Ways to Pass the Series 7 Exam

Orod315's picture
Rank: Senior Chimp | 21

I Passed my Series 7 yesterday and I thought it would be helpful to share my experience in efforts to shed light on this exam. I'll cut to the chase, its a BEAR no pun intended. However, Its not impossible. I have a masters degree, got excellent grades in school, but never did well in standardized state tests. I only share this because if you know about these kinds of tests you know that it doesn't measure an ounce of intelligence. It measures if you have taken enough Ginkgo Biloba to retain the information.

Guide to Passing the Series 7 Test

Back to business. I used Kaplan for this test and let me just say that it was exactly what I needed. I did about 2000 questions read the book twice. Here is what worked for me. READ THE BOOK! yes the whole 667 pages. Twice if you can if not at least skim through it the second time. Next, buy the Q-Bank! the questions in the Q-Bank are exactly what is needed to get this monster tamed. I created 100 questions exams covering all topics, then did a simulation exam of 125 random computer selected questions.

Then I focused on the weak areas by doing 200 questions on each weak area and I re-read the chapter I was weak on. This will improve your scores very quickly. I didn't get any other supplements they are unnecessary, also don't waist your time going to that Kaplan class its a waste of time, I went to it and I felt like the person teaching it was a robot reading off the book. I left the third day and studied more. If you are getting 85% PLUS on simulation exams YOU ARE SOLID!

CAUTION!: I want to caution you on the following, don't take the Practice Exams and Mastery exams** IF **you happen to skip them (like me for some odd reason) and are already on the 'taking the question bank train', the purpose of those tests are to give you an idea of where you should focus your efforts moving forward right after you finish the book and do a minor amount of questions. If after doing 2000 questions and scoring mid 80's you take the "Practice Exam or Mastery Exam" and If you score say a 70 on those tests but are scoring mid 80s on the simulation expect to pass. Those tests are stupid difficult and in my opinion completely unrealistic.

Remember to focus on suitability, Debt securities, Munis, options and variable annuities. They are all huge.

Lastly, I passed with an 85 and yes , (spare the smart ass comments), I did bust my ass and yes I did study hard. No such thing as studying "too hard" when your job is on the line. Kaplan is the way to go Qbank is on point. I would say that the Kaplan Q Bank is in line with what you will see on the test.

Check out the below video to learn more.

Read More About the Series 7 Exam on WSO

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Comments (50)

Aug 9, 2017

I will counterpoint that for someone with significant financial industry experience, the testing experience can be completely different. I had over half a decade in a non-sales role, had my Charter, and was basically ready to sit for the CFP when a job opportunity that required the 7 fell into my lap. I was going to get a raise once I passed, and wouldn't have much in the way of other responsibilities until then, so I decided I wanted to get it as quickly as possible. I spent the first seven days on the job studying from 9-5, sat on day 8, was done in a bit over three hours, (including the annoying mandatory break) scored in the low 90s, and managed to make it to the local bar before the lunch specials were over.

The 7 is tough because it is a healthy volume of materials that might as well be a foreign language for most people who end up taking it. There are investment vehicles the average guy on the street doesn't know, and a lot of it also tries to explain the legal ethical requirements of someone in the industry. For someone who has dealt with those vehicles, and seen scumbags convince retiring teachers give up their pensions in order to buy a VA, it may not be that difficult.

Aug 9, 2017

I agree with those points. Thats a very fair statement. The issue with this test is also which provider to select as trainers for the exam. It is not a hard exam in terms of math or vocabulary difficulty it's a lot to memorize. I didn't have the good fortune to have my employer let me study, I had to work and study at night and weekends and having small children at home it made it twice as hard. Glad it's over. Thanks for proving sound advice and commentary.

    • 1
Aug 9, 2017
Orod315:

I agree with those points. Thats a very fair statement. The issue with this test is also which provider to select as trainers for the exam. It is not a hard exam in terms of math or vocabulary difficulty it's a lot to memorize. I didn't have the good fortune to have my employer let me study, I had to work and study at night and weekends and having small children at home it made it twice as hard. Glad it's over. Thanks for proving sound advice and commentary.

Kids make stuff a lot tougher. Two guys in my department have stopped working towards their Charter because of them, including a fund PM. I had a 'get it in a month or get a new job' mandate for the 7, so I figured that sooner was the better option. If I failed, I could give it a second shot, if not I got the raise.

    • 1
Jan 9, 2018

That is what I like to hear about: someone who read the book twice!. Lots of people do not even want to read the book once. Those who look for short cuts are less likely to succeed on any exam than people who work hard.

Jan 19, 2018

this is common in the uk. a variety of lecturers time is taken up by way of writing lecture notes so that scholars are not required to purchase textbooks. the amount of money students are paying from their schooling, it is the least we are able to do

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Jan 19, 2018

Congrats on the job! Sounds like you are overpreparing - the way I prepared was to take the STC practice exams and review the areas I got wrong, and I would aim for around 70%+ on the practices. Remember it doesn't matter if you get a 100% or a 72%, as long as you pass.

Jan 19, 2018

Buy the book from Kaplan. Read it. Take the practice exams until you're getting 85% or better consistently and you'll ace the Series 7.

One problem with your plan though...you need to be sponsored by a brokerage firm in order to take the Series 7.

Jan 19, 2018

I am selling all the Kaplan Series 7 materials at a significant discount. I found the course to be very comprehensive and passed comfortably.

Follow the study plan. Take the units tests and simulated exams until you are getting an 80% and then create custom quizzes on all the sub-areas that you are scoring under 80%.

Jan 19, 2018

I've never used Knopman. With that being said, I've used Kaplan for 3 exams (including the 7) and am currently using it for a fourth. I have had a positive experience with their books, online exams, live classes, and support staff. I tried STC through a friend's account to give it a shot, and I would not recommend it. Maybe I was too used to Kaplan at that point, but STC felt archaic.

Jan 19, 2018

I took it three years ago and I thought it was actually pretty easy. A large part of it was based on options and fixed income (don't know if that's still the case). The options questions were very basic too. I remember the hardest part was memorizing some of the laws. If you study a good 2-3 weeks you should be able to pass it even if you have no knowledge with investments. If you already do have a decent amount of knowledge, then you could probably get by on a week or less. There is a series 7 for dummies book that is pretty good. I would get that if I were you!

Jan 19, 2018

Series 7 is a piece of cake. The only way you'll fail it is if you don't take it seriously during the 2-3 weeks you'll need to study.

Jan 19, 2018

Get the STC study materials and crush all of the quizzes and practice tests over and over until you start scoring in the 80s or 90s on everything. They also provide a big binder with 20+ chapters and hundreds of pages but I never touched it because its just way too much to read thru and provides little benefit. The actual test questions are VERY similar and many times identical to the practice questions.

Jan 19, 2018

Thanks for the advice.

Jan 19, 2018

Don't underestimate the level of difficulty of this exam. 2 to 3 weeks is not enough time to prepare for the test and focusing on questions is a bad idea.

Jan 19, 2018

^naturally

Jan 19, 2018

^ holy hell!!!! Tupac is alive! And he knows shit about Wall Street?!?!?

Jan 19, 2018

I scored a 91 on the Series 7 exam. The material on the exam is not difficult but there is a lot of material to get through and you need to know how to use your time. Make sure you are using solid review materials (not all are created equally) and have a good strategy for how to study for it.

There's not enough room to write all my thoughts about the exam here, but in case anyone finds it helpful, I've shared in great detail my approach to preparing for the exam on the website Personal Finance Insider dot com. I believe anyone could pass the exam on their first try by following a similar approach. Best of luck to everyone on their exam!

Jan 19, 2018

Knows your options and munis and take practice tests. If memory serves me right, options/munis make up close to 70% of the test questions. I recommend doing 125 questions a time and make sure you get >80% on those exams.

Jan 19, 2018

There should be a ton of prep material out there and classes that you can take. Also, you can get practice exams online--search Investopedia Series 7 Quiz and I think that one is supposed to be pretty good.

Jan 19, 2018

wat is the price.?

Jan 19, 2018

Does anyone have access to online on-demand lectures for Series 7 instruction? It's an emergency. I have to requalify for the exam after letting it lapse. Already have print book and tests, I just need virtual instruction. Anyone have any experience with these online classrooms. I prefer on-demand rather than virtual.

John C.

Jan 19, 2018
Series7:

Selling my STC material for series 7 including notes and 10+ practise exams. The material is in two neat folders which are currently in NYC.

Do you have STC access to online on-demand lectures for Series 7 instruction?

John C.

Jan 19, 2018

I have the STC Series 7 Final Examinations and Explanations - 40th Edition. Does anyone own the corresponding study manual they would be interested in selling?

Jan 19, 2018

The series seven in and of itself isn't going to help you without actual experience working on IPOs, I'm afraid. Yes, you do know how the process of registering and marketing a security works, but IMHO, he really needs a good securities lawyer first.

Smaller deals and IPOs often just involve management, a lawyer, and an accounting firm IIRC. My Dad worked on a few small mergers way back in the day as an accountant.

Jan 19, 2018

he already has a law firm working on all of the legal aspects. he basically needs an assistant to deal with brokers of other firms he buys and deciding when to purchase these companies and also make sure the subsidiary companies properly reported their statements monthly.basically do the minor stuff so the owner could focus on the "big picture" stuff.

I'm trying to figure out if there is any material benefit the Series 7/66 can add to his firm though? (even after he is public) Is there a benefit to an in-house broker? or if he registered with the SEC and i registered as the principal? lets say if he only wanted to buy minority stakes in companies, could doing ^^^ allow for a cheaper cost of stock acquisition then going through a third-party?

Jan 19, 2018

jlevin PM me on this if you want

Jan 19, 2018
RadarBanker:

jlevin PM me on this if you want

radar are you from southern cali? if so could you share what its like in banking there?

The answer to your question is 1) network 2) get involved 3) beef up your resume 4) repeat -happypantsmcgee

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Jan 19, 2018

Email me at [email protected]. Im lokoing to get the materials ASAP. Thank you!

Jan 19, 2018

Selling Series 7, 63, 86 and 87 books, notes, online exams and lecture slides. Can ship or meet in person in NYC. Best prep materials on the street to pass the exams in one go and willing to sell for cheap.

Jan 19, 2018

pmd

Jan 19, 2018

I just read your message and want the series 7 -- would pay for it UPS'd to me.

Jan 19, 2018

Class + practice tests -> DONE. I'm retaking it in a couple of weeks (mostly just read the book, oops) and that's all you need to do. You'll recognize many practice tests and they don't even change the numbers on some of the exam questions.

Jan 19, 2018

as ufo stated, skim though the material and just keep taking the pratice exams. exactly the same as the actual exam. the web based version makes it easier to take the exams and calculate your results. use the web based

I used to be indecisive, now I'm just not sure.

Jan 19, 2018

I used the text books mostly although I had some web-based access, as well. Skim the sections you are less familiar with and use most of your time taking the practice tests and reading the explanations of the answers. Focus on the sections with the greatest weight, e.g. Debt, Options, Muni Regs, etc.

Chance favors only the prepared mind.

Jan 19, 2018

Hello, do you still have it for sale? I would be looking for the prep exam only. Thanks!

Jul 6, 2018

I am studying from Kaplan materials. I am getting between 73%-76% in the simulated exams (125 Q from QBank). What are my chances of actually passing the real exam?

May 6, 2019
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Jul 19, 2019
Oct 14, 2019