Part One of the Certified Governmental Financial Managers Exam contains 100 questions that all pertain to the "governmental environment." Following these steps and studying diligently will help you to pass the test.

Learn what the exam covers. There are seven sections: Organization and Structure of Government; Legal and Other Environmental Aspects of Government; Interrelationships Among Planning, Programming, Budgeting, Operations, Accounting, Reporting and Auditing; Governmental Financing Process; Ethics in Government; Public Accountability; and Financial Management Responsibilities and Skills.

Know the subsections in the Organizational and Structure of Government section. In this section you will be tested on the levels, branches, authority and responsibility of governments. This section also includes quasi- and special-purpose government agencies.

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Understand the subsections in the Legal and Other Environmental Aspects of Government. You will be tested on the separate powers of government (sovereignty), its main functions, its budgetary process and other legal matters such as the use of public funds.

Study the subsections in the Interrelationships section. This includes all elements of the management cycle and how those aspects are related. For example, how auditing is related to accounting and reporting and how planning is related to budgeting.

Grasp all of the concepts of the Governmental Financing Process subsection. This section accounts for the largest percentage of your test and covers the processes and management of taxes, revenue, grants, debt and the financing of government agencies.

Understand the aspects of the Ethics subsection. This includes the concepts of ethical and unethical behaviors, acting in the best interest of the public, competency and maintaining a high level of professionalism.

Learn about the subsections in the Public Accountability section. This part of the CGFM Exam One covers how, why and to whom the government is accountable.

Comprehend the Financial Management and Responsibility Skills subsection. There is only one subsection on this part of the exam and it covers the responsibilities of the chief financial officer of a government agency.


  • Purchase a study guide from the Association of Government Accountants for detailed information on each section of the exam.
  • Rest the night before. Getting a good night's sleep will ensure that you are fully rested and ready for the exam.
  • Eat a healthy breakfast. It will give you energy and make sure you are not distracted by hunger while taking the test.


  • Don't pull an all-nighter the night before the exam.
  • If you fail the exam once, you have to wait 30 days before you can retake it. Fail twice and you have to wait an additional 90 days.

Things Needed

  • CGFM Exam One Study Guide

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