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How do you complete the CII R03 exam in just 60 minutes?

How do you complete the CII R03 exam in just 60 minutes?

The CII R03 exam continues to be one of the hardest exams to pass at diploma level.  The main issue candidates have is the way the questions are worded and the timeframe – it’s tough to answer 50 questions in 60 minutes, particularly when 11 of those are multiple-response and there is a host of calculation questions. Here we give you some strategies that will help your exam preparation.


Topics Sure to Appear on the R03 Exam

One thing you can be sure about is that you will be tested on bond taxation, national insurance, inheritance tax and basic income tax calculations (with questions designed to test your ability to apply the PSA and dividend allowance) and occasionally a question on the 0% rate for savings.

The last area here often causes problems for delegates so make sure you practise, practise, practise. If you see a question with a relatively low amount of earned income with some savings income, then it’s probably this they’re testing you on.  The starting rate is only available where savings income falls within the first £5,000 of taxable income so if earned income is £17,570 or more, then the starting rate for savings is not available.

Use the CII Exam Guide

It is essential that the CII exam guide is used as part of your revision, as gives you the opportunity to familiarise yourself with the type and style of questions that you will be faced with in the exam.  The question stems are often quite long, but the more you practise, the more easily you will be able to pick through the information to get to what is actually being tested.

Our mock papers are designed to match the style and wording of the latest exam guides so if you need additional practise, these are well worth the investment.

A Standard R03 question

Another very standard question is around the transferable nil rate band.   Here’s an example question:

Geraldine died in the 2004/2005 tax year using 40% of the then standard nil rate band for IHT of £263,000. If her husband dies in this tax year (21/22), how much standard nil rate band can be applied for by his personal representatives?

A. £325,000

B. £430,200

C. £482,800

D. £520,000

Geraldine’s husband’s legal personal representatives can apply for his standard nil rate band of £325,000, plus Geraldine’s unused standard nil rate band at 60% of £325,000 = £195,000, giving a combined standard nil rate band total of £520,000

Practise the Calculations

There’s no magic formula for passing R03 in the time given, but practising the calculations that come up time and time again will mean on the day you will be as ready as you can be.

Multi Response Questions

As we’ve already mentioned, there are 11 multi-response questions in R03. They can often feel harder than the standard format questions, but in reality, there’s no difference. It’s simply a case of eliminating fewer options and remember that at least two of the answers are correct and MOST of the time it is just two! The latest exam guide has 9 out of the 11 multi-response questions with just two correct options and only two questions had three correct options.

Grab the resources you need!

For more R03 questions examples and exam hints and tips download our free R03 How to Pass guide:

If you’re studying for your CII R03 exam, and you don’t want to waste precious time figuring out the calculations, you’ll need to be well prepared. Grab our free taster to try out one of Brand Financial Training’s calculation workbooks for yourself.  Click the link to download the R03 calculation workbook taster now!

Click here to download our free calculation workbook taster for CII R03