top of page

Exam hacks ahead of R06

The CII R06 exam is coming up (argh!), so we asked Catriona Standingford of Brand Financial Training for some tips. Here’s what Catriona told us:

Exam structure and timings

R06 consists of short questions based on two case studies issued 2 weeks before the exam. The nominal pass mark is 55%. You do not have to pass all the questions to achieve an overall pass, you have to gain enough marks in total.

It is a 3 hour exam and there are a total of 150 marks on offer. The number of marks available for each question will be provided so ensure you take note of this as it will give you a feel for how much time to spend on each answer. Allowing a minute a mark is a good guide and this will also allow some time to check over your work.

Style of questions

Studying the CII exam guides and the Brand Financial Training past analyses will give you a feel for the style of questions that are likely to be asked. Typical questions will include fact-finding questions such as ‘What further information would you require to advise the client on their investments; adviser questions for example ‘what factors should a financial adviser consider when reviewing the client’s investments’ plus the analysis of products and technical questions which are usually worded as ‘explain why’, ‘comment on’ or‘ state the advantages and disadvantages of’.

It is vitally important that you read each question carefully and ensure you are answering the question that is actually being asked and not the question you are hoping was going to be asked. Most people that fail R06 only miss the pass by a few marks and this can make all the difference.

Also be prepared for curveball questions. The CII like to throw in a question that is seemingly unrelated to the client’s aims so try not to be thrown by this; instead draw on your knowledge and experience of what is being asked. Remember the exam is positively marked so write as many bullet points as you can, even if you are not sure if your answer is correct, as long as it doesn’t conflict with your other points you won’t lose marks.

Answer technique

Use bullet points to maximise the number of points you can put down within the time and leave space between answers so you can go back and add anything later.

Provide as many answers as you can. The examiners may feel that two of your points are similar or related and are therefore only worth one mark, for example if your answer included the points ‘The client’s Attitude to risk’ and ‘The client’s Capacity for loss’ these are likely to be worth only one mark – so try to put down more answers than marks.

Studying the model answers in the CII exam guides will help you to understand what the examiners are looking for in their answers.

Case Study Analysis

Many candidates purchase a fact find analysis to help them interpret the exam case studies. The analysis will help you prepare for your exam, but you will still need to ensure your knowledge is up to speed especially in the subject areas covered in the case studies.

Brand Financial Training have been writing a R06 case study analysis for many years and have a proven track record of helping people to pass the exam.

When the CII issue the case study analysis 2 weeks before the exam, they then produce a full detailed analysis of the case studies including the types of questions that may be asked in the exam with model answers, exam technique, past paper analysis and generic questions including product areas and technical knowledge. All candidates who purchase the analysis are also offered access to an email support day to answer any questions about the exam, the analysis or the case studies. The analysis is issued 10 calendar days prior to the exam.

For further details of this, and other Brand Financial Training R06 resources, visit their website.

We have teamed up with Brand Financial Training to offer our members a 20% discount R06 resources for the October exam but don’t worry if you are not a member yet, we have a 10% discount code for non-members. Email us at and we will send you the code.

Dan Graham, NextGen Planners

bottom of page