Awarded by the Institute of Financial Services and developed in co-operation with the Council of Mortgage Lenders, the CeMAP qualification is recognised by the Financial Services Authority (FSA) as a must-have for practicing mortgage advisors in the UK.

To gain the qualification, entrants have to pass three different papers, but what does each entail? Here, we offer a breakdown of what learners can expect to face with each instalment of the examination process:

Three exams – one goal

The CeMAP qualification comprises six different units followed by a 60-question ‘synoptic’ paper, with all three stages being multiple choice. On intensive fast-track courses, the first is completed in five days, while it takes a further five to study towards and complete the second and third stages together.

CeMAP 1

The qualification’s first stage, ‘Introduction to Financial Services & Products and UK Regulation’, offers an overview of the UK’s entire financial services market.

While some entrants may find the prospect of tackling CeMAP 1 daunting, courses generally don’t require any prior knowledge of the field. With high pass rates associated with some of the more reputable companies offering the qualification, entrants quickly find that they are more than capable of passing the exam.

CeMAP 1 is broken into two units. In each, the entrant is presented with 50 questions and is required to achieve a pass rate of 70%, or 35 questions out of 50. Each unit must be completed within an hour.

Unit 1 looks at taxation, savings and investments, pensions, and mortgages, as well as the principles of offering financial advice and the laws that govern the industry.

Unit 2, on the other hand, looks at how the financial services sector is regulated, examining the role played by the FSA and issues such as money laundering, compensation and complaints, as well as data protection.

CeMAP 2

Although the subject range covered by second stage, ‘Assessment of Mortgage Advice and Knowledge’, is not as broad as the first, the exam comprises the next four units, each of which poses 25 questions.

Unit 3 looks at mortgage law and Unit 4 at mortgage applications. Unit 5 deals with repayments and products, and the last, Unit 6, covers issues that might crop up post-completion.

CeMAP 3

The last stage of the course, the ‘Synoptic Paper’, is a little different from the first two and is based on the subjects covered in both. Rather than being split into separate units, learners now have to examine six different case studies and answer 10 questions on each. A mark of at least 70% (42 out of 60) is required to pass.

Although the stages are numbered, learners don’t have to sit them in chronological order. It may, however, be slightly more advantageous to sit the exams in the correct order, if only for the fact that the third is based on the information tested in the first two.

Overall, marks above 70% are classed as a Pass. Those who achieve 80% or more come out with a Merit, and above 90% is a Distinction. Entrants will know how they have performed immediately, as results are received as soon as the exam ends.

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