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R06 – Debunking the Myth

Nikita BTS

Nikita Phillips, BTS Candidate Support & Business Development Adviser, believes that there is a big myth that is hindering candidate performance in the R06 Financial Planning Practice Exam, and she wants this debunked!

So, what is this myth?

One of the common misconceptions about the R06 Financial Planning Practice Exam, is that you only need to start your studying for this exam once the case studies have been issued. How do we know this? Every sitting we see a flurry of purchases of the R06 study materials in the days after the case studies have been released! Not only that, but we also talk to so many candidates who tell us that they don’t plan to start their study until they have seen the case studies *face palm*.

This way of thinking is likely to result in candidates deferring their success as the work needs to start far in advance of the case studies being released. After all, the CII recommend 100 hours of study for a reason…

Obviously, once the case studies are released, you definitely need to “kick it up a gear”, but you also need to be putting in the hard yards before this point, to give yourself the best chance of passing this unit.

R06 Debunking the Myth
R06 Debunking the Myth

Why can’t I leave my preparation until the case studies come out?

Based on the 2022 pass rate, nearly 30% of candidates deferred their success in each sitting, which shows this isn’t a straightforward exam. So, what makes this exam challenging?

R06 is likely going to be your first CII written exam. This means that the nature of this exam is going to be completely different to what you are used to, gone are the days of looking for an answer on a screen.

Getting good marks on your R06 exam relies predominantly on exam technique and ensuring that you are answering the question the examiner is asking you.

You need to pay good attention to the verb within the question, as this will clarify how much detail you need to go into and what answers to note down.

Are you being asked to list, explain or recommend and justify? Your technical knowledge may be off the charts, but if you don’t know how to give the examiner what they are looking for, this exam isn’t going to go your way I’m afraid.

So, what should I be doing prior to the case studies being released?

Well, first of all, we’d recommend you follow a study guide that covers:

  • Revision of key technical areas, AND
  • Exam technique, AND
  • Exam standard question practice.


The BTS R06 study guide will get you started on the right track, covering all of the above. When it comes to your answering techniques, this guide will also introduce you to key techniques and mnemonics which will assist you in answering the questions in a way the CII examiner is looking for.

Secondly, we recommend you practice as many past papers as you possibly can. The questions within R06 do tend to be of a similar nature, and by working your way through past papers, you can see what the examiner is looking for and how marks are awarded. You can access pdf copies of the last three paper in the Useful Downloads section of our R06 Study Plan.

Okay, so what do I do once the case studies are released?

As soon as the case studies are released, you need to be ready to turn your focus to them. There will be two case studies to get to grips with and you will need to get to know them as if they were members of your own family!

The case studies are often released around 2 weeks prior to the exam sitting, and once released, the team at BTS get to work to complete our analysis.

Our analysis provides guidance on how to approach your exam, with information on the actual case studies and potential examination questions. It will also cover the technical areas that we think have the potential to come up, to enable you to brush up on any areas you don’t feel too confident in!

You could also attend a workshop. Our next workshop takes place on the 9th and 10th January ahead of the exam sitting on the 23rd January. These workshops provide the opportunity to collaborate and ask questions about the case studies and attempt exam standard questions in a group environment, and for many of our candidates, they felt these workshops were fundamental in their exam success.

R06 Debunking the Myth

What’s the lesson here?

By putting in the work prior to the case studies being released, you can spend the two weeks before your exam focusing on the case studies, knowing that you’ve already spent time mastering your exam technique.

For a lot of candidates, this will be the last exam between you and your Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning, and with that in mind, it really is worth putting the work in!

The January R06 sitting is fast approaching and will be here before you know it. Time to start putting in the work now!

Are you ready?


View Our R06 Exam Overview/Toolkit to purchase any R06 Study support including Study Guides, e-Learning modules, online workshops and study buddy. 

Chat with other R06 candidates in the dedicated BTS R06 online forum room to help keep up to date , find out any new information and gain help and advise from others.

Find out more in depth help and advise to structure your R06 studies by viewing our R06 Study Plan.

Read another insightful article ‘What’s the R06 Exam like and what can go wrong?’ to find out more information about the R06 exams.  

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