AF4 Toolkit

AF4 Investment planning

AF4 Investment planning is a level 6 exam and is one of the optional units on the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning.

It’s an exam that builds on the knowledge from the level 4 R02 unit to develop specialist knowledge of the advice process for investment planning and the management of investment portfolios. It is a 3-hour written exam comprising of 3 case study based questions. With a 2022 pass rate of 57% it is a tricky exam requiring a critical appraisal of the financial planning options available.

Passing AF4 needs a very focused approach when it comes to your study plan. This is a challenging exam with a wide syllabus, which means candidate knowledge levels and their ability to apply this knowledge to case studies needs to be good. Last minute cramming will generally not result in an exam pass – a ‘little and often’ approach is recommended, as always with any advanced exam.

The BTS approach to passing AF4

BTS STEP Approach to Learning

The BTS resources provide a structured study path through the AF4 syllabus, covering both the technical knowledge and exam technique required to achieve a pass.

We follow a simple model based on our proven STEP approach to planning your study: Study | Train | e-Learn | Practise

Below you will find an overview of the study support options that make up the BTS approach with details of how the BTS materials can be used to support your learning. 

You don’t need to use every element of the BTS approach, but we recommend starting by working through the BTS study guide before attending a workshop in the lead up to your exam sitting. We don’t currently offer an e-Learning option for AF4.

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Working through our study guide is the essential first step in your AF4 Investment Planning study plan.

The BTS AF4 study guide is a complete replacement for the examining body textbook.

How is the BTS AF4 study guide different?

The BTS AF4 study guide follows a similar format to our well-loved R0 study guides. It contains a logical breakdown of the syllabus and is packed full of examples, exercises and activities, all explained in an ‘adults in conversation’ fashion. It guides candidates through exam-style questions and has loads of hints and tips to make passing this unit more achievable.

Available in a choice of printed or digital format.
Mind not made up? Order a free sample to try before you buy.
Study

The key to exam success is not just reading and learning technical information parrot fashion. 

Think of your BTS study guide as the first step on your very own revision track. You’ll be able to check your progress throughout, using activities, practice questions and end of chapter tests.

As you read through each chapter you will gradually work through the AF4 syllabus and practice the necessary exam question answering techniques, using:

  • questions based on exam style case studies
  • exercises to practise and embed learning
  • technical reviews around the key elements of investment planning
  • diagrams and pictures to help ensure that the guide appeals to all learning styles
  • end of chapter summaries highlighting key learning points
  • a full specimen exam with explained answers

You don’t need to purchase the examining body version of the text book – you can opt to sit the exam stand-alone by selecting ‘assessment only’ on the CII website and then order a BTS Study Guide instead.

Our AF4 study plan has been designed to encourage and support your planning as you work through the AF4 unit.

BTS study plans show you how to:

  • break your unit of study down into manageable chunks, week by week
  • consider how much time to put into each chapter
  • think about what additional resources you might need to support your learning

To view the full BTS study plan for AF4, you will need to create a free account on the BTS website. When you login you will have access to our Careers Zone, packed full of information and guidance to support your studies including study plans for every exam we support and online student-led forums so you can chat to others on the same journey.

Workshops are scheduled in the weeks leading up to each AF4 exam sitting to enable you to focus your preparation on what the examiner is looking for. 

What is the BTS AF4 workshop like?

The AF4 workshop allows you to benefit from a group environment as we go through some of the key elements of investment planning. You’ll see worked examples and can ask questions to consolidate your studies.

You will be amazed at what you learn by being part of the workshop group and ‘having a go’ at the questions.

Technical areas that may come up will be covered and revised, and group discussions around possible questions and answers will help a lot.

AF4 workshop dates are available for each sitting of the exam. If you can’t see a date that works for you, get in touch to ask about more options.

Train

Attending a remote workshop is ideal preparation in the lead up to your AF4 exam sitting.

What makes the AF4 workshop so useful?

A workshop is a live online event where you can benefit not just from the BTS trainer but also from working alongside others studying for the same exam. Discussions within the group can help to reassure you and improve your understanding of key exam areas. You’ll get out of your day as much as you put in (and more!).

After the workshop you will have 120-days access to a set of digital materials including specimen questions and answer feedback. Plus, a selection of technical crib sheets to organise your learning.

You’ll also be able to continue your conversations with your fellow AF4 candidates in our student-led forums. Login to your BTS account and head over to the Careers Zone to access our forums.

Our AF4 study plan has been designed to encourage and support your planning as you work through the AF4 unit.

BTS study plans show you how to:

  • break your unit of study down into manageable chunks, week by week
  • consider how much time to put into each chapter
  • think about what additional resources you might need to support your learning

To view the full BTS study plan for AF4, you will need to create a free account on the BTS website. When you login you will have access to our Careers Zone, packed full of information and guidance to support your studies including study plans for every exam we support and online student-led forums so you can chat to others on the same journey.

Study Plans

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Student Forums

Chat to others studying the same exam
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What our customers say

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BTS AF4 Learner Journeys

Click on the profiles below to find out how recent BTS candidates achieved their AF4 success:
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