Just the One Curveball on the April 16 CII AF5 Exam
Last updated on September 25th, 2019 at 4:37 am
The CII have released the exam papers from April so we can see how we did in our AF5 analysis and our predictions of what might be examined. This will be particularly useful reading if you are planning to sit AF5 in the near future.
As any student of AF5 will tell you, the client objectives are split between immediate and longer term. We predict what these might be and also look at other potential areas which we might not consider specific objectives but could come up and usually do.
The first question in any AF5 paper is usually around identifying the additional information you’d need as an adviser to help the client(s) with their immediate and longer term objectives.
For the April paper we only had one client, Sue, as she had very recently lost her husband. The first question was a fact-find question but specifically about drawing benefits from the pension and assessing the suitability of the inherited investment portfolio. 20 marks were available here, and our analysis would have helped pick up more than half of them.
The paper continued with one of the ‘other potential areas that could be examined’ and gave 12 marks for explaining how the client could utilise her spouse’s ISA. This was a relatively recent change to legislation, and the question was completely expected and so our analysis had it covered in full.
We were then into one of the longer term financial objectives which was inheritance tax. Candidates had to comment on the IHT efficiency of the client’s situation and recommend and justify a trust arrangement. This was a fairly big mark question with a total of 29 marks on offer. We had sufficient information on IHT to gain all of the marks in part (a) of this question. Part (b) was testing knowledge of discounted gift trusts which we hadn’t unfortunately covered but hope that most advisers at this level would have had sufficient knowledge to have answered this well.
The next question covered the joint life 2nd death policy that was already in place. We had considered this product in our ‘recommend and justify section’ so we hope that the detail we had provided here would have helped delegates to pick up the majority of marks on offer.
The paper continued with the SIPP; 21 marks were available here to describe the options available to the client and how this would help with IHT – this was another area completely expected to be examined and so we are pleased to say that we had enough information for the majority of the marks to have been achieved here.
The next question gave a massive amount of marks; 48 were on offer in respect of the inherited investments – the questions included suitability, risk and some specifics on the inherited collectives. Using our analysis we feel would have meant the well prepared candidate would have picked up the majority of marks here.
Finally question 8 was, as is usually the case, the review question. Specifically it was ‘identify eight financial planning issues to be discussed at the new review meeting’. Our review question gave over 10 points which would have been relevant here.
The Curve Ball Question
There is usually a curve ball or two within the AF5 exam that is hard, if not impossible, to predict. This paper was no exception; although, we only considered one to be a true curve ball.
This we consider to be the question regarding the apparent ‘vulnerable client’ status. The client had recently lost her spouse, and the question asked why she should be classed as ‘vulnerable’ and the actions to provide her with an appropriate level of service. It was a total of 10 marks, and we had not considered this in the context of this client’s situation. We hope advisers would have been able to use their own extensive knowledge to have had a good stab at the answer. We also believe that if delegates were well prepared on all of the other areas, this curve ball question, if poorly answered, would not have meant a fail.
The nominal pass mark for AF5 is 55% and delegates using our analysis should have achieved this.
Grab the resources you need!
If you’re studying for your CII AF5 exam, and you’re hoping to secure a pass on exam day, you’ll need to avail yourself of all the necessary tools to do so. Grab our free taster analysis to try out one of Brand Financial Training’s resources for yourself. Click the link to download the AF5 fact-find analysis taster now!
If you’re planning on sitting AF5 in October, did you find this post helpful in focusing your study efforts?