What became obvious in the first FASEA adviser exam sitting is that the content of the exam over the duration of the June exam period changed.
Exams written in different venues on different days were similar but different. The reason for this is the way in which exam questions are generated.
The adviser exam process was contracted out to Australian Council for Educational Research (ACER) and there is a very good reason that the adviser exam is sat via dedicated computer rather than via printed exam papers.
It allows questions to be easily generated digitally from a ‘question bank’ via an algorithm directly onto the screen in front of each adviser.
Typically, exam question banks of this nature consist of a variety of questions in a number of ‘degree of difficulty’ categories.
It is therefore possible that each adviser sitting an exam on the same day could be presented with a different exam. However, these exams contain open ended questions that may require human intervention to assess, so these may be some practical limits.
Notwithstanding, there is not a lot to be gained by trying to share the contents of any given exam because the questions are always changing, albeit subtly. And, as the question bank grows, there will be many more options for individualising exams.
The question bank will continue to grow because examiners have plenty of question fodder, given the chequered history of the financial services industry over the past decade or so.
There’s no shortage of dodgy schemes, deception, fraud, other illegal activities, spectacular collapses, licence cancellations, adviser banning and incarcerations that can be used to construct scenarios and questions.
Whilst a positive result in this exam is very achievable, it should not be taken for granted. The only way to approach it is to put in some serious reading time to gain a good general knowledge across all areas of the curriculum.
However, who said that advisers can’t work smart as well as hard in the exam preparation. Working smart will be the subject of the next article.
# FASEA EXAM INSIGHTS #2 (Short Cuts to understand BEFORE taking the exam) coming soon!
To catch up missed EXAM INSIGHTS read them at http://garyweigh.com/blog/