The Financial Planning Association (FPA) is encouraging financial planners sitting the Financial Advisers Exam, now administered by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), to seek out exam preparation support following a pass rate of less than one third (32.4 per cent) in the 16th Financial Advisers Exam cycle, held in February 2022.
"It is concerning to see the pass numbers in the latest exam," FPA chief executive officer, Sarah Abood, said.
Kaplan chief executive officer, Brian Knight, says they have also noticed a significant fall in the number of financial advisers accessing their examination support practice tests.
To date, Knight says they have had over 10,000 people access the practice examinations.
"But interestingly, since January, only 100 people have done any of the practice exams. So we've seen a dramatic drop off in people using those quality resources," Knight told Industry Moves.
"We were surprised that given this is your last sort of chance for those who want to pass it."
Existing financial planners who were financial planners on 31 December 2021 needed to pass the exam before 1 January 2022. However if they had sat the exam at least twice before 1 January 2022 they have until 1 October 2022 to re-sit and pass the exam.
"For those planners who need more support and assistance with the exam, we encourage them to contact one of the number of organisations offering structured study and exam preparation support. Exam short courses are available from several providers, such as Kaplan and TAFE NSW , and these can be a good time-efficient way to increase the chances of success," Abood said.
In February 333 advisers sat the exam, with 73 per cent of those sitting the exam re-sitting it for at least the second time.
Historically, the majority of financial advisers pass the exam in a resit, according to ASIC. To date over 19,850 candidates have sat the exam, and nearly 91 per cent of candidates who have sat the exam have passed.
"The opportunity for financial planners has never been stronger, with demand for advice at very high levels. We need more great financial planners in our profession and we'd like to see many more helping clients achieve their financial goals," Abood said.