How ready are you for the FSB Ex­am­i­na­tions?

Finweek English Edition - - INSIGHT -

RE­CENTLY EV­ERY­ONE I speak to about the Fi­nan­cial Ser­vices Board’s ( FSB) reg­u­la­tory ex­am­i­na­tions al­ready knows about them and is aware that they have to pass an ad­di­tional ex­am­i­na­tion over and above the qual­i­fi­ca­tion re­quire­ment. This aware­ness is ob­vi­ously a pos­i­tive state of af­fairs. How­ever, these same peo­ple seem to view their aware­ness as the only pos­i­tive as­pect and wide­spread negativity to­wards this ex­am­i­na­tion pre­vails.

In an at­tempt to un­der­stand this negativity, I tried in my own way to ex­plore the piece of sub­or­di­nate leg­is­la­tion from which this need arises. The leg­is­la­tion is, in its in­tent, de­signed to en­sure that both con­sumer and the in­dus­try are pro­tected. The leg­is­la­tion means to over­haul and pro­fes­sion­alise the work of the fi­nan­cial ser­vices sec­tor.

As a re­sult, fi­nan­cial ser­vices prac­ti­tion­ers will have reg­is­tra­tion in com­mon with other recog­nised pro­fes­sions in­clud­ing med­i­cal and al­lied health ser­vices, le­gal prac­ti­tion­ers, en­gi­neers and ac­coun­tants. There is no ques­tion that the pro­fes­sion­al­i­sa­tion of the sec­tor will en­sure that its of­fice bear­ers too are held in the same pres­ti­gious light by the pub­lic in the fu­ture. Pro­fes­sion­al­i­sa­tion of the sec­tor will also el­e­vate the sta­tus of the in­di­vid­ual prac­ti­tioner work­ing in the in­dus­try and will en­sure that these true pro­fes­sion­als will at­tract oth­ers as­pir­ing to join it. This cy­cle of sta­tus and at­trac­tion cer­tainly seems to ap­ply across all other sec­tors with pro­fes­sional reg­is­tra­tion re­quire­ments. Sta­tus and es­teem do not come eas­ily how­ever, and have to be worked for. Doc­tors, lawyers, en­gi­neers and ac­coun­tants study for up to seven years and sev­eral write Board ex­ams to reach that stage.

If you al­ready have your cred­its or a qual­i­fi­ca­tion, you are al­most there – you may only be one ex­am­i­na­tion away. If you still need a qual­i­fi­ca­tion, there are one-year cer­tifi­cate pro­grammes that you can study to reach the ben­e­fits of pro­fes­sion­al­ism eas­ily and quickly. I be­lieve we should take the fo­cus off the ex­am­i­na­tion it­self and shift it rather on to giv­ing our­selves the best chance to be suc­cess­ful at the reg­u­la­tory exam/s ahead and to con­tribut­ing to the en­hance­ment and devel­op­ment of the sec­tor as a whole.

This is not as daunt­ing as it may seem. You can achieve suc­cess in these ex­ams by fol­low­ing the steps be­low: 1. Get the course ma­te­rial. Mil­park Busi­ness School (MBS) has de­vel­oped course ma­te­rial specif­i­cally for this ex­am­i­na­tion. It is avail­able for free and can be down­loaded from the INSETA web­site or pur­chased at min­i­mal cost from MBS di­rectly. Work through the course ma­te­rial. The FSB ad­vises can­di­dates to spend at least three months pre­par­ing for the ex­am­i­na­tion, so start as soon as pos­si­ble. The good news is that you will no doubt al­ready be fa­mil­iar with some of the leg­isla­tive con­tent. Start mak­ing notes and tackle the book chap­ter by chap­ter. The ex­am­i­na­tion is mul­ti­ple choice. The exam con­sists of mul­ti­ple choice ques­tions (MCQs) and a pass mark of 66% is re­quired. Prac­tise an­swer­ing MCQs to de­velop the skills needed. MCQ pa­pers are not guess­ing games and con­tain no pat­terns. There are test-your­self ques­tions at the end of each chap­ter in the book. You may also pur­chase prac­tice pa­pers from MBS for ex­tra prac­tice. If you still be­lieve that you re­quire ad­di­tional as­sis­tance, a work­shop may be just what you need to hone your study­ing and exam skills and en­sure exam-readi­ness! Fi­nally, be pos­i­tive and con­fi­dent and man­age your time. Make sure you leave time at the end to fo­cus on the tough ques­tions. An­swer the ques­tions you are sure of first, en­sur­ing that you get as many marks as pos­si­ble up front!

Give this exam your best shot. Achiev­ing suc­cess in this ex­am­i­na­tion is a sure way of se­cur­ing your fu­ture as a pro­fes­sional in this fas­ci­nat­ing and re­ward­ing sec­tor.

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