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The right preparation is the key to passing the CII AF7 exam

The right preparation is the key to passing the CII AF7 exam

The current pass rate for AF7 is around 43% – it’s certainly a challenging exam! But the good news is there are only so many questions the CII can ask about pension transfers. When you analyse the past exam papers, it is clearly evident (more so than for any of the other AF exams) that certain questions come up time and time again, and this accounts for a large percentage of the exam. We feel that practising these ‘staple’ questions is key to AF7 revision. Here, we take a look at some of the most common AF7 questions.

The Fact-Finding Question

Expect a fact-finding question – there has been at least one fact-finding question in every sitting of AF7. It is important you read the question carefully and relate your answer to the question being asked. For example: If the question asks for ‘additional information you require from the member in order to advise on the suitability of a pension transfer’ it’s vitally important you list the information you would obtain from the member NOT the information you would request from the scheme.

‘Factors’ Questions

Factors questions are becoming increasingly popular across the AF exams (e.g. factors to consider before advising the member to transfer). It’s worth practising these – they can be tricky! Again, it is important to read the question if the question reads ‘identify’ or ‘explain factors’ in the case study ensure your answers relate directly to the case study rather than generic answers.

Practising the ‘staple’ questions is key to #CII #AF7 revision. Here are some of the most common questions. Click To Tweet


Other Typical Questions

  • It goes without saying that candidates must be prepared for a question on the benefits and drawbacks of a transfer, and the question could include:
    • Transferring full or partial benefits
    • Transferring now or delaying the decision
  • The transfer advice process – timescales/documentation/responsibilities of trustees/adviser or member
  • CETV/TVC calculation process
  • Reasons for a reduced or increased CETV
  • Pension Protection Fund – level of benefits/criteria for entering
  • Death benefits (including the tax treatment of death benefits) – this is sometimes a standalone question e.g. death benefits in the scheme compared to FAD, but you will be expected to include death benefits in some of the other questions e.g. benefits/drawbacks of transferring.
  • Cashflow forecasting
  • Appropriate Pension Transfer Analysis (APTA) – what needs to be included

Our feeling is with AF7 that the marking will be strict – it has to be because of the nature of the work that the adviser can then go onto practise.  Candidates must ensure they are precise with their answers, as the examiner will have less flexibility when they are marking student’s papers, than perhaps with other AF exams.

To help prepare for this exam, we advise you to practise mock papers to understand the style and format of the exam.  The questions and answers and mock papers will also give you a feel for the timings, which are tight! Also, you can get the much-needed practice of these ‘staple’ questions with our Core Knowledge resource. Do make sure you study the model answers and how they relate directly to the question being asked.

Grab the resources you need!

If you’re studying for your CII AF7 exam, and you’re wanting to feel confident on exam day, grab our free taster to try out one of Brand Financial Training’s resources for yourself.  Click the link to download the AF7 mock paper taster now!

Click here to download our free taster mock paper for CII AF7