I was wondering if anyone has sat the CISI's Pension Transfers & Planning Advice exam? If so, how did you find it.
The next exam is at the start of June, so I was wondering how much time I would need to be ready for it.
I took it a couple of years ago and found it OK, in so much as I passed!
I've only done level 6 exams with the CISI, so I can't compare it like-for-like to the AFs, but it was quite practical and (in the most part) was knowledge that you'd be broadly familiar with if you were actively involved in pension transfers.
As far as how much time you need, it depends a lot on how you usually study, and what your current experience is. It was definitely more work than an R0, but that was getting used to writing full detailed answers as much as the more in-depth content! What stage are you currently at with your studying/qualifications? And is there any reason you've picked this exam in particular?
As a high-level overview I'd say the exam felt fair, and the whole process definitely improved my knowledge in that area - which I guess is the whole point!
Happy to chat more about it if you like
I passed the PTPA in December, after failing the previous 3 sittings of AF7. I didn't do any more study other than brushing up on a couple of points, plus I deal with DB pension transfers in my day to day work. The knowledge from AF7 definitely carried me through (the PTPA study text is still in the wrapper!!).
The main differences? Unlike AF7 it's not all DB pension transfers. There are questions about DC pensions, and I also had one on long term care - I guess this comes under the 'Planning Advice' part of the exam!?
The first part is multiple choice, so you can probably skim through them fairly quickly, and the rest of the exam is very similar in structure to AF7, so part 2 is a range of questions on the syllabus and part 3 is a couple of case studies.
One thing I had to 'forget' from the CII exams is that 1 mark does not equal 1 minute of time; I just read through the entire paper and resisted the urge to jump straight in with answering things until after I had read through it all. Then I started with the easy marks.
Another thing was that you are allowed to walk out with the question paper! When I finished the exam I was expecting the invigilators to take all the papers away, but they gave the question paper back to me, telling me that it was mine to keep. I actually prefer that as you can go over the questions and despair about how the questions could have been answered!
I guess in terms of study it really depends on what you have been doing up until now, whether you deal with pension transfers and if you think you can find the time to study for it. Just as a matter of interest, Expert Pensions start their courses in January for the April sittings, so if you start now you should just about have a similar amount of time, as long as you put in place a structured study plan and stick to it!
Like Becca, I'm happy to chat to you about if.
All the very best of luck!