Tag Archives: cii exams

CII R06 exam

Preparing for the CII R06 exam

You’ve got a few weeks to go before your CII R06 exam and the specific case studies haven’t yet been issued. What, if anything, should you be doing now to maximise your chances of success? After all, the case studies only get issued around 2 weeks before the exam – is it pointless doing anything before these are issued?

Sure the really hard work will start when you see what’s in the actual case studies for your exam. But we believe in preparation and there are there things you can and should be doing BEFORE the case studies are issued that can ensure you pass first time.

Here are our top 5 tips to make the most of this important time.

Tip 1 – R06 is mostly about technique

If this is your first written CII exam, then you’ll be used to multiple-choice questions which are designed to test your knowledge. R06 is different; it’s a written exam and it is testing your ability to apply your knowledge to financial planning  scenarios. Rarely will a great depth of knowledge be required in the CII R06 exam; it’s more about breadth of knowledge. Technique is discussed in more detail in our two free podcasts.

Here are three examples of what we mean by ‘technique’:

  1. When you first get the case studies, look at the client objectives that are shown at the end of each. Apart from some ‘generic’ areas (see the Tip 3), the questions in the exam will be based on these objectives.
  2. You need to know what the examiner is asking you for when you answer a question. Each question will have a verb such as list, state, outline, explain, describe and recommend. With list and state, no explanation is required so one or two word answers will be fine. Explain and describe require a longer answer that provides more depth.
  3. You should expect to have to use the information provided within the case study. Information isn’t provided to ‘pad out’ it out or confuse you so you should look to use this information in your answers wherever possible.

Tip 2 – complete at least one past CII R06 exam

You will find the four most recent published CII R06 exams on the CII website. You will see these on the right hand side under ‘useful links and downloads’. We believe that everyone should complete at least one of these under exam conditions before the case studies are issued. When we say ‘complete it under exam conditions’, let’s just be clear what we mean.

The R06 exam is a 3 hour paper and when completing it, you are faced with a ‘blank sheet of paper’ – there are no multiple choice questions and no ability to guess. So we suggest you allow 3 hours (or at least 1 1/2 hours each per case study) and you answer the questions as best you can – without looking at the answers. Give yourself an extra 10 minutes to read and digest the contents of the case study if you wish.

At this stage, it’s reasonable to ask why bother if this isn’t what I’m going to be tested on? Well, we think it is still a good exercise. It gives you a feel about what time pressure you will face in the exam and what good exam technique looks like. Most people will complete a practice paper before most exams – R06 is no different. It will help you to learn. They help you to practice the all important exam technique. You will not get this by simply reading through the answers that are provided for you. Most people that pass the exam don’t know any more than those that fail – they just answer the questions better (Tip 1).

Tip 3 The CII R06 exam tests generic areas of financial planning

There are likely to be  two or three questions in a typical R06 exam that would apply to just about any client, in any situation. That’s why we call them ‘generic’. Because of this, the examiners don’t have to give you a clue in the case study information they provide. In other words, you won’t see them coming.  Examples include a ‘review’ question and perhaps one or more of the following: benefits of different types of adviser charging, advantages of using an adviser, or the benefits of using a risk-profiling tool.

Most people answer these questions badly so make sure you prepare in advance – ideally before the case studies are issued because when they are, these will then inevitably get most of your attention.

Tip 4 Don’t start trying to read a study text from cover to cover (not close to an exam)

Reading the full R06 study text is probably not a good use of your time – and certainly not if it stops you from looking a past exam papers. But the CII R06 exam will test across a breadth of knowledge so there are likely to be areas that you are unfamiliar with. Just read around these areas. When you get the case studies, use the text as a source of information. For example, if an elderly couple don’t have a will, try reading up on wills, how they are set up, and the benefits of having them. While you’re at it, read up on powers of attorney as this may be examined as well unless ruled out in the case study.

Tip 5 What you should do when you get the case studies

Here’s what to focus on:

  1. Read each case study multiple times. You must be familiar with the info provided. Use a highlighter pen to emphasis information. Knowing the client’s objectives is especially important as the questions will largely be based on these.
  2. Build your knowledge of any technical areas that might arise. For example, if the case study tells you that the client’s are interested investing ethically, make sure you know about SRI.
  3. Look at previous CII R06 exam papers (Tip 2) to look at how exams have tested client objectives in the past. Rarely do the examiners’ come up with a new financial objective in the case study. For example, minimising the client’s tax liabilities has been asked loads of times before. Our audio material provides this information by looking at how various objectives have been tested in the past. There are only so many different ways an examiner can test the same client objective!!

Prepare well, stay calm and I hope this helps with your preparation.

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

R03 exam

R03 exam: how to pass

The CII’s R03 exam, Personal Taxation, has the lowest pass rate for the R0 exams. Figures show that R03 has a pass rate of 54%. And do you know what, it will probably feel tough.

The CII R03 exam has 50 questions, and you have 1 hour to complete it. 39 questions are single-response questions that only need one answer. 11 of the 50 are pesky multiple-response question that require more than one answer. These are much harder to answer.

10 tips to help you pass R03 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 and most people will, unfortunately, need this and perhaps more. Why? Because R03 covers all the main aspects of UK taxation – income tax, capital gains tax and inheritance tax. It also includes the taxation of investments. But it also includes national insurance and VAT and 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 books so that you can learn on the go. Click here for details.
  3. Focus on chapters 9, 10 and 11 of the CII R03 study text.  The CII R03 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? These three chapters not only account for all of the tricky multiple response questions (which will require a greater level of understanding), but also half the overall questions in the R03 exam. Click here to see the R03 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 R03 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 lengthy complex calculations. A lack of time in the exam will probably be your biggest challenge with R03. That’s the bad news. You have just over a minute to answer each question. The good news is that the CII can’t expect you to do long complicated calculations because you won’t have enough time. As a result, when revising, don’t seek out the most complex scenarios because they might not be able to test you on them.
  7. Practice, practice, practice. There really is no substitute for answering R03 practice questions. 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 R03 exam.
  8. Complete the R03 CII exam guide at least twice. As I said earlier, time pressure is the biggest issue for many people. Do your practice runs under exam condition so you get a feel about what it’ll be like in the exam. You also get familiar with the tax tables and the information they provide in the exam for you (which you don’t need to remember). 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 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 10-15 questions in a typical exam will need a calculator. Whilst many of these are straightforward, you’d be surprised how many people turn up on our workshops and can’t use a calculator. So practice beforehand and make sure you are familiar with your calculator.

R03 exam resources

Click here for our FREE practice questions

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

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

R05

CII R05 exam: FREE practice questions

Are you revising for the CII’s R05 exam? Know someone who is? Want to test your R05 knowledge? Then read on…..!

We’ve put together 10 multiple choice questions for you as a taster of what you can expect in the R05 exam. This exam has a pass rate of 78% which makes it the easiest CII R0 exam.

That said, you should still expect to be tested on areas such as state benefits, general insurance products such as PMI, long term care and business assurance so just about everyone will still need to brush-up on the more unfamiliar elements of the syllabus.

Click here for the CII R05 exam syllabus. Be aware. The number of questions you will get in the exam are NOT spread equally across the syllabus.

We’ve helped over 6,000 people prepare for the CII R0 exams over the past 12 months. We don’t sell multiple choice questions but we are here to help as much as we can with your R05 exam.

Now, onto the practice questions. See how well you do on these. You’ll find the answers at the end of the post.

R05 questions

All figures are based on the 2023/24 tax year.

1. John is worried about providing an income for his family if he is unable to work through accident or sickness over the long term. Which protection policy would be MOST suitable?

A. Personal accident and sickness

B. Accident, sickness and unemployment cover

C. Critical illness

D. Income protection insurance

2. Usef, age 68, recently had a stroke and he now needs supervision. Which state benefit will he qualify for as a result?

A. Attendance allowance

B. Personal independence payment

C. Carers’ allowance

D. Disability living allowance

3. A couple want to arrange life cover to meet an inheritance tax liability whilst keeping costs to a minimum. If they write the policy under a suitable trust, the BEST way of arranging the whole of life policy is:

A. as two single life of another policies

B. on a joint life first death

C. on a joint life second death

D. as two single life policies

4. What tax is paid on the proceeds of an offshore life policy on someone who is a UK resident when it is surrendered?

A. Income tax is paid on the full surrender value

B. Income tax is paid on the amount the value exceeds the premium(s) paid

C. CGT on the full surrender value

D. CGT on the amount the value exceeds the premium(s) paid

5. Ami has just received a £1/2 million lifetime transfer from her father. What type of life policy would be MOST suitable to pay the potential inheritance tax liability?

A. Whole of life

B. Level term

C. Decreasing term

D. Gift inter vivos

6.  Here is a description of a benefit provided by an income protection insurance policy: ‘this benefit is paid if someone is unable to return to their previous work, but can undertake some lower paid work elsewhere.’  What is the name of this benefit?

A. Proportionate benefit

B. Recurrence benefit

C. Rehabilitation benefit

D. Waiver of premium benefit

7. The typical survival period on a critical illness policy is:

A. 4 days

B. 28 days

C. 6 months

D. 12 months

8. Mo is concerned about the care and medical treatment he will receive if he loses mental capacity.  His current health is deteriorating, but he still has capacity. What type of new arrangement, if any, would be suitable?

A. Power of attorney

B. Enduring power of attorney    

C. Lasting power of attorney

D. None. His deteriorating health means that it is too late to make any arrangement

9.  Mavis is seeking funding from her local authority in Birmingham towards the cost of her long term care.  Her total income is £200 per week and she has assets of £20,000.  What would the local authority assess her weekly income as being (before the personal expenses allowance is deducted)?

A. £200

B. £212

C. £223

D. £224 

10. With partnership protection, which legal arrangement would NOT normally qualify for IHT business relief?

A. Automatic accrual

B. Buy and sell

C. Cross-option agreement

D. shareholder trust

R05 Resources

Here are some other tips and information that you might find useful:

Click here for tips on how to approach the R05 exam

Preparation tips and exam technique for R05. Click here

Answers: 1: D; 2: A; 3: C; 4: B; 5: D; 6: A; 7: B; 8: C; 9: C; 10: B.

Remember, good preparation is the key. Hope that you found this useful. Until the next time

Ian Patterson

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

CII R04 exam

CII R04 exam: Free practice questions

Are you revising for the CII’s R04 exam? Know someone who is? Want to test your R04 knowledge? Then read on…..!

We’ve put together 10 multiple choice questions for you as a taster of what you can expect in the R04 exam. This exam is the joint hardest main R0 exam with a pass rate of just 57%.

Click for the CII R04 exam syllabus. This shows the distribution of questions throughout the R04 exam and where those pesky multiple-response questions are.

We’ve helped over 6,000 people prepare for the CII R0 exams over the past 12 months. We don’t sell multiple choice questions but we are here to help as much as we can with your R04 exam.

What we do offer is unique R04 MP3 audio material, written by the authors of the CII study text. This provides over 5 hours of dedicated R04 material that enables you to fit your study around your business and social life – not the other way around.  Click here for further details.

Now, onto these practice questions. See how well you do on these R04 exam style questions. You’ll find the answers at the end.

R04 exam practice questions

All figures are based on the 2023/24 tax year.

Questions 1 to 6 inclusive have only one correct answer.

1. Susan reached her State pension age in 2015.  She started working in 1977, was never contracted out and was always employed. What earnings related State pensions, if any, is Susan eligible to receive?

A. None, she didn’t qualify for earnings related pensions

B. S2P only

C. SERPS and S2P only

D. State graduated pension, SERPS and S2P

2. Jamie, who is 46, has earnings of £40,000 after taking into account all allowances.   His employer wants to pay a pension contribution of £90,000 into a pension on his behalf in the current tax year. No other contributions have been paid and he has no unused annual allowance to carry forward.  How much will the annual allowance charge be and who will be responsible for paying it?

A. £10,000 payable by Jamie

B. £10,000 payable by Jamie’s employer

C. £12,000 payable by Jamie

D. £12,000 payable by Jamie’s employer

3. An individual had benefits valued at £2.1 million on 5 April 2006 and applied for primary protection.  What will their primary protection factor be?

A. 28.6%

B. 40%

C. 60%

D. 71.4%

4. Which employee would be an eligible jobholder?

A. Amy, who is age 32 and who has a salary of £19,000

B. Pradeev, who is age 62 and has a salary of £9,000

C. Brian, who is age 18 and who has worked for them for 6 months

D. Laura, who is age 66 and has a salary of £17,000

5. Harry left his company’s defined benefit scheme after completing 18 months of service and he has elected to take a return of his personal contributions.  If the gross refund is £32,000, how much will Harry receive?

A. £16,000

B. £22,000

C. £25,600

D. £32,000

6. How, if at all, will any protected payment increase between the calculation of the starting amount and the date an individual reaches their State pension age?

A. It will not increase

B. It will increase in line with the national average earnings index

C. It will increase in line with the triple lock guarantee

D. It will increase in line with the consumer prices index

The remaining questions – 7 to 10 – have more than one correct answer.

7. Jane was a member of an occupational money purchase scheme for eight months before she left the scheme last July. What options MUST the scheme offer her?

A. Refund of her contributions

B. Preserved benefit

C. The scheme does not have to offer any preserved benefits

D. A transfer value

8. What are the potential advantages of taking an income via a flexi-access drawdown?

A. Guaranteed level of income

B. Funds remain invested and have the potential to achieve capital growth

C. The member can adjust the income levels to help manage their income tax liability

D. Income is paid tax-free to the member

E. The full 25% tax free cash lump sum can be taken at commencement

9. Sunil is writing a suitability report having recommended a drawdown arrangement to a client. What risk warnings must he include to meet the FCA COBS requirements?

A. The levels of income provided may not be sustainable

B. Annuity or scheme pension rates may be at a worse level in the future

C. Regular reviews must be undertaken

D. There may be tax implications

E. Drawdown pensions are complex and so advice must be taken

10Liam has a SIPP with a current fund value of £350,000.  It holds a commercial property and it borrowed £50,000 to finance this purchase three years ago. If Liam would like to use the SIPP to buy a further residential flat, commercial property and some shares in his own limited company, the SIPP:

A. could borrow a further £150,000 if necessary towards the purchase of a second commercial property

B. is able to purchase the flats

C. can purchase shares in Liam’s limited company

D. scheme administrator will be subject to an unauthorised member payments charge of 40% of the value of the prohibited asset if it invests in taxable property

E. scheme administrator will become liable to the scheme sanction charge of 15% of the value of the prohibited asset if the SIPP invests in taxable property

R04 exam resources

Here are some other tips and information you might find useful:

CII R04 exam: the 5 myths. Click here

Five top tips for R0 exam success – part 1. Click here

Five top tips for R0 exam success – part 2. Click here

Answers: 1: C; 2: C; 3: B; 4: A; 5: B; 6: D; 7: B and D; 8: B, C and E; 9: A, B and D; 10: C and E.

Remember, good preparation is the key. If you want to know how to learn on the go, then click here. Hope that you found this useful. Until the next time

Ian Patterson

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

r02

R02 exam: FREE practice questions

Are you revising for the CII’s R02 exam? Know someone who is? Want to test your R02 knowledge? Then read on…..!

We’ve put together 10 single-response multiple choice questions for you as a taster of what you can expect in the R02 exam. With this exam, your main challenge isn’t completing it in the time allowed (like R03). It’s more about understanding a very wide range of investments solutions – some of which, you probably won’t have come across before.

We’ve helped over 6,000 people prepare for the CII R0 exams over the past 12 months. We don’t sell multiple choice questions but we are here to help as much as we can with your R02 exam.

What we do offer is unique R02 MP3 audio material. This provides around 4 hours of dedicated material that enables you to fit your study around your business and social life – not the other way around.  Click here for further details.

Now, onto the practice questions. These are based on the 2023/24 tax year. See how well you do on these R02 exam style questions. You’ll find the answers at the end.

Here goes……..

10 R02 questions

1. In a period when interest rates have fallen substantially, the nominal value of a conventional fixed interest security at maturity will:

A. increase significantly.

B. decrease significantly.

C. remain constant.

D. increase in line with inflation.

2. A government can use fiscal measures to address declining GDP by:

A. reducing the Bank of England’s target inflation rate.

B. increasing the rate of Value Added Tax.

C. increasing the level of gilt issues.

D. reducing Corporation Tax rates.

3. A financial adviser has recommended collective investments which are negatively correlated to each other to ensure that they:

A. are capable of generating both income and growth.

B. have a degree of diversification.

C. have a combined beta of 0.

D. have an alpha with a negative value.

4. Portfolio X consists of blue chip ordinary shares and portfolio Y consists of unlisted shares. What type of risk is likely to be significantly higher for portfolio Y when compared to portfolio X?

A. Market risk.

B. Event risk.

C. Inflation risk.

D. Liquidity risk.

5. If a client has a collective investment where the share price is currently at a significant discount to the net asset value, what type of investment is it?

A. Investment trust.

B. OEIC.

C. Exchange Traded Fund.

D. Unit trust.

6. Alicia has fully surrendered an onshore single premium investment bond with a chargeable gain of £20,000 after 5 years. If she has no other savings income and her income after reliefs and allowances is £36,000, she should be aware that:

A. the full gain would be subject to 20% income tax.

B. the full gain would be subject to an additional 25% income tax.

C. she would have a personal savings allowance of £1,000.

D. she would have a personal savings allowance of £500.

7. A client who invests in a new issue of VCT shares would benefit from its tax treatment because:

A. the proceeds on death will be free of inheritance tax.

B. income tax relief is available at 30% up to a maximum of £200,000 per tax year.

C. shares must only be kept for three years to benefit from income tax relief.

D. an investor can potentially carry back income tax relief to the previous tax year.

8. Neil has agreed to have his portfolio managed on a passive basis. This means that he:

A. believes active fund managers will consistently outperform the benchmark index.

B. believes active fund managers will consistently underperform the benchmark index.

C. has increased his risk profile.

D. has reduced his risk profile.

9. What is the running yield on a corporate bond that has a clean price of £114, a par value of £100 and pays 5.2% income?

A. 4.56%.

B. 5.2%.

C. 7.85%.

D. 8.6%.

10. When agreeing the benchmark for an investment portfolio with a client, what is it always important to do?

A. Select the lowest risk benchmark from the available choices.

B. Use one constructed using Modern Portfolio Theory.

C. Use one that matches the mix of assets in the portfolio.

D. Select a benchmark that is positively correlated with the portfolio’s underlying assets.

R02 Resources

Here are some other tips and information you might find useful:

CII R02 exam: the 5 myths. Click here

How to pass R02. Click here

Answers: 1: C; 2: D; 3: B; 4: D; 5: A; 6: D; 7: B; 8: B; 9: A; 10: C.

Remember, good preparation is the key. Hope that you found this useful. Until the next time

Ian Patterson

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

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