FASEA releases January Exam Results

Mar 17, 2021Media Releases


FASEA today released exam results from the tenth Financial Advisers Exam held January 2021.

Result highlights include:

  • Over 12,000 advisers have passed the adviser exams held to date representing 57% of advisers on ASIC’s Financial Adviser Register (FAR).
  • Overall, 89% of advisers who have sat the exam (irrespective of how often it was sat) have passed.
  • 73% of candidates sitting the exam for the first time passed the January exam (compared with an average of 83.6% across all exams)
  • 46% of advisers re-sitting the exam passed on their second attempt compared to 55% re-sitters across all exams
  • 67% of candidates passed the January exam (compared with an average of 78% across all exams)
  • 1079 advisers sat the exam compared with an average of 1323 across all exams
  • The exam is marked to a credit standard and the pass rate varies with each exam
  • The exam was subject to ACER’s comprehensive marking approach and was set at a consistent standard to prior exams

“FASEA congratulates successful candidates on completing an important component of their education requirements under the Corporations Act.

Over 13,440 advisers have sat the exam with 9 in 10 demonstrating they have the skills to apply their knowledge of advice construction, ethics and legal requirements to the practical scenarios tested in the exam.

In recognition of their achievement, passing candidates who give consent, will have their names added to the successful candidates list on the FASEA website (link)” FASEA Chief Executive Officer Stephen Glenfield said.

Candidates who were unsuccessful in this exam will receive additional individual feedback to highlight the curriculum areas that they have underperformed.  They will also receive an invitation to a FASEA led webinar to help them understand their results and provide guidance on how to prepare for their next sitting.

Further analysis of the January exam data has highlighted areas for improvement, particularly amongst unsuccessful candidates.  Exam question areas advisers have underperformed on the January exam are set out below (categorised by curriculum areas).

Financial Advice Regulatory and Legal Obligations

  • Demonstrating an understanding of different types of advice (eg. personal advice, general advice and factual information) and how they apply to different client scenarios
  • Demonstrating knowledge of the components of key advice documentation that is provided to the client i.e. FSG/SOA
  • Applying relevant sections of the Corporations Act when identifying responsible provider obligations, including breaches of those obligations

Applied Ethical and Professional Reasoning and Communication

  • Demonstrating a practical application of due diligence in financial advice
  • Identifying sources of judgement and biases and their influence on financial advice
  • Applying best interest duty and associated ethical obligations when providing financial advice
  • Effectively applying the FASEA code to client various scenarios

Financial Advice Construction

  • Demonstrating an understanding of the context in which financial advice is given and requested and how this impacts decision making.

Existing advisers have until the end of 2021 to pass the exam.  FASEA is offering 5 further sittings in 2021 both online and in physical locations (subject to COVID protocols). Exam booking information can be found on the FASEA website (link).

Over 2300 advisers have booked for the March exam, to be held in metropolitan and regional locations and online from 25 to 30 March 2021.    Over 800 advisers have booked for the May exam, to be held in metropolitan and regional locations and online from 20 to 25 May 2021.

To assist advisers preparing for the exam, FASEA provides preparation resources, including practice questions, online at:  –  Practice questions are regularly updated and can be found on the FASEA website or via the adviser’s exam account.  Feedback received from past re-sit participants in the exam indicated these resources were useful for their preparation.

Additional Background
Section 921B (3) of the Corporations Act 2001 requires advisers to pass an exam approved by the standards setting body. The Act requires existing advisers to pass the exam before 1 January 2022.  New entrants are required to pass the exam before becoming a Provisional Relevant Provider.

The exam tests three domains of knowledge and skill:

  • financial advice regulatory and legal obligations
  • applied ethical and professional reasoning and communication: and
  • financial advice construction

FASEA, with the support of the Exam administrator (ACER), has successfully offered 10 exam sittings to date on more than 50 exam days and 650 exam sessions. Since June 2019, exams have been offered in capital cities and in 23 regional locations across Australia (with the April and June 2020 exams being remote only exams due to COVID-19 restrictions).

Candidates are required to demonstrate professional reasoning and apply knowledge acquired to financial advice scenarios at AQF7 level of reasoning.

FASEA is offering five further exam sittings in 2021.  Unsuccessful candidates may re-sit the exam during this period.

The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority Limited was established in 2017 to set the education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers in Australia.



The Financial Adviser Standards and Ethics Authority Limited was established in 2017 to set the education, training and ethical standards of financial advisers in Australia.