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5 days of Exam Q&As: Day 4 – R0 Exams

20 January 2021

Professional Paraplanner has teamed up with Brand Financial Training to answer your questions around the exams scheduled for 2021 and to offer some top study, revision and exam preparation tips.

In our last Parameters survey we asked you for the questions you would like to ask the experts around exam and qualification training. Over the course of this week we tackle a range of those questions.

For Day 4, we answer your questions around techniques for studying and revision for R0 exams in general.

Paraplanner Question:

  • What is the best way to revise for CII R0 exams? Should I be prioritising certain chapters above others?

The Brand Financial Training member answers:

We shared with you yesterday some general exam revision techniques to help with revision for all exams but today we will specifically focus on revision tips for the CII R0 exams and yes, prioritising chapters is definitely something to consider.

Read the exam guide

The first thing I would say is take time to read the CII exam guide. The exam guide includes full details of the exam structure, exam technique information, a full mock exam with questions and answers and details of the learning objectives including how many questions are likely to be asked for each (this can also be found in the study text).

Mock papers, mock papers, mock papers

It is important that you spend time practising mock papers (not just questions that test your knowledge). More and more of the CII R0 exam questions are being worded as client scenarios which can be tricky if you are not familiar with them.

Mock Papers will also give you practise answering the multi response questions which are found in R01 to R04. These questions can be particularly challenging. Completing as many mock papers as possible will ensure you are fully prepared for the style and format of the exam questions and doing at least one under exam conditions is also advisable as this will give you a feel for timings – I would say this is particularly important for R03 where the time pressure is enormous!

Focus on your learning

You may choose to focus your learning. If you identify the areas of weakness in your knowledge (mocks can help with this too!) then you can focus your in-depth revision in these areas. Also you will find that some of the R0 exams have areas of the syllabus which are more heavily examined than others so again you can focus your learning in these areas.  The current CII guide is:

R01 – Chapters 5, 6, 7 and 8 cover around 50% of the total exam questions.

R02 – Chapters 1, 2, 7 and 8, account for around 50% of the questions.

This is not so evident in R03, R04 and R05 where the questions are more evenly spread over the leaning objectives and chapters.

Note: this information is taken from the current exam guides (and study text) and the CII do state that there is an element of flexibility, but the exam will generally be within this range.

Other resources

In terms of the use of other resources to help with your revision, this will vary from person to person. Some people are happy to plough through the CII study text whilst others prefer to use additional resources such as study notes, E-learning or audios to break up the monotony. As mentioned, we see mock papers as a vital resource for R01 to R05 revision and other resources such as calculation workbooks for R02, R03 & R04 are also very useful if you feel this is an area you need to focus on.

Further details of our resources for the R0 exams can be found on our website.

R06 is a very different beast to R01-5 and you are likely to find your exam preparation will be very different. For general tips and help for R06 I would direct you to an article we wrote recently on ‘What to expect from the CII’s R06 exam‘.


  • I am studying R01 and finding it a long read; how do I make it more readable and retain the information?

The Brand Financial Training member answers:

The good news is we have a lot of additional resources to support you through the R01 exam and so you should be able to get away without having to read every page of the study text. Whilst the CII study text should form the basis of your revision there are resources that wrap around this.

How or which additional resources you use really does depend on your style of learning. If you are really finding the CII study text too much like hard work (as many do!) you could try working your way through the E-learning modules, you could then try some mock papers or revision questions which should highlight gaps in your knowledge so you can then refer to the CII text.

You could also, as mentioned above, focus your learning (or at least your reading of the CII study text) on the areas which are most heavily examined so for R01 if you look at the learning outcome section (page 5 of the current study text) and compare this with the ‘R01 syllabus quick-reference guide’ (page 11) you will see chapters 5, 6 and 7 and 8 are more heavily examined than chapters 1, 4 and 11.

I hope that gives you some ideas.

Free tasters of the Brand Financial Training R01 resources are available on our website:

Professional Paraplanner