Easy methods to Cross the Ultimate Examination of the DipFA



I have been serving to scholars via their DipFA qualification for nearly two years’ now and this text is designed to proportion the entire best possible practises, pointers and methods that help you reach a truly excellent mark on this difficult examination.

I will proportion with you more than a few pointers that experience come from examiner’s reviews, scholars I have labored with over time and proportion with you a truly excellent construction that help you get ready.

Initially what’s the ultimate examination all about?

How the examination works?

It is a three hour written, quickly to be typed, examination the place you wish to have to digest a case find out about previously after which create a moderately written file on your fictional shopper.

The case find out about is dropped at you prematurely, about two weeks. You could have time to arrange, learn up in spaces of weak point, put in combination some figures to again up your file and write it totally prematurely. And also you must too, why now not, that is why they ship it to you previously.

At the day of the examination, you’ll be able to get a few wobblies, i.e. some refined adjustments to the examination paper that may alternate your file quite, however if you happen to’ve completed your preparation neatly sufficient, those remaining minute adjustments would possibly not reason you too many issues.

Image your shopper

The case find out about will likely be as actual as conceivable, there will likely be some anomalies and those wish to be verified. Alternatively you must deal with it as an actual particular person and write the report back to this particular person, now not the examiner, even supposing it would be best to provoke her or him to achieve marks. Care with an excessive amount of impressing as it’s possible you’ll fall foul and the examiner may mark you down for over doing the technical sides.

Simple language is so vital, be mindful who the customer is and write for them to grasp. Image them sitting down with a cup of tea with their ft up, studying your file, and looking to make head or tail of it as they sip their brew.

The marking gadget

You have to recognize the marks you achieve from the paper so you’ll focal point in the appropriate house.

You get a complete of 150 marks –

  • 10 for the advent, abstract
  • 10 for calculating affordability
  • 30 for presentation, language, taste
  • 100 to your choices, suggestions and recommendation.

So spend a while on a neatly crafted advent, calculations and magnificence and you’ll be able to already be on for 50 marks, and also you handiest want 75 to go.

A time honoured construction

  1. Advent
  2. Objective of file
  3. Synopsis of scenario
  4. Abstract of goals
  5. Additional info wanted
  6. Angle to Chance
  7. Affordability Assessed
  8. Fast enhancements/fast fixes
  9. Suggestions
  10. Subsequent Steps

The construction defined


Start the file by way of writing to the customer and cope with her or him by way of title and communicate within the first particular person e.g. “Brian we spoke about your want to buy a house in another country and to try this I will be able to be taking a look at….”

Agree the aim of the file and this must hyperlink in together with his goals and objectives. Communicate in regards to the data gleaned, however be transient right here, do not simply pass repeating what is within the Factfinds. Summarise to fit your personal phrases and language to check the customer

It is right here chances are you’ll want to get started making some assumptions to be able to agree his goals obviously. This can be adopted by way of some questions to invite him if you wish to have additional info or to verify or explain one thing. Assumptions are superb, so long as you know the way those are to be clarified otherwise you simply ask the customer to verify. I do know in actual existence you would not make any assumptions however do you?

Simplest whilst you and your shopper know the place you are going are you able to truly get into the file and make a decision the motion for him to take.

Affordability assessed

Right here you’ll achieve some at hand marks for appearing your wisdom of Source of revenue Tax and Nationwide Insurance coverage to figure out what quantity of money the customer can manage to pay for to pay to your common source of revenue product you are going to suggest.

Do not house out your calculations like a textbook; as an alternative write them out for the customer to grasp. Narrate each and every line of figures so that they know what you imply and will apply.

Be correct, clearly, you’ll be able to get marks for the appropriate solution. However you’ll be able to get extra marks for the workings out alongside the best way. It is identical to doing all of your maths tests in class.

Fast enhancements/fast fixes

There is also some truly fast issues that may make stronger your shoppers scenario and do not advantage a heading within the suggestions segment.

For instance switching funding title from husband to spouse to minimise taxation or paying off a bank card or different prime hobby mortgage with cash from deposits.


This segment is price 100 marks and is the beef of the entire file. Spoil down your suggestions into chunks and allocate time in step with how vital they’re. Attempt to make a decision what number of marks the examiner may allocate to every segment after which spend related time on every one.

Attempt to put them in precedence order as that is excellent monetary making plans follow.

Put down the choices to the customer, provide an explanation for them, and communicate to the customer as you pass.

Make your suggestions and justify why, use actual figures the place you’ll. Do not go away it open for the customer to make a decision and too many “we will make a decision those after we meet once more.”

You need to earn marks with a company advice with a justifiable reason.

If you are now not certified to advise, go them onto somebody who’s or every other skilled reminiscent of a solicitor.

Recall to mind your 5 W’s – what, who, how, why and when, for instance

  • What’s the recommendation
  • Who’s concerned
  • How will you are making it paintings?
  • Why do they want it
  • When must you get started it?

Subsequent Steps

The overall a part of the file is the following steps segment. Right here it would be best to wrap issues up, give a transparent route for the customer to understand his subsequent steps, ascertain your evaluate preparations, charge construction perhaps.

Some ultimate pointers

Regulate time – three hours is a very long time when you find yourself sitting at the seashore doing not anything however is going truly temporarily when you find yourself playing your self. Critically despite the fact that, plan your time and remember to end the file. You get maximum marks within the first short while of any segment, so you wish to have to a minimum of get started each and every segment.

Presentation and construction. It must be obviously laid out and seem like a correct skilled file with headings, sub headings. Perhaps tables, a chain of bullet issues, graphics, illustrations. Why now not, in spite of everything it is for the client, so perhaps a chance graph may paintings higher than a wall of phrases. The general public, these days, are visible in nature and photographs can paint 1000 phrases.

All technical phrases defined. Do not throw in a technical time period, with out explaining it, simply do not. Anything else quite advanced will want explaining in phrases the client can perceive. Beware the TLA – 3 letter acronyms – our global is filled with them, you realize what they imply however does your shopper?

Much less is extra. Excellent communique is strong and makes use of few phrases, simply check out posters and leaflets; they are conservative with their use of phrases. Why waffle on when a brief concise commentary will do. But even so you handiest have three hours to jot down.


Some helpful concepts and pointers right here, I am hoping you compromise. Take into account to do as a lot preparation previously to maximize your good fortune within the examination. Excellent good fortune


Supply by way of Paul Archer


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