooner (assuming I pass); the material will be fresh; I would already be in “study-mode”.

Cons: I might not be adequately prepared (they say it takes 200+ hours to prep for it!); I will probably have to miss out on a lot of summer festivities (birthdays/bridal showers/weddings).

If I take the November exam…

Pros: I will have more time to prep; I can still enjoy most of the summer festivities.

Cons: I might forget a lot of the material I learned in my classes; I might not have the will-power to stay in “study mode” throughout summer & fall.

Luckily, I still have time to decide.  A LOT of time.  (The deadline to sign up for the July exam isn’t till June 2013.) 

But I got the review books from my colleague (who took the exam this past March and passed!) to get a head start in studying just in case I decide to take the July one.

Which one would you take?

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