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How to Pass the Final Exam of the DipFA

How to Pass the Final Exam of the DipFA


I have been aiding college students by their DipFA qualification for practically two years’ now and this posting is built to share all the best practises, strategies and techniques that can help you accomplish a genuinely very good mark in this demanding exam.

I’m likely to share with you several guidelines that have occur from examiner’s stories, learners I have labored with about the decades and share with you a seriously great structure that can aid you prepare.

Firstly what is the closing exam all about?

How the test operates?

It truly is a 3 hour written, before long to be typed, examination wherever you will need to digest a case study beforehand and then generate a carefully created report to your fictional shopper.

The circumstance review is delivered to you in progress, about two weeks. You have time to put together, browse up in regions of weakness, place jointly some figures to again up your report and compose it absolutely in progress. And you need to far too, why not, that is why they mail it to you beforehand.

On the working day of the examination, you can get a pair of wobblies, i.e. some refined variations to the exam paper that could possibly change your report a bit, but if you’ve carried out your planning properly more than enough, these past minute modifications would not cause you way too numerous difficulties.

Photograph your shopper

The situation examine will be as authentic as doable, there will be some anomalies and these need to be confirmed. Having said that you should address it as a true man or woman and compose the report to this particular person, not the examiner, whilst you will want to impress him or her to achieve marks. Care with far too much impressing as you might drop foul and the examiner might mark you down for in excess of executing the specialized features.

Plain language is so essential, bear in brain who the consumer is and compose for them to recognize. Picture them sitting down down with a cup of tea with their toes up, reading through your report, and making an attempt to make head or tail of it as they sip their brew.

The marking program

It’s essential to take pleasure in the marks you acquire from the paper so you can focus in the appropriate spot.

You get a overall of 150 marks –

  • 10 for the introduction, summary
  • 10 for calculating affordability
  • 30 for presentation, language, design and style
  • 100 for your solutions, tips and suggestions.

So shell out some time on a very well crafted introduction, calculations and design and you’ll presently be on for 50 marks, and you only will need 75 to move.

A time honoured construction

  1. Introduction
  2. Purpose of report
  3. Synopsis of circumstance
  4. Summary of aims
  5. Extra data desired
  6. Mindset to Possibility
  7. Affordability Assessed
  8. Instant enhancements/swift fixes
  9. Suggestions
  10. Next Measures

The structure defined


Begin the report by producing to the client and deal with him or her by name and chat in the to start with particular person e.g. “Brian we spoke about your drive to buy a dwelling abroad and to do this I will be on the lookout at….”

Agree the function of the report and this really should link in with his goals and aims. Converse about the information gleaned, but be quick listed here, don’t just go repeating what’s in the Factfinds. Summarise to suit your individual words and language to match the client

It is really here you may well desire to start out producing some assumptions so that you can agree his aims obviously. This could be adopted by some concerns to check with him if you want far more info or to verify or clarify something. Assumptions are great, as lengthy as you know how these are to be clarified or you simply talk to the consumer to confirm. I know in authentic life you wouldn’t make any assumptions but do you?

Only when you and your client know the place you happen to be heading can you definitely get into the report and decide the motion for him to just take.

Affordability assessed

In this article you can acquire some useful marks for demonstrating your knowledge of Revenue Tax and Countrywide Insurance to do the job out how considerably funds the shopper can afford to pay back for your common revenue product you’re heading to advise.

You should not house out your calculations like a textbook in its place compose them out for the client to understand. Narrate every single line of figures so they know what you mean and can observe.

Be correct, certainly, you can expect to get marks for the proper solution. But you will get additional marks for the workings out alongside the way. It’s just like executing your maths examinations at faculty.

Rapid improvements/brief fixes

There might be some really quick items that could possibly make improvements to your customers situation and never merit a heading in the tips area.

For illustration switching expenditure name from husband to wife to minimise taxation or paying out off a credit rating card or other substantial curiosity bank loan with dollars from deposits.


This section is well worth 100 marks and is the meat of the entire report. Split down your tips into chunks and allocate time in accordance to how critical they are. Try to determine how numerous marks the examiner might allocate to each and every part and then devote suitable time on just about every 1.

Consider to put them in priority purchase as this is great economic organizing practice.

Put down the alternatives to the client, demonstrate them, and communicate to the customer as you go.

Make your suggestions and justify why, use real figures the place you can. Really don’t go away it open for the shopper to determine and too lots of “we’ll choose these when we meet up with yet again.”

You want to generate marks with a agency suggestion with a justifiable reason why.

If you are not certified to recommend, move them on to another person who is or another professional these as a solicitor.

Consider of your five W’s – what, who, how, why and when, for case in point

  • What is the information
  • Who is associated
  • How will you make it function?
  • Why do they need it
  • When should you start off it?

Upcoming Steps

The remaining component of the report is the following actions area. In this article you are going to want to wrap items up, give a apparent path for the shopper to know his next techniques, affirm your critique preparations, fee structure probably.

Some remaining suggestions

Hold an eye on time – 3 several hours is a lengthy time when you are sitting on the beach front undertaking nothing but goes really swiftly when you are having fun with oneself. Significantly however, plan your time and make sure you complete the report. You get most marks in the first several minutes of any part, so you require to at the very least get started each part.

Presentation and construction. It requires to be obviously laid out and appear like a appropriate qualified report with headings, sub headings. Perhaps tables, a sequence of bullet details, graphics, illustrations. Why not, after all it is really for the shopper, so maybe a possibility graph could possibly do the job superior than a wall of words. Most people today, at present, are visual in character and photographs can paint a thousand phrases.

All complex terms discussed. Don’t throw in a technological phrase, with no outlining it, just really don’t. Everything somewhat elaborate will will need describing in words and phrases the customer can recognize. Beware the TLA – three letter acronyms – our planet is full of them, you know what they indicate but does your customer?

Significantly less is additional. Fantastic conversation is effective and uses several words, just acquire a glimpse at posters and leaflets they’re conservative with their use of terms. Why waffle on when a small concise assertion will do. In addition to you only have 3 several hours to generate.


Some practical ideas and strategies right here, I hope you agree. Keep in mind to do as a lot preparation beforehand to maximise your achievement in the examination. Superior luck