How to prepare for the R05 exam

How to prepare for the R05 exam

The R05 Qualification is a level 3 qualification provided by the CII which covers the core types of financial protection available. As the FCA requires Retail Investment Advisors to hold a recognised qualification, it is recommended that Advisors providing protection advice complete the R05 or an equivalent qualification. Upon completion, the R05 gives 10 credits at Diploma level.

Though it is mainly Protection Advisors who use R05, it can also be relevant for Paraplanners, Technical Consultants and other support roles within financial planning.

The R05 assesses learners using a multiple-choice exam of 50 questions with a pass mark of around 65%. To ensure you score as highly as possible, it is important you deploy effective revision tactics to help you retain as much information as possible. So, how can you prepare for the R05 exam?

Knowing what the exam is looking to test you on is crucial to succeeding. Ensure you are extremely familiar with the syllabus and what exactly you are expected to know. If you aren’t sure, have a read of the learning outcomes outlined in the R05 syllabus. You can find the 2023/24 syllabus here.

Though the approximate split of marks can vary slightly depending on the specific exam you receive, generally the number of questions for each learning outcome is as follows:

Learning OutcomeExpected Number of Exam Questions
Understanding the consumer and retail market factors and trends relevant to financial protection3 Questions
Understand the areas of need for protection planning and the main sources of financial protection3 Questions
Understand the role and limitations of State benefits and State/Local authority funded solutions for financial protection3 Questions
Understand the range, structure and application of life assurance and pension based policies to meet financial protection needs8 Questions
Understand the taxation treatment of life assurance and pension based protection policies6 Questions
Understand the range, structure and application of income protection insurance and options to meet financial protection needs6 Questions
Understand the range, structure and application of critical illness insurance to meet financial protection needs6 Questions
Understand the range, structure and application of long term care insurance to meet financial protection needs3 Questions
Understand the main features of other insurance based protection policies6 Questions
Evaluate the needs and prioritise for financial protection and the relevant factors in selecting appropriate solutions6 Questions

What resources does the CII provide for learners to help them prepare for the R05 exam? The CII has a range of tool available to students to support their revision. Find out more about what they offer and the formats available here.

E-learning – Delivered through the platform RevisionMate, learners have access to online tutorials and interactive studying activities, which are backed by an assessment tool that checks your understanding as you work. It covers difficult or key areas in the syllabus, therefore is best used to compliment the primary study text.

Knowledge checker – Depending on the unit, this tool provides between 150 and 300 questions for learners to test their knowledge. Feedback is provided and refers to specific areas of testing in the official CII study text to support learners. You should be aware that the questions provided are sample questions, not past papers.

Audio revision – The CII provides an audio revision tool that covers key elements in the syllabus that underpin application at an advanced level, with exam technique guidance.

Key facts – Summarising key information, these booklets focus on the high-level requirements of the syllabus.

How do you revise effectively to prepare for the R05 exam? There is a variety of techniques to support your studies.

Revision plan – Making a weekly study plan can help you to ensure you are revising regularly. A great tip for creating a regular schedule is to book your exam date straight away. Work backwards weekly from your exam date to form a revision plan that fulfils the recommended study hours quota.

Bite-sized information – Breaking the topics down into small chunks can make the information much easier to absorb. It can also help you maximise your productivity as it will allow you to take regular breaks, ensuring you stay energised and focused.

Worst first – Don’t leave the worst for last! Revise the areas of the syllabus you find difficult first. This will give you enough time to develop your understanding and ensure you feel confident when you take your exam.

Location – Find somewhere quiet and away from distraction whenever you revise. It can also be helpful to revise at a similar time each day, as regular routine can help you to properly focus.

Make notes – Making notes on key topics can help you to memorise the information better. Your notes can also serve as a crib sheet for your exam as you will have all the most important information in one place.

Taking care of your personal wellbeing is key to revising successfully, as looking after your body helps to care for your mind. You should try to eat well and to keep your energy level up. Aim to get between 7 and 9 hours of sleep per night and consider some physical activities you could do to keep active. This could include going to the gym, starting a sport you enjoy, or even a simple walk during your study breaks.

Exam taking is a skill, so having the right techniques is crucial to ensure you perform to the best of your abilities.

When sitting an exam, it is best to work methodically. Read through each question carefully and make sure you understand what it is asking before you try to answer. Pay close attention to any words in bold or in capitals and consider what they are emphasising. In a multiple-choice exam, you should also read all of the answers before deciding on your answer.

Try not to spend too much time on one question. If you don’t understand something, or are struggling to answer, come back to it later. Spend any extra time you have checking over your answers and making sure you haven’t missed any questions.

The key to success in your R05 exam is preparation. Make use of all the resources available to you, plan your revision carefully, pay attention to exam techniques, and ensure that you are mindful of your physical and mental wellbeing. Deploy these tactics and you are sure to pass!

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