Monthly Archives:May 2018

R06 exam

Preparing for the CII’s R06 exam

If you are looking to sit the CII’s R06 in the future, what can you do now to prepare for the exam?  This question might sound a little strange  for an exam that is based on case studies that are issued 2 weeks before the exam. Let me explain.  Your preparation for the R06 exam should be split into two parts:

  1. What you do BEFORE the R06 case studies are issued; and
  2. What you do AFTER the case studies are issued.

The R06 exam case studies

When you receive the two case studies and you know the client’s circumstances, sensibly this is when you’re hard works starts. These will indicate any potential areas of technical complexity that you might need to read up on. For example, if the case study says: ‘…and Tom is interested to know more about how his save-as-you-earn scheme works’, don’t be surprised if there is a question on SAYE in the exam. There is a reason why the case studies are issued before the exam – it allows you to revise any of the more technically demanding areas in advance.

The case studies also typically include between 3 and 5 financial aims for each of the two client case studies. Look at these financial aims and the information provided in the case study. Analyse what they have got and haven’t got. Each case study typically has a ‘fact find’ question so the information that you haven’t been given is just as important as the information you have.

With R06, your knowledge of financial planning solutions is only half the story. Exam technique is just as important with R06. The examiners will test your planning skills across four main areas:

  1. Fact finding
  2. Analysing the clients needs
  3. Making recommendations; and
  4. Review meetings

You’ll need to understand what the examiners are asking and it is very easy (ask anyone who has previously failed R06) to put down the right answer to the wrong question.

In a nutshell, if you are going to fail R06, it will probably be as a result of your technique (rather than your knowledge).

Preparation before the case studies are issued

Given what I’ve just said, many people will feel uncomfortable if they leave everything until 2 weeks before the exam. So what can you do beforehand?

The CII study text

You will automatically get the CII study text as part of the CII’s ‘enrolment package’ (via RevisionMate).This is a very useful reference source. But it’s only part of the story – it doesn’t show what the exam is about and the types of question it uses. So don’t just read the study text!

CII past papers

Like any exam, looking at past exam papers is the perfect preparation.  You will get loads of these when you enrol for your exam (via RevisionMate). Take time to look at them. In particular, look at:

  • the recurring types of question that the examiners use;
  • how the answers are set out and the use of bullet points; and
  • the way answers link back to the client’s circumstances.

We recommend that you complete at least one exam under ‘exam conditions’ before the case studies are issued. This means sitting down with the case study and questions, and answering them WITHOUT having previously looked at the answers.  Work on ‘a mark a minute’ so if you only have 30 minutes available, only do 30 minutes worth of marks (each question will clearly state the marks available).

R06 exam MP3 material

If you are active or spend a lot of time travelling or commuting, our R06 exam MP3 material enables you to learn on the go. A brand new version of this has been available since May 2018 which focus on what the the R06 exam has tested in the past, and could test in the future. This includes our own tried and tested acronyms that will help you to pass R06. In other words, this will give you the essential knowledge about R06 technique that you need to know.  Click here for further details.

To access the CII website to enrol for the exam, click here.

Be prepared and be successful. Until the next time.

The Diploma Doctor

cii r0 exam support

CII R0 exam study support

So, you want to sit a CII R0 exam? But what study options are there and what do they include? We’ll have a look at these questions now.

The CII options

When it comes to studying for an exam, everyone will have their own preferred way to study. We all tend to have our own preferences and the CII options reflect this. If you enter R01 – 6 inc, you now have three possible options:

  1. enrolment‘; or
  2. enrolment plus‘; or
  3. Select the ‘enrolment‘ option and choose from a menu of additional revision aids that suit your needs.

These three options are available for R01, R02, R03, R04, R05 and R06 (although there are some small differences between the study options for some subjects).

The detail

First of all, you will ultimately want to sit an R0 exam. This means that you will have to choose either the ‘enrolment‘ or the ‘enrolment plus‘ option as both of these include your exam entry. They also include the study text for the exam (as a paper book and as an ebook), updates to these, an exam guide (which is a specimen exam paper), and use of RevisionMate which is an on-line resource.  More about RevisonMate later.

So you’ve now paid to enter the exam – and got a host of additional valuable support as well. So why would you want to pay extra for enrolment plus?  Well, in addition to the material I’ve just mentioned, you also get a:

  • question pack – this consists of up to six practice exam papers (depending on the subject); and
  • MP3 audio material – these are around 4-6 hours of ‘talking book’ which help you to learn on the go; and
  • learning interactive tutorial – to help you learn effectively; and
  • key facts booklet – a summary of the key points from the study material.

Perhaps not surprisingly, this top of the range option offers the widest range of study options and at a heavily discounted price.

If you decided not to go for enrolment plus, and just go for the ‘enrolment‘ option instead, you would then have the ability to just add the additional study options that you require. These can all be purchased separately.  Most are included in enrolment plus anyway with two main exceptions.  First, you are able to pay for a further question pack for some subjects which gives you access to more valuable practice questions. Secondly, there is now case-study specific video content for each sitting of the R06 exam.


We often find that the CII’s on-line RevisonMate is a bit overlooked by people sitting their R0 exams. You automatically get access to it when you enrol for the exam and it has been recently upgraded.  If you want to access the ebook option of the study text, that’s where you’ll find it.  It offers:

  • a student discussion forum chat room which enables you to share common queries;
  • an exam guide;
  • a study planner and study tips;
  • ‘end of chapter’ practice questions for your R0 exam to ensure you can apply what you have learned.

We believe this is a valuable study resource – and one which is perhaps a little undervalued in terms of what it can provide.


If you want to take a look at the CII R01 page and what it all costs, click here

If you want our tips on how to pass the CII R0 exams first time (we also offer tips for the other key R0 exams), click here

If you want to hear from a student their top tips on how to pass an R0 exam, click here

Until the next time

The Diploma Doctor