If you are reading this post, you are most likely preparing to sit for the Series 7 exam. First and foremost, I made this post because I wish it existed when I was studying for the exam. For me, the stakes were very high - pass the Series 7 exam on the first attempt or lose my new wall street job in nyc. When you are in a position where you job is contingent on passing, I highly suggest you take every precaution to pass because I have now seen multiple new guys get fired because they missed passing by a point or two. Regardless, if you are like me and need to pass this exam without any doubt on the first attempt you can do it!
FINRA series 7 exam study materials
I wish I could tell you that there is a simple way to study quick but the only way to ensure you are going to pass is to:
- Study relentlessly
- Do every practice problem you can - when you have done every single practice, do them a second time, do them a third time, in fact do them as many times as humanly possible up until your test date.
Here is my method for studying for the exam and I am 100% confident that it will work for you if you do it. Many other people on this site recommend shortcuts like skipping the book and going straight to the problems but again if you are like me and NEED to pass on the first attempt this will work for you - even if you have no work experience and minimal securities knowledge. My timeline was 3 weeks, hopefully you have as much time as I did.
How to Ace the Series 7 Exam
Use the STC Study Guides for the FINRA Exam
Step 1: Get the STC materials with the study manual and online practice problems/exams. Read the entire book - yes this is tedious, it is 24 chapters but you will really be prepared. The STC online question bank breaks out each chapter with by specific exam questions. After each chapter - try 20 or so exam problems related specifically to that chapter. If you are getting the right answers easily move on, if not do more problems until you get them. Continue this method and finish the book as soon as possible - you are just getting started. You should put 1/3 of your time towards completing the book and 2/3 towards the steps below.
Practice Series 7 with Practice Book Exams
Step 2: There are 12 open book practice exams - 125 questions each. Start with exam one, it seemed that they get progressively harder as you move from exam 1 to exam 12. The open book format provides you the correct answer and explanation after you do each problem. Be sure to understand the underlying concepts - dont memorize the question or you cant replicate what youve learned on the real exam. Take all 12 exams. Dont worry too much about your scores as you are learning but strive for the 70%+ range.
Step 3: There are 12 closed book practice exams. These are the same exact questions as from your open book problems but in a random format. You may or may not remember the questions answers from before - I promise you that after the first 12 open book questions (1500 questions) you wont remember all of them. Again on the earlier exams dont worry too much about your scores still 70%+. By exam 8 or so you should be scoring a bit higher - around the 80%. Take every exam and learn the explanation behind each answer.
Do not think that because your score is starting to go up that you can stop studying. The biggest mistake people make is getting comfortable and cutting back on studying because their score is going up. If you dont do practice problems every day - you will forget - "use it or lose it."
Series 7 Study Guide for Dummies
Step 4: At this point, I picked up the Series 7 study guide for Dummies from a bookstore. I know it sounds ridiculous but its actually a great SUPPLEMENT. I stress supplement because this highlights some of the major topics on the exam and helps to clarify concepts that were presented the STC book (boring) and explains them in a more easy to understand format. There are more practice problems throughout the reading which keeps you engaged and reinforces your learning. You can google it on Amazon - it has a bunch good ratings on Amazon so dont just take my word for it. Some of the info is a tiny bit out dated but overall it is a great reinforcement of important concepts - and if youre job is contingent on passing you can take all of the help you can get. You can read this during Step 2 or 3 above to break up all of the practice problems you will be doing. I read the whole book in a day - its a very light read.
Kaplan Practice Problems
Step 5: After I had finished open book exam 1 - 12 and closed book exam 1 - 12 from STC. I bought the kaplan practice problem set off of their website for $120. This is a question bank similar to STC of 3000 questions. The kaplan problems are tough - they will over prepare you for the exam - which is good, you want to pass right? The STC problems are more on par with what you will actually see but if you can do the kaplan problems and consistently score in the 80% + you will ACE the Series 7. With my schedule there was no way to do all 3000 problems or anywhere close but I did as many as possible right up to the exam.
Final words of encouragement:
Keep your head up. You will pass this exam IF you study relentlessly. I am sure the wall street oasis community will agree that I over-prepared for this exam but with my job on the line I really didnt want to leave even any doubt at all that I would fail - and I passed with an extremely high score with above 90% in every topic on the exam. If you are like me and want to make millions of dollars on wall street you have to put your time in so suck it up, get out your study materials, turn off your cell phone and do work. Study hard and you will pass. Dont take any days or nights off. If you get discouraged, think about your future vacation home with 4 car garage and yacht - why else would you be in finance? Best of luck to you.
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