Posted by Catriona Standingford on February 12, 2019 in Newsletter
12 February 2019
Sitting exams is a stressful time, and it is very important that candidates use the resources they require, and are not forced into making purchases they do not need or want. We have been made aware that candidates are understandably confused by wording used on the CII website with regards exam entry. Too many candidates are being led to believe that they have to purchase CII exam resources in order to book an exam entry. This is not true for the majority of units. To make matters worse, some CII customer service agents have also been giving out wrong information.
You do not need to purchase any CII resources in order to book most unit entries with them. Many of the CII’s webpages are very misleading in this regard. You absolutely can book most unit entries without paying for their other resources. If you cannot see how to do this on their website for your chosen exam (it is far from clear), do call them via telephone to book the exam entry only.
Brand Financial Training and other learning providers are pushing hard to get this rectified. It is not acceptable to be misled in this manner.
If you still have problems even when calling the CII, do email Catriona directly at email@example.com and she will forward the information on to the relevant person at the CII. We cannot get involved in individual cases, but we will ensure that your experience is put in front of someone who can do something about it.
The Team at Brand Financial Training
CII Exams Pass Rates for 2018
The CII exams pass rates have now been published for the 2018 exam sittings. Here, we look at a selection of CII qualifications and their exam pass rates. Those who are planning to sit CII exams in the near future will want to know how past exam candidates have fared.
In the tables below, you will see how the rates have changed since 2014, both for the Diploma and the Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning exams. (Information for other CII exams can be found by clicking here.)
Diploma in Financial Planning
Looking at the Diploma first, the 2018 figures show pass rates range from 48% to 85.94%. J10 (Discretionary investment management) had been consistently showing an improvement until 2018 when it dropped back, albeit only slightly, and it still holds the top pass rate position with 85.94%. The written exam with the lowest pass rate once again goes to J11 (Wrap and platforms) with only 50% of candidates getting through (although this is an increase from 2017). J09 is the paraplanning coursework module and this has a surprisingly low pass rate of just 48% (although we have no figures from previous years to compare this with). Other subjects saw good increases, in particular J03 (Tax and legal aspects of business) rising from 50% to almost 60%.
The figure in red shows the only example where the pass rate dropped from 2017, and the green figures show where pass rates have increased from the previous year, which as you can see, applies to all of the rest of the written papers.
5 Revision Methods to try out in 2019 – which one best suits you?
With 2019 well underway and with the festivities a rapidly fading memory, your thoughts have no doubt turned back to your studies. Now is the perfect moment to consider study methods and find out which ones best suit you.
We’re going to take a look at a selection of the different techniques that are available to help you commit information to memory. Why not make it your belated New Year’s resolution (assuming you’ve already given up on the original ones!) to try one or two of these?
This involves repeating information out loud or maybe writing it down, to help memorise it, rather than just sitting reading textbooks passively.
The thinking goes that just reading (or, in some cases, doing little more than staring at a page) can engender a false sense of security, since students believe they know the topic because the information is in front of them. Many of the specific methods below rely on aspects of this, but you can use this concept more generally, too.
SQ3R Reading Method
This is a reading strategy, with the S and Q in its name standing for Survey and Question, and the 3R part for Read, Recite and Review. It works like this:
SURVEY or skim a chapter before reading it, taking in the title, headings, first and last paragraphs and summary.
The title and headings etc. can be turned into QUESTIONS, which you ask yourself at the end of each section.
When you come to READ, do so actively, and answer the questions previously raised.
RECITE the information as though you were telling someone else about it, in your own words.
REVIEW and make sure you understand the content of what you have read, again in your own words.
R03 Mock Papers - now with detailed explanation of correct answers
Not only do our R03 Mock Papers provide you the opportunity for further practice to ensure you know exactly how to apply your knowledge, they have now been IMPROVED to include a detailed explanation of the correct answers. Of course, they still provide cross references to the relevant CII study text, all questions and answers are written by Brand Financial Training, and they are kept up-to-date to reflect changes to the exam syllabus and tax year.
To purchase our new and improved R03 Mock Papers, click here.
If you have already purchased Brand Financial Training’s R03 Mock Papers for examinable tax year 18/19, you will be entitled to the improved 18/19 version at no charge! Simply get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org, and let us know the email address that you used to place the original order. If you are entitled to receive the updated versions free of charge, we will email them to you within 2 working days. Note that this relates to Brand Financial Training resources only.
AF4 Investment Planning
..."The calculation work book for AF4 was really helpful. A question on Return on Equity came up and I'd literally only come across this in the Brand workbook. Glad to say I passed the exam with flying colours!..."
Russell Hammond, Senior Partner, London
Passing AF4 can seem like a monumental task, especially when the study text arrives on your doorstep with a heavy thud. We offer a range of resources that will help you to feel fully prepared on exam day:
Mock Exam Papers - 3 full sets of 3 multi-part questions and answers including cross references to the relevant CII study text.
Calculation Workbook - Focussing on the calculations within the exam syllabus, the calculation workbook provides calculation questions with full step-by-step answers, detailed explanations and cross-references to the relevant CII study text.
Study Notes - Consider our study notes your condensed and more focussed take on the CII’s exam syllabus and learning outcomes. They put the exam syllabus into a sensible order, eliminate any ‘padding’ and come with self-test questions.
E-Learning - Our modular e-learning package from R02 is relevant for your AF4 studies. It provides you with 24/7 online access, for 3 months, to videos and workbooks including handouts and self-test questions.
MP3 Audio Masterclasses - Learn by listening with our MP3 masterclasses. They allow you to absorb and understand the material in digestible chunks.
All of the above resources can be bought as part of a study kit, so you can save 10% off the cost of buying them individually.
Still not sure? Why not try before you buy? Free tasters are available for all of the resources listed above. Just click here to access all our AF4 resource tasters.
Improvements to R01, R02, R04, and R05 Mock Papers
Studying for any of the above exams and feeling a bit left out because it is our R03 mock papers that have been improved?
No need to worry! Detailed explanations of correct answers will be added to our R01, R02 and R04 Mock Papers as well. We’ll let you know when the resources have been revised to include the new section – keep an eye on future editions of this newsletter.
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
..." Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.
"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!