The October 2015 CII AF5 exam focused on the stated objectives
Now that we have the actual questions from October’s CII AF5 exam, we can compare what came up on the day to the areas that we predicted, in our analysis, would come up. This will be particularly useful reading if you are planning to sit AF5 in the near future.
As any student of AF5 will tell you, the client objectives are split between immediate and longer term. We predict these, but we also look at other potential areas which we might not consider specific objectives but could come up – and they did!
The first question is usually around identifying the additional information, you’d need as an adviser, to help the clients with their immediate and longer term objectives. All the immediate and longer term objectives given on the day were covered in our analysis, but only two were tested at this stage of the exam, namely estate planning and retirement income.
The second question was around the risks that apply to emerging market equity funds. Risk is usually covered in the AF5 exam so we had this covered too.
This question was in two parts – firstly students had to explain how the bond could be used to provide a lump sum for the children, and secondly a description was required of how the clients could maximise both ISA allowances by disposing of Ken’s collective investments. The information needed to answer the first part was covered specifically. The information needed to answer the second part was in there, but it would have been a well prepared student who could lift that information and use it for the second part.
This covered protection – firstly delegates had to ‘comment on and identify weaknesses in the protection and pension arrangements in the event of death before retirement’ and then ‘recommend and justify how a company can set up life cover’.
Protection was covered in full in our analysis including the death benefits on their pension scheme so the first part of this question should not have caused too many problems; however, the second part we did not specifically cover, so there were a few marks lost there.
The fifth question covered pensions; specifically FAD and death benefits; consolidation of plans and factors to consider regarding with profits suitability. We covered the options available to Ken as well as the death benefit options. There was some information on consolidation and some information on the with-profits fund but students would have had to supplement this information with their own knowledge to get the full marks on offer here.
Here was another recommend and justify question – this time the actions to take to ensure estates pass to the intended beneficiaries on death. We covered ways to mitigate an IHT liability, but within that were the recommendations that would be needed to also ensure their estate passed in the way they wanted.
This question was around how the bond can be written under a trust for tax efficiency as well as having to explain the duties of a trustee. We covered both of these – the second part in more detail than the first.
Finally question 8 was the review question. Specifically it was ‘identify 7 factors that should be taken into account at future reviews of Ken’s SIPP’. Our review question was ‘list the key events which should trigger a review’. However, within our model answer, we had 5 points that could have been used that were relevant to the SIPP.
There is often a curve ball or two within the AF5 exam paper, but this time round there didn’t appear to be. All the questions seemed focused on the stated objectives which are given to students on the day of the exam. One key part of passing this exam is making sure that these objectives are read very carefully before attempting the questions. The objectives that we come up with are what we think they will be – students must always remember to check what they are given on the day.
Finally just to remind you that the nominal pass mark for AF5 is 55% and we believe that delegates using our analysis should have achieved this.
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If you’re studying for your CII AF5 exam, and you’re hoping to have a reason to celebrate on results day, you’ll need to arm yourself with all the necessary tools to secure that pass. 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?