The second iteration of the ASIC adviser exam has seen a consequential improvement with 43 per cent passing, but still below the pass rate of the final FASEA exam.

Results published by ASIC on Monday stated there were 496 advisers that sat the May exam and 72 per cent of candidates were re-sitting for at least the second time.

The first sitting of the ASIC exam had a pass rate of 32 per cent which was significantly lower than the 52 per cent pass rate of the final FASEA exam.

Over 20,000 candidates have sat the exam and 91 per cent of candidates have passed.

Of those who have passed, over 15,600 are recorded as current financial advisers on ASIC’s Financial Adviser Register which represents 93 per cent of current advisers on the FAR.

Over 2,400 are ceased advisers on the FAR and may be re-authorised in the future while over 600 were new to the industry.

There are over 3,250 unsuccessful candidates that have re-sat the exam with 68 per cent passing after a re-sit.

The first FASEA exam had a pass rate of 90 per cent with 579 candidates sitting.

The final test

The final exam before the 30 September deadline will be held from 28 July to 1 August with enrolments closing on 12 July.

After the September cut-off the adviser exam will only be held via online proctoring and the final exam of 2022 will be held on Thursday, 3 November.

Research from Adviser Ratings found the move to include the extension wasn’t popular with over 60 per cent surveyed believing failed candidates shouldn’t be allowed to provide advice in 2022.

Exam eligibility

Foreign or new financial advisers must have their eligibility assessed to sit the exam before they can book a sitting.

ASIC recommends their AFSL apply for an exam eligibility number at least 15 days before the last booking of an exam period.

The Financial Services Council has called for the exam to be open to all licensee staff. Currently only existing advisers or new entrants in their professional year can register for the exam.

“ASIC should consider providing more flexibility and a better experience for professional year candidates by reducing processing times for reporting on exam results, enabling all candidates to sit the exam remotely and by allowing candidates to sit the exam earlier if they are ready,” FSC policy director for advice Zach Castles told Professional Planner in May.

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