November 26, 2018 | Last updated: December 2, 2020
By: Jeffrey Van Blarcom
This article has been updated. Click here for the most recent information.
FINRA / NASAA Exam Tips
Here are some great test tips that will help you pass your exam.
Don’t Question the Question – Sounds funny, but the truth of the matter is that a lot of people get into trouble on the exam by second guessing the question. Let’s face it, the questions on the FINRA and NASAA exams are not written based on real world scenarios. They are in fact, living in a bubble on the screen, and that world is often very far removed from reality.
So even if the question makes no sense to you and you think no one would ever be faced with this situation, on the exam it is what you are faced with and you will most likely be required to pick between four bad answers. Identifying the least bad choice is what you will need to do on these questions to answer them correctly on the exam. What you would do in the real world is not relevant here as it is not one of the four possible choices. So as you read through the questions on your exam, the best piece of advice we can give you is to read the full question completely without trying to answer it.
During this first reading simply try to understand what the question is asking you. The key to the question is in the last sentence, in fact it is often the last two or three words in the question. After you have identified what the question is asking, go back and read it again. You are now in a better position to determine which pieces of information in the question are relevant to the answer and which are there only to distract you.
Now it is time to pick the best choice of the four choices. There are no other possible answers to the question on the exam. There is a finite selection and in many cases the answer you would want to be there is not among the four possible choices. Here you need to put the answer you want to be there out of your mind and focus on what is there. Be very careful when it comes to answer choices containing two scenarios or two pieces of information.
Often times these questions contain a part of the answer that is correct and a second part of the answer that is incorrect. The part that is incorrect renders the entire answer wrong, and as a result the choice needs to be eliminated.
If the question is designed to test your knowledge of an exception to a rule, the fact will be made clear in the question. Otherwise students should not be looking for each and every possible exception to the rule. This can cause students to get confused and answer incorrectly.
Here are The Securities Institute we have worked extremely hard to develop questions that mirror the style of questions you will see on your FINRA and NASAA exams. Learn how our interactive exam prep software and tests can help ensure you pass your exam.
Good Luck on your exams
The Securities Institute
For more than 25 years we’ve helped students pass over 250,000 exams and we’ve done so with industry leading pass rates!