Dig Deeper

Everyone wants success, so do you.  There’s no doubt about it; preparation is the key to AF5 exam success.

In an ideal world, in the weeks before the fact-find is released you’d be refreshing your technical knowledge in the areas of tax, investments, retirement planning and financial protection. If you’re following our structured study plan, you’ll also be learning about the different types of questions that tend to crop up in AF5 and, of course, how to answer them. Then, once the fact-find is out there, you can focus in on the areas that you feel you’ll most likely be tested on.

Identifying those areas is relatively easy, what’s tricky is predicting the questions that the examiner will set for you. It’s for this reason that we don’t recommend learning answers by rote for AF5; far better that you know your clients and their circumstances inside out, so that you can think on your feet in the exam.

Seize your opportunities

The October 2019 exam guide provides us with a few more ‘top tips’. For example:

  • Topical issues, e.g. the drawbacks of commercial property funds, will be tested.
  • If the fact-find states that a client is considering a particular product, e.g. a SIPP or a Targeted Absolute Return fund, then you need to have thought about both the pros and the cons (either or both could be tested).
  • You must relate your answers to the clients rather than offering up generic information on a given topic, for example, how pound-cost-averaging could help your clients achieve their retirement objective.
  • You must answer all parts of the question asked, for example, where a question asks ‘how to do something’ and ‘why it might be suitable to do so’, both aspects of this question need to be addressed in order for full marks to be available to you.
  • In a similar vein, if a question asks about the use of pensions and investments in retirement planning, be sure not to focus just on pensions.

Call to action

We gear our learning strategies towards strengthening the weakest skills.  The case study will give you the client’s circumstances and our analysis will help you with the more technically demanding areas in advance of the exam.  Ensuring that you feel calm, confident and prepared on exam day.

So time to leave your comfort zone and knock at the door of Expert Pensions.  We are going to help you rise to the top, keep you focused and power you towards your exam goals.

[Click here for our AF5 Structured Study Plan] [Click here for our AF5 Case Study Analysis]