R01 - My First Exam - My Thoughts
I sat my first CII exam on Friday R01. I did pass, I am awaiting full result but I would guess it wasn't a pass by much.
I have been a Paraplanner for 6 months and this was my first exam. I actually studied for longer than initially planned partly due to the fact when I tried to book an exam I could not get a May space, I was then booked in for June but this got cancelled two days before (clash with bookings at exam centre).
Without doubt I felt I was very prepared for the exam and had put the time and effort in, these were my thoughts on the exam:
1. The questions were much harder than any past papers/mock questions - I know it seems to be a general theme on here but the way they were written they seemed tougher.
2. Technique - I was told before R01 is probably the only exam where time is on your side. From the mock exams I found I would only need around an hour maximum. I found I had time to go through in depth, flag questions, go back and then a complete final check, this no doubt gained me a couple of additional marks.
3. Don't Panic - I did have a panic when I read the first 15 questions, I thought these questions are so much harder, I have learnt so much but I cant pass this etc basically I was very negative. I took some deep breaths, calmed down and then found a rhythm to it. Doesn't work for everyone but I actually made a tally of all the questions I was 99% confident were correct which helped ease the pressure. I think from the first run through I knew I had around 35 questions correct then there were another batch where I was fairly optimistic my answer was correct. For the first 88 questions of course you can guess luckily and by process of elimination can usually leave yourself a 50/50 guess.
4. Read, Read, Read - I would say its important to embrace Financial Planning and read around the subject. I read many of the industry magazines which get sent to work, Financial Times, Podcasts etc. Although not all will be relevant to exam your general knowledge in the area can really help, I am often surprised what I have retained through listening/reading an article.
The content is no doubt very dry with R01. Hard to get into and you need very broad knowledge.
Good luck to all those taking.