Posted by The Team at Brand Financial Training on March 10, 2020 in Newsletter
10 March 2020
Thank you for all your feedback on our new alternative to the CII’s R03 Personal Taxation study text (also good for AF1!). It seems we have listened well and have nailed on the head the need for more visually friendly explanations of key concepts using diagrams and illustrations, as well as ensuring that you have truly understood the concepts.
It’s always good to get feedback (and the negative is as important as the positive) so that we can keep on improving and providing exam resources that help get you through, so if you have already purchased the study text and haven’t yet provided feedback, do let us know what you think by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org
If you haven’t yet discovered the study text for R03 and AF1, you can find it here.
The Team at Brand Financial Training
How to Answer this Typical Performance Measurement Exam Question
In this article, we look at performance measurement, something that CII AF4 Investment Planning candidates often have to do in the exam.
This is a typical exam type question:
Darcey is a higher rate taxpayer. A year ago, she invested £150,000 in a unit trust. She is now considering selling this.
The table below shows how the unit trust has performed against its benchmark.
Firstly, candidates will normally be asked to:
Calculate the percentage change in the value of Darcey’s holdings.
To do this, you need to multiply the asset allocation of the holdings by performance.
It’s understandable that you may feel under pressure at exam time, not least when you’re juggling so many other aspects of your life simultaneously. Indeed, a sense of urgency and a certain amount of adrenaline are no bad things. But stress doesn’t have to take over, and you shouldn’t be feeling constantly overwhelmed.
Here are some of our tips for zapping stress and anxiety quickly and easily, but there are plenty of others.
When you’re stuck at a desk and chained to a screen all day (and quite possibly some of the night as well), it can be easy to forget that the human body simply isn’t designed to spend long periods in a fixed sitting position.
So feel stretched – in all the right ways! You’ll reap the rewards, including a boost to the circulation, improved focus, and reduced muscle tension. You may even find you sleep better, which can only enhance exam performance.
It may be worth considering enrolling in a local yoga class for the ultimate stress-buster, while some gyms even dedicate whole hours to stretching sessions.
Here are a few quick ideas for inspiration:
Leg and feet stretches
Stand up and have your feet slightly apart. Place one foot forward then slowly bend the knee on that leg, shifting all your body weight on to that foot. Ensure the toes of your other foot remain on the ground. Hold for a count of 15 before swapping over.
Another option is to stand with your feet a little apart then lift yourself up on to your tiptoes and stay there for 10 seconds before lowering yourself back down. Repeat 10–15 times. (This is a good one to do while waiting for a kettle to boil or brushing your teeth.)
If you’re preparing to sit the R03 exam and you’re wanting a study text that explains things clearly and concisely in a friendly manner, this is for you!
As a much needed alternative to the CII’s text, our user-friendly, colour study text:
Covers the learning outcomes and the exam syllabus with tables, diagrams, illustrations and detailed yet clear, concise explanations
Incorporates ‘how it works’ guides, jargon busters, sample exam questions and ‘check it again’ questions to test your knowledge throughout
Is a wiro-bound (no more struggling to keep your study text open at the right page!), colour printed study text which will be posted to you within 5 business days (this is not a downloadable PDF and is available for delivery within the UK only)
Uses white space to ensure each page is easy to read with room for writing your own notes
Adviser testing can form an important part of an individual’s CPD; it can provide evidence of current technical knowledge and work needed; it can evaluate the knowledge of potential recruits.
Time restrictions, capacity, and cost can mean it is difficult for firms to offer adviser testing, but our Assessment Testing papers are designed to offer companies an ‘off-the-shelf’, flexible solution.
Our modular assessment tests, which consist of five tests that can be used standalone or together, offer the flexibility to spread the tests over the year if required and can be tailored for individuals specialising in certain areas.
Each test includes 20 multiple-choice questions and answers. They are:
Regulation and Ethics
Pensions and Retirement
To request a quotation or for further details, please go to our website:
MP3 Audio Masterclasses
..."Your MP3 audio masterclasses were of great quality. I felt they reminded me of some things I had not thought about for some time and prompted some wider study. The content was accurate, relevant and up to date for the exam and the length of each class was very good. The approach was not patronising like so many learning MP3s. I would definitely recommend..."
Richard Baxter, Senior Financial Adviser, Gower Financial Services, Guernsey
Available for AF1, AF4, AF7, J02, R01, R02, R03, R04 and R05
Every individual has his/her 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 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.
For a list of each masterclass in your chosen exam, go to:
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 cannot escape the responsibility of tomorrow by evading it today. "...
"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.