Monthly Archives:February 2021

r05 exam

R05 exam: how to pass

The CII’s R05 exam, Financial Protection, has the highest pass rate for the core R0 exams – 78%. So why do so many people come out of the exam thinking it was tough?

There is a simple answer. Whilst there are many areas in R05 that people may be familiar with like life assurance products, IPI and CIC, there are areas such as long term care, social security benefits and general insurance products, e.g. accident and sickness policies, that are not generally well known.

We also find that an increasing number of people start their R0 exams with R05. So instead of it being the last multiple-choice exam, it is the first. We think that this is a good idea but it does add to the degree of difficulty.

What does R05 look like?

The CII R05 exam has 50 questions, and you have 1 hour to complete it. All of the questions are single-response questions that only need one answer. There are none of those pesky multiple-response question that require more than one answer. These are much harder to answer.

10 tips on how to pass R05 first time

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 around 60 hours of study. If you have experience of financial services, you probably won’t need this much preparation. If this is your first R0 exam, then you’ll need this and more.
  2. Work smarter, not harder. It’s not just about how much study you do; 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. Focus on chapters 4, 5, 6, 7, 9 and 10 of the CII R05 study text.  The CII R05 study text follows the sequence of the syllabus. The questions are not allocated equally across each chapter in the study text so if time is short, why wouldn’t you focus on the chapters that are most heavily examined? Just these six chapters account for 76% of the marks in an R05 exam. Click here to see the R05 exam syllabus.
  4. Focus on the content you don’t know. Most people will be familiar with some elements of the content. As few people 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, a little knowledge will help you to eliminate one or more of the incorrect answers. This leads me on to the next tip.
  5. Guess! Questions in R05 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. When studying, don’t get bogged down in long term care. This is chapter 8 of the study text and it runs to 25 pages. For most people, they have limited understanding of LTC and if you have the time, it’s something you should know about. If you don’t have time, this is quite a lot of study when there will typically only be 3 questions on it in the exam.
  7. Practice, practice, practice. There really is no substitute for answering R05 practice questions such as the CII Knowledge Checker Questions on RevisionMate. Most people will get these as part of their exam entry package. 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 practice questions until just before you sit the R05 exam.
  8. Complete the R05 CII exam guide at least twice. Time pressure and lack of knowledge are likely to be the biggest issues for many people. Do your practice runs under exam condition so you get a feel about what it’ll be like in the exam. The CII exam guide is the best guide there is as to what your actual exam will look like. Click here to access this.
  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 just to ‘pad out’ a question. So read the question twice and ask yourself: ‘how do they expect me to use this information?’.
  10. Be kind to yourself when studying. Studying for 20-30 minute bursts is great – focus on 3-4 key topics and then have a break. Few people like studying so reward yourself with treats on a regular basis.

Further R05 resources

To find out more about our unique audio books that enable you to fit your learning in around family and work commitments, click here

To access our FREE practice questions for R05, click here

Prepare well and be successful first time. Until the next time.

Ian Patterson

Ex-examiner and author of the CII study texts for CF8, J07 and AF6