It appears that a lot of questions we receive every day are based on hearsay, speculation or inappropriate reference to available resources.
At the risk of sounding like a recording, we have to stress that you cannot prepare correctly, or properly, unless you know what you will be tested on. The 8 Qualifying Criteria(QC) for the RE5 (representative exam) only consist of 16 pages in table form, which means you can read it in 10 minutes, at the most. When I hear somebody complain: “That question was not covered in my study material” then it is obvious that that person never looked at the QCs to begin with.
We often explain the difference between what you need to know (the applicable legislation) and how you go about obtaining that knowledge as follows:
Imagine you have Macbeth as a setwork book at school. At the first “Bubble, bubble, toil and trouble…” your mind blanks out (mine did any way). You purchase a study aid setting out in plain English what Shakespeare was actually saying, then you read the actual book again. The reason for this is that your exam paper is not set on the explanatory notes, but on Macbeth itself.
In the same manner, study material for the REs is important to help you comprehend the bigger picture. By not using the actual curriculum (the qualifying criteria) and the text book (the actual legislation), you reduce your chances of passing at the first attempt.
Many people only succeed at the second attempt. In my opinion, this is because they only experience the “language” of the REs for the first time in the exam venue. When they prepare the second time around, they know what to expect, and prepare appropriately.