Insights from the FASEA exam panel of experts

AFA News 22 July 2021. On 7 July 2021, the AFA brought together a panel of experts, to assist members with information about the help that is available to those who are about to sit the FASEA exam.

Some notable highlights from this webinar are:

Better Advice Bill introduced into Parliament on 24 June 2021:

  • An exam extension forms part of the SDB and has not yet been passed
  • It is proposed to be available to individuals who have had two attempts at the exam
  • Extends the cut-off date for the exam to 30 September 2022 for eligible individuals
  • No exam dates have been set for 2022 as yet
  • Responsibility for the exam will transfer from FASEA to ASIC on 1 January 2022.

FASEA – Click here for all Exam support

  • As of the May 2021 exam, 14,850 advisers on have passed the exam
  • 8 out of 10 advisers pass the exam on their first attempt
  • FASEA has a range of exam resources which are available on the FASEA website: Click here
  • The starting point is the Exam preparation guide – all questions are linked to the curriculum and a reading list is also provided
  • The Exam Candidate Video – should be watched, particularly if you haven’t sat the exam before
  • The Practice question list currently has over 100 questions and is updated after each exam sitting. Use the online version practice questions which can be accessed via your online account.
  • Reading List – all reading is linked to the curriculum. You need to understand how these areas apply to you in practical day to day situations.
  • Pre exam FASEA webinars are available to help advisers prepare for the exam
  • Post exam FASEA webinars are available to those who have failed the exam
  • The Exam Result report is an individual report provided to everyone who has failed an exam. This report is based on your actual results from your answers to the questions.

Insights and Tips

  • Trends in Underperforming areas – your answers need to relate to the exam question scenario and your legal obligations, rather than what your Licensee requires.
  • Understanding Privacy requirements i.e. how it applies to different clients, how private and/or sensitive data is stored.
  • Who the TASA applies to and the obligations of a tax (financial) adviser.
  • Review the FASEA Code guidance and understanding the intent of each standard.
  • Exam preparation – set goals and timeframes.
  • Be aware – the exam is testing how you apply your knowledge to advice scenarios. It is not a technical exam.
  • The types of questions are a combination of normal multiple choice, complex multiple choice and short answer response.
  • Read each question carefully – and look for key words – i.e. where the question asks you to ‘list’, ‘discuss’ or ‘explain’, answer the question in accordance with the request. Understand the difference between a consequence and action; know what a dilemma means.
  • Do not leave blank responses or overthink the question. There are no trick questions, if the answer seems obvious, write that.

Kaplan Professional

Resources created to help advisers pass the exam.

Kaplan Exam support – click here

  • KAPE Practice exam – it mirrors the FASEA exam, same number of questions and time frame
  • Ontrack Q-bank is questions available for Ontrack users
  • One on one coaching support is available (for a fee)
  • Monthly FASEA exam preparation webinars are available.

Insights and tips:

  • Watch the FASEA exam candidate video
  • Suggested reading list – be clear on the FASEA curriculum learning areas
  • Anxiety about the exam, is often caused by uncertainty, time management issues and poor exam technique
  • One on one coaching sessions are aimed at building adviser confidence
  • KAPE provides access to ASIC Regulatory Guides
  • Do as many practice questions as you can
  • Prior to the exam, remember your self-care, i.e. eat well, stay hydrated and sleep.

TAL Risk Academy

TAL aims to support advisers through their FASEA Exam Masterclass.

  • TAL study material is provided in the form of workbooks
  • The Masterclass is available on demand, mostly via virtual sessions now
  • After the Masterclass, candidates complete practice questions
  • Exam intensive sessions provide exam intelligence and problem areas
  • One on one support is available.

Insights and tips:

  • Essential key areas are – Best Interest fundamentals, safe harbour steps, code values and code standards
  • Go through the FASEA practice questions
  • Familiarise yourself with the new FDS requirements
  • Study the Regulatory Guide examples
  • Control ‘F’ – practice and use Control ‘F’ to locate critical sections in legislation
  • During revision, take notes to help embed the learning in your mind.

Knowledge Shop

The Knowledge Shop provides services to financial adviser and accountants. Provides exam preparation workshops.

  • Prepare properly for the exam and understand the underlying legislation and regulations. Ie Corporations Act Chapter 7, Code of Ethics, Privacy Act, AML/CTF and TASA
  • Scenario based questions are not technical. Focus on what the question is actually asking
  • When sitting the exam: manage your time, read the questions correctly, quickly focus on the questions you know and go back to those you are unsure about. With short answer questions, focus on what is being asked and answer that. Carefully consider how you manage stress.
  • Do as many practice questions as you can.

If you missed the actual webinar, the recording is available for viewing on the AFA website. Click here to view the recording.

If you have questions, please email

Issued 22.07.2021. AFA Policy & Education Update