FASEA has reported that more than 10,000 advisers have sat the FASEA exam, with approximately 9,000 advisers successfully passing.1
There are approximately another 10,000 advisers who must sit and pass the FASEA exam over the next 15 months, prior to 1 January 2022 in order to continue practising.
FASEA have identified that unsuccessful candidates who do not pass the examination normally struggle across all three domains of knowledge and skill:
- Financial advice regulatory and legal obligations;
- Applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication; and
- Financial advice construction.
This makes it difficult for advisers who re-sit the exam to clearly identify what to focus on so they can confidently pass the second time around.
Below are five tips to help you perform your best in the FASEA exam:
1. This is a university style exam. All responses, both multiple choice and short answer, are answered online. Nothing is permitted on your desk other than your photo identification, 1 sheet of paper and a pen. Make sure you turn your phone completely off (not merely to silent).
2. Be time aware. Use your reading time at the beginning of the exam to review the questions (you are not permitted to respond during this time). The exam consists of 70-75 questions that must be answered in 3.5 hours. This means that you have 2-3 minutes to read and answer each question. Do as many of the 60-70 multiple choice questions first, as this provides quick marks. Answer every question as you are not penalised for getting a question wrong. Leave the 5-10 short answer questions until the end. When answering the short answer questions, you do not have time to write a War and Peace response. Keep it succinct and factual – 3 to 5 bullet points per question with 5 to 10 words per bullet point. Examiners want to know that you understand the key concepts, issues and theories, and can demonstrate applied knowledge.
3. Understand the key themes. There appears to be key themes that permeate through each of the FASEA exams that are often linked back to the FASEA Code of Ethics: Best interest; integrity; value for money; conflict of interest; client put in a better financial position; circumvention of the law; and remuneration structures. These themes will be vital in answering a significant proportion of the questions.
4. Check out the FASEA resources. There is a wealth of knowledge in how to prepare for the exam, what to bring to the exam centre, recommended readings, sample quizzes (with suggested responses) and sample case studies (see links below). There are some questions that are pulled directly from the recommended readings, so it is worth investing the time in reading this.
5. Do not cram the night before. Preparation should commence at least one month prior to your exam date to provide adequate time to read, practice and review potential exam content.
If you are interested in additional tips, contact your MetLife Sales Manager. At MetLife we’re focussed on supporting advisers and have been running numerous webinars with Dr. Jeffrey Scott on how to prepare for the FASEA exam.