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What the statistics really reveal

Shortly after the FSB released Circular 7 last week, I received a skewed interpretation from an FSP which illustrated just how prone we are to read things from our own perspective, rather than an objective one.

What are the basic facts about the current status of the level 1 Regulatory Examinations?

  1. According to the FSB statistics, about 22% of all registered key individuals still have to write the exam for the first time. That means that 2 777 still have to write before the end of June.
  2. The number who wrote and failed is 2 485. They have until the end of September to write.
  3. As far as representatives are concerned, 51 790, or 82.42% of those who need to write before the end of June, have done so.
  4. The number of representatives who need to write at least once before the end of June is 11 045.
  5. The number who wrote and failed is 16 144. They have until the end of September to write and pass the exams.

In essence, a total of around 13 822 candidates (KIs plus Reps) still have to write before the end of June. There is every opportunity for them to do so in terms of logistics.

While the FSB statistics show the data of those who wrote, it does not reflect registration figures. The surge in these numbers since the beginning of May indicates that the majority of candidates are intent on writing before the end of June.

As we have become accustomed, South Africans are past masters in the art of procrastination. In this particular instance, there is a safety net in the form of the extension to the end of September for those who failed before the end of June. It would indeed be a brave fool who plays this dangerous game of delaying twice.

While there are no statistics available on the success rate, second time around, it stands to reason that it must be significantly higher. This is borne out by the current improved pass rate, compared to what it was in the beginning of the exams. When you know what to expect, you prepare accordingly.

Since the introduction of the exams, we heard a lot of sabre rattling by disgruntled advisors, and some industry bodies. The latter appeared to rely on the FSB extending, or even cancelling, the REs due to a vast number of candidates not having written. These figures now dispel that myth.

The message from the FSB is clear: the current requirements will stand. We suggest you knuckle down and do it. There is every reason to believe that it is “do-able”. The statistics prove it.


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