Posted by The Team at Brand Financial Training on June 11, 2019 in Newsletter Last updated on September 25th, 2019 at 4:15 am
11 June 2019
My kids bought some bird feeders the other week. As a result, our garden has turned into something of a bird haven. That’s really nice except those birds get through fat balls and birdseed at an alarming rate! How can such small birds eat so much?
Today I’m writing this sat in my kitchen looking out at those birds, and it made me think that bird feeders are a bit like inboxes. They get topped up, you peck away at the emails until you feel like you’ve conquered your inbox, and then it gets topped up again! Email can be such a productivity zapper, and takes your focus away from doing anything super-productive. Personally, I am getting better at only checking my email twice a day and have switched off the annoying pop-up notification that Outlook likes to nag you with whenever a new email arrives.
Focus is of course a big deal for those of you studying for exams, whilst also juggling work and family life (and social life if you’re lucky!). One of our blog posts provides some helpful tips in this regard, which can be applied to exam revision as well as your general working day. Do take a look.
How to Determine Periodic and Exit Charges on a Discretionary Trust
Discretionary trust taxation came up on the most recent CII AF1 paper, and as much as we have covered this subject before, it seems a timely reminder for those thinking of sitting this exam in the future – also useful reading for J02, R03, R06 and AF5 exam takers.
Here is an example of how to work through a periodic charge and an exit charge calculation on a discretionary trust.
Discretionary Trust Example
Kim set up a discretionary trust in June 2008 with £700,000, and in June 2018, its value was £900,000. What was the periodic charge at year 10?
Value of trust = £900,000 – £325,000 (current nil rate band) = £575,000 x 30% x 20% = £34,500
£34,500/£900,000 x 100 = 3.8% (the effective rate)
The periodic charge is therefore £900,000 x 3.8% = £34,200.
If the trustees make a distribution of the total trust fund in the 11th year and the value of the fund is now £920,000, the exit charge is calculated as follows:
£920,000 x 4/40 (the number of 3 month periods since year 10) = £92,000 x 3.8% (the effective rate at year 10).
Does last-minute cramming work? And should I stay up all night revising?
With exam season in full swing, if you’re wondering whether intensive last-minute revision will get you through your papers, you’re far from alone.
The best-laid study plans can go awry, leaving you with less time than expected, so cramming is an exam preparation technique with which most of us (ahem) may be familiar.
However, in truth eleventh-hour revision will really only work for some people – not everyone will achieve their best results by working this way.
Research has shown that the cramming process stores information in the short-term memory, so even if you manage to scrape through your paper, you won’t actually recall what you’ve learned afterwards.
But if circumstances have conspired against you and you need to cram, don’t waste any time. Focus on what needs to be done, and leave out any frills you no longer have the luxury of being able to cover.
Cut the fat from your revision by focusing on techniques such as flashcards and bulleted summaries, which condense information.
Why the ‘spacing’ effect works
There’s a reason why actors rehearse for weeks or months before a play and athletes or sports people train hard long before a key competition, and the same logic applies to studying.
Committing information to the memory, and truly understanding it, takes time. So if you spread out your revision on a specific topic, for example spending an hour on the subject over 10 days, it’s likely to be a lot more effective than if you spent the same 10 hours in a single day.
This ‘spacing’ effect is helpful because the longer periods between revision sessions give you more time to relearn the material. Unfortunately, last-minute cramming doesn’t achieve the same results.
R02 Mock Papers - now with detailed explanation of correct answers
When you’re studying for your CII exam, it can be useful to know ‘why’ a particular answer is correct. Our R02 Mock Papers provide you the opportunity for further practice to ensure you know exactly how to apply your knowledge, but now 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 R02 Mock Papers, click here.
If you have already purchased Brand Financial Training’s R02 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 , 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.
In case you missed it: we have added the detailed explanations of the correct answers to our R01, R03, R04 and R05 mock papers as well.
..."The calculation workbooks for R02 and R03 are very good indeed. They were a major factor in helping me achieve good scores in these exams (89% and 80% respectively)..."
Julian Sellen, Leatherhead
Available for AF1, AF2, AF4, AF7, R02, R03, R04, R06, J03, J05, J10, J12, CF1, CF6
Many exam-takers lose vital marks when it comes to performing calculations as they haven’t nailed down the exact process and order in which to perform the calculations, and haven’t spent enough time practising them.
The number of marks gained or lost on calculation questions can make the difference between a pass and a fail. Just a little more time taken on calculations during the revision period can give you the confidence you need to perform any calculation that could come up, so that you know you will gain top marks on all those calculation questions.
Our calculation workbooks guide you through the calculations, step-by-step, and providing detailed answers, with cross references to the relevant CII study text. All questions and answers kept up-to-date to reflect changes to the exam syllabus and tax year, and you can download them instantly in PDF format.
Why not try before you buy? Download one of our free tasters:
..."I passed R02 - No doubt thanks to your fantastic workbook which helped no end! With the extra work that I did going through your workbook, this helped a great deal with feeling confident which in this exam particularly was useful given that the technique and timing is as important as the knowledge and skill in ensuring that you get through the questions in a timely manner. One could so easily become distracted or frustrated trying to work out/remember one particular formula to the deficit of the other questions but your workbook enabled me to feel glad that there were so many calculations in the exam whereby before I actually feared them."...
David Gunn, Adviser, Nottingham
Did You Miss These Posts on Our Blog?
Articles and Help for All Your Exams
You’ll find that there’s something for everyone when you check out our blog:
specific topics and how-to articles;
reviews of recent CII exam papers;
our Friday Five – a weekly quiz to give you a fun break from reading the study text;
study techniques that help you to retain your revision and keep your brain working for you, when you need it
Here are the blog posts you might have missed since our last newsletter:
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
..." You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days when you feel good. "...
"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!
Here’s a reminder 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 find out if you have the most up-to-date information, visit the CII website, navigate to your chosen exam and click on ‘learning solutions update’ in the ‘Unit updates’ section in the sidebar.
Note that we keep our resources up-to-date with any updates from the CII.