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ASIC, Education

Exam pass rate stays low

ASIC adviser exam

The pass rate for the penultimate adviser exam has remained low, with many of those taking the exam resitting it for at least a second time.

Only around 40 per cent of candidates taking the most recent financial adviser exam have passed, with around three-quarters of those sitting it doing so for at least the second time, according to statistics released by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

The corporate regulator said 496 advisers sat the exam, held in May, with 212, or 42.7 per cent, passing and 72.2 per cent of candidates resitting it.

The pass rate is one of the lowest in the 17 exams conducted to date, but is higher than the February exam of this year in which only 32.4 per cent, or 108 out of 333 candidates, passed.

The exam also represents the closing window during which advisers have to pass, with only one exam sitting now available to those who have yet to do so.

The final exam sitting, part of a nine-month extension, will be held from 28 July until 1 August and enrolments will be open from 20 June to 12 July. From 1 October, financial advisers must have passed the exam to continue to provide personal advice.

ASIC stated that to date 20,000 candidates have sat the exam and more than 91 per cent have passed, with 15,600 currently recorded on ASIC’s Financial Adviser Register (FAR). A further 2400 successful candidates are listed as ceased advisers on the FAR and may be reauthorised in the future.

Additionally, 3250 advisers who were unsuccessful in their first sitting resat the exam and 68 per cent of those have since passed.

ASIC also reminded Australian financial services licensees they were responsible for ensuring details of their advisers were correct on the FAR “to ensure that the public can reference accurate and up-to-date records when making decisions about whether to engage an adviser”.

As part of these obligations under the Corporations Act 2001, licensees must update the status of financial advisers who have not passed the financial adviser exam by the required date to ‘ceased’.

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