Advice for Taking the Series 7, 63 and 79 Exams

Dcjohnston's picture
Rank: Chimp | 2

Hi all- just started as an analyst, need to pass 7, 63 and 79 within 90 days. Any advice on the order in which I should take the tests and how much time I should allow myself to study? I'm working 60-80 hours/week. Also, testing material company suggestions a plus. Thanks a lot!

How to Pass the Series Exams?

Our users share their advice on testing order and offer details about the different exams below. Please check out Licensing for Dummies for more detail on different Series exams.

User @mperit01, an equity research associate, shared advice on testing order and materials:

mperit01 - Equity Research Associate:

STC provides testing materials, haven't heard of anyone that is better than that - my firm registered me and those were the books I got, make sure you get the cd with all the practice questions on it.

Do the 7 first, then the 63, those should require a little less than two months to complete successfully if you push and make it happen, AKA you might have to throw some weekends in there unfortunately, (I would think 30 days for the 7, 15 for the 63). I have no experience with the 79, but I would take it after the 7 and 63, those two tests are very doable and it will get you used to the study regiment and working (which is difficult). That will leave you 45 days to prepare for the 79.

User @slotmouth also suggested taking the Series 7 exam first.

slotmouth:

Take the 7 first it is very broad and general and will give you a good base for everything else.

Frieds:

The Series 7 serves as a prerequisite for both the Series 63 and the Series 66.

FINRA Series 7 Exam

The Series 7 was the de rigueur standard of the day up until the introduction of the Investment Banking exam a few years ago, because almost everyone on the sell side had the Series 7 if they were on the sell-side. This exam is the "General Securities Rep" exam, meaning that once you pass it, you are able to sell all types of financial products. Unless you are required to have the Series 79 or work in an area that does not require the Series 7, you will have to take it. If you pass, it serves as your general registration with FINRA and as a General Securities Rep on the federal level. It effectively allows you to actually interact with clients and sell any security except for life insurance, real estate, commodities and futures. It is important to note that you cannot trade with the Series 7 alone, as you need to have your state registrations as well. The state registrations will be discussed in detail a little further on.

In order to take the Series 7, your firm needs to sponsor you. Traditionally, it's taken within the first three months of employment, as that is the period, as defined by FINRA, of apprenticeship where you are supposed to learn and take your exams. The exam itself is a 6 hour long exam, comprising of two sections, each 3 hours in length and a break of between 30 minutes and an hour between the two halves. The exam has 250 questions. The two largest portions, Municipal Securities and Options, comprise about 100 questions on the exam. Knowing and acing those questions will only get you so far though. The Series 7 also covers basic regulation, analysis, the markets, KYC/Account and Ops related information and a few other topics. You need a score of 70% or higher to pass this exam. - Excerpt from User @Frieds in post Licensing for Dummies

Taking the Series 63 Exam

The Series 63 is the Blue Sky Laws exam. Passing this exam allows you to be registered at the state level per Blue Sky regulation and enables you to sell securities in whichever state you or your firm, as the case may be, choose to register in. The name of the law comes from the following quote:

The name that is given to the law indicates the evil at which it is aimed, that is, to use the language of a cited case, "speculative schemes which have no more basis than so many feet of 'blue sky'"; or, as stated by counsel in another case, "to stop the sale of stock in fly-by-night concerns, visionary oil wells, distant gold mines and other like fraudulent exploitations." Even if the descriptions be regarded as rhetorical, the existence of evil is indicated, and a belief of its detriment; and we shall not pause to do more than state that the prevention of deception is within the competency of government and that the appreciation of the consequences of it is not open for our review.

As to the exam itself, this exam covers state securities regulation, laws and ethics. It has 60 questions and is 75 minutes long. You need a score of 72% or higher to pass. - Excerpt from User @Frieds in post Licensing for Dummies

What is the Series 63 Test?

The Series 63 is a securities license entitling the holder to solicit orders for any type of security in a particular state. The applicant must pass an exam which also requires a display of ethical practices and fiduciary duties. This is the exam that is needed to facilitate and soliciate securities orders.

Read more about taking the Series 63 Exam on WSO.

Series 63 Study Time and Method

With that in mind - our users shared their studying experiences:

goingbustbanking - Investment Banking Analyst:

Studied approx 30 hrs for 79, hit 80%, studied approx 8 hours for 63, and got like a 79%. 63 is much more memorization, and the ethical questions really are that easy on the test. I used Knopman online to prepare. I would also suggest not taking it as lightly as some people say. The test is notorious for tripping up people that just took the 79.

ai215 - Asset Management Associate:

Knopman online practice questions. Keep practicing until you are scoring in the high 70s/low 80s, by then you should have a lot of the rules/regs memorized. You'll be fine.

What to Know about Series 79 Exam?

The Series 79 covers just about every IBD and ECM/DCM function there is. Basically, this exam covers two key areas:

  1. Capital Markets Advisory for Debt or Equity securities
  2. Traditional IBD Functions from Advisory Work to Restructuring and everything in between. And yes, your product group under IBD falls under traditional functions. It doesn't matter whether you're in FIG, TMT or SSG, you're still just a sucker who will need to get his Series 79 if you work at a sell-side shop.

This exam, while new, was created as a result of the problems that arose from the latter part of the last decade and is now required if you plan to do IBD. This exam serves as the IBD equivalent of having the Series 7/66 combo. The exam is 175 questions and is five hours long. - Excerpt from User @Frieds in post Licensing for Dummies

Taking the Series 7 Exam?

Be sure to pass your exam by using the Wall Street Oasis prep guide!

WSO Series 7 Prep Course Here

Comments (78)

Aug 27, 2012

I have a 79 and 63 and they are completely different levels of difficulty... I'd say the 79 requires 5x the study time as the 63.

Aug 27, 2012

STC provides testing materials, haven't heard of anyone that is better than that - my firm registered me and those were the books I got, make sure you get the cd with all the practice questions on it.

do the 7 first, then the 63, those should require a little less than two months to complete successfully if you push and make it happen, AKA you might have to throw some weekends in there unfortunately, (I would think 30 days for the 7, 15 for the 63). I have no experience with the 79, but I would take it after the 7 and 63, those two tests are very doable and it will get you used to the study regiment and working (which is difficult). That will leave you 45 days to prepare for the 79.

Also keep in mind, sometimes time slots fill up so sign up for the 7 and 63 at least 2-3 weeks in advance of your test date, to ensure you can book a time and stay on your studying schedule. Another hint - the supplement exams in the STC materials is always the most helpful. I would save the closed book supplement exam for the last week leading up to your test date, it is a good measurement as to how prepared you are, and what areas you need to tighten up before the exam.

Goodluck dude

Aug 27, 2012
mperit01:

STC provides testing materials, haven't heard of anyone that is better than that - my firm registered me and those were the books I got, make sure you get the cd with all the practice questions on it.

do the 7 first, then the 63, those should require a little less than two months to complete successfully if you push and make it happen, AKA you might have to throw some weekends in there unfortunately, (I would think 30 days for the 7, 15 for the 63). I have no experience with the 79, but I would take it after the 7 and 63, those two tests are very doable and it will get you used to the study regiment and working (which is difficult). That will leave you 45 days to prepare for the 79.

Also keep in mind, sometimes time slots fill up so sign up for the 7 and 63 at least 2-3 weeks in advance of your test date, to ensure you can book a time and stay on your studying schedule. Another hint - the supplement exams in the STC materials is always the most helpful. I would save the closed book supplement exam for the last week leading up to your test date, it is a good measurement as to how prepared you are, and what areas you need to tighten up before the exam.

Goodluck dude

Knopman is way better than STC

Aug 27, 2012

Take the 7 first it is very broad and general and will give you a good base for everything else.

Aug 27, 2012

why do you have to take the 7 exactly?

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Aug 27, 2012

Just take practice exams over and over and over again. A lot of the questions used in the practice are the same ones on the test.

Aug 27, 2012

Just finished the 79 and 63, and I've studied for the 7 in the past (through a class in college).

Used the STC materials for the 79 and 63, and I thought both taught what needed to be taught.

Depending on your background and beginning level of knowledge (do you know what EV is? non-controlling interest? How stuff flows through the 3 statements?) If yes, I would say you're looking at a few weeks with the 79. There are 9 chapters (via STC), and if you could do 1-2/night plus take ~50 practice questions on each (about 2-3 hrs/night) then take a few days prior to the test and cram in the practice tests you should be fine.

For the 63, maybe a week (which is what I just did, at least, right after the 79). There are 5 chapters in this one (via STC), and you could easily read 3 and 2 chapters in back-to-back nights, take the practice tests a bunch and be OK.

Regarding the 7, and my knowledge of it..Definitely the most thorough of the three, and if I had to do all 3, I'd go 7 - 79 - 63.

Aug 27, 2012

Just took the 79 a few days ago. The thing about this exam is that it's not an intelligence exam, it's just brute memorization of the FINRA/SEC laws & regs. Studied with STC and got a 78 (73 was passing grade on mine). I was averaging low 60s on the few practice exams I took. Definitely study the underwriting & registration stuff.

BTW I have free access to any of STCs online practice exams if anyone wants a link

Nov 19, 2012

Hello ChimpChange, do you mind sharing the STC online Practice Exam link? Thank you very much!

ChimpChange:

Just took the 79 a few days ago. The thing about this exam is that it's not an intelligence exam, it's just brute memorization of the FINRA/SEC laws & regs. Studied with STC and got a 78 (73 was passing grade on mine). I was averaging low 60s on the few practice exams I took. Definitely study the underwriting & registration stuff.

BTW I have free access to any of STCs online practice exams if anyone wants a link

Dec 29, 2014

Hi! Would appreciate access to the STC online practice exams if you wouldn't mind sharing the link!

Thank you!

Aug 28, 2012

79 is the hardest because it is pure memorization.

Take the 79 course with Knopman. They basically tell you what questions are on the exam. Everyone passes with them. Think all the BBs use these guys so they might be expensive.

7 and 63 are pretty easy if you have finance background.

Aug 28, 2012

You need like 10-15 hours TOTAL to study for the 63 (if even that), depending on how fast you can read material. It's really easy.

The 79 takes much more studying. I probably spent around 30-40 hours on material for 79 (practice tests are long because the real test is long),

Make sure you go through as many practice tests as you can for both exams.

Aug 27, 2012

oh hell
http://www.stcinteractive.com/servlet/stcquiz?Quiz...
Change the a after "A79" from a-e for the 5 exams.

Accepting donations...

    • 1
Nov 19, 2012

Thank you!

Nov 19, 2012

Thank you! It helps a lot~

ChimpChange:

oh hell

Accepting donations...

Nov 19, 2012
ChimpChange:

oh hell
http://www.stcinteractive.com/servlet/stcquiz?Quiz... Change the a after "A79" from a-e for the 5 exams.
Accepting donations...

Dropped an SB into your donation box.
Seems like changing the 79 to any other number (use "07" for Series 7) will give you the prep exam for that series too :D

Currently: future psychiatrist (med school =P)
Previously: investor relations (top consulting firm), M&A consulting (Big 4), M&A banking (MM)

Dec 24, 2014

Just finished the 79 & 63 and used STC for both. Spent roughly 50-60 hours on the 79; didn't pass one practice exam but got in the mid 70's (passed) on the actual. The 63 was very easy after the 79; I probably put in 15 hours of studying and that was more than enough.
I didn't open the book; instead I focused on the practice problems and flashcards and this was more than enough for both. Like many said the 79 is pure memorization, while the 63 is a lot of common sense questions.

Aug 18, 2015

Taking Series 79 exam later this week and I've only been doing STC's practice exams but people say that Knopman is better - will I be OK with only studying from STC?

Aug 18, 2015

You will likely use whatever your investment bank or wealth management firm provide.

Aug 18, 2015
200WEST:

You will likely use whatever your investment bank or wealth management firm provide.

This.

If your firms lets you choose, go with Knopman. I started at a boutique that let me choose, and I passed easily with Knopman.

Aug 18, 2015

If you can, avoid STC. Shit is riddled with mistakes/typos

Aug 18, 2015

7 - Kaplan is best.
79 - Knopman is best. Going to the class got me 10-15 free correct answers I didn't have to think about.
63 - using Knopman, it seems like they outsource some of the Kaplan material, so I don't think it matters.

Aug 18, 2015

Use the book and online test package from Empire Stockbroker. I did that and almost aced the 7.

Aug 18, 2015

If you can choose, I would do Empire Stockbroker. Avoid stc like the plague.

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Aug 18, 2015

Hi, I have to take Series 79 test at the earliest. Looking to buy the Knopman material. I am in NY. Don't have enough points to pm. Please let me know. Thanks

Best Response
Aug 18, 2015

I have them. Completely unnecessary, also you can't take them unless you have a FINRA member firm sponsor you. The 63 is a joke, and the seven is just a really broad range of information about finance as a whole but mostly pertains to non passive investments i.e. actively traded stocks and bonds, and options. Only thing worth remembering was the order of subordination in-case of a default or liquidation.

Aug 18, 2015

understood. thanks for your response

Aug 18, 2015

Idk though; when your group does some more advanced trading and sales of interest into deals and portfolios, are those licenses not required? If youre structuring equity/debt interests into a 10 property deal of yours, are you not creating and selling a security, which requires the appropriate licenses? I've thought about this before too. Anyones shop have in-house banking groups or something similar like this?

Aug 18, 2015

kaplan works well. 7/63/65 are all really easy, you could honestly read through investopia's guides and be ready.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Aug 18, 2015

Knopman is the best. Much better than STC. Knopman most FINRA exams, including the 7 and 63.

Aug 18, 2015

I have the latest Series 63 materials including online exams, supplementary materials and related software (gave my exams in Jan 2014). Mail me on viraj_parekh at hotmail to discuss.

- Viraj

Aug 18, 2015

Thank you for the responses! I had a chance to do a few STC practice questions and they seemed to be much more comprehensive than the Knopman qbank. I've heard great things about Knopman esp for the 79 and want to be sure that I'm going the correct route with Knopman instead of STC (materials provided by my firm). Please feel free to share any more experiences if possible, I've definitely done some research but am always open to more opinions.

Aug 18, 2015

STC over prepares and gets more technical than needed. Some people like that though.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!

Aug 18, 2015

Bump

Aug 18, 2015

Trust me, get Knopman. The guy that teaches the courses (Brian) will offer additional time to answer questions you might have. It was much better quality than STC. I had access to both.

Aug 18, 2015

Are the Knopman practice exams more difficult than the actual?

Aug 18, 2015

I need material for the series 7 if anyone has any they would be willing to share

Aug 18, 2015

STC didn't do for me, have to retake the exam. I am not sure which prep I should take this time...

Aug 18, 2015

Thank for this thread very helpful!

Aug 18, 2015
Aug 18, 2015
Comment

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!