Study Smart for AF1

What am I letting myself in for?

An opportunity to prove your worth and demonstrate your in depth financial planning skills related to personal tax and trusts. A 3 hour question paper based on a case study approach with a whopping 30 credits available and a total of 160 marks there for the taking!

How can I increase my chances?

Now is the time to consolidate your knowledge. Get the basics right for your income tax, NIC, CGT and IHT calculations. These are the questions that appear the most often. The more you practise, the more they’ll become second nature to you and this will free up time in the exam for you to think about any trickier elements that the examiner has in store for you. For trusts, think about making lists of key revision areas. For example, the roles and responsibilities of a trustee, the conditions for a deed of variation or a deed of disclaimer to be valid, and so on.

Should I panic on exam day?

Absolutely not! If you have studied well and followed the structured study plan then you should be well on your way to AF1 in the bag heaven. Follow our study tips and you can walk into your exam like a superhero pumped up on banana cake and caffeine:

  • Take 10 minutes reading over the whole of the paper first, jot down some notes along the way and highlight any key word prompts in the questions. The case studies will have been painstakingly put together – any information given is there for a reason. Nothing is irrelevant. When putting together your answers be sure you’ve considered whole picture.
  • Be careful how you interpret the question – Look for the ‘way’ in which the examiner wants you to demonstrate your answer. Are they asking for a calculation or an explanation? If they are asking for a calculation are they looking for a weekly, monthly or annual calculation? Remember, you only get marks for answering the question asked, so make sure you’re clear in your head what that question is. Read it. Check it.
  • Leave the examiner in no doubt that you know your stuff and you aren’t afraid to show it! Expand your answer to include those little details that might just grab you that extra mark. For example stating tax in an answer just won’t cut it we need to know which tax you are talking about – i.e. Inheritance tax, corporation tax or capital gains tax.
    Let the marks guide you in your answer. If a question is worth 5 marks then make sure you have made between 5-7 valid bullet point answers.
  • Link your answer to the case study by using names and specifics from the case study in your answer. Remember, when an answer calls for a list, the list needs to be tailored to the circumstances of the case study rather than being a generic list.
  • Manage your time – the clock is ticking and unfortunately, we can’t turn back time! Practice those mock papers and put yourself under exam style conditions. Preparation is the key.
  • You must demonstrate your depth of knowledge so explain and expand and leave no stone unturned. If the question isn’t calculation based then bullet point your answers in order to gain marks.
  • If you can, spend at least 10 minutes at the end of your exam looking over your answers and making sure you haven’t missed any important marks.

Is there anything else I should know?

No, it’s all outlined above and now it’s all down to you (with a little bit of help from us).

Delivering training is what drives us and seeing the results is what makes us all very happy.

Happy Studying!