Exam Q&A: AF5 exam technique tips

15 January 2024

For the start of this year’s exam season, Professional Paraplanner has teamed up once again with Brand Financial Training to answer your questions on the exams ahead. In this article, the team offer exam technique tips for the AF5 exam.

The AF5 format is usually predictable

Candidates will be expected to answer fact-finding questions, make appropriate recommendations with justifications, analyse the clients’ current position and explain various technicalities. Knowing this is going to be the format allows you to practise answering these types of question over and over again.

The technical areas in AF5 can be quite niche but they are normally indicated in the fact-find so you’ll have time to do the required revision. For example, if they are wealthy clients with a high ATR you’ll need to get your SEIS/EIS and VCT knowledge up to speed.

AF5 can also get quite technical on the tax calculations, it’s doubtful you’d have to do a calculation, but you may have to set out how the investment, or proceeds on sale, would be taxed.

Use past exam guides

As with any of the CII written papers, using past exam guides is very helpful. The same areas are likely to have been tested before, and the model answers are invaluable to see the level of detail needed. The feedback from the examiner on previous candidates’ performance is also useful.

Relate answers to the clients

A very important fact to remember is that any AF examiners will be looking to see whether candidates have demonstrated their application of knowledge to the client’s situation, so ensure you state in your answers why it is suitable for the client, how it meets their needs; a repetition of technical knowledge will not achieve maximum marks at this level.

Exam preparation video

We offer a free exam preparation video for AF5. The video will help you with exam technique and offers some great tips to gain quick wins for maximising your marks. Available at https://brandft.co.uk/cii-af5-financial-planning-process-analysis/#overview


About Brand Financial Training

Brand Financial Training provides a variety of immediately accessible free and paid learning resources to help candidates pass their CII exams.  Their resource range ensures there is something that suits every style of learning including mock papers, calculation workbooks, videos, audio masterclasses, study notes and more.  Visit Brand Financial Training at https://brandft.co.uk

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Professional Paraplanner