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Almost half of FASEA exam resitters fail again

Almost half of FASEA exam resitters fail again
Sarah Kendell
03 August 2020 — 2 minute read

Almost half of advisers resitting the FASEA exam fail a second time, prompting concerns from the authority that feedback given to candidates may not be comprehensive enough.

In a recent webinar for the FPA Virtual Congress, FASEA chief executive Stephen Glenfield said that while overall pass rates for the exam continued to be strong, this dropped dramatically among those who had already failed the exam and were returning for a second attempt.

“We’re starting to get some feel for the second sittings which are running at about a 54 per cent pass rate, so just over half of those who sit it a second time are getting through on their second sitting,” Mr Glenfield said.


Although FASEA was pleased with the fact that 93 per cent of advisers overall were passing the exam, whether on their first or second attempt, Mr Glenfield conceded that the way feedback had been constructed meant those who failed were often not clear on what they had to revise to improve their chance of passing a resit.

“When you sit your exam, it covers three main areas: advice regulatory requirements, ethics and financial advice construction,” he said.

“When people get their results, it’s either a pass or fail, and what we do is ACER does an analysis of the areas that you didn’t do well in, so if it was clearly ethics you were struggling with, you would get an advice saying the recommendation is that you concentrate on ethics in the resit.

“To date, for most of the people failing, it hasn’t been a single area, it’s been across the three domains, so the feedback they’ve got is you need to study the three domains. I think that’s part of what’s caused the angst, is [advisers saying] ‘how is that helpful for you to tell me I have to do everything?’”

As a result, Mr Glenfield said the authority planned to release more detailed data around the areas that failing advisers were having problems with.

“What we’re doing given we’ve now got through five or six exams is trying to draw a bit deeper into which areas in those domains people are having struggles with and we’ll look to put out something very shortly,” he said.

“It will be a website piece on the areas that are showing up consistently across the board for people, as a guide. We are [also] adding practice questions and we will start adding questions that go to the heart of what people are struggling with, so we would encourage people to do the practice test as well.”

Echoing comments made by Kaplan Professional last week, Mr Glenfield said a key problem area appeared to be a lack of knowledge on the part of those who had failed around how to apply regulations in a holistic sense, rather than relying on their licensee’s rules.

“Where you rely on the licensee’s policies about having an understanding of why they’re in place, you put your reliance on ‘if I do what’s in the compliance checklist, I know I’m doing the right thing’,” he said.

“Yet the exam’s asking you why you are doing that thing, what section of the act says this, and therefore in this scenario what advice should you give.”

Almost half of FASEA exam resitters fail again
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