CIS II Certification Exam Guidelines

Knowledge Exam Guidelines
The knowledge areas below are the basis for the Certified IRA Specialist II (CIS II) examination.

Required Minimum Distributions (RMDs) (16%)

  • RMD rules
  • Processing RMD payments
  • FMV adjustments
  • Avoiding RMD liability
  • Beneficiary changes

Portability (16%)

  • Moving assets to an employer plan
  • Divorce transfers
  • Violating the portability rules

Beneficiary Concepts (30%)

  • Steps in processing a death claim
  • Beneficiary options
  • Portability of death benefits

Excess Contributions and Recharacterizations (20%)

  • Removing an excess before the deadline
  • Reporting the withdrawal of an excess
  • Definition of net income attributable
  • Types of contributions that can be recharacterized
  • Recharacterization deadline
  • Processing a recharacterization

Previous IRA Knowledge (5%)

  • Contribution limits
  • Contribution deadlines
  • Distribution rules
  • Tax reporting requirements

Withholding (6%)

  • Federal withholding requirements
  • Calculating withholding amounts

Conversions (7%)

  • Definition of a conversion
  • Processing a conversion

Exam Process
When you return from Ascend, you will receive an email with the following information.

  1. Website link to the certification exam for which you are registered
  2. User name and password that will allow you to access the exam

The exam will give you one question at a time. At any time during the exam, you may return to a question and change your answer.

The exam is scored immediately upon completion of the exam.

Specific Exam Guidelines
You have 30 days from the Monday following the completion of your Ascend to complete the exam.

The exam consists of a pool of 140 questions. Your exam will have 90 questions from the pool to answer and you will have 3 hours to complete the exam.

Passing Score
A passing score is 80 percent or greater. If a passing score is not achieved, you will be eligible to retake the exam 30 days from the date of the original exam date. The exam retake fee is $299.