R02 - Exam Tips

Hi Everyone.

I've got my R02 at the end of the month and i'm starting to get a little nervous. I would say i'm confident with the calculations, but i'm just wondering if anyone could provide any more tips or anything to be wary about.




  • Order the online questions from CII, about £30, practice them and any you get wrong, or any that you weren't 100% sure on i.e you guessed, go back to the book. Each questions refers you to that specific section.

    Other than work hard, that is the only thing standing in your way, nobody should ever fails these exams, they are multiple choice.

  • I can already confirm that i have been doing that. I guess what i'm asking is everyone's experience with the exam. Like did anything come up which they didn't expect?

  • No pretty straight forward.

  • People do fail these exams, which is why there is so much help out there to try and help you through. In one place I worked, several people failed R04 in the space of about 3 months.

    As long as you put in the right amount of study, there is no reason why you shouldn't pass, but there are various reasons for not. These include, prioritising other things over study (that ironing really looks appealing when you have a study text in your hand!), or possibly not having the right attitude to the task at hand. My daugher gets brain freeze in exams and really struggles with them, and that is another reason why you might not get the results you need.

    In terms of unexpected questions, like R03, there were less calculation questions than expected, and more of a focus on knowledge which caught me a little off guard, especially when the dreaded bond questions appeared!

    I made sure I knew how to calculate running yields and redemption yields, and I did get a question on that in the exam, so that was an easy mark.

    Another tip: go for the easy marks first. If you come to a question that you are not sure about, answer it anyway (anything or your best guess) and flag it. You may have answered it wrong, but you also have a percentage chance of getting it right as well, and you can come back to it once you answer all the ones you were more confident with.

    With the multiple answer ones, there will always be at least two options that are correct, and there will never be a case where all options are correct. Again, go for the easy wins and then take a bit more time after. The two hours will go by pretty fast, but I don't think it's as pressured as R03 or R04.

    The very best of luck!

  • In my experience, I have seen half a dozen friends pass over 20 RO exams and no fails because they put in the work.

    Sure a bad nights sleep, or the dog ate my revision book might happen. But putting in the requisite hours is the most important thing. Perhaps it was wrong to say nobody should fail, but if you have done the work and fail and fail again, its probably not for you.

    Good luck!

  • I spent a bit of time watching videos on Youtube to shake up my revision routine.

    There are lots of videos on things like alpha/beta/volatility and the change from reading sometimes helps to embed things a bit better.

  • Hi, I'm looking for a pdf version of the 2019/20 R02 study text, as I only have last year's version and failed the exam twice.... Would really appreciate if someone could email me a copy :) Thanks in advance.
    Email: [email protected]

  • @Abryant said:
    Hi, I'm looking for a pdf version of the 2019/20 R02 study text, as I only have last year's version and failed the exam twice.... Would really appreciate if someone could email me a copy :) Thanks in advance.
    Email: [email protected]

    Hi Annie - the study text won't be your problem as there are few material changes each year. I've been using the 2017 R0 guides as a baseline (self-funding...) and then checking my notes for any updates before actually sitting the papers. The strategy has worked well up to now and I've got my first two exams under my belt.

    I'd suggest understanding where your blind spots are before going back to it as there will be a reason for failing twice that isn't an out of date study text.

    In any case, you can see the changes made YOY by going to the R02 page on the CII website.
    Hope that helps.

  • I understand this is an answer to an old question, but this might help someone in the future.

    I passed R02 in February 2020. Obviously there is no way to know what questions you're going to get, but its a safe bet to be confident doing the more minor calculations like Earnings Per Share, Bond Yields and so forth. I ended up with three questions concerning stamp duty for property, all of which calculating how much would be payable in a specific scenario - calculations can be easy points, so long as you know the method and rules comfortably.

    The hardest part in my opinion related to the multiple response questions at the end - think there is 28 and it's very easy to score badly on these, since you have to pick all of the correct answers only. Noting that at this time, the pass mark was 65/100, and the chances of doing really well on the last 28 questions is not so good (for me anyway) means that you almost have to be flawless with questions 1-72 to have enough breathing room on the last 28 'harder ones' to not sabotage your efforts

    However, a neat little trick for the multiple response questions you can do is this:

    Whatever the question, say you have 5 responses and to get the mark, you need to pick out all of the correct responses. SO read the question. Then before picking the right ones, right click the ones that you KNOW without doubt are wrong- this scores a line through them on the screen. Move through each response doing this. Once you have gone through the 5 responses, you might find that you crossed out 3 of the responses and you now have two remaining which you couldn't say are right or wrong, one way or the other...

    Well those two remaining HAVE to be the correct answers. Thos questions (at this time) always have more than one correct answer (it will always be two or more), therefore, the right answer to the question is the two options you have left (assuming you ruled the other 3 out with certainty)

    This happened on 5 out of the 28 questions for me and as far as I was concerned, they were free points to my score, despite me "not really" deserving them. This won't get you a pass if you haven't put the study in, but it might just make all the difference as every single point you can get, counts.

    Aside from that, watch your time. It's a two hour exam, but I finished with about 18 seconds on the clock and with no time to go back over and check questions I had flagged.

    A lot of people might finish with ample time to spare, but I try to go slow reading the questions and the answers, a misread question or answer could cost you the exam.


    The Imposter

  • Great post from @Big_Pidgeon and I agree with a lot of this - I, too, often tripped up on the multi-response ones, particularly as you sit there a deblierate whether one of the options out of four or five may be correct. It gets a little heated there and as you say, heaps pressure on the first 72.

    Calculations wise, it was less than I expected (passed first time in August), I think in the interest of the candidate, the CII are aware that too many can take up a lot of time, perhaps? Most common calculation ones I had were interest/redemption yields and SDLT questions - the latter however were 'calculate the difference between stamp duty x (as a FTB) and stam duty y (purchasing a BTL property). So it's not a case of just working out one of them to save time as you need both - these I'd flag and leave until the end, I spent too long on this first time around and got the wrong answer and had a brief moment of panic.

    A fair few on correlation of asset classes, Beta's and Alpha's.

    Other than that, just ease your way through it, leaving the calculations until the end and TAKE YOUR TIME on the multiple response ones - can be more marks to pick up there than you think!

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