Fundraisers who want practice their test-taking skills before taking an influential professional certification examination now have a new aid. CFRE International, the organization that offers fundraising certification, has launched a new online practice exam.
"It’s something that fundraisers have been wanting for quite some time," said Jeff Stanger, education-resources manager at CFRE International. The goal is to give fundraisers a sense of confidence before taking the four-hour, 200-question exam. It includes questions that are similar in difficulty to the actual exam.
"This won’t suddenly make it easy but will help with the confidence that you have an idea of what you’re in for," said Mr. Stanger, adding that it will be especially helpful for people who have been out of school for some time or who struggle with test-taking.
Other Testing Options
Fundraisers are not required to get professional certification, but 6,050 of them currently hold the credential, most of them in North America. As of June of last year, 103 fundraisers received the Advanced Certified Fund Raising Executive credential, or ACFRE, which is administered by the Association of Fundraising Professionals.
Many fundraisers say the certification is helpful in seeking new jobs and higher salaries and in reassuring donors and superiors of their professionalism.
People taking the practice test will receive feedback on the questions they get right and wrong. The new tool also provides feedback specific to the test’s six subject areas:
- Current and prospective donor research
- Securing giftsn Relationship building
- Leadership and management
- Involvement of volunteers in fundraising
- Ethics, accountability, and professionalism.
In addition to the full-length, 100-question practice test, people can take 20-question quizzes to assess their knowledge in specific subject areas. Fundraisers can purchase 30-day and 90-day subscriptions for the study tool.
With the real exam, scores range from 200 to 800; a passing grade is 500 or more. About 75 percent of test-takers pass on the first try, Mr. Stanger said.
CFRE International is also developing a study guide and other study tools that will be released over the next year.