Not logged in?
Login / create an account to access free content on the Careers Zone.


Sitting the AF5 exam | The candidate experience 

Sitting the AF5 exam – the candidate experience

R0 exam candidates often consider progressing onto the AF exams. The AF5 Financial Planning Process is the mandatory unit of the CII’s Advanced Diploma in Financial Planning. It’s an exam that focusses on the advice process, so is similar to the level 4 R06 exam, but the AF5 exam asks questions relating to one fact find rather than two shorter case studies. To pass the AF5 exam, you’ll need to demonstrate detailed analysis and critical evaluation skills, as you would expect for a level 6 exam. 

Luiza Todd one of the BTS Directors shares her experiences of sitting the CII AF5 exam. Read the article in full here:

Sitting the AF5 exam – Professional Paraplanner Magazine July 2022

Sitting the AF5 exam | The candidate experience
Sitting the AF5 exam | The candidate experience

What advice can BTS give AF5 exam candidates?

The CII recommend a minimum of 150 study hours for this mandatory unit. Make sure you don’t wing it – preparation is key both with the system, your knowledge and your question answering techniques. Candidates who buy an analysis and learn questions and answers are not giving themselves the best possible chance of a first-time exam pass.

No-one knows exactly which questions will come up, and the AF5 exam is designed to test your analysis skills to the limit. Buy and work through a study guide, attend a workshop, gets lots of practice and buy a decent fact find analysis. AF5 is an advanced paper – your knowledge, question answering techniques and preparation all must be first class to have a chance of passing.

BTS AF5 Study Toolkit

Passing AF5 needs a ‘little and often’ approach when it comes to your study plan The BTS AF5 study plan has four parts to it; the aim being to set you up for first time exam success.

  1. First, we recommend candidates order and work through our study guide (which is unique in the marketplace).
    • This gradually walks you through the exam syllabus and the questions styles that have regularly appeared in past AF5 papers.
    • It will teach you the foundations of the correct question-answering techniques, which are so important to achieve a first-time exam pass
  2. The next stage is to complete in exam conditions and self-mark as many CII AF5 papers as you can.
    • This part of the plan gets you practising the key question-answering techniques that you have learned from the study guide. The final two stages take place once the exam fact find is released, approximately two and a half weeks before the exam sitting date.
  3. BTS run a remote one-day workshop based on the actual exam fact find.
    • This day walks you through some possible fact find questions and suggested answers, and covers off some of the technical areas that may appear in your exam.
  4. BTS also produce a full e-Learning analysis of all the possible questions and answers that we think could be examined on the relevant AF5 fact find.
    • We include hints and tips after each question debrief, plus include relevant crib sheets on possible technical areas that could be examined.


View Our AF5 Exam overview/toolkit to purchase any AF5 Study support including Study Guides, e-Learning modules, online workshops and study buddy. 

Find out more in depth help and advise around how to structure your AF5 studies by viewing our AF5 Study Plan.

Chat with other Af5 candidates in the dedicated BTS Af5 online forum room to help keep up to date , find out any new information and gain help and advise from others.

For more information on the AF5 Exam sitting read our helpful ‘AF5 February 2023 Exam Sitting’ Article 

To view Careers Zone Content, Please sign in or Register

Sign in to Careers Zone

Register for Careers Zone