R08 Exam guide and useful information
December 11, 2017 1:21 pm
The R08 exam (Pensions Update) forms part of the Diploma in financial planning and upon successful completion will give you 10 credits at diploma level. This will help those on their way towards diploma status as well as those who need extra credits for either their Chartered or Fellowship.
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 40 stand-alone multiple choice questions, with 5 questions at the end based on a short case study that you are provided in the exam. All 45 questions have only one correct answer. Even the questions on the case study are single response so there are no “multiple response” questions that have appeared in other exams.
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 29/45.
The following guide has been taken from our R08 study programme.
The exam is based on 6 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. Explain the changes to the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax regime as introduced by the taxation of Pensions act 2014||11|
|2. Explain the new legislative, reporting and compliance requirements arising from the pensions reforms||5|
|3. Explain the main changes in the rules for members transferring their benefits||5|
|4. Explain the changes to pension income options||14|
|5. Explain the changes that will be made to state pension provision from 6th April 2016||5|
|6. Analyse the key factors that should be taken into account when advising a client on how to take an income in retirement||5|
As you can see from the above table, about 50% of the marks are distributed between the two learning outcomes around changes to the tax regime, and changes to pension income options.
Another important point to note in respect of the R08 exam is that you are only being tested on the CHANGES that have been brought in over the last couple of years, so for areas that have stayed the same, you will not be tested.
As noted above, there are 6 learning outcomes for the R08 exam, with different weight and emphasis applied to each, as such it would be the wrong approach to just consider splitting your time equally between the learning outcomes in your preparation for the exam.
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 the exam.
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.
You may also want to consider booking your exam with the CII. Booking costs £136 for members (£180 for non-members) and includes a copy of the CII study book. Once you have settled on a date for your exam, it is worthwhile booking it in with the CII. Booking your exam early serves a couple of purposes, firstly by ensuring that you are more likely to get the exam centre you want and secondly, by actually putting the date in the diary it does tend to focus the mind on the task at hand.
The R08 study schedule is split into a five week programme. All the learning for the exam will be completed in the first four weeks, leaving the last week for consolidating your learning through practice questions and a general summary module.
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 as a calculator guide and additional material that will help with your study.
The release schedule for the R08 exam has been broken up into weekly sessions, and it is recommended that you complete each weekly module and learning as it is released. You can start your journey at any time, and the modules will release sequentially every 7 days. The schedule and coverage of each weekly topic will be as follows:
|1||1. Explain the changes to the HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) tax regime as introduced by the taxation of Pensions act 2014 (11 questions)
|2||2: Explain the new legislative, reporting and compliance requirements arising from the pensions reforms (5 questions)
3: Explain the main changes in the rules for members transferring their benefits (5 questions)
|3||4: Explain the changes to pension income options (14 questions)
|4||5: Explain the changes that will be made to state pension provision from 6th April 2016 (5 questions)
6: Analyse the key factors that should be taken into account when advising a client on how to take an income in retirement (5 questions)
|5||Summary module and question practice
A recommended path for the study is to review the e-book study guide, then work through the questions provided that will be released in conjunction with the learning material.