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Our Post-Exam Review of the July 2018 CII R06 Exam

Our Post-Exam Review of the July 2018 CII R06 Exam

The CII have released the R06 paper from their July exam sitting so in this article we look at how well our analysis team did at predicting what might have been tested.

If you haven’t seen the paper yet, you can access it here.

Case Study 1

Case Study 1 focused on Mike and Shuwan – a married couple with twin daughters.

Their financial aims were given as:

  • Put in place suitable financial protection in the event of death or serious illness
  • Ensure that their savings and investments are suitable for their needs
  • Ensure they have adequate income in retirement

The paper started, as is often the case, with a fact finding question – this time, for 10 marks, candidates had to identify the additional information that would be needed to advise on the suitability of their current pensions and investments. In all our analyses, we cover fact finding for each of the financial aims given, so we had more than enough bullet points to answer this first question.

The next question was on protection, and part of the question was to recommend and justify a protection policy that would provide regular income in the event of Shuwan’s death, and again we had this covered in full.

Next, candidates were asked questions around the benefits and drawbacks for Shuwan of joining her employer’s group PMI scheme.  In our analysis, we provide a generic section and here, general information can be found about a number of areas including PMI.  In addition, we had also specifically covered the factors that should be considered before joining such a scheme, covering points such as would the children and her husband be covered, the taxation etc, so these points could easily have been adapted to answer the exact question that was asked.

Lifetime ISAs were also tested, and the question was why they may not be suitable for them as savings vehicles.  We had covered LISAs with the main features and how they can be used as part of retirement planning, and these points could easily have been adapted as reasons why they might not suit them for savings purposes.

Other questions were moving towards being curve balls; for example platforms were tested this time round.  We’ll be adding a section on this in our ‘generic questions’ section in future analyses.

See what sorts of questions were asked of the latest round of #CII #R06 exam candidates. Click To Tweet


Case Study 2

Case study 2 focused on Stefan and Sabine, both aged 65 and both having been married before. Their financial aims were given as:

  • Generate a sustainable income through their retirement
  • Maximise their estate for their intended beneficiaries
  • Improve the tax-efficiency of their current savings and investments

This part of the exam kicked off with a recommend-and-justify question, specifically on what they could do to improve tax efficiency of their current portfolio of savings and investments. This was one of their aims and objectives, so we had this covered off in table format for easy revision.

There was another recommend-and-justify question; this one focused on why they should draw up new wills.  As they had been married before, we had covered off the fact that the wills should really be re-written to incorporate such things as an immediate post-death interest.

Questions that related to generating a sustainable income through their retirement came in the form of how a loan trust scheme operates and the benefits of such a scheme – and also the benefits of using a lifetime annuity – both these were high-scoring questions, and we had them covered completely in the analysis.

Curveballs that appeared included the benefits and drawbacks of Stefan retaining his portfolio of individual shares and why they should make further pension contributions.

The exam ended on a positive note as our review question was the same as the one featuring in the exam.

Our overall feeling is that the R06 exam seems to be getting harder, with some questions seemingly coming from nowhere with very little link to the case studies.  In the past, there certainly has been more signposting within the case studies. We will include more information in our generic section going forward, as this will be a key part of any study plan.  Having said this, with a nominal pass mark of 55%, we are still confident that anyone using our analysis would have passed the July exam.

Grab the resources you need!

If you’re studying for your CII R06 exam, and you’re wanting to feel more confident on exam day, grab our free taster analysis to try out one of Brand Financial Training’s resources for yourself.  Click the link to download the R06 case study analysis taster now!

Click here to download our free taster analysis for CII R06