Has anyone found R02 Exams hard?

Today I have failed my second attempt at R02. I have easily put well over the recommended time into study. Found the content challenging, but can do all the calculations and have a generally good knowledge. I've also been passing the CII Mocks with no issue. Does anyone have tips or suggestions for future study?


  • I was fortunate enough to be able to make use of the Aviva study aids. They will be out of date in terms of some of the legislation but may be of use - some of the questions in the practice exams were hard.

    Someone let me borrow their audio guide, and I also bought an R02 book from another publisher, which, although not great in terms of content errors, gave me something else to read instead of the rather dry CII study texts.

    Other than that, if you're down in the south east, there's the study workshops through the Sussex CII, run by John Trayner, who is still passing AF exams well into retirement, so he knows his stuff! I've been to several of his sessions and highly recommend him. If you can get to Crawley on 19 November: https://www.localinstitutes.cii.co.uk/sussex/home/events/2018/r02-investment-principles-and-risk-november-2018/

    I hope this has been some help, and the very best of luck for your next attempt :smile:

  • Never found it difficult, but have always found investments interesting. R03 on the other hand...

    Seems silly but I would look at your post exam percentages and see what your not doing well at... practise what your bad at.

    Pm me if you have any questions, would be happy to help.

  • Hi,

    I sat R02 earlier this year and the CII text seemed overloaded with technical detail, which can be daunting and confusing. I found that CII's revision mate question banks didn't reflect the exam questions, as I think they are designed more to test chapter knowledge.

    Instead, I bought BrandFT's mocks, which were great and not too pricey. I also used Aviva's notes at the time, which helped to maintain the big picture and not get lost in the detail. The other exam that was useful was CII's proper mock exam, the one that comes "free" when you enrol on the module...they don't highlight this so some people don't realise it's there!

    In fact, I liked Aviva's notes so much I even used them for R04, which I sat last week - some bits were out of date but the notes still really helped in keeping the big picture, and they have lots of white space for scribbling additional points. The Aviva mock exams are also worth looking at, just bear in mind they use last year's rates and allowances.

  • I passed this last week and I found the Brand Video learning helpful especially when describing the formulas. I also wrote out the formulas over and over again (and in my own words) so I understood the meaning of the formulas.

    Another thing I done (im a visual learner!) I drew mind maps on the biggest chapters and one or two chapters that I couldn't get my head around. Just putting things in note form really helped and helped in the exam as I could visualize the boards.

    Once the exam started I also wrote some of the formulas out on the piece of paper they give you.

    Are there any chapters particularly struggling with?

    PM if you need a hand with anything!

  • I took it last year and agree with some of the other commenters, Brand's resources are very good.

    Look in the front of the CII book and focus on the areas with the most marks and compare with the sections that you are losing out, there will be a breakdown of where you lost marks within your results on the CII website.

    The CII's audio revision was very useful as you can revise subconsciously while doing other jobs. I had mine playing in the car as I have a fairly long commute.

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