Series 79 Top-Off & SIE?

Hey guys; unfortunately I failed the old Series 79 by 2% and have to take the new top-off exam + the SIE. Was wondering if anyone's gone through the new format and what it's like. My company provided me with a Solomon Exam Prep account, but I found the actual FINRA questions to be noticeably more difficult than Solomon's practice quizzes. I come from a liberal arts background so I was learning a lot of the content for the first time, but acknowledge I clearly didn't put in enough hours to compensate. I plan on scheduling my next try for later this month. Any tips would be appreciated, thanks!

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Comments (20)

Oct 3, 2018

Hey aidenheyltor, I think you deserve a response...heck, everyone does. We're listening, sorry about the delay best guess at places on WSO that could help:

No promises, but sometimes if we mention a user, they will share their wisdom: @chickencharlie @Michael-Acely @Muniri

If those topics were completely useless, don't blame me, blame my programmers...

Oct 9, 2018

Passed the new Series 79 today. Now for the SIE.

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Oct 22, 2018

SIE is pretty broad, it might be more challenging without a finance background. It's basically an overview of everything, but the FINRA questions are harder than practice material.

I believed this is because the test is so new and the practice questions haven't adjusted yet. If you passed 79 you should be okay.

Dec 28, 2018

Any reason you started with 79 instead of SIE? I'm doing SIE>79>63.

How was the new 79? How long did you take to prepare?

Dec 23, 2018

Just PM'ed you. Am in the same boat as you, studying for the SIE right now.

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Jan 30, 2019

How was the SIE??

Jan 30, 2019

Very easy compared to 63/old 79. No roman numeral questions (like A) I and II, etc) and VERY little math. There were a few questions that actually made no sense and questions as easy as asking what a Keogh or Euro were. Kind of all over the place. I passed the Benchmark exam for the SIE on Knopman, but never actually passed any other test I took. Definitely wouldn't stress over options/yields as much as I did.

Jan 29, 2019

Hey guys and gals, sorry for the delayed response; wasn't following the thread. Hope this is still useful for people. I felt the new 79 + SIE was significantly easier than the original 79. I think the biggest cause of this was reducing the test time to two shorter sessions.

I elected to take the new 79 top-off before the SIE because I didn't want to forget any of the old 79 material that I'd already studied. However, if you haven't been exposed to any of the 79 content yet, I think starting with the introductory SIE is logical.

As for what prep guides I used: I kept using Solomon for the 79 and was able to pass without much difficulty. However, I tried Knopman Marks for the SIE and felt its videos were superior at explaining new concepts; after taking the test, I felt that I almost didn't need to read the textbook, and would have been fine with just the videos.

Jan 30, 2019

thank you!

Jan 30, 2019

Got it, giving myself like 7 days to study after taking the 79 top off so will see what happens

Jan 30, 2019

I passed the SIE last week and have the 79 top-off coming up in about two weeks. Any insight on the exam? Surprises? I'm using Knopman & Marks for prep.

Feb 2, 2019

Two weeks should be enough time - I think I spent about the same to pass. I used STC - second to Knopman I've heard. The STC material for the top-off didn't mirror the exam much, but for the series 63, the STC material mirrored the exam way closer. There wasn't much overly challenging stuff on the 79TO, really don't recall using any formulas I didn't already know from undergrad.

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Jan 31, 2019

Any others take the 79 top off recently? Do they give you an actual grade? Or only pass/fail?

Feb 10, 2019

I only got a pass; don't know what my % was

Jan 31, 2019

With the new format its just a pass/fail at the end. Also I would second that while the knopman prep is good, some of the wording on the actual test can be confusing and they may use names for securities that werent the same as the syntax used in the book so watch out for that when you're preparing. Overall the new structure is very manageable as long as you read the book and try not to take big gaps studying when you're prepping.

Feb 10, 2019

Just passed. Found it pretty easy -- there were some random treasury yield questions and still hit hard on fairness opinions. Not that many exhibits (1-2) or that much math (4-5 questions -- no LIFO/FIFO, WACC, CAPM), M&A scenarios, and lots of Reg M and Reg D. Goodwill also appeared three times?

PS I'm also selling my textbook with class notes -- someone take them!!

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Feb 12, 2019


Feb 12, 2019


Feb 13, 2019

Nice! How did you feel it compared to the Knopman practice questions / benchmark exams?

Feb 13, 2019