As of January 2016, the Series 55 is no longer the Securities Trader Exam, it is now called the Series 57. Have any of you taken the exam and if so, which service did you use for exam prep/practice tests and how difficult was the test? There is really not a lot out there due to the fact that the test is so new... I received STC materials from my firm and bought Pass Perfect materials on my own because that is what I used to prepare for the 7 and 63.
What is the Series 57 Exam?
The Series 57 exam proceeds the earlier Series 55 exam. It is the Securities Trader Representative Exam and it assesses the competency of entry-level representatives to fulfill their role as a securities trader representative. It is a requirement for anyone wanting a role in:
- NASDAQ equity trading
- OTC equity trading
- Proprietary trading
How To Study For The Series 57 Exam
The minimum grade to pass the Series 57 exam is 70 percent. It is an extremely difficult exam that few people pass on their first attempt. As it is fairly new, there isn't as much information or material as its predecessors, however, there is more than enough to get you by. By far the most valuable resource you can invest in is the Knopman preparatory materials. When using the Knopman resources, it's worth the extra investment to get the video access. While some feel it doesn't cover as much of the material as they would like, there is sufficient material to get you to superficial knowledge level. It's up to you to master the nuances required to pass the exam.
At a minimum, do the following when preparing for the Series 57 exam:
- Read and watch all the resources at least twice.
- Do all the end of chapter questions and review the ones you get incorrect.
- Write several practice exams multiple times.
- After each practice review the chapters you didn't perform well in.
- Take extensive notes on course material.
- Use the provided flash cards.
- If possible, attend a Knopman two-day training event.
Take your time, let everything marinate and study daily so it stays fresh all the way until test time. I studied 2-3hrs daily for about 6 weeks and went thru each chapter multiple times reading and taking notes. Once I got into it I realized I had to step up my study game due to the quantity of information in the book. Don't forget to take all the BOOK chapter tests multiple times. Don't skip anything.
How To Pass The Series 57 Exam
There are several things to bear in mind when preparing for your Series 57 exam:
- The exam is curved. Some questions are worth more than one point if they have proven to be difficult.
- The questions are meant to trick you so read everything very carefully and take the full allotted time to write your exam.
- This is not the sort of exam you can cram for; it takes many hours and lots of practice and notes to be successful.
- When writing the exam, take detailed notes for each scenario to ensure your thoughts are clear and that you understand what's being asked of you.
It is not sufficient to know the basic concepts and regulations; they ask a bunch of questions about the specific trade reporting identifiers, market hours, obscure variants of limit order handling rules, etc. You have to memorize the specific numbers of the regulations. Also, there's no logical way to eliminate a lot of the wrong answers. On the plus side, if you can get 70 answers solid and guess on the rest, you've got a 99% chance of passing, so you really only need to know a little more than half the stuff.
This test really requires you to understand, rather than memorize- and you'll find that a lot of what they ask isn't even directly involved with equities trading (retirement, margin accounts, etc) so be prepared. There are questions that will try to tempt you into picking a wrong answer, or at least make you decide between two very plausible choices- or, they'll ask you a question and it'll be your responsibility to recognize that there is a violation or exception at hand. With that being said, know the different forms of manipulation that can occur in the industry, know the exceptions that are involved with disclosures, various rules...don't BS when you study off of the textbook.
To sum it all up- know your stuff, and don't get tricked.
Need to write the Series 57 exam? Watch the below video for tips on passing!
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