How Can You Pass the CISI’s Portfolio Construction Theory Exam?

CWM – Portfolio Construction Theory



If the CISI’s Portfolio Construction Theory exam is next on your list, to help you demonstrate your high level of knowledge and expertise, here are some tips to help you secure a good pass rate.


In this previous article I wrote about the first exam in this suite of three that make up the Institute’s Level 7 Chartered Wealth Manager (CWM) qualification.


This second paper has seen some changes since its inception in 2008. It now largely focuses on portfolio construction and asset management. Prior to 2014, a significant portion of the exam tested personal taxation as well. The pass rate has been reasonably consistent at 55-60% with the occasional blip up or downwards. This might seem an improvement on the first paper of the CWM modules, Financial Markets, but the general failure rate in my opinion, is still too high and largely avoidable.


So why is it that students who are already used to the CISI’s way of examining narrative papers through the Financial Markets (or the alternative route of Private Client Investment Advice and Management), still failing?


The paper is divided into three sections. Section A has 20 multiple-choice questions that cover a broad range of syllabus topics. Section B includes a series of short answer questions, either grouped together and relating to a single case study or, covering individual scenarios and areas of the syllabus. Each question is usually worth 2-6 marks. The total for this section is 40 marks. Section C is the only section giving you a choice. Three scenarios are offered each worth 20 marks and you are required to answer any two.


So three different sections with three quite different sets of challenges, all of which can cause major slip ups in the exam if you lack the necessary knowledge or exam technique. To give you enough help, I have dealt with each section in turn, in a free fact sheet that you find on our website, here 




Glascow Consulting Ltd is a CISI Accredited Training Provider.





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