How to prepare for the series 7 and 66 exams

How to prepare for the series 7 and 66 exams

In this article we are going to address The best way to prepare for the series 7 and 66 exams along with many of the questions we receive from test takers who need to pass both exams. While each individual has different circumstances and time lines affecting their exam prep, this article will address the majority of the scenarios test takers face.

What is the best way to prepare for the series 7 and 66 exams?

We get asked questions about the best series 7 and 66 exam prep options all the time.  The answer varies from person to person. Everyone has a preferred method to study. Some people are visual learners and find the video training programs incredibly helpful. The videos provide you with the information required for the exam and help explain how the information will be tested on your exam. The videos also provide students with real exam scenarios and questions based on feedback from students.   Other students like to just take practice questions and try to learn the material. We strongly caution anyone who needs to pass the series 7 and 66 exams from trying to prepare by simply taking practice tests. Taking your practice tests is a very important part of your exam prep; however, it is no substitute for reading the textbook and watching your video training classes. Taking topic focused practice tests should be done after you have completed your review of the chapters and video lectures. Taking your simulated final exam should only be done after you have completed your review of all the material covered on the series 7 or 66 exam as the case may be. After completing your simulated final exam you should review your answers carefully, go back to your notes, the relevant chapter in the textbook and video lectures. Once you feel more confident that you have improved your understanding of the areas where you had challenges, take another randomized simulated final exam to see if your score has improved. Follow this method until your scores are averaging in the 80s. When your scores on the simulated final exams reach this level, take the greenlight exam and schedule your test because you are ready to go

Should I take the series 7 or 66 exam first?

While you may take either exam first, we strongly recommend that you start with this Series 7 Exam. The Series 7 Exam is a much bigger test and will require significantly more study time. Additionally, a lot of the foundational information you will be tested on on your Series 7 will help you better understand some of the material you are required to know for the series 66.

Is the information on the series 66 the same as the series 7?

Absolutely not. While it is true that some of the knowledge you gain preparing for the series 7 will help you pass the series 66, the tests are vastly different.  The Series 7 Exam is written by FINRA. The series 7 allows you to transact business in all general securities and having successfully completed the exam you will have a good understanding of the performance and risk characteristics for a wide variety of securities. This will help you with the investment vehicles and suitability questions on your series 66 exam.  The series 66 exam is written by the North American Securities Administrators Association / NASAA and allows you to represent both a broker-dealer and investment advisor. This exam will go into great detail regarding the rules and regulations governing both broker-dealers and investment advisors. The series 66 exam will also require you to have a comprehensive understanding of the registration requirements for firms and agents at both the federal and state level. There is far more legal and regulatory information on the series 66 exam. In fact, the questions on the series 66 exam tend to be much longer than the questions on the Series 7 Exam.

How long should I wait to take the series 66 after passing the Series 7 Exam?

Once you have successfully passed the Series 7 Exam, it is recommended that you begin your preparation for the series 66 no more than two weeks after passing. In fact, the sooner you start preparing the better. The reality is, having completed the Series 7 Exam, you have  learned how to study and your mindset is in a much better place to begin preparing for the series 66. Let’s face it, it is very hard to get yourself into “study mode” if you have not taken an exam in a long time. Test-takers who are just out of school tend to find it easier to hit the books and study  because the studying process is familiar to them and they remember how to do it. Test-takers who have not been in school for some time tend to find it harder to get back into study mode. So regardless of whether you are a recent college grad or a seasoned professional who has been out of school for many years, once you pass the Series 7 Exam keep yourself in study mode and start studying as soon as you can.

 If I fail the Series 7 Exam should I start preparing for the series 66?

With one single exception, the answer to this question is absolutely not.  You have most likely just put in a tremendous amount of time preparing for the series 7. Hopefully your score was reasonably close to 72  and you are only a few points away from passing. The goal during your 30-day waiting period Is to maintain the knowledge you have obtained, to improve your understanding of the material and to better master the application of the information, so that you pass the test on the second attempt.  If you try to switch gears after having failed the Series 7 Exam and you begin to prepare for the series 66, you run the risk of losing the information that you had obtained during your preparation for the Series 7 Exam. When you return to prepare for the series 7 on your second attempt, you will have to not only acquire additional knowledge, but you will have a harder time regaining the knowledge that you lost over the last 30 days or more. So what is the exception?  The only time you should begin to prepare for the series 66 after having failed the Series 7 Exam is if your employer has an absolute firm deadline for when you must pass both the series 7 and 66 exams and that time frame does not allow you to continue to study for the Series 7 Exam. 

I passed the series 7 on the first attempt but failed the series 66,  what should I do?

Believe it or not this is more common than most people think. The series 66 is a very challenging exam and requires you to master a substantial amount of information, most of which you will never need during your career. Because the series 66 exam focuses so heavily on the rules and regulations enacted at both the federal and state level, it tends to be less interesting and harder to follow. Do not be discouraged the best thing you can do after having failed the series 66 exam is to shut off your phone and spend 20 minutes reflecting on your experience at the test center. make a comprehensive list of the type of questions you saw, any topics that surprised you, any rules, regulations or scenarios that you can recall. All of this information should be contained on your notes from your exam. Additionally,  break down a detailed recollection of the following:

 Did you have enough time?

 Did you finish the exam too quickly? 

 Did you change any answers?

 Did you feel overly stressed or anxious?

 How many questions did you review at the end of the exam?

all of these details will be a great way for you to better prepare to pass the exam on your second attempt. The reality is, that the exam is not going to change materially between your two attempts. Certainly you will see different questions,  but you may see similar or even the same questions on your second attempt. Do not change a lot of answers. Your first choice is always your best choice. If you ran out of time, was it because you over-analyzed every question? Having said this,  going through the questions too quickly and being done with 15 or 20 minutes left will also negatively impact your score.

I have a limited amount of time to pass both the series 7 and 66 exams. Is there any way to speed up the process?

Preparing to pass the series 7 and 66 exams is a major undertaking and requires a substantial amount of effort and a significant amount of time spent studying.  While there are no shortcuts to passing the series 7 and 66 exams, a private tutor may help you fast track your time to becoming fully registered. Our knowledgeable and experienced instructors can guide you through the entire study process and help ensure your success. Personalized one-on-one instruction designed around your needs can help you make the most of your study time. To determine if a private instructor is suitable for your needs please contact us today.

We hope that this article has helped you understand some of the best practices to prepare for both the series 7 and 66 exams

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Good luck on your exam!

The Securities Institute of Americ

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