Posted by Catriona Standingford on June 12, 2018 in Newsletter
12 June 2018
In the office we’re busy preparing for the release of the 2018/19 CII study texts, due in July and August. This time of year involves the updating of all of our financial services exam resources so that they are ready for you for the new examinable tax year on 1 September. It can be a bit of a headache and often feels like we’re all sitting numerous exams all at once. But we’ll get there!
Birthday celebrations in our house today as my eldest turns 13 (am I really old enough to have a teenager?!) and the past couple of months have been filled with thoughts of GCSE options and schools. My eldest and middle children will be changing schools shortly (alas, we’re being let down by our local schools) and my youngest starts school this September. I really hope we don’t have to look at another school for the rest of my life. I’ll also be purchasing ‘taxi’ stickers for my car. Sigh.
Enjoy the sun!
Catriona and the Team Brand Financial Training
Our Post-Exam Review of the April 2018 CII R06 Exam
The CII have released the R06 exam paper from their April sitting, so it’s time to look at our pre-exam analysis and see how well we predicted the questions. This is helpful reading for those who are revising for the CII R06 exam.
Case Study 1
Case Study 1 focused on John and Kate, a married couple with a 7-year-old daughter, Lucy, whom they were planning on sending to a private school. John was self-employed with profits of £50,000 per year, and Kate was a teacher earning £28,000 per year. Other key facts were that John is considering incorporating his business, and they have not made wills.
Their financial aims were given as:
Put in place suitable protection in the event of death or serious long-term illness
Put in place a suitable investment strategy to meet Lucy’s school fees
Ensure John’s unsecured loan is repaid as soon as possible.
The paper started, as is often the case, with a fact-finding question – this time, for 13 marks, candidates had to identify the additional information that would be needed to advise John and Kate on their aim of building up a fund to meet Lucy’s future school fees. In all our analyses, we cover fact finding for each of the financial aims given, so we had 12 bullet points to answer this first question.
The next question covered their third financial aim, and candidates had to explain, in detail, the drawbacks if the clients decided to consolidate John’s outstanding loan by re-mortgaging their home. Again we had this exact question covered with 7 drawbacks.
There were two pieces of information in the case study, which clearly suggested questions, firstly on incorporating a business and secondly, the fact they had no wills. The incorporation aspect was covered by asking for 5 benefits and 5 drawbacks for John of incorporating his business, which we had covered in full. For the subject of wills, the exam will often ask what makes a will valid, but for this exam, candidates had to explain why the couple should each set up a will, and this is covered in our generic section.
The question on protection was split into two parts; the first part, for 12 marks, asked candidates to recommend and justify a suitable policy to provide a lump sum in the event of John’s death or if he suffered a serious illness. This information was given in full in our analysis. The second part asked for 6 factors that should be considered when identifying a suitable sum assured for the policy recommended in the first part of the question. Unfortunately we hadn’t specifically covered this part, but we hope that candidates will have used their experience and knowledge to gain most of the marks on offer here.
Next came a question on paying school fees. The first part asked for an explanation of how stocks and shares ISA’s could be suitable to build up a fund. There were 10 marks on offer, and we had provided 9 bullet points explaining why funding ISAs would be a suitable way to build up the money needed. The second part asked for the benefits of using a diversified investment strategy to meet Lucy’s school fees, and in our generic section, we cover why diversification is important.
We feel very confident that anyone using our analysis would have scored well in Case Study 1.
Brought to you in association with Lysette Offley at Genius Material
How to Use The Link Method to Become Brainier
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! Learn how to use the Link Method to improve your memory retention as you revise for your exams.
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 new connections throughout life.
Providing you give it reason to!
When you learn new information, your brain is forced to restructure itself to accommodate your efforts.
You become brainier!
If you are revising for an exam and need to be efficient and effective with your time, you will deliberately work with the way that your brain naturally absorbs information. Your revision strategy will bear in mind that the brain learns by associating new information with that which you already know.
One learning technique, a mnemonic, which capitalises on this, is the Link Method.
In essence, the three stages of the Link Method are as follows:
Break down complex ideas and find substitute words or parts of words to represent them.
Create vivid mental images of those ideas by using your amazing imagination
Find associations between those visual images
Let’s now break down those three steps.
#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.
For example, ‘mortgage’ might become ‘moor’ ‘gauge’.
...“The R01 videos, study notes, workbook and practice papers were so helpful and made revision a lot more approachable. It really helped me to pass when I failed before! I look forward to using your other materials for the other exams!...
Sarah, DC Pensions Associate Consultant, London
Covering the exam learning outcomes, our modular e-learning packages provide you with 24/7 online access, for 3 months, to videos, a workbook including handouts and self-test questions for each module, and PDFs of the slides used in the videos.
Our customers often tell us that face-to-face training just doesn’t work for them in terms of time, cost and the fact that you can’t attend the same live face-to-face event again and again! E-Learning is a great alternative.
No travel required, saving you valuable time
No accommodation required, saving you money.
You can watch the videos as many times as you need – it is not “once only” where vital information can be missed
You receive further support via the workbook with handouts and self-test questions
As the R01 and R02 exams are broken down into modules, you don’t experience overwhelm (and exhaustion!) as you often do during day-long face-to-face training
Why not try before you buy? Download one of our free tasters:
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
..." Perseverance is a great element of success. If you only knock long enough and loud enough at the gate, you are sure to wake up somebody. "...
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
"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!