Tag Archives: r01

CII exam results

CII R0 exam results

Which are the easiest R0 exams?

The latest CII R0 exam results show which are hardest, and which are the easiest. The R0 exam results will be of interest to anyone who is looking to sit these CII exams so go into them with your eyes open.

Are all the CII R0 exams the same style or format?

You could be forgiven for thinking that this should be a straightforward question. It isn’t. Some of the variation in pass rates is not solely due to the subject matter, but how it is examined.

Only R05 (Financial Protection) use just the standard format multiple choice question. This means that you will be given a question followed by four options and only one of these will be correct.  R06 (Financial Planning Practice) is a written paper without a single multiple choice question to be seen anywhere. In addition, the R06 case studies are issued 2 weeks before the exam so the examiners expect you to prepare and read-up around on the potential technical areas that are likely to be tested before the exam.

The other subjects – R01, R02 R03 and R04 all use the standard format multiple choice questions, and the much harder variant – the multiple response question. So how does this format of question differ? Instead of four options, you will get usually 5 or 6 options and more than one answer will be correct. To get a mark, you have to identify all the correct answers.

R07 (Advanced Mortgage Advice) is not covered by this analysis.

What are the CII R0 exam results?

Here are the results for 2022 (the latest available):

R01 – 68% (-1% on the previous year)

R02 – 70% (+5% on the previous year)

R03 – 54% (-3% on the previous year)

R04 – 57% (No change on the previous year)

R05 – 78% (No change on the previous year)

R06 – 71% (-3% on the previous year)

What conclusions can we draw from this?

First of all, most of the 2022 pass rates are worse than those for 2021. As these are very established exams that have been sat by 1000’s of people, this suggests that they are not as well prepared as they have been in the past.

R01 – Financial Services, Regulation and Ethics.

In terms of CII R0 exam results, this is the third hardest R0 exam. This is partly because the regulations side of things – particularly to people new to the profession – is quite wide ranging. Many students find the content on the FCA a little dull.  The exam also has 100 questions and 13 of these are those pesky multiple response questions. This makes the exam harder.

For many people, this will be the first R0 exam they complete. As some of the content on products and legal aspects are also covered in more depth in the other R0 exams, this is a sensible strategy.

Click here to get a students point of view of R01.

R02 – Investment Principles and Risk.

This is the forth hardest exam statistically although there will be many people who would say it is harder than this. Again, the syllabus is huge and you will need to get your head around it. Like R01, this exam is also 100 questions but 28 of these are multiple response. Many people regard a 50% success rate with this type of questions as being good going. So you can start to see why it is a difficult exam.

Click here to view the 5 myths of R02.

R03 – Personal Taxation.

Statistically, this is THE hardest exam. There are 50 questions and 11 of these are multiple response questions.  With R03, you won’t be leaving the exam early! Of all of the R0 exams, this is the one that is most likely to put you under time pressure. There is a lot to do in an hour so you need to be well prepared and practised at answering calculation questions.

Click here to view the 5 myths of R03.

R04 – Pensions and Retirement Planning.

In terms of CII R0 exam results, this is the second most difficult exam.  Like R03, it’s a one hour exam, there are 50 questions and 11 of these are multiple response questions.  The challenge with R04 is the subject matter – pensions is a subject that causes confusion for many new and more experienced people alike. Unfortunately, you’ll struggle to get through this without a decent knowledge of the HMRC rules such as annual allowance and the transitional protections.

Click here to view the 5 myths of R04.

R05 – Financial Protection.

From the hardest exam, to the easiest. For some people, this is a good place to start their R0 exam journey. There’s still a broad syllabus but protection products such as critical illness and income protection are relatively straightforward. And, of course, there are no multiple response questions. That said, you’ll still need to have some knowldege of subjects like state benefits, and long term care so it isn’t all plane sailing.

Click here to view 10 free R05 practice questions

R06 – Financial Planning Practice.

The statistics say that this is the second easiest R0 exam. It is, but only if you get your head around the technique that you will need. This is a written exam that is based on two case studies that are issued 2 weeks before the exam. I’ve met very few people who walked out of this exam thinking they’d failed yet 29% still do.  Be prepared to not only put in some hard yards in the two weeks before the exam, but also before then.

Click here to access our MP3 material which looks at past R06 questions.

If you want our thoughts on what is the best order to sit your CII R0 exams, click here

If you want to know more about our R0 exam audio books, click here

If you want to access or study and revision hub (which has lots of R0 exam-specific articles, click here)

Prepare well and pass first time.

Ian Patterson

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

cii r01

R01 exam: how to pass

The CII’s R01 exam, Financial Services, Regulation and Ethics, has a current pass rate of 68%.

The exam has 100 questions, and you have 2 hours to complete it. 87 questions are single-response questions that only need one answer. 13 of the 100 are pesky multiple-response question that require more than one answer. These are much harder to answer.

10 tips to help you pass R01 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 R01 covers a really broad syllabus ranging from an overview of the savings, investment and pension products, to social security benefits and legal aspects like LPAs. The main focus is, of course, regulation and this isn’t most people’s idea of fun!
  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.
  3. Focus on chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8 of the CII R01 study text.  The R01 exam 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 four chapters not only account for all of the tricky multiple response questions (which will require a greater level of understanding), but also over half the overall questions in the R01 exam.  In other words, you are likely to fail R01 without a decent grasp of this content on the FCA and it’s rules.
  4. Focus on the content you don’t know. You are likely to be familiar with at least some 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, 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 R01 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!
  6. 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?’.
  7. Practice, practice, practice. There really is no substitute for answering R01 practice questions such as the CII Knowledge Checker Questions on RevisionMate. You get these as part of your exam entry package on enrolment and enrolment plus. 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 R01 exam.
  8. Complete the R01 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 the link below.
  9. Have a plan on how to approach sitting the exam. For example, the multiple response questions are the last 13 questions in the exam. You might decide to answer these first while your brain is still clear. Remember to flag questions that you aren’t 100% sure of and build in time to return to revisit these at the end of the exam.
  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.

R01 resources

Click here for our FREE R01 practice question

Click here for a student’s point of view on R01

Click here for the CII FREE 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

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

R0 exam: technique

It will hopefully go without saying that if you are sitting a R0 exam – well any exam really – it is also important to know about exam technique.

In a recent conversation, I was told that because most of the R0 exams are multiple choice, there is no such thing as exam technique. I don’t agree with this; technique will still make a difference for many people.

You should look at exam preparation as two parts; what you do before the exam and what you do in the exam itself.  I’ll now look at both of these areas in more detail.

Pre-exam preparation

Here are five tips on how to approach your pre-R0 exam preparation:

  1. Look at the syllabus and the learning outcomes.  This covers the scope of the exam and tells you what you should be able to do. It is important because the exam questions are based on the learning outcomes in the syllabus, not the study text. In R01, for example, there are 11 learning outcomes and the number of questions on each one varies from 29 to 2. Each learning outcome is not treated the same way and because of this, some areas should receive more study time than others.
  2. Study the CII Exam Guide. This is available on the CII website, just Google ‘cii, r01’ or something similar and you’ll find it on the right hand side of the page for each R0 exam. The Exam Guide will give you the opportunity to see a complete exam paper. You should complete this at least twice under exam conditions; at the start of your preparation to establish a benchmark and towards the end to ensure you are ready for the exam.
  3. Read through elements of the CII study text. Unless you are new to the subject, just focus on the areas you don’t know. Look at the questions within the text and the useful summaries at the end of each chapter.
  4. Use the RevisionMate knowledge checker practice questions. Many people will get access to these as part of your exam entry. These are based on each chapter of the CII study text and they’re intended to help you check you’ve remember what you’ve read. These are similar to the standard expected in the actual exam so make sure you use them.  
  5. Familiarise yourself with the tax tables. These can be found at the back of an Exam Guide. A lot of information will be provided such as the main allowances, tax rates and the main social security benefits.  The exam isn’t really about having to remember this information, it’s about using and applying it. So don’t spend time trying to remember stuff that you don’t need to.

To get a student’s point of view on R01, click here.

In the R0 exam: technique

Now, moving on, let’s look at some tips in the exam itself.  If you have revised thoroughly, an R0 exam shouldn’t be a problem.  That’s the theory.  Although there is not a huge amount of exam technique involved in answering multiple choice questions, most people will drop marks as a result of poor technique. Others will fail the exam because of it.

Here are seven golden rules to remember in a R0 exam:

  • Rule 1 – read the question carefully and consider all of the options before attempting to answer. It sounds so basic doesn’t it?  But from past experience, we know that candidates often get questions wrong because they didn’t read the question carefully, or didn’t understand all of the options, before answering it. Remember, if information is provided in the question, it’s there for a reason. You will be expected to use it in some way.
  • Rule 2 – Pay attention to words in bold type and words in capital letters.  For example, negative words will always be in bold capital letters. If is says ‘most likely‘, this means that more than one answer could be correct. So the answer the exam is looking for should clearly be more correct than the other options.
  • Rule 3 – do not spend too long on any one question.  You will have just over one minute per question. So keep an eye on the time – you should complete 12 or 13 questions every 15 minutes. The R03 exam, in particular, is a challenge to complete in the time available.
  • Rule 4 – decide how you are going to attempt the questions before the exam.  You can work through all of the questions methodically answering each one in turn, or you may wish to concentrate on those you know best first.  It is possible to flag questions that you want to leave and return to them later, but make sure that you leave sufficient time to do so if you use this approach. Use a practice exam paper before the exam to work out what is best for you.
  • Rule 5 – if in doubt about an answer, then use a process of elimination. Often one or more of the alternative answers will immediately strike you as being incorrect or implausible.  Even if you only have a small amount of knowledge on a topic, you will often be able to eliminate one or even two of the possible answers – and this increases your odds of successfully answering the question.
  • Rule 6 – make sure that you answer every question, even those where you have no idea of the correct answer.  The law of averages should mean that you get some marks for guessing!
  • Rule 7 – if you have time at the end, run through your answers or ‘flagged questions’ again to make sure that nothing has been missed and to check for obvious errors.

Further resources

Visit our dedicated revision hub if you want to access a free video or look at tips on a specific R0 exam. Click here.

If you want to work smarter rather than harder, why not listen to our audiobooks so you can learn on the go. These cover the technical content and also R0 exam technique.

Good luck with your exam and prepare well.

Ian Patterson

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

R0 exam

R0 exams: the power of using the ‘link method’


When studying for your R0 exams, here’s how the ‘Link Method’ can help you

If you’ve ever had a spontaneous thought, triggered by something else; maybe something you see or hear… or a particular smell? You’ll realise that there must be all sorts of ideas connected in your brain that you’re blissfully unaware of, until all of a sudden…  out one pops!

It’s how your brain works. Connections. And, contrary to what I was taught many decades ago at school, we now know that the brain continues to make new brain cells and create new connections throughout life. Providing you give it reason to!

If you are revising for your R0 exams, you’ll need to be efficient and effective with your time. The brain learns by associating new information with that which you already know. One popular method that maximises the benefits of this is the link method.

The link method could help you to pass your R0 exams. So what is it? There are three elements to it:

  1. Break down complex ideas and find substitute words or parts of words to represent them.
  2. Create vivid mental images of those ideas by using your amazing imagination
  3. Find associations between those visual images

So lets have a closer look at each step.

Step 1. Substitute words. You’re aiming for a clear and distinct image associated with the idea it’s representing. If the word naturally lends itself to an image you can go straight to the next step. If not, break the word up into syllables and play ‘word association football’, paying attention to the sound blocks, to create memorable pictures associated with those sounds.

In some cases, a list of information may lend itself to you making up a story which includes all of the elements on the list.

It also works if you create an acronym. In the R06 exam, for example, we use the acronym PATHETIC WINE to provide a template to ensure that an answer to to a question covers all the bits that the CII might give you a mark for. In most R06 exams, you’d get around 10% more marks if you SELECTIVELY included the following areas in your answers: Pension death benefits, affordability or budget; taxation; health; emergency fund; trusts; ISAs or National Savings Certificates; capacity for loss and attitude to risk; Wills and guardianship clauses;  inheritances that are expected; nomination forms for pensions and ethical considerations.

In the R01 exam, you can remember what makes a valid trust by using SOW: the Subject (beneficiaries) must be clear, there must be an Object (another name for the trust property), and Words. Although there is no particular prescribed form of trust wording, it must be clear that a trust was intended.

2. Vivid pictures. Since you’ll need to build strong connections between the ideas to use the Link Method, you will need memorable images, so don’t go for the obvious. Instead, go for something that stands out. At the very least, make sure that it’s an odd colour, bigger or smaller than normal. Make it outrageous, rude, exaggerated, funny etc etc, because we know that it’s more likely to stick in your head. This makes it more likely to help you pass your R0 exams.

3. Association. Now you need to imagine the first image doing something to the next image, which in turn does something to the next, etc etc, linking the ideas together like a string of pearls.

Use your imagination and run through the sequence a number of times until you can see that chain of events clearly in your mind, flowing just like a story. If nothing else, try and associate what you are learning with a client or work related scenario that you have, or might encounter.

And that’s the Link Method.

If you want to try our unique R0 exam talking books, click here

If you are interested in exam technique, click here for our video on top revision techniques.

Give it a go and let me know how you get on.

Ian Patterson

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

Based on an article by Memory and Mindset Coach, Lysette Offley, Genius Material. Click on the link for other useful study tips and to read the original article.

r0 exam revision

R0 exam revision: the most important tip ever

With R0 exam revision, you’ll need to retain a wide range of information.  Despite numerous tips and techniques that can help study to be more effective, most people find studying for any exam to be hard work. But if you just had to pick just one tip that will make the biggest difference, what would it be? Here’s what gets our vote.

Exercise

I’ll start with an exercise that should make this point. Here are 20 different numbers between 1 and 75. I’ll ask you to look at these for 30 seconds, turn away, and see how many numbers in sequence you can remember. Here they are:

5,   18,   3,    9,   44,   11,   16,    36,    31,    72,    24,    9,    32,    41,    4,    59,    1,    63,    25,    71

How did you do? People tend to remember around six numbers in the correct sequence – typically the first three and the last three. You might have remembered slightly more or slightly less than this. Usually it will be the numbers at the beginning and the end of the list that you’ll remember. So why is this so important?

Primacy and recency

This phenomenon is referred to as primacy and recency.  When you take in any information, you tend to remember the bits at the beginning and the end. The bit in the middle becomes a blur or gets forgotten. And this is something that we all do. If you are studying for an R0 exam, how can you use this valuable insight?

Small chunks

At the Patterson Group, we believe that exam success is about working smarter and not harder. And this is why this principle is so important. When revising, you can use this. Let me explain. Many people tend to block out a prolonged period of time to revise, often close to the exam date. Most people will have done at least some ‘cramming’ in the past. But just how effective is it?

The following diagram looks at concentration levels and how these change with time.

The important thing to remember is that it’s not how much study you do, but how much information you retain as a result.  If we apply primacy and recency to this, it suggests that a two hour block of revision is unlikely to be effective for most people. Like the exercise you’ve just done, you are likely to remember the beginning and the end, and some bits in the middle. That’s great for the 15 minute periods at the start and end. It also means that much of the 1 ½ hours in between is wasted for most people.

What does good look like?

Now, you might know people who are good at cramming. If so, they are either gifted, or they probably still break their revision into smaller chunks. In other words, it’s not a solid undiluted period of revision – but a two-hour period with a number of breaks built in. It’s these breaks that are important. We would recommend a 10 minute break every 20-30 minutes of study. And when we say break, it should be just that. Walk around,  talk to people, listen to music – anything; but give your brain a break from your R0 exam study.  Give yourself a proper break; give yourself regular breaks.

How does this impact on your concentration levels? If we look at this as a diagram, it should look like this:

You are still benefiting from primacy and recency. By studying for shorter periods, you’ve managed to cram more beginnings and ends into the your study time. As a result, your overall level of concentration is that much higher and you will remember more. More learning and the same amount of study time.  What’s not to like?

20 minutes of study isn’t worth it

This is a comment we hear regularly. And nothing could be further from the truth. 20-30 minutes is probably the optimum period of time. You get high levels of concentration and better retention. Part of this is due to concentration levels being maintained. Part of this is also due to the fact that you will probably only focus on two or three core concepts in this period of time. The brain likes small chunks of information nearly as much as having short study periods.

We are the leading producer of audio R0 exam material and we are convinced that small chunks are best. Our R0 exam audio material allows you to learn, in small chunks, fitting it in around the rest of your life. Simple and effective.

Click here to see why over 6,000 people have bought this study material over the last year.

There are, of course, plenty  of other tips that can help you to work smarter and not harder. If you like what you’ve read, we have partnered with the leading learning specialist – Genius Material. There’s plenty more to learn about being studying effectively. We’ll look at these in subsequent blogs.

Click here for:

R01: a student’s point of view

How to pass R02 

Blogs on other subjects are also available. Click here for details

Prepare well and be successful

Ian Patterson

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

R01 exam

CII R01 exam: a student’s view

If you are sitting the CII R01 exam, the best way to know ‘what it’s all about’ is to learn from other students who have sat the exam.  Here is Matthew’s story….

Hi my name is Matthew. I have been fortunate enough to work in the financial industry for some time, mainly dealing with large corporate companies but not retail clients. So, you could say this is all new to me. I recently passed the CII R01 exam first time and here are some of the key things I learned.

CII R01 Exam – Reading the question slowly can gain you valuable time.

As you can imagine the wording of the question needs you to have a complete understanding of the subject matter. Often with multiple choice questions you get the feeling that two of the answers are possibly correct. I cannot stress enough, READ THE QUESTION AT LEAST TWICE. Every word used in R01 questions is carefully chosen for a specific reason. By slowly reading the questions I found it easier to think of an answer – prior to then reading the multiple-choice answers. By spending more time on the question, it minimised my time pondering the correct answer. Practice this and try for yourself at home, it really does save time.

The final 13 questions in the CII R01 exam are multiple-response questions. So, the answer will be 2 or more of the 5 or 6 available options. You only score a mark on these multiple response questions IF you get each of the correct answers. No more, no less. A good score on these questions can really make the difference between you passing or failing. As mentioned earlier, reading the questions several times prior to reading the answers really helped me, especially under exam pressure.

Scoring at least 50% on these final 13 questions is a good result.

Look at the R01 syllabus

The link to the CII 2023/24 syllabus can be found here.

Why bother looking at it? The answer is that every chapter of the CII study text will have a different number of questions in the exam. In other words, some areas are tested more than others. My tip is to focus your time where the marks are.

Studying for the CII R01 exam.

I used the CII text, RevisionMate Knowledge Checker practice questions, and the audiobook. I found the audio material particularly useful filling those gaps whilst travelling, and once downloaded you can study for short bursts anytime anywhere.

[Editor]:

Click here for other tips on revision material.

Click here for details of the R01 audio book.

R01: advice v information.

Here is the first of two technical areas I’ll look at. Increasing the financial capability of the UK population is important to both the government and the FCA. Better educated clients make more informed choices and not everyone will seek financial advice from an adviser. To provide more guidance and information, various initiatives have been rolled-out. These include The National Strategy for Financial Capability and The Money and Pensions Service (MaPS) which provides Pension Wise and MoneyHelper. Both of these offer impartial free guidance and information to anyone that seeks it. It is certainly worth knowing what they offer.

R01: State benefits.

My second technical area is State Benefits. This might be worth one or two questions in an exam and everyone hates these! Don’t bother trying to remember the monetary amounts of each benefit. It seems to be more about who would be eligible for each benefit and some of the KEY elements of them. Here are some of the points that I though were most likely to be tested in this area:

  • Child benefit. Paid to dependent children under age 16 (or 20 if in full time education or training). Benefit reduced where a parent’s income is between £50 – £60,000 per annum so is not paid above £60k. Non-taxable.
  • Child tax credits.  These are paid by HMRC, not DWP. They are paid to low-income families where a parent(s) work and are means-tested and non-taxable.
  • Bereavement Support Payment. £3,500 paid on the death of a spouse/civil partner if receiving child benefit or pregnant if claimed within 3 months followed by 18 monthly payments of £350. If not receiving child benefit or pregnant, the figures are £2,500 and £100.
  • Support for mortgage interest (SMI). You may need to know the criteria for receiving this: interest only paid on mortgage amounts of £100k (or £200k depending on age), and a waiting period of 39 weeks for those claiming income-related benefits. This is now paid as a loan and is repayable, not a benefit.
  • Job seekers allowance. This is the main unemployment benefit, i.e. it’s paid to someone who able to work and is seeking work. Means-tested and non-taxable.
  • Disability benefits. These are paid to the disabled who are unable to work (or only able to do limited work). For example, attendance allowance (over age 65), disability living allowance and ESA (below age 65). Because these are for the disabled, there are paid based on need, not ability to pay. They are not taxable and are not means-tested.

Details current as a July 2023.

I hope you have found these specific parts of the R01 useful.

Good luck, Matthew.

[Editor]:

Found it useful hearing from a student? Click here for another.

r01 exam

R01 exam – free practice questions

Are you revising for the CII’s R01 exam? Know someone who is? 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 R01 exam.

We’ve helped over 6,000 people prepare for the CII R0 exams over the past 12 months (1st August 2022 to the 31st July 2023). We don’t sell multiple choice questions but we are here to help as much as we can with your R01 exam.

What we do offer is unique R01 MP3 audio material. This provides around 4 hours of dedicated R01 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 R01 exam style questions. You’ll find the answers at the end.

R01 questions

These questions are based on the 2023/24 tax year. Here goes……..

1. Which body sets interest rates in the UK and what is its inflation target?

a) The Treasury; 2% CPI

b) The Treasury; 2% RPI

c) The Monetary Policy Committee; 2% CPI

d) The Monetary Policy Committee; 2% RPI

2. Mohammed is concerned about how he would cope financially in the event of long term sickness. Which type of insurance policy is MOST likely to satisfy this need?

a) Accident sickness and unemployment insurance

b) Mortgage payment protection

c) Private medical insurance

d) Income protection insurance

3. John and Janet owned a property as tenants in common. On Janet’s death:

a) the entire property would pass straight to John as surviving joint owner

b) her children would automatically become legal owners of the full property

c) her share of the property forms part of her estate and is distributed accordingly

d) her share of the property would be held in trust for her adult children

4. A ‘directive’ is a form of EU legislation. This requires Member States to implement the directive:

a) to achieve a set outcome, but how this is achieved is left to each State

b) in its entirety with no discretion about how it is implemented

c) by introducing high level principle-based regulation that underpin the directive

d) only if they choose to do so

5. Which regulator is charged with ensuring that competition between businesses is a benefit to customers and the economy as a whole?

a) The Office of Fair Trading

b) Competition Commission

c) The Prudential Regulation Authority

d) Competition and Markets Authority

6. If a firm of financial advisers has been granted a Part 4A permission by the FCA, the organisation can now:

a) act as a Designated Professional Body

b) proceed to appoint some Appointed Representatives

c) undertake the regulated activities applied for

d) advise on a whole of market basis only

7. How much notice does the Financial Conduct Authority need to give before conducting an enforcement visit on a regulated firm?

a) None

b) 3 working days

c) 5 working days

d) 7 working days

8. Smith and Wesson are insurance brokers who also undertake mortgage and investment advice. Which conduct of business rule book(s) will they need to comply with?

a) ICOBS only

b) COBS and MCOB only

c) COBS, ICOBS and MCOB only

d) BCOBS, MCOB and ICOBS only

9. Under S.19 of the Financial Services and Markets Act 2000, it is an offence for someone to carry out a regulated activity unless they are:

a) authorised or exempt

b) recognised by a Designated Professional Body

c) recognised by a relevant professional body

d) licensed under the Consumer Credit Act

10. George is in the process of applying to be a financial adviser with a UK bank. Under the certification regime, who will decide that George is competent and suitable for this role?

a) The CII

b) The Financial Conduct Authority

c) His employer

d) The Prudential Regulation Authority

R01 Resources

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

R01 exam: the 5 myths. Click here

R01 exam: three technical areas you should know. Click here 

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

For more details on R01, see the CII website. Click here

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

Remember, good preparation is the key. Until the next time

Ian Patterson

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

preparing for a CII R0 exam

When preparing for a CII R0 exam, what can you learn from the England football team?

Today is the 5th July 2021. Whatever happens in the remainder of the 2020 European Cup, it’s already been a good competition for the England football team.

We even managed to beat Germany. Dare I believe that we will cope well with penalties this time around if we need to? It feels like a different England side and, in many ways, it is. Forget about the youthfulness of the side or the formation used by the manager. The real difference is the team’s mindset and their preparedness.

There are some lessons here for anyone who is preparing for a CII R0 exam.

England taking penalties: the history

When it comes to England and penalty shoot-outs, it usually ends in tears. Before England defeated Colombia on penalties to reach the quarter-finals of the 2018 World Cup, England hadn’t won a shoot-out at a major tournament since 1996. They had never won a penalty shoot-out at a World Cup. Despite winning against Colombia, England still have the worst penalty record in senior world football. They have lost three out of four World Cup penalty shoot-outs.

Despite this awful record, there is a widely reported fact that would make any England football fan incandescent with rage. Most of the England teams historically did not practice taking penalties. Apparently they aren’t worth it because it’s impossible to replicate the pressure they face in a real game.

England taking penalties: what’s different this time?

Gareth Southgate has put an end to this nonsense. He has selected players and insisted that they practice taking penalties. To make it as realistic as possible, this practice takes place at the end of the normal practice session when the players are most tired. After all, in the real thing, you won’t usually go to penalties unless you’ve been running around for at least 120 minutes and are tired. In addition to this, all the players now have a routine. So even when under the greatest of pressure, they are able to replicate what they do on the practice ground.

You only have to look at Harry Kane to see how he holds the ball and carefully places the ball on the penalty spot. He then picks non-existent mud out of his studs, adjusts his left sock, takes three steps back, picks a spot, and then scores. All of this is fully rehearsed, practised, and perfectly executed (at least up until now!).

Finally, all of the England penalty takers have apparently been psychologically profiled to see how they stand up under the pressures of a penalty shootout. All in all, he hasn’t left anything to chance – and so far it’s worked.

What about preparing for a CII R0 exam?

What can we learn from this when preparing for a CII R0 exam? The simple message from the England football team is that success starts on the practice ground. When sitting a R0 exam, your practice pitch is what you do when you are studying. So you have to get this right and not leave anything to chance.

Whether you are sitting R01, R02, R03, R04 or R05, you will need to successfully answer enough multiple-choice questions to pass. It is a surprise to me that so many people who sit these R0 exams don’t do enough of this. They either leave exam practice until the last minute (when they feel they are fully prepared), or don’t practice at all. The danger is that this is preparing to fail.

Preparing for a CII R0 exam: what do we suggest?

  • If you already have some industry experience on the subject that you are sitting, then sit the CII exam guide at the start of your revision. Whether you are sitting R01, R02, R03, R04 or R05, you will get the exam guide when you enrol for your exam. Sitting this at the start of your revision might be a painful experience, but it gets you used to the style of the exam. It will reinforce what you know and identify where the gaps in your knowledge are.
  • Sit this exam paper again around a week away from your exam sitting. This makes sure you sit the CII exam guide at least twice. There is nothing else that is available that is likely to be as close to the standard in the actual exam that you will sit.
  • In addition, most people will also automatically get access to the CII RevisionMate multiple-choice Knowledge Checker questions. Although these are intended to test your learning, these aren’t a million miles away from exam standard. So make sure that you use them.
  • Make sure you attempt as many other additional practice questions as you can. These can be purchased from various training providers. Additional question packs are also available from the CII for R01, R02, R03, R04, and R05 for a relatively small additional cost. In our opinion, these are well worth the money.

The emphasis here is the need to complete practice questions under exam conditions. You might have noticed that nowhere, so far, have I talked about reading the study text from cover to cover. I accept that somebody with relatively limited experience of a R0 exam subject matter may need to read some of the study text first. For everyone else, we believe that the best way to prepare for the R0 exam is to practice as many questions as you can (using the study guide as a reference source to understand where mistakes have been made).

As the England football team have found, success is about investing time in what really matters. Success in your exam will be driven by not only how hard you work, but how effective it is. Practice makes perfect – and its surprising how many teams that practice hard manage to win things. The same applies to the R0 exams….

Click here for a link to our unique audio material (only to be listened to when the football isn’t on!).

Prepare well and be successful.

Ian Patterson

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

r0-exams

CII R0 exams: the best order?

The CII R0 exams are a hugely popular way of achieving Diploma status. Some people have no other choice than to sit all six R0 exams; others sit some of the R0 exams to accumulate CII credits towards Chartered status.  Either way, it makes sense to think about the order you wish to sit them.

To achieve the CII’s Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, you’ll need all six (or have credits from previous study). Going through from R01 to R06 in order might not always make sense. Here are the things to consider.

What is the easiest R0 exam?

This is a question we frequently get asked. It’s easy to answer and we’ll show the most recent exam results below. Whether it’s the right question is another matter!

The CII exam results for the main R0 exams in 2021 (the most recent results) are as follows:

R01: 69%

R02: 65%

R03: 57%

R04: 57%

R05: 78%

R06: 74%

There is clearly some variation between the different exams. But R06 is a very different exam to R03 as it is a ‘written exam’ and it is based on a case study that is issued two weeks before the exam.

Based on this analysis, the two easiest exams are R03 and R04 but we would caution against sitting these first. For most people, R04 (pensions) is a complicated area if you are not familar with it through your work. Many find that there are time pressures in the R03 (taxation) exam – you won’t have much time spare at the end!

Having said that, R05 (protection) has the highest pass rate. This is because ‘protection’ is less complex than some of the other areas, is generally more familiar to many students, and the exam does not have any of the beastly multiple-response questions where to get a mark, you have to get each of the options correct.

How do i decide which exam to take first?

We’ve just seen that exam results are a factor, but not the only factor. In reality, many people (especially those new to the profession) sit the R0 exams in order, i.e. they start with R01 and finish with R06. But this doesn’t need to be the case – you can sit them in whatever order you like. Here are our thoughts:

  1. Sit the subject you are most familiar with first. If you are working for a mortgage firm, you’ll probably be most familiar with protection so R05 might be a good place to start. If you work for an investment firm, you’ll be starting your study with some knowledge of investments (R02). Familiarity with a subject is a great way to ease yourself into the R0 exams. Remember that the syllabus to each subject is broad. Even if you are familiar with an area, there is likely to still be plenty in the exam that you are not familiar with so some study is almost always necessary.
  2. Don’t feel you have to leave R06 to the end. This tests broad financial planning scenarios. Contrast this with R02,3,4 and 5 which are specific planning areas where the knowledge you’ll need is narrow but deep. R06 will require knowledge that is broad but shallow. The case studies are issued two weeks before the exam so you can prepare on the technical areas that are most likely to be examined in advance which helps immensely. Our audio material gives the types of Q&As that have been asked previously in R06 for each client financial objective. Finally, there are only three R06 exam sittings in 2023 so if you leave R06 to your final exam, and you don’t pass, you will wait months before you can sit it again and get the result. The other R0 exams can generally be sat at any time.
  3. Regulation is not most people’s favourite topic! If you start with R01, it’s all about regulation (e.g. FCA, AML, GDPR), basic economic and legal background and an overview of financial services and providers. This isn’t what many students regard as exciting so why start with this? Besides, the more experience you gain in the workplace, the more you will inevitably become aware of FCA regulations so it makes sense if you leave this one.

Best order?

Subject to the above factors, here is what we suggest as an order to sit R01 to 6. Other training providers and students will have a different view but here goes…..

R05 – the most straightforward R0 exam with the highest pass rate

R03 – a tough exam but elements of it are also covered in R02, R04 and 6 so the knowledge you get in this exam will help with the other three to some extent

R02 – another tough exam but there is significant overlap with R03, i.e. investment products

R06 – sitting this isn’t really dependent on sitting the other exams first so you can be flexible when you sit it. Dovetail sitting this with when you sit other R0 exams and be aware that it’s only examined three times a year

R04 – leaving this until later on gives you time to prepare (if this is not a subject you are familiar with). It is the joint hardest R0 exam

R01 – you are unlikely to use much (if any) R01 content in the other R0 exams, and you’ve got to do it sometime!

How can we help with your exams?

We provide MP3 study material for R01-6 inclusive.  They should be used in conjunction with a study text and practice questions such as the CII’s RevisionMate questions. There’s never enough time to study for exams so our MP3s provide a convenient way of making use of time such as commuting, walking, in the gym… That’s why over 66,000 people have used our material in the past.

We also have a number of blogs for specific R0 subjects to help you pass first time:

R01, R02, R03, R04, R05, R06

Until the next time, prepare well.

Ian Patterson

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

r01-exam

CII R01 exam: the 5 myths

Like any exam, it helps if you understand the type of exam it is. Here are five common myths about the CII R01 exam. If you want to pass R01 first time, read on and go into the exam with your eyes open.

Myth 1. R01 is a nice easy introduction to the R0 exams.

Er, i don’t think so. Although the latest CII statistics show that the pass rate for R01 is ‘middle of the road’, it won’t feel like that when you are studying for it. People tend to find the R01 exam difficult because:
1. ‘regulation’ isn’t everyone’s cup of tea.  Yes, there are easy bits like the advice disclosure requirements – most people who have a little experience will know this. But there are also other bits with a bewildering array of acronyms such as MiFID, FIT and SYSC. You will need a high-level understanding of these but the challenge for some will be staying awake long enough to learn this; and
2. around 13 out of the 100 questions are multiple response questions. This means that there will be more than one correct answer to get a mark. These are much more difficult than the one from four standard question.  Work on the basis that if you get 50% of these correct, you are doing well.  The easiest R0 exam – statistically and from people’s feedback – is R05. Amongst other things, there are no multiple response questions at all in this subject.

Tip: The CII recommend 100 hours of study for R01. If you are new to the profession, you’ll need this and more. If you have some experience, you’ll probably need less than this but focus your study on those areas you are least familiar with.

Tip: Don’t feel you have to make this the first R0 exam you sit. In practice, many people sit it last as there is no serious overlap between R01 and the other R0 subjects.

Myth 2. It’s all about the FCA and regulation.

I have some sympathy with this view. Although the CII R01 exam ISN’T all about the FCA, it will probably feel like it is!  Let me explain.  The R01 syllabus has 11 elements. The first three of these account for 27 out of the 100 marks for the CII R01 exam and have no real  ‘FCA’ content.

Chapter 2, in particular, has little to do with the ‘FCA’ as it tests you – at a high level – on insurance-based products. This chapter requires a knowledge that is ‘broad but shallow’. Chapter 3 is all about legal concepts such as intestacy and powers of attorney so, again, this has nothing to do with ‘regulation’.

Tip: if you have purchased the CII’s R01 study text, then you automatically get access to RevisionMate online. Use the end-of-chapter test questions and find out how good your knowledge is in the areas you think you know. You might only have to do a bit of ‘topping-up’. More about RevisionMate in our 4th myth.

Myth 3.  The R01 exam tests each area of the text book with an equal number of questions

This is definitely incorrect. There are 11 elements to the CII R01 exam syllabus which are broadly reflected in the chapters in the CII study text. The three most heavily examined areas are:

  • Chapter 5 – which has a whopping 29 questions (all of them on the standard format basis)
  • Chapter 6 – which has 9 questions; 4 standard format and 5 multiple response; and
  • Chapter 7 – which has 13 questions; 5 standard format and 8 multiple response

Between them, these three chapters account for over half the total questions in R01. They also account for for all of the multiple response questions – and these are much harder to answer. It is almost impossible to pass the CII R01 exam without scoring well on these chapters.

Tip: If your revision time is short, focus on these key areas. For many people, chapter 8 is a doddle and chapters 9 and 10 just need a healthy dose of common sense. Invest your time revising chapters 5, 6 and 7 instead.

Click here for the link to the R01 exam syllabus

Myth 4. I need to know the detail.

Not usually. Accept that there will be some questions that are based on just one or two words in the text. For the remainder, R01 typically tests the broader application of knowledge. For example:

Chapt 2 – this includes a sizeable section on social security benefits. The good news is that there is unlikely to be more than 1 or 2 questions on these. Where questions are asked, they’ll tend to test what benefits someone would qualify for, rather than a monetary amount or the ‘bells and whistles’.

Chapt 5.2 -this covers each of the nine sections that make up the FCA rule book. You are unlikely to get a question along the lines of ‘in which section of the FSA rule book would you find the T&C rules?’ This would be dull and not very relevant. You are much more likely to get a question along the lines of: ‘A mortgage adviser is subject to which of the conduct of business rules?’. The answer would be MCOB and this is much more relevant because most of what a mortgage adviser does face-to-face with a customer is governed by these rules.

Tip: Do practice questions on RevisionMate (or otherwise) to get a feel for the level of detail you will need when studying the text.

Myth 5. I should read the R01 study guide from cover to cover.

Really?!  For many people, this could be the worst piece of advice they ever get. Anyone with some industry experience should usually do practice questions first, and use the text as a reference source. Sure, you will make loads of mistakes but you will learn from these. Even if you read the text from cover to cover, in isolation, most people will not remember much of it.

Click here for a link to effective revision techniques.

Click here for a students point of view on R01.

Resources:

If you like learning on the go, click here for details of our audio material

For FREE practice papers and summary notes, click here

Until the next time…

The Diploma Doctor

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