if i write “to achieve a minimum real rate of return of x%”, will exam markers assume it’s after inflation?
Yes. Real means after inflation. Don’t forget to mention the spending rate.
You’ve said “real” rate of return, which should mean that your nominal return will be that amount plus inflation.
Personally, I’d make that explicit. I know that inflation should be added to the real return, and you may know that inflation should be added to the real return, but the only way that I know that you know that is for you to tell me that you know it.