You might have already registered, or planning to register for your RE exams in the near future. You need these qualifications to comply with the requirements of the Financial Services Board.
That being said, these are not easy exams and the exam papers are difficult. In order to pass you have to study hard, and the questions are in multiple choice format.
The study material consists of over 800 pages so you do need enough time to prepare before attempting the exams. You will need to go through the content several times to get a clear understanding of the content. You will need to allocate time on a daily basis to study without distraction.
Before writing your exams be sure you are well rested, cramming till late into the night is not advised. Multiple choice questions, although they might seem easy are some of the most difficult questions to answer, and without a clear mind your chances become much less.
What you need to know
For both the RE1 and RE5 exams all the subject matter in your study material will be covered. Two people might write the same exam but the questions will be different. This is because the questions are pulled from a question bank. The complexity of the exam remains the same as the layout remains the same.
For RE5, there are 50 questions and you will have two hours to complete the exam. The pass mark for the exam is 65% or higher. This means you will have to get 33 out of 50 questions correct in order to pass.
For RE1, there are 80 questions and you will have two-and-a-half hours to complete the exam.
The pass mark for the exam is 65% or higher. This means you will need to get 52 out of 80 questions correct in order to pass the exam.
How To Tackle Multiple Choice Questions
The questions are developed at four levels and three sections. The three sections range from easy for the first third to extremely difficult in the last section. The questions will test how you excersise your daily duties, some are routine and others would need you to apply your thinking skills.
There are different types of multiple-choice questions. Some are close-ended where you merely need to choose the right answer. Some require you to complete a sentence, others are phrased using a negative question (be careful here to choose a negative answer), some use the most/best/least format, sequencing or Roman numerals, where more than one correct answer must be selected from a range of options.
Keep in mind that the common thread of all the different questions is factual knowledge, which means if you know your work well you will be able to answer the questions on all the levels.
Here are some suggestions that might work for your
To start read all the questions without marking the correct ones. A good idea is then to answer the easier questions first and then move on to the longer trickier ones. Most of the time you will find the easiest questions are found in the beginning and end of the paper, with the more difficult ones located in the middle.
Another effective strategy is to eliminate the answers that are definitely wrong first. Usually two of the options are quite obviously wrong, which means that you’re left with two options to wrestle with (the 50/50 tug-of-war) and decide which one is right.
If the wording of a particular question is tricky or confusing, change it. For example, turn negatives into a positives if it will help you understand the question better. If unfamiliar terms are used, you can alter them too. For instance, change “the representative” to “I” or “the FSP” to the name of the brokerage you work for.
Remember, don’t worry if you don’t complete all the questions. It is still possible to pass even if you don’t finish the exam. But don’t leave any questions blank. If you don’t know the answer, guess. There is no negative marking, so rather pick an answer and stand a chance of being right.
If you’ve studied well and approach the exams with the right mental attitude, you’re sure to pass. Some of the questions are deliberately designed to trip you up, but if you concentrate on the questions that are easy to answer, you’ll be making wise use of your time and efforts.
It remains a challenging task to pass your RE Exams but at REATS we have made it easier and more likely for you to pass the next time you write.