Monthly Archives:November 2018

CII R06 exam

How to pass R02

The CII’s exam, R02  Investment Principles, is one of the CII harder exams. It has a pass rate of 65%. And do you know what, it will probably feel tough.

The CII R02 exam has 100 questions, and you have 2 hours to complete the exam. 28 questions are multiple-response question that require more than one answer.

Here are 10 tips to make sure you pass the exam first time – or at least make it more likely!

  1. Put in the hard yards. The CII recommend 60 hours of study and most people will, unfortunately, need this and perhaps more. Why? Because R02 covers a very wide range of investments – including direct investments into shares and gilts. These are likely to be unfamiliar territory for most people.
  2. Work smarter, not harder. It’s not just about how much study you do, but it’s also about the quality of your study. Most people learn best by ‘doing stuff’, rather than just reading (which is passive). For example, use highlighter pens, write summary notes and use the CII online RevisionMate practice questions. You might also use our audio material so that you can learn on the go. Click here for details.
  3. Look at the R02 syllabus. You might think that this is a cure for insomnia but really, I’m serious. The CII R02 study text follows the sequence of the syllabus. The key point is that some chapters will have more questions in the exam than some others. Chapters 1, 7, 8, section L of chapter 10 and chapter 11 account for all of the multiple response questions and 46% of the remaining marks. If time is short, why wouldn’t you focus on these chapters? Click here to see the CII R02 syllabus.
  4. Focus on the content you don’t know. Most people will be familiar with some elements of the content. As few people will read the study text from cover to cover, focus your reading on the bits you are unfamiliar with. Why? The fact is that some knowledge goes a long way. Even if you don’t know the answer to a question, it’ll help you to eliminate one or more of the incorrect answers. This leads me on to the next tip.
  5. Guess! Questions in R02 are marked positively so if you guess and get it wrong, you don’t lose anything. If you get it right then, bingo, one mark closer to the pass mark. Use a process of elimination to reduce the likely number of options but if in doubt, guess. Never leave a question unanswered.
  6. Focus on chapters 1 and 6 CII R02 study text. I’ve already mentioned these chapters in tip number 3 but I want to make another point here. This is where the content of the pesky multiple-response questions can be found. These are much harder than the standard questions that require one answer from four answer questions. They typically account for 28 of the 100 questions in the R02 exam. It’s difficult to pass if you don’t get around half marks on these.
  7. Practice, practice, practice. There really is no substitute for answering R02 practice questions such as the ones you will find on the CII’s RevisionMate. Start using these early on in your preparation. Most people learn from their mistakes – so make lots of them during your prep so you don’t make them in the exam.  Don’t leave them until the last minute.
  8. Complete the R02 CII exam guide at least twice. Do this under exam condition so you get a feel about what it’ll be like in the exam. Also get familiar with the style of the questions – this is the best guide there is as to what your actual exam will look like.
  9. Read the exam questions twice. Trust me, if the question gives you information, you’ll need to use it somehow. The CII doesn’t give information to just ‘pad out’ a question. So read the question twice and ask yourself: ‘how do they expect me to use this information?’.
  10. Take a calculator into the exam. Around 19 of the first 72 questions typically will need a calculator. If you are lucky, some of the calculations will be around stamp duty land tax or how much a family can collectively contribute into ISAs. If you are unlucky, you may be asked to calculate dividend cover, running yields and the time value of money so make sure you practice these and be familiar with your calculator.

R02 Resources:

Click here for our FREE practice questions

Click here for the CII exam guide

Be prepared. Good preparation leads to success. If you want to know how you can learn on the go and fit it in around everything else, click here for details.

Until the next time.

Ian Patterson

Author of the current CF8, J07, and AF6 CII study texts and ex-examiner

Author of three current CII study texts and ex-examiner