Posted by Catriona Standingford on February 13, 2018 in Newsletter
13 February 2018
Some great news for all CII exam candidates. You may be aware that at the beginning of January the CII decided to stop offering the option of purchasing an exam entry without the accompanying study text or equivalent. As this was not widely advertised, most candidates didn’t know this until they tried to book an exam entry. This was met with a very negative response.
I know many of you contacted the CII directly to complain about this, and it is fantastic news that the CII have reversed this decision. Well done – this wouldn’t have happened without your action and proves that thankfully there can be power in numbers. The CII expect to re-instate the option to book exam entry separately very shortly (apparently there are some IT issues to rectify first). Note that this does not apply to AF7 that was packaged differently at its launch last year.
If you have any specific questions on this, do contact the CII directly.
Catriona and the Team Brand Financial Training
Up to 2 million couples are still missing out on the Marriage Allowance
We recently read that up to 2 million couples are still missing out on the Marriage Allowance that was introduced almost 3 years ago, so we thought we would cover it here and perhaps serve two purposes; firstly it will help anyone studying for a CII tax exam, but it also might make us think who we know who might be able to claim.
It’s true that it does only apply to couples with very specific circumstances, so let’s remind ourselves of what they are:
Firstly, couples need to be married or in a civil partnership
The spouse wishing to transfer must have an income of less than £11,500
The spouse receiving the transferred allowance must not be a higher rate tax payer
The receiving spouse must be resident in the UK for tax purposes
The amount that can be transferred in the 2017/18 tax year is limited to £1,150
This, therefore, only benefits couples where one doesn’t earn enough income to use their full personal allowance (less than £11,500) and the other one is paying tax at no more than the basic rate.
Both members of the couple must also have been born on or after 6 April 1935 – if one was born before this date then they can claim the married couple’s allowance instead.
Brought to you in association with Lysette Offley at Genius Material
The Best Time to Tackle Difficult Revision
Do you find sometimes that despite your best efforts, something you’re trying to learn just simply will not go into your head? This article will show you the best way to learn something tricky.
It’s the same for all of us. The cause might be because it’s less familiar information or a more difficult concept. It might be that were not as interested in it or that we’re tired and aren’t really giving it our full attention.
But for whatever reason, sometimes learning a particular topic can be tricky.
Good to know then, that there is something peculiar about the way our brains work, that we can use to our advantage.
It’s all to do with Serial Position – the proper term referring to what order things occur i.e. 1st, 2nd, 3rd, last…
Those of you who have read my articles in the past, and who are familiar with the Genius Material strategy for learning, will know that I advocate working with your brain not against it.
In any given learning situation, it turns out that there are certain times that are easier for us to remember what we’ve learnt. So it strikes me that using those times to tackle the trickier stuff makes sense.
And they are beginnings and ends.
This applies to a few contexts, all of which being useful:
You’re probably aware what tends to happen when playing an accumulative memory game such as:
“I went on holiday and packed my case and in it I put my T shirt.”
“I went on holiday and packed my case and in it I put my T shirt and my shorts.”
“I went on holiday and packed my case and in it I put my T shirt, my shorts and my sunglasses.”
I’m sure you remember the sort of game I’m referring to.
It starts off easy enough, but as the list grows longer and longer and the game becomes more difficult, it’s usually easier for us to remember the beginning of the list and also the end. It’s the items in the middle that we tend to leave out.
The same thing happens when we write a shopping list and accidentally leave it at home. When we get to the shop there’s a very good chance will remember more of the items at the beginning and the end of the absent list. It’s the middle that’s more fuzzy.
Did you know that, from time to time, throughout the examinable tax year, we may update our resources? Often it is necessary because the CII study text has been updated, and because we ensure our resources are up to date, we need to amend them.
But don't worry! We advise which of our resources has been changed and provide the detail of the change. You can look on our Learning Resource Updates Page to see if the resource you purchased has been amended. Just click on your exam category and you’ll be shown a list of the updates that may be relevant to you.
TIP: If you have a query about your purchased paper – perhaps a question doesn't sound right given recent legislation – have a look at the Learning Resource Updates Page before you send us your query. You may find a change has occurred that affects you.
Updates to CII Study Texts
Are you aware that the CII update their study texts throughout the examinable year to either incorporate new legislations, correct errors or clarify information? Many candidates aren't aware of this, which can result in candidates studying out-of-date information. To make this easier for you, we have collated the most recent CII study text updates.
There’s such a variety of information on offer to help you as you tackle your CII exams, that you won’t want to miss a single post. We’ve made it easy for you; just click the button below and enter your email details. Be ‘in the know’ with CII-exam-related tips and info – straight to your inbox!
Quote of the Month
..." I know the price of success: dedication, hard work and an unremitting devotion to the things you want to see happen. "...
Frank Lloyd Wright
"5 Questions in 5 Minutes Every Friday"
This is a bit of Friday Fun where we provide you with 5 questions (and answers) relevant to a mix of CII exams. The challenge is for you to answer the questions in 5 minutes.
Where do I find the Friday Five?
We post each week's Friday Five to our blog first thing every Friday. You can either visit our blog every Friday at https://brandft.co.uk/blog/ or you can simply go there now, and click on the subscribe button in the top right-hand corner of the blog and sign up to receive notifications of our Friday Five posts.
Note that we don't email the Friday Five out to everybody every Friday, so we recommend you sign up to our blog at https://brandft.co.uk/blog/ so that you receive an email notification when it is posted. It will only take you a minute to sign up.
A bit of Friday Fun, but with the added benefit of testing your exam knowledge!