BTS get asked lots of questions about the Financial Planning Practice exam. We have been supporting candidates to pass the R06 exam since the very first exam sitting. In this article we have answered the common questions asked by candidates and share our top tips on how to increase your chances of securing a pass in the CII R06 exam.
The R06 exam is often the final exam attempted by candidates working towards the CII Diploma is Regulated Financial Planning. It is the only ‘written’ exam of the Diploma and it takes a very different format to the R01 to R05 exams.
R06 is a written, case study exam. It tests both your technical knowledge and your application skills. Your performance in this exam is used by the examiner to assess how well you apply your knowledge of the financial planning process in two hypothetical client-facing scenarios.
The R06 exam tests your skills – the way you approach each of the questions, demonstrates how well you can apply your financial planning knowledge from the other units in the Diploma suite. Planning how you write your answer is absolutely key.
Your preparation for the R06 exam should be split into two parts:
You could be forgiven for thinking that the R06 is an easy exam, as the case studies are available a full two weeks before the sitting. However, the national pass rate for this exam fluctuates year on year and has recently was as low as 67% in 2019. The CII recommend 100 study hours for this exam, twice as many hours as R03!
You can’t leave your preparation until two weeks before the exam and expect to pass.
1. Study an R06 study text – you have no choice but to purchase the CII R06 study text as part of your exam enrolment, which is a bit frustrating. BTS produce a much more learner-friendly version of the R06 study guide which covers all the same information in a more accessible way. Check out a free sample of the BTS R06 Study Guide here, it really will help you to organise your study and check your knowledge ahead of the case studies being released.
2. Revise the core technical knowledge areas from across the Diploma syllabus. As you work through your R06 study guide, make a note of any gaps in your knowledge. Ask yourself how confident you are on each of the areas that might come up. This is the time to revisit your old study guides, don’t wait until you see the case studies to realise that your knowledge of defined benefits schemes isn’t as good as it should be! Remember, the core units in the Diploma are:
3. Attempt as many past papers as possible. You can access the full examiner’s report for each of the papers from the previous four sittings on the CII website. BTS suggest you aim to sit one past paper per week, first attempting the questions as if it were your real sitting and then comparing your answer to the examiner’s report to identify where you are gaining and losing marks.
On the day the case studies are released you need to be ready to focus in on the key facts that are presented in each client scenario. There will be two case studies, describing the unique financial circumstances of two different couples.
The R06 exam is an opportunity for you to demonstrate your application of the process undertaken to obtain appropriate client information and understand a client’s needs, wants, values and risk profile. Each case study usually presents 3-5 financial aims. The first step in your analysis is to identify and explore what these aims are.
No one can accurately predict all the questions that will come up, but there are ways to prepare for as many different question angles as possible by:
To maximise success in regulated exams, BTS follow a simple model, based on our proven STEP Approach:
View Our R06 Exam overview/toolkit to purchase any R06 Study support including Study Guides, e-Learning modules, online workshops and study buddy.
Find out more in depth help and advise to structure your R06 studies by viewing our R06 Study Plan.
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.
Read another insightful article ‘What’s the R06 exam like and what can go wrong’ to find out more about information about the R06 Exams.