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The CII J03 April 2018 Exam in Review

The CII J03 April 2018 Exam in Review

This week we’re looking at the J03 April exam, the tax and legal aspects of business. This will be of interest to you if you’re planning to sit J03 in October.

You can find a copy here.

Candidates are given two hours to answer 15 short-answer questions for a total of 130 marks.

This exam started off with a sole trade and how bankruptcy would affect his SIPP and a life assurance policy.  There had been a large pension contribution made just prior to the bankruptcy order.  There were 9 marks on offer, and we think this was a nice start to this exam.  Bankruptcy will always appear in the exam, and how it affects investments is key.

The next question tested areas of the Partnership Act 1890 – in particular, accountability to each partner and the ‘competing business’ good faith duty.  This type of question really has to be expected in J03, so we hope it didn’t cause too many problems for candidates.

The exam then moved onto the differences between ordinary shares and debentures in particular regarding returns, voting rights and capital on wind up.

The calculation questions in this paper included:

  • Payback periods
  • Taxation of a sole trader
  • National insurance contributions for an employee and employer where the employee had a company car

These all seem fairly typical of this paper, and we hope candidates scored some good marks here.

Other theory questions included crowdfunding, which may not have been tested before, and also for 8 marks candidates had to state the conditions for a Save As You Earn scheme to receive preferential tax treatment.  These types of share save schemes (and others) have appeared in some of the other CII exams and generally are not answered terribly well.

Another good 10 marks were given for explaining how carry forward works for a self-employed person with a SIPP.

The rest of the paper was made up of rollover relief, types of discrimination and unfair dismissal, key person insurance, automatic accrual, spreading of employer pension contributions and finally the ways in which a SSAS can help a sponsoring employer.

Most of these areas have come up before, so a student using past papers should have been well prepared to gain some good marks.

You can safely assume that bankruptcy will always appear in the #CII #J03 exam, and how it affects investments is key. Here's a review of the April exam paper. Click To Tweet


Comparison with the October 2017 Exam Paper

If we look at some of the key areas tested in the October 2017 paper:

  • Dissolving a partnership and how assets would be distributed.
  • Company voluntary arrangements (CVA)
  • The law surrounding redundancy
  • Tax related responsibilities of a sole trader
  • Pros and cons of invoice factoring
  • Financial ratios
  • Pension contributions/tax relief and the conditions that would need to be met should a loan be made to the company if a SSAS was established
  • Alphabet shares and the advantages a preference share has over an ordinary share
  • Flexible working arrangements
  • Key person insurance and shareholder protection and auto enrolment

Those studying for the October paper need to give themselves plenty of time to study the J03 manual – it is a beast of a book – but a carefully prepared study plan will mean that all the technical areas that are potentially going to appear in the exam will be covered.

Grab the resources you need!

If you’re studying for your CII J03 exam, and you’re feeling anxious about exam day, grab our free taster to try out one of Brand Financial Training’s mock exam papers for yourself.  Click the link to download the J03 mock exam taster now!

Click here to download our free taster mock paper for CII J03