The CII R06 Financial Planning Practice paper is different from the other five required for the QCF level 4 qualification: the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning.
It is a three-hour written paper. Two case studies are sent to students two weeks before the exam sitting, allowing pre-exam preparation to be completed.
As it is hand-marked, the results take a minimum six weeks to be sent to students.
What are R06 exam results like?
So many times, we have heard advisers make comments such as:
- ‘R06 is easy – no need to buy a study guide, just go on a workshop’
- ‘R06 is the easiest of all the R0 exams’
- ‘No need to do much work for R06’
Well, if R06 is so easy, then results must be consistently high...
The 2017 countrywide R06 pass-rates have recently been published by the CII. The last three years results and trends are:
R06 results, as you can see, hover around the 70% mark. If the exam is so easy, and there is not much need to do much work, why do we not see higher pass rates?
What makes the R06 exam tricky?
Ultimately, no individual trainer or training company knows what questions will come up.
BTS do have a good idea of what styles of question will come up, mind. Having trained R06 for a few years now, we see the same question types asked time and time again. R06 examines the advice process, so the questions follow the ISO 22222 six stage financial advice process:
- Establish and define the client and financial planner relationship
- Gather client data and determine their goals and expectations
- Analyse and evaluate the client's financial status
- Develop and present the financial plan
- Implement the financial planning recommendations
- Monitor the financial plan and the financial planning relationship
Initial questions usually start with stage two, and are about the ‘fact-finding’ stage of the advice process. Questions are linked to the objectives of each of the case studies which are clearly defined at the bottom of each case study. Questions go along the lines of….
- ‘What questions would you ask’?
- ‘What additional information would you require’?
- Before giving advice on retirement planning, protecting the family in the event of death/disability...
Questions in relation to the ‘analyse’ stage could be technical, in relation to a product or area, or ask about the pros/cons of a particular product being considered for the case study individual/couple.
There are always big-mark ‘recommendation’ questions with protection, retirement planning and inheritance tax mitigation being popular subjects.
A question relating to reviews also always crops up in R06.
So where do R06 students 'go wrong'?
They do not answer the questions they are being asked, or they just don't put down enough answers to potentially match what the examiner has on their marking sheet.
It's amazing how many times BTS have heard students say:
- ‘I was confident of a pass, and shocked when I did not get through’
- ‘I was amazed I did not score higher’
- ‘I was confident coming out of the exam until I received my result’
It is not just a case of going on a workshop and being given some questions and answers. You must practice key question- answering techniques to ensure you maximise your marks. There will always be some questions you were not expecting. To get over this, you must try and get as many points as possible in the questions we know come up regularly.
How can BTS help?
BTS can help in a couple of ways.
We have designed a BTS RO6 study guide packed full of key exam techniques. The guide, whilst not based on the actual exam case studies, gives students lots of practice on exam-style questions. It's also jam-packed with lots of technique tips, which are invaluable in the exam itself.
The guide can be ordered via ourwebsite at www.bespoketrainingsolutions.com and costs £115.
BTS are also running two-day revision workshops. These will involve working through exam-style questions and suggested answers based on the April case studies themselves. We have a London workshop scheduled for the 5th/6th April and a Manchester workshop scheduled for the 11th/12th April.
The cost of attending a BTS R06 workshop is £325 + VAT.
Please get in touch with us via the website if you wish to attend. You will not regret it!