R05 Exam guide and useful information

About the R05 Exam

The R05 (Financial Protection) exam forms part of the Diploma in Regulated Financial Planning and upon successful completion will give you 10 credits at diploma level.

The exam itself is a one-hour computer based multiple choice exam held at test centres throughout the country. As the exam is computer based, you can sit it on a date of your choosing throughout the year providing more flexibility to accommodate your studies. The exam format consists of 50 questions – all multiple choice with only one correct answer.

The pass mark is in the region of 65% and as this is a computer based test rather than a written test it is unlikely that there will be much deviation from this unless a question is subsequently found to be invalid. So in terms of the mark needed to pass, you are looking at a minimum of 33/50.

The following guide has been taken from our R05 learning programme.

R05 Syllabus Breakdown

The exam is based on 10 learning outcomes with varying emphasis given to each section. The approximate split of marks is as follows, although this can vary up or down slightly depending on your specific exam:

Learning Outcome Expected number of exam questions
1.      Understand the consumer and retail market factors and trends relevant to financial protection 3 questions
2.      Understand the areas of need for protection planning and the main sources of financial protection. 3 questions
3.      Understand the role and limitations of State Benefits and State/local authority funded solutions for financial protection. 3 questions
4.      Understand the range, structure and application of life assurance and pension based policies to meet financial protection needs. 8 questions
5.      Understand the taxation treatment of life assurance and pension based protection policies. 6 questions
6.      Understand the range, structure and application of income protection insurance and options to meet financial protection needs. 6 questions
7.      Understand the range, structure and application of critical illness insurance to meet financial protection needs. 6 questions
8.      Understand the range, structure and application of long term care insurance to meet financial protection needs 3 questions
9.      Understand the main features of other insurance based protection policies. 6 questions
10.  Evaluate the needs and priorities for financial protection and the relevant factors in selecting appropriate solutions. 6 questions


Planning your study for R05– Financial Protection

As noted above, there are 10 learning outcomes for the R05 exam, with different weight and emphasis applied to each but they are extremely broad headings which really don’t tell you very much about the content of the examination. The more detailed syllabus does break this down a bit further but still to pretty broad headings and as such, we need to go a bit further in planning your study.

The study plan has been built around spending the right amount of time on each of the learning outcomes to help you get the most out of your study time.

The learning material has been split up into four weekly chunks which will guide you through the syllabus and prepare you for the exam.

This week, you should prepare what you need for your study and have a think about how you can fit the extra work into your busy schedule. Some learners prefer to come in to the office early and do an hour every morning, others prefer to break it up into smaller chunks and fit it in throughout the day but you have to find out what works for you. One thing that is clear though, is that it will be a reasonable commitment of your time, and if you fail to plan it properly you are planning to fail.

You might also want to get some stationery together like a pad of paper for your own notes and workings, and a highlighter to allow you to pick out key pieces of information and of course, a calculator. Remember that you are allowed to take a financial calculator into the examination (as long as it isn’t capable of being programmed to hold formulae) and these are useful for a number of the exams as well as working with customers in real life.

Study Plan for R05 – Financial Protection

The R05 study schedule is split into a four-week learning programme. We would recommend that you allow yourself around a week after the programme finishes to consolidate your learning, practice taking some examinations and revise. This means that you should leave yourself around 5 weeks from starting the programme, to taking the exam.

As part of our structured study plan, rather than just giving you a book and expecting you to read it and learn, we will be providing an interactive and structured journey to help you through your studies.

We have broken the key learning outcomes down into various areas that will be rolled out over the 4- week study schedule for you to study as you go. The learning materials will include written summaries of the material covered in the form of a study guide that you can print off and read through. As well as this and alongside the specific learning material, you will find other useful documents such exercises that will help with your study.

The learning schedule for the R05 exam has been broken up into weekly sessions, and it is recommended that you complete each weekly module and learning within the week. You should find that there is just about the right amount of material for one week’s study and if you have time before the next week starts it is a good idea to consolidate your learning rather than trying to jump ahead to the next module.

The modules break down as follows:

  • Week one is a bit of a scene setter. We will consider the first three syllabus areas, looking at market factors and trends, need for financial protection and sources of aid from the State.
  • In week two we will look at life insurance – both in terms of the forms available and also in terms of the taxation of life insurance. This is quite a big week so you might want to make sure you schedule in just a little extra time.
  • Week three picks up three big areas of protection: income protection, critical illness insurance and long term care.
  • Finally, in week four we will look at ‘other insurances’ like private medical insurance and Accident Sickness and Unemployment, Business Protection needs and some application issues.

Everyone learns in their own way and you will need to find the way that works for you but some tips you might consider include:

  • If you are someone who is very visual – read the material and then draw out ‘mind maps’ or ‘spider charts’ to put the information into visual form
  • Try to tie new material to things you already know – it is often easier to understand something if you can relate it to something similar you already understand
  • If something just won’t stick in your mind – try something ridiculous! Take your child’s favourite teddy bear, put it in a chair and explain that difficult concept to the bear! You won’t struggle to remember how daft it felt and you’ll often remember the concept as a result
  • If you have no visual memory and think in words – put concepts into stories. Make them crazy and memorable.
  • Try setting concepts to the tunes of your favourite songs. We have a great memory for song lyrics for a reason – the music helps us remember.

Above all – make sure you do the work. If you don’t work, you won’t get the results. Good luck and we’ll see you in module one…


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