CII Exam Study – The Importance of an ‘end in mind’ approach 

CII Exam Study – The Importance of an ‘end in mind’ approach

Once qualified, your client discussions/interactions will commonly revolve around what they want to achieve with their wealth.  That could be planning for a comfortable retirement with financial freedom or leaving a sizeable legacy to their family, either way this will involve the construction of objectives and an ‘end in mind’ approach. 

Your exam study should be no different.  At the start of a programme of exam study, you should think about where you need to be at end of that track.  This is where two very important resources come into play. 

  • The exam syllabus – which contains the learning outcomes and indicative question weighting. 
  • The exam guide – which contains a mock exam and a copy of the tax tables you will be provided with in your exam. 

Let’s start with the syllabus…  

As an example, here is an excerpt from the R02 syllabus, which can be found by following this link https://www.cii.co.uk//media/10129684/r02-indicative-content-2023-2024.pdf. 

What does this tell us? Here we are looking at learning outcome three, which will have seven questions dedicated to it in the exam.  It tells us that we need to understand the features, benefits, and drawbacks of all the investment theories listed.  In other words, we need to understand how each theory works, what is so good/useful about each theory, and why shouldn’t we rely too heavily on that theory when making investment decisions. 

We can therefore prepare well for the exam by ensuring that our revision notes and revision activities are targeted around those particular considerations (it may even be the headings to each section of our notes). 

It’s important to note that the exam is based specifically on the syllabus, not the textbook.  The textbook will provide the relevant technical information associated with the syllabus, but your understanding of the syllabus comes more from interpretation activity and practice.   

This brings us nicely on to the exam guide.  An important part of the ‘end in mind’ approach is reviewing the exam guide at the start of the programme.  Whilst it is unlikely at this stage that you’d be able to successfully navigate your way through all the questions, it brings the syllabus to life and is a useful indication of how the syllabus could be examined.  It can also be incredibly useful in familiarising with style of questions and common distractor answers that are set.  You may also identify an overlap with the previous exam, which can be a great confidence booster at the start of your revision track. 

As mentioned previously, the exam guide also contains the tax tables you will have access to during your exam, so it can be very beneficial to familiarise with what’s in the tax tables, and what isn’t. 

You can access a copy of the R02 exam guide by following this link https://www.cii.co.uk//media/10129911/r02_examination_guide_for_exams_from_1_september_2023_to_31_august_2024.pdf 

In summary: 

  • At the start of each track, review the syllabus to ensure you have context to your note taking and revision activity. 
  • Having reviewed the syllabus, next up review the exam guide and familiarise with the format and style of the exam. 

Here at Redmill Advance, we have decades of experience in supporting your exam preparation and helping you achieve exam success through a combination of content, activities, and technique. 

Please contact us if you would like more information: https://redmilladvance.com/contact-us/ 

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