Are you ready for the July R06 exam?

23 May 2024

Whether you think you’re ready or not, Natalie Dawes, Candidate Support & Business Development Adviser for Bespoke Training Solutions, has some tips for you. 

(And go to the end of the article for some important information about Natalie – Ed)

If I had to choose a favourite exam, R06 would be it. I think it’s because of how it brings everything we’ve done in the other R0s together. It’s also quite a poignant exam because passing it (assuming it’s your last exam of the six required), means qualification – how exciting is that?!

With it being a written exam, it’s also an opportunity to show off how we can apply the technical knowledge that we’ve gathered. I remember preparing for my R06 sitting a few years ago and I couldn’t wait for the exam. It was the first time since my school days that I was actually looking forward to writing about something that really mattered to me.

As part of my prep, I looked at some of the CII past papers and something really struck me. There I was thinking I’d have to write, almost short essay style answers yet the model answers had very short bullet pointed answers and actually very little meat on the bone. I’d look at the questions and then again look at the model answers. Would I have answered in this way – absolutely not.

Preparation is key

We talk a lot about preparing for an exam but what exactly does good prep look like for R06? Ideally, it’s a combination of knowledge AND exam technique. More often than not candidates prepare more for the knowledge side, which they can be forgiven for because of what we said at the start of this article – R06 brings together all of your knowledge from R01-R05.

We must balance this out though, with technique. I have lost count of the many conversations I’ve had with candidates who are purely brushing up on a bit of knowledge here and there and blissfully awaiting the case studies for their exam to be released, purely to know who they’re working with.

Start now

If you are sitting R06 in July and you haven’t yet started any prep – please, please start today. This is not an easy exam, so if you’re hearing that it is – don’t listen! It sounds harsh but it’s usually from lovely people who mean well but have happily forgotten any exam trauma they may have felt, their exam was a few years ago or perhaps they’ve never sat this exam at all.

Sitting exams can be very personal scenarios, just because one individual ‘breezed’ it doesn’t mean you will and let me tell you, I’ve spoken to many candidates that have dipped out. Don’t let that be you.

How can you prepare?

It’s easy for me to say get going, the question then is how to go about it. Here’s some tips from me:

1. Work through a study guide. I questioned why there was a study guide for my own sitting – I’d done all of the learning so what else was there to learn? Technique – so bloomin’ important for this exam!

You need something that builds the techniques required for R06, from the ground up (ours does by the way!). You’ll gain clarity and understanding about why questions are worded the way they are and of course how to answer them, which sounds easy but examiner feedback tells us something very different a lot of the time.

2. Which leads me nicely onto point two – do read and learn from what the R06 examiner has to say. You can find this within the CII R06 Examination Guides, which are available for the last four sittings, on the CII website. Where did candidates do well? Where did they not? Could this indicate that they might test on this again? What was the examiner actually looking for?

Don’t do this at last thing at night though, it’ll likely make great bedtime reading but you don’t want to be nodding off for fear of missing a valuable learn – you’re welcome!

3. Discover how to analyse a case study. A vital step that is often missed. From spending a good amount of time getting to know the clients you’ll be working with – and let’s pretend we actually are because it makes it so much easier – you’ll establish a few things.

You’ll realise there are areas of knowledge that you’re weaker on and will therefore need to revise. You can start thinking about the gaps in your client’s planning or what else you might need to know and indeed, what the examiner could ask of you.

What works best for you? Notes? Mind maps? A wall of post it notes? Voice recordings that you can play back to yourself?

Every word in a case study has been put there for a reason. So, analyse everything! This could help you with your note taking or mind mapping.

4. Past paper practise – for when you’ve done your case study analysis. Don’t just read a question and give it a go…immerse yourself in the exam experience as much as you are able to from where you choose to study. Type answers rather than hand write, allow yourself the same amount of time as there are marks available and DO NOT look at the model answers until you have completed the whole paper.

The mark per minute rule is important – that three hours in the exam might sound like a long time but you ask any candidate, and they’ll all tell you how quick that time goes. And lastly, strictly self-mark, if you’re not sure you would have picked up a mark, don’t award it.

Do consider support for R06

I hope this article has helped as opposed to make you go ‘yikes’ – if you are running for the hills right now though, there is support that will help. BTS have been supporting this exam since it was first launched, so we definitely know a thing or two about it.

Not only that, we sit the exam on a regular basis too, so we can stay as close to it as possible. I’ll let you into a secret – I’m sitting R06 in July, so you’re not on your own, I’ll literally be doing it with you.

Things to consider:

Structure: If you’re worried about your prep and want some support that’s going to give you the structured approach I’ve talked about in this article, I’m running a two-week intensive programme, starting on 31st May.

Over the two weeks, we’ll work on four case studies, four exam papers and we’ll have four sessions together. You’ll receive personalised feedback on answers to questions and effectively have me by your side for those all important last two weeks before the case studies are released on 14th June.

This programme is only open to six candidates to ensure they each receive as much support as possible in that time. Places can be booked by heading to our events page on our website (scroll to the very bottom).

Reflection: It’s important to look back at previous sittings and learn from them. BTS is running a webinar, where we’ll be doing exactly this – looking back at the April 2024 exam. This event is free so do register and join us on Thursday 13th June at 1pm.

Get to know your case studies: The July case studies will be released on 14th June and will be available directly from the CII website. For every sitting, our friends at Professional Paraplanner invite BTS to a lunchtime webinar, where we look at the generic aspects of the R06 exam as well as take a deep dive into the case studies. Another free event that’s open to anyone and well worth attending. So again, register and pop along on Monday 17th June at 12:30pm.

Swat up on a workshop: BTS run two-day workshops for R06 for every sitting in the week immediately after the case studies have been released. As part of your workshop booking fee, you’ll have access to our case study analysis as well as two days with an experienced trainer. We’ll guide you through the case studies and give you plentiful of opportunities to hone the technique, that I’ve been banging on about in this article!

We’ve added an extra date for this sitting as well, on a weekend! Fingers crossed, there’s a date that’ll work for everyone. Again, check out our events page to learn more or book yourself a spot.

The case study analysis is available to purchase stand alone as well, so do consider it on it’s own if you’re unable to get onto a workshop.

Get in touch

There’s a lot of info in this article – but then it’s R06 so there’s a lot to think about, perhaps much more than you realised. We genuinely want to support you in every way we can so if you have questions, want to chat or you’re having a bit of an R06 meltdown, give us a shout and we’ll absolutely help you. You’ll soon be kicking R06 into touch!

Bespoke Training Solutions have been supporting regulated exams for 20 years this year! Known as ‘the exam experts’ within the industry, BTS provide support for the CII regulated exams by way of study guides, e-learning resources, and workshops for the full R0 suite and many AF and J0 units.

Visit and check out the brand-new Careers Zone for study plans, answers to exam FAQs and lots more to support your journey.


Natalie is undertaking a wing walk – that’s right stepping out onto the wing of a plane and staying there while it’s up in the air (crazy but true) – in aid of St Barnabas House, a charity providing palliative care to adults with life-limiting illnesses.

If you’d like to find out more and/or support her you can do so here: Natalie Dawes is fundraising for St Barnabas House (

Professional Paraplanner