Posted by Catriona Standingford on January 9, 2018 in Newsletter
9 January 2018
Happy Birthday! 2018 is our 10th Anniversary
Ten years ago, a new business called Brand Financial Training was formed, providing learning resources for CII exam candidates. I can’t believe that was 10 years ago and since then, we’ve helped literally thousands of candidates through their exams. It’s fantastic to hear from customers who have achieved their required qualification and to know that we were able to play a small part in that. Thank you.
Things have changed a lot since 2008 – the number of qualifications and exams available has grown, and the RDR did of course create the need for many advisers to gain a new qualification in a tight timescale. We’ve had some very interesting times and it’s been fantastic for me to personally get to know many of our customers who have been with us for many years – some now Chartered. I look forward to the next 10 years getting to know even more of you.
I am personally extremely grateful to you for your support and for the faith and trust you have in us. Myself and the team continually aim not only to provide solid learning resources for your exams, but to provide a level of customer service that surpasses your expectations. It’s not just about providing you with learning resources, it’s about making your exam journey as smooth as possible.
2018 looks like being another great year and myself and the team look forward to working with you.
Catriona and the Team Brand Financial Training
Our Review of the CII’s October 2017 J02 Exam Paper
Next in line for our past paper analysis is J02, the exam which covers trusts – useful for those preparing to sit CII J02.
Two hours are given to answer 15 short-answer questions for a total of 130 marks, and as we have said before, the exam rarely offers up any surprises; students just need to ensure that they have a full and proper grasp of the main areas which come up each time.
A Dream Question
The exam started with a dream of a question, explain the legal definition of a trust – although 8 marks does seem rather a lot to award for this, so it will be interesting to see the model answer when it is published.
It continued well with the next question, again for 8 marks, asking students to identify four main types of beneficiary and explain their beneficial interest.
Not Enough to Faze the Well-Prepared Student
The next couple of questions covered trust theory which featured perpetuity periods and the Variation of Trusts Act 1958. A well-prepared student should not have been fazed by these questions.
Cause for Some Head Scratching
Next, for 9 marks, we had the income and capital gains tax implications for investments in an offshore discretionary trust set up by a non-UK domicile which may have caused some head scratching if not studied in full.
Brought to you in association with Lysette Offley at Genius Material
How organised are you during exam revision?
Are you organised and methodical in your revision? Do you know what topics you’ve already learnt and what topics you need to focus on next?
Are you keeping a record of what you need to test yourself on, and when, so that you retain the information you’ve learnt?
If you’ve answered, ‘no’ to any of these questions, it’s time for an overhaul of your revision strategy, because, unless you’re paying attention to these things, you’ll be much less efficient. And who has time for that?
You already know that you can learn anything, if you divide it up into small enough chunks. You’ll have noticed, too, that you’re most efficient when you set aside frequent, but short chunks of time for study.
After all, you know when you’ve spent too long in any one particular session – you’ll catch your attention drifting off somewhere else! So give yourself frequent breaks, thus dividing your study time into short bursts of time, of say, 20-40 minutes.
There’s also another very good reason to keep tabs on what you’ve covered. It suits the way we’re built – psychologically.
We love making progress! We human beings are willing to tackle the most demanding and arduous of tasks, as long as we feel we’re making headway.
By keeping a record of what you’ve covered in your revision, not only will it allow you be more efficient, you’ll feel that sense of progress you need to keep going. It’s motivating, so don’t miss this chance to keep yourself encouraged.
The CII's new examinable year for all IF exams started on 1 January 2018. We have updated all our IF mock papers.
Own the previous 2016/17 versions?
If you purchased IF mock papers for the previous examinable year (examined until 31 December 2017) and find that you will be sitting the exam after 1 January 2018, the good news is that you are entitled to the updated Brand Financial Training mock papers free of charge.
How to obtain the updated versions
If you own Brand Financial Training IF1, IF2, IF3, IF4 or IF5 mock papers for the examinable year up to 31 December 2017 and would like the versions examinable from 1 January 2018, simply email us and let us know a) the email address that you used to place the original order, b) the IF exam your order relates to. If you are entitled to the updated versions free of charge, we will email them to you. Note that this relates to Brand Financial Training mock papers only.
Don’t have your mock papers yet?
To purchase our updated IF mock papers, click on a link below:
Available for AF1, AF3, AF4, AF5, AF7, CF1, J02, J05, J10, R01, R02, R03, R04, R05, R06
..."Your study notes were invaluable… I would advise everybody who is due to sit these to use the study notes and the mock exams as these will give you a terrific insight into how the exams work. Good luck."...
Brian Lynn, Partner, Brian Lynn Financial Services
Passing your CII exam can seem like a struggle, especially when the study text arrives on your doorstep with a heavy thud. Our study notes immediately focus your mind and help you sort the wheat from the chaff so that you can spend time revising what needs to be revised and get focussed on what is needed.
They put the exam syllabus into a sensible order, and eliminate any ‘padding’, and you can download them instantly in PDF format.
Why not try before you buy? Download one of our free tasters:
..."The Brand training material certainly helps you to focus on the key information required and get straight to the salient facts. Having to read all of RO4 and JO5 was daunting but by using the notes as a guide it helped me to condense a lot of this information quickly."...
Mandy Saunders, Verifier
CII J02 Trusts Audio Masterclasses
We’re currently working on our audio masterclasses for the J02 Trusts unit. We don’t have a release date yet but we will of course ensure you know as soon as they are available.
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
..." People begin to become successful the minute they decide to be. "...
"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!