How to pass the CII R01: Exam Standard Questions

How to pass the CII R01: Exam Standard Questions

By Luiza Todd | 3 May 2021

What is the best way to use specimen exam questions in your R0 study plan?

Following on from our previous article, How to Pass the CII R01: What makes R01 such a tricky exam? this article looks at the best way to use mock exams and specimen questions as part of a candidate’s preparation for the CII R0 exams.

Practising exam standard questions is a key part of the BTS STEP approach, so here are our top recommendations for using specimen questions to ace the R01 exam paper.

How to use specimen questions

Knowledge checks

The R01 financial services, regulation and ethics exam is two hours long and there are 100 questions to answer. 87 standard multiple-choice questions (MCQ), and 13 multi-response questions.

Specimen questions are a great way to check your knowledge and understanding as you work through the chapters of your study guide. They provide an opportunity to check whether you can apply what you have read and will highlight any gaps in your knowledge. Ask yourself how confident you feel in your answers. This will give you an indication of how secure your knowledge is in that area. Not feeling confident in your answer? Go back and have another look at the material. Spotting your weaknesses ahead of the exam will help to focus your study time on the areas you need to improve most.

Practise deciphering multiple choice questions (MCQs)

CII MCQs can be worded in a way that is tricky to decipher. Sometimes it can feel like all the answer choices could be right. Or none of them!

The BTS e-Learning modules use standard exam-style questions throughout the learning. These are designed to mirror the style of questions used by the CII, for example, the MCQ below asks for the best product for a client’s needs and is designed to get you to think about the most suitable product in a list where more than one could be applicable.

e-Learning R01 exam standard question

BTS exam questions always include a rationale like the one below, to explain the reasons for the correct answer. This can really help candidates understand where they went wrong.

Prepare for multi-response questions

The final 13 questions on the R01 paper ask for multi-response answers. This means there could be two or three correct answers amongst the options, or even a question where all the options are correct, although this is rare. Multi-response questions are described by some candidates as the hardest questions on the paper. 

The following example of a multi-response question taken from the BTS R01 e-Learning specimen exam shows how the answer options can sometimes contain distractors. Distractors are designed to make the candidate doubt themselves. Cover up the answer underneath and have a go at answering this one:

R01 specimen exam question multi-response

The answer to the above is…


…A, D & E . Many candidates would have put B as correct too, yet there is no maximum time for holding data on a living person.

Full mock exams

Completing a full specimen exam paper will give you a good idea of what the exam experience will be like. Challenge yourself to sit the paper under timed, exam-conditions to replicate the real thing as closely as possible. How is your time management? What is your strategy for dealing with questions you don’t know the answer to? Having a plan ahead of the real sitting will help to reduce exam nerves.

BTS include a full specimen exam paper in the back of the R01 study guide and another completely different specimen exam at the end of the R01 e-Learning module. The specimen exams in the digital study guide and the e-Learning module have the added benefit of being able to replicate the CII online exam experience. Functions including flagging questions for later and a grid to navigate through the questions give a similar experience to the system used by candidates sitting online R0 exams.

Exam Standard Question Exampkle

Choosing your materials – how exam standard are they?

When candidates who have previously failed R01 contact BTS for support, a common theme is that the real exam questions were, in their own words, much trickier than the practice questions they had used to prepare.

Some practice questions on offer in the market are much easier than the real thing, so candidates get a real shock in the exam. Unfortunately, not all practise questions on the market reflect the standard in the actual exam. 

The BTS question developers sit the R0 exams every year to keep our materials fit for purpose. The BTS Study Buddy App contains hundreds of exam standard questions to practise in the weeks leading up to the exam. All are as close to the exam standard as we can possibly get them.

Practise as many exam standard questions with the BTS App as you can to avoid a nasty shock in the exam.

Don't just take our word for it...

"I just thought you would like to know that I finally PASSED my R01 last week. It was my first resit following the 2-day course with you guys. I passed by 78% and finished with 25 minutes remaining. A MASSIVE thank you for all your expertise and knowledge you provided during the course. It was engaging and allowed me to focus my study in key learning areas. Following the course I downloaded the questions on the Study Buddy app. They were a massive help and so close to the questions in the exam. I will certainly be looking to book on to future courses and purchasing the study material you provide."


Jack | R01 Workshop Attendee | July 2021

"I am so pleased that I passed R04 over the weekend! I could not recommend enough the Bespoke Training Solutions Study Guide, Workshop and App! They give you all of the information & the tools you need to know to pass R04 in a way that is actually memorable and easy to digest! Now on to R06 and the last push to become Diploma qualified!"

Amy McGeorge | Paraplanner | March 2021

How to pass R01