AFA Responds to FASEA Practice Exam Concerns


The AFA has relayed feedback to FASEA on some of the concerns its members have expressed over the recently-released practice questions for the FASEA adviser exam.

In an education update to its members last week, the Association said it had received a lot of feedback from members with respect to issues with the practice exam questions, where some of the key concerns were around:

  • The apparent specialist nature of the case study (aged care and estate planning issues)
  • The technical knowledge associated with that area
  • A lack of clarity on the enduring power of attorney thus making an informed answer problematic
these practice questions …were released primarily to provide insight into the format of the exam

The Association told members it had discussed these concerns face-to-face with FASEA “…and were advised that these practice questions did not go through the full approval process that will apply to the actual exam questions and were released primarily to provide insight into the format of the exam questions.”

It added that FASEA sought to reassure the AFA these test questions were merely a guide and not really representative of the actual questions, which it said will provide interactive drop-down boxes and knowledge tips and that the Authority will provide further commentary and practice questions in the short term.

Registration for the first round of the FASEA exam closed last week.

Extending the Exam Deadline

In related news, the AFA also told members that, together with the FPA, the Associations have set a priority to meet with the new Financial Services Minister, Senator Jane Hume, with a view to recommencing discussions in relation to extending the exam deadline, given that the essential courses required to prepare for the exam are not yet available. It noted the original commitment from the Government was that advisers would have two years to complete the exam, whereas the current timeline extends only for 18 months until 31 December 2020.


  1. I have respect for what the AFA are doing, though they are falling for the oldest trick in the book, which is to spend time and negotiate on issues that really have little bearing on the real problems.

    FASEA are an Institutionalised, vested interest group that do not listen and do not respond in an intelligent way that comes from vast experience.

    They have NIL experience and less in the way of solutions.

    You do not have discussions with Institutions that are closed minded, you say NO, what you are doing is wrong and we DO NOT ACCEPT WHAT YOU ARE DOING.

    Can I please reiterate what is going to happen.

    Thousands of advisers are going to exit the Industry or cease writing Life Insurance, so negotiating semantics is not helping, it is pushing the Retail Life Industry closer to the cliff.

    Pushing out an exam date or the lame excuse FASEA came up with for their inexperience, does not solve or remediate the real issues.

    The AFA and FPA have a very small window to get to the real issues and negotiate those points, or watch the whole Industry collapse within 3 years.

  2. So if the practice questions were ‘not formally approved, in the wrong format, and not representative of the actual exam questions’ – WHY PUT THEM OUT IN THE FIRST PLACE??

    What practical help can they be to anyone? What a complete waste of everyone’s time. Thanks to the AFA for holding FASEA to account on this.

  3. “The Association told members it had discussed these concerns face-to-face with FASEA.”

    Well why did AFA in an email 31/05/2019 tell me that they, the AFA, had sent an email to FASEA and had received a reply. This doesn’t sound like face-to-face!

    FASEA’s reply which is reasonable to infer was also an email also was quoted by my senior AFA informant as saying

    “We did not so much put questions to FASEA, but rather we told them where we thought the exam was wrong. It was a long email and covered the issues that your have addressed, such as was the enduring power of attorney in force, had the client lost capacity, why does it include technical questions, why is knowing of someone from a golf club an issue, the questions are subjective and there are multiple correct answers.

    FASEA accepted our concerns and endeavor to justify it on the grounds that it had not gone though the full approval process and was intended to demonstrate the format.”

    It is a pity that in the face of absurdity the AFA are still so demure and conciliatory.

    It is like the AFA in a World Championship Fighting still itself adhering to Marquis of Queensbury rules. The AFA hierarchy will still have a job no matter what happens. It is about time that they got into the trenches and spoke to Advisers who are desperate.

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