Written Exam | Appraisal Institute of Canada

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Written Exam

Important Note: This page provides general information regarding the written examination. Complete details about the written exam are contained in the Applied Experience Program Guidelines, available on the Applied Experience Program web page.

You should always refer to the Applied Experience Guidelines when seeking information about the program.

About the Written Applied Experience Examination

The examination content and marking guidelines are determined by AIC. The administration of the examination is the responsibility of the Real Estate Division (RED) of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. The written examination assesses the Candidate’s understanding of the First Principles of Value as they relate to experiential knowledge. Experiential knowledge refers to the wisdom gained from experience (breadth & depth) and insight in applying academic knowledge to actual or simulated situations.

Exam Content

  • One case study question (worth 40% of the marks), selected by the Candidate from at least four options provided.
  • Three short answer questions (with 60% of the marks) based on work experience, again selected from a set of at least seven options.

Eligibility

Academic knowledge is a necessary prerequisite to experiential knowledge. In order to sit for the written examination or Professional Competency Interview, Candidates must have successfully completed all requirements for the relevant designation and provided the required supporting documentation to their provincial affiliated association office. This includes the successful completion of:

  • All curriculum and educational requirements.
  • The Professional Practice Seminar (PPS), prior to taking the written exam and sitting the Professional Competency Interview (PCI). For both the written exam and the PCI, no more than 2 years may elapse since the date of your last PPS otherwise the PPS must be completed again.
  • The appropriate Guided Case Study (GCS) or equivalent; the minimum term of required applied experience, along with the completed Applied Experience Progress Report.

 

Locations

The Examination is offered in accordance with the RED examination schedule, and will be available at examination centres across the country. Click here for a list of dates and locations.

Registration

  • Candidates who have completed all curriculum and designation requirements should register online with the RED 30 days prior to the scheduled exam date. The examination fee is $215.00.
  • Written confirmation from the applicable AIC provincial or affiliated organization that the Candidate has met all curriculum and designation requirements must also be forwarded to the RED at least 30 days prior to the scheduled examination.
  • Examination registrations will not be processed until confirmation of eligibility has been received by the RED.
  • To register for the examination, click here.
  • For more information on eligibility to write the exam, please refer to the Applied Experience Guidelines.

Candidates with Disabilities

Any student who identifies a disability that requires a modified examination setting will be referred directly to UBC’s Access and Diversity Centre. They are the experts in this area and are able to both assess and accommodate students with disabilities. Students in this situation should contact the RED Examinations department for a referral.

Grading

The Applied Experience examinations will be graded by trained AIC markers who are designated members of the Appraisal Institute of Canada.

If there is a problem verifying the location of the property identified on the exam, UBC will approach the student for verification. If the student cannot provide proof of the existence of the property the issue will be referred to the AIC Director, Professional Practice for review. CUSPAP violations encountered on the written exam will be forwarded by UBC to the AIC Director, Professional Practice.

Passing Mark

The passing grade for the Applied Experience examination is set at 70 percent. Candidates meeting this standard will be able to move on to the Professional Competency Interview, the final step leading to either AIC designation.

Results

You can expect to receive your results by mail in 4 – 6 weeks. Successful Candidates will receive a notification of a passing grade. Unsuccessful Candidates will receive notification of the grade achieved, plus marking comments to assist with rewriting the examination.

How to Prepare

The AIC has several resources available to Candidates to help you prepare for the Applied Experience written exam.

Exam Writing Strategies

General exam writing strategies

1. Quickly read through or scan the exam from beginning to end.

2. Roughly calculate how much time you have for each question, according to the marks it is allotted, and make sure you do not spend too long on one question.

3. Pay attention to the weight assigned for questions, in terms of how important the point is and as a rough guide for how much you need to write.

4. If you find yourself running out of time, write down what you think you know in the time you have remaining, so that the marker can at least award partial marks.

5. Before you start a question, think it through, and structure your answer, either in your head or in a quick outline on paper. The marker is more likely to be impressed with your answer if it is clear and logically organized.

6. Present your answers in neat and clear handwriting. If the marker can’t read your answer, they can’t give it marks. Poor presentation of your answers can reduce your marks, or in really extreme cases, can cause you to fail—the marker can’t pass what they can’t read or understand.

7. It is better to be short, succinct and to-the-point. The marker does not want you to write a novel.

8. Write to the level of an informed valuation professional, but not necessarily an expert in your specific area.

9. Do not use jargon/abbreviations without explanation.

10. When you are finished writing an answer, re-read the question and ensure you actually answered it fully.

11. Remember this motto: RTQ & ATQ: Read the Question & Answer the Question!

Case Study strategies

1. Focus on the big picture. Ensure you have addressed ALL of the First Principles in your answer, as well as focusing on the one or two that are key to the situation.

2. State any assumptions early, so the marker knows the basis for your answers.

3. Leave the marker with no unanswered questions.

Short Answer strategies

1. Ensure you write about YOUR work experience. This is not an essay, it is a showcase for you to explain why your work experience is sufficient to be granted a professional designation.

“This is what I would do…” – INCORRECT.

“This is what I did do…” – CORRECT.

2. Answer in the first person (“I”, NOT “we”). If you worked as part of a team, be clear on your specific role.

3. Focus on three different scenarios; do not provide the same experience written three different ways.

4. Focus on simple, to-the-point examples; it is better to be comprehensive for a straightforward case than vague on an exceptionally complex one.

5. Do not focus completely on specifics or your area (e.g. assessment law, expropriation law, financing valuation), but be prepared to discuss valuation principles in general. For example, if you are an assessor and assessment in your province is market value-based, you must still be able to talk about market value appraisals.

6. The marker MUST be able to identify the properties you are discussing. AIC reserves the right to verify your examples are based on real work experience. If they are not verifiable or are found to be untrue, AIC reserves the right to assign a failing grade. You should ideally provide the building name and address. However, if you can’t remember the address, then provide as many details as possible regarding its specific location, such that the grader is assured it is a real property rather than a hypothetical/fictional property.

7. Think positive and be confident. This is your opportunity to explain to a professional peer how your work experience is sufficient evidence of your competencies in applying First Principles of Value.

Exam FAQs

1 Do I need to buy study materials?

No, the exam is based on your understanding of First Principles of Value and how these apply to your own work experience. You should review the First Principles closely. Think about your work experience specifically in terms of how you have dealt with each of the First Principles. You can be reasonably certain that you will need to discuss examples based on each of the First Principles.

2 How do I register for the examination?

Once you have completed all curriculum and designation requirements , you can register for the examination online with the Real Estate Division 30 days prior to the scheduled exam date.

3 What is the examination fee?

The examination fee is $195.00.

4 How do I know if I have met all the curriculum and designation requirements?

Contact your Provincial Association office. The staff will review your file and advise you if you have outstanding requirements. They will then provide written confirmation that you have met all curriculum and designation requirement to the Real Estate Division at least 30 days prior to the scheduled examination. Examination registrations will not be processed until confirmation of eligibility has been received by the Real Estate Division.

5 Can I have my course or exam translated into French or another language?

The AIC Applied Experience Examination will be available in French or English. You will be asked to specify your language preference when you register.

7 Do I need Identification to enter the exam?

Yes, you will need to bring valid picture identification to the examination centre.

8 I have recently been married and my valid picture identification is in my former name. What documentation should I bring to the examination?

You must bring your valid picture identification along with your marriage certificate to the examination.

9 Can you give any hints on how to write the exam?


Some hints for writing your examination:

  • Quickly read through or scan the exam from beginning to end.
  • First attempt the questions you find the easiest and leave the ones you find most difficult to the end.
  • Roughly calculate how much time you have for each question, according to the number of marks it is allotted, and make sure you do not spend too long on one question.
  • If you find yourself running out of time, write down what you know in the time you have remaining, so that the marker can at least award partial marks.
10 Do I need a calculator?

There are no math-specific questions on the exam, but your answers will likely explain your approach in value-related assignments. As such, you may find a business calculator helpful in structuring your answers, so it is probably worth bringing one. If you do, your calculator must be silent, cordless and hand-held.

Calculators that are both alphanumeric and programmable are not permitted in the examination room. Graphing calculators are strictly prohibited.

Also note that calculators and batteries will not be provided at the exam, so you are advised to bring spare batteries or a spare calculator.

11 I recently wrote the exam. How soon can I expect the results?


You can expect your results in approximately 4 – 6 weeks by mail. The Real Estate Division has a policy not to provide exam results over the telephone. The only exception to this is when a student has failed the examination and needs to be informed in time to apply for a rewrite exam date.

12 What if I fail the exam?

You may apply to rewrite the examination at the next scheduled sitting of your choice, at a fee of $195 per attempt. If you fail to pass the examination after three attempts, you may be required to complete additional education and/or experience before being permitted to sit the examination again.

13 What can I do if I want a second opinion on my examination grade?


You may request a “post-examination review.” Your examination will be remarked by a second marker and you will receive a second marking worksheet with additional feedback. There is a $70 fee for a post-exam review. Should the remarking result in a failed exam receiving a passing grade, you will be refunded this fee (although please note it is exceptionally rare for a post-exam review to revise the original assessment).

14 Will I be told my exam grade?


Unsuccessful candidates will receive notification of the grade achieved, plus marking comments to assist them with rewriting the examination. Successful candidates will receive a notification of passing the examination, but will not be sent their exam grade, because once a candidate has successfully completed this designation requirement, the exact grade is not relevant for designation purposes.

Next Step: Professional Competency Interview

Once you have successfully completed the written examination, you will be ready to move onto the final step—the Professional Competency Interview.

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