Posted by Catriona Standingford on March 13, 2018 in Newsletter
13 March 2018
Life seems to be back to normal since the crazy snow we had. Certainly, where I live (Chepstow, just inside Wales) the snow came down, schools were shut and myself and my 3 kids were stuck at home for a few days. Somehow, we survived! (I had my doubts, but the Good-Kid-Fairy must have been smiling upon us). I was very surprised to find that the daffodils also survived being buried by a foot of snow.
My eldest has just chosen his GCSE options, which makes me feel old. Surely it can’t have been THAT long ago that I chose my Standard Grade options (Scottish equivalent to O Grades/Levels)?? There are subjects that didn’t even exist back in ‘my day’. And being in Wales, there is apparently a Welsh Baccalaureate that they also have to do – something I wasn’t even aware of until now but actually looks pretty good, much to my relief. It won’t be long before I’m living and breathing exams at home as well as here at Brand Financial Training!
Anyway, have a great Spring! Let’s hope it warms up soon!
Catriona and the Team Brand Financial Training
Our Post-Exam Review of the January 2018 CII R06 Exam
The CII have released the R06 exam paper from their January 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 focused on Suresh and Anya, a recently married couple with no children, who had recently started their first jobs. Suresh was employed with a salary of £31,000 p.a. and a member of his employer’s workplace pension scheme and Anya was employed with a salary of £35,000. They lived with Anya’s mother to save for their first home. They had some savings but also credit card debt.
Their goals were described as:
Save for a deposit for the purchase of their first home
Ensure they are financially protected in the event of long-term illness or disability
Repay their credit card debts
Put in place an investment strategy for their long-term retirement planning.
The paper started, this time, with a question asking candidates to outline the key factors that a Financial Adviser should consider when putting in place a suitable investment strategy for their retirement planning. We had covered the process an adviser should follow, which included relevant detail such as ATR and capacity for loss, emergency fund, tax position etc – all of which are factors that could have been used to answer this question.
Brought to you in association with Lysette Offley at Genius Material
Making Notes Your Brain Will Remember
We all know we need to make notes when we revise, don’t we? But does everyone know the best sort of notes to make? Probably not. Make these mistakes and more than likely, your brain will forget what you’re learning! Read on to learn what strategies to avoid if you want to make the most of your study time.
Using Lined Paper
The vast majority of students learn faster and more thoroughly when making notes on plain paper, not lined.
“Why is this?” I hear you ask.
Well, we’ve evolved to process visual information very quickly. (50 milliseconds, or so I’m told!) You can imagine how first, noticing and then secondly, assessing visual information (a wild animal appearing behind a bush, for example) was a great asset to our ancestors.
Physiologically, we’re virtually no different from them, and so we still have a large part of our brain involved in processing visual information.
In short, we’re good at it!
I’m all for tailoring your revision to your natural skills, to give you every advantage. Why struggle when you can make things much easier for yourself?
We know, from decades of research now, that the more visual your notes are, the easier you will find it later on to remember them. And isn’t that what you want?
So, the reason for not using lined paper, but plain paper instead, is so that you can make full use of your visual skills.
You see, the thing is, if you make notes on lined paper, you are likely to write full sentences in a linear fashion, aren’t you?
In addition, we also know from research, that the more you write, the more you forget!
So, the last thing you should be doing is writing lots and lots on horizontal lines – if you’re intending to remember what you’re writing, that is.
Instead, you are better off using plain paper and arranging your notes in patterns, with arrows and other symbols; with images and diagrams and using colour and shapes to group similar ideas together and to separate them from other ideas. (See previous articles for details.)
Every individual has their own learning style. Learning by listening provides an alternative to reading and re-reading the study text, and can help with absorbing and understanding materials. Our brand new J02 MP3 audio masterclasses come in digestible chunks allowing you to listen at home, in the car, at the gym or wherever else you may be.
Our audio masterclasses are:
A series of 4 MP3 audio masterclasses to purchase
Over 3 hours of audio learning
Kept up-to-date to reflect changes to the exam syllabus and tax year
Downloadable via online logon
Able to be listened to on any MP3-enabled device including tablet, mobile, iPad or laptop
Backed by our 30-day money-back guarantee
To purchase our brand new J02 audio masterclasses, click here.
If you want to get a feel for how challenging your CII exam is going to be, you can take a look at how many people passed in previous years. In February each year, the CII publishes the previous year’s pass rates. We keep an eye out for these and let you know the pass rates for all the exams we support.
The pass rates for 2017 have been published and we’ve written about them here.
We do this every year, so even if you miss it on the CII’s website, we’ll be sure to let you know!
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 will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult. I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking.
"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!