Our Post-Exam Review of the October 2016 CII AF5 Exam
Last updated on September 25th, 2019 at 4:33 am
Now the CII have released the exam papers from October we can see how we did in our AF5 analysis and our predictions of what might be examined. This will be particularly useful reading if you are planning to sit AF5 in the near future.
The first question in most AF5 papers is usually around identifying the additional information you’d need as an adviser to help the clients with their immediate and longer term objectives. But not this time! The first question awarded 24 marks and tested the benefits and drawbacks of clients paying by fee and the factors that would influence attitude to risk. In our generic section, we have various questions and topics that have been tested before and the first thing covered here is fees; both the pros and cons of charging hourly and fund based, so this was a good start to the exam.
The fact-finding questions made up Question 2, and they covered the objectives of repaying the mortgage and mitigating IHT. Our analysis always covers fact-finding questions for each predicted objective, so we had these covered.
This gave 16 marks for evaluating the income tax efficiency of their savings and investments as well as commenting on the diversification of their portfolio, and the last part was on the capital gains tax implications of transfers between spouses. Our analysis covered all of these areas, so the majority of marks should have been achieved.
So far so good!
The pension question – it covered class 3 voluntary NI for Eileen, the benefits of taking UFPLS, small pots rules and what would happen if Hans’ scheme went into the PPF. Again we are delighted to say that all of these areas were covered in our analysis.
This one covered a couple of areas we didn’t think about in enough detail – the first part was the pros and cons of transferring their bond into a DGT, and we are sorry to say we didn’t anticipate this question. Students also had to recommend and justify a life policy to cover the current and future IHT bill – each of these questions gave quite a few points, but we hope that at this level, most candidates would have been able to pick up some or most of the marks on offer using their own knowledge and experience.
Here was another recommend and justify question – this time on IHT and actions the clients could take to ensure their estate went to their intended beneficiaries. We are pleased to say we had covered this in full, as it was another big 15-mark question.
The next question tested powers of attorney, and candidates had to explain the benefits of setting one up and four common financial transactions an attorney could make on the clients’ behalf. The second part we had mentioned in our information on the property and financial affairs POA. The first part we hadn’t specifically answered, but again we are confident candidates would have had enough knowledge and experience to think of most of the benefits to get the eight marks on offer.
Finally, Question 8 which is usually a review question; this time students were asked the six key benefits of having regular reviews. We think our model answers on reviews, both in the generic section and in the analysis, could have been adapted easily to answer this question.
In summary, the paper seemed fair, and most of what we thought would come up did; with the odd exception, the main one being the DGT. However, we are confident that students at this level using our analysis should have done well enough to achieve a good pass.
Grab the resources you need!
If you’re studying for your CII AF5 exam, and you’re visualising a pass on exam day, you’ll need to avail yourself of all the necessary tools to do so. Grab our free taster analysis to try out one of Brand Financial Training’s resources for yourself. Click the link to download the AF5 fact-find analysis taster now!
If you’re planning on sitting AF5 in April, did you find this post helpful in focusing your study efforts?