Series 7 pass rate

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bfree's picture
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I'm a one-time RR, now a journalist, writing a guide to passing the S7. First, I hope I'm at the right place to ask some friendly, curbside advice. Second, I have a specific question up-front: Does anyone know (and NASD won't tell me) how many people take the S7 in a year? Extra credit: how many *pass* it?
Thanks in advance!

ezmoney's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-30

pass rate is about 65%

The Truth's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-01

I saw the number regarding the amount of test takers.  Let me look again.  65% is right on as far as the pass rate.

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

Frankly with some of the morons I see out there who are registered, and the things I see them do with clients' money, I think the test is far tooo easy!

GreenShoe's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-17

I wouldn't call it TOO EASY, but definetely LONG.

Greenbacks's picture
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joedabrkr wrote:Frankly with some of the morons I see out there who are registered, and the things I see them do with clients' money, I think the test is far tooo easy!
I agree. I think they should make an exam simular to the CFP exam the entry point for rookies. The seven is a joke!  True it does not test everything but it is much more comprehensive then the seven.

bfree's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-10

Prompts another question:
The consensus is, it's too easy. My own opinion: you could train a chimp to pass an exam that's all 4-way multiple choice (all you need is 70% and you're pretty much guaranteed 25% if you just hit "A" 250 times).
So why does one candidate in three fail?
I'm not trying to be facetious. I'm not looking for an answer like "'cuz they're a bunch of morons". Bottom line: Why do some fail while others pass?

jonesnewbie's picture
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>>I'm not trying to be facetious. I'm not looking for an answer like "'cuz they're a bunch of morons". Bottom line: Why do some fail while others pass?
You may not be looking for an answer like that, but that doesn't mean it isn't the right answer.
Have you ever taking a statistics course?  If you have, then you know that (given a large enough sample size) the range of variation of any human characteristic will fit nicely into a bell curve shaped distribution.  Just as there are some people who are under 5'0" tall, even though the most people are taller, there are also some people who will fail the Series 7, even though the other 70% will pass.

muskier's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-12

Personally I thought the exam was a joke, my handicap was the lowest it's ever been when I was studying for the exam.  Not too mention it took me a total of 2 1/2 hrs to take the exam.  I wish it was harder less people in the business make it more prestigious, and would weed out some of the questionable brokers out there.

bankrep1's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

I think the main reason 2 out of 3 fail is because of the option questions.  They are tricky and unless you spend some time learning about them, you will likely fail the 7.  With that being said the S7 in no way prepares a person to be a financial advisor.  It prepares them to understand the markets and what types of orders a broker can initiate.
The FPA is suing over this right now.  I am studying for the CFP and can honestly say I have learned a ton that will help my clients that I didn't even know existed  after taking my 6,7,63,65,24,Life, health VC

stanwbrown's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-01

The pass rates in good training programs that the larger wirehouses run is better than 90%. It isn't a difficult exam, but it really isn't what's required to ensure that you're giving clients advice worth listening to.
The CFP exam pass rate, OTOH, is just over 50% and that's with most people taking the exam spending three years in the business prior and taking a series of prep classes.

bfree's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-10

First: thanks, Bankrep1, for your insightful reply.
Second: Jonesnewbie, I agree that you have to be a special kind of stupid to flunk the S7. Everyone in this forum who's going on about the CFP is absolutely right that the S7 is dumbed down. the S7 content outline prepared by the NYSE states clearly that it's only intended as a screen for *entry level* positions in financial services. Still, I think we're all agreed that a lot of, shall we say, unsophisticated people have managed to pass the exam.
So let me restate my question: Why do some *morons* fail while other *morons* pass?

stanwbrown's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-01

Not all morons are born (or training) equally? 

PantsGoBrown's picture
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Joined: 2005-02-18

If you can't pass the seven on the first attempt, why are you still alive?

cordoba1965's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-13

What percentage of applicants pass broken down by race?This exam certainly is based upon merit only, and not affirmation action used to enable less qualified candidates into top B schools.

The Prophet's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-13

I took the seven last month and can tell you that the average score between 3/15/06 and 9/11/06 was 73%The percentage of candidates passing for the same period was 66%The Prophet

ExPropTrader's picture
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The Prophet wrote:I took the seven last month and can tell you that the average score between 3/15/06 and 9/11/06 was 73%The percentage of candidates passing for the same period was 66%The Prophet
I have the exact same percentages for the period between 9/24/03 and 03/22/04.  So the 66% pass with an average score of 73% is a pretty solid number over several years.

illinoisrep's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-09

I in answer to bfree's question, I think that some morons pass where
others fail because they prepare more.  I have seen some folks of
average intelligence pass only because they tried harder than
others.  I went through training at ML ten years ago and never
knew of anyone failing the exam.  I am currently working on
preparing for the CFP and think that it prepares us to provide quality
advice much better than the seven.  I wish I had done the CFP
sooner.

DJW8282's picture
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Joined: 2007-03-15

Some of you have to be kidding. The 7 is not a breeze to pass. You must put in the work to pass, especially if you don't have a finance background. Put in the work you pass..take it half a**, you fail.

BullBroker's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-26

I really focused on options in the preparation and in the actual test there was no more than 10 questions on options.  The test was just weighted really different than I expected, but with my economics background, I easily passed it. 

BondGuy's picture
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bfree wrote:
First: thanks, Bankrep1, for your insightful reply.
Second: Jonesnewbie, I agree that you have to be a special kind of stupid to flunk the S7. Everyone in this forum who's going on about the CFP is absolutely right that the S7 is dumbed down. the S7 content outline prepared by the NYSE states clearly that it's only intended as a screen for *entry level* positions in financial services. Still, I think we're all agreed that a lot of, shall we say, unsophisticated people have managed to pass the exam.
So let me restate my question: Why do some *morons* fail while other *morons* pass?

If you agree one must be a special kind of stupid to fail the S7, why are you writing a guide to passing it? Having that kind of contempt for your target market is usually not very smart from a business POV. Personally, I doubt that you could add any value to people you don't respect. You'd be doing anyone unforunate enough to rely on your guide a great disservice by inferring in anyway that the S7 is so easy only morons fail it. MY SA failed it twice before passing it. At 1400 plus on the SAT and a degree from Rutgers she's far from a special kind of stupid. Still, to this day, she gets tripped up on options math.
While not as comprehensive as the CFP, the S7 is not a "give me." People fail because it's a hard test. I suspect you agree, or why waste your time writing a guide?

troll's picture
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Joined: 2004-11-29

I wasn't going to join in this discussion because... well it's two years ago that it was a discussion!
Cordoba1965 dug it up so he could make some veiled anti affirmative action point. Why I don't know and don't much care. If he's looking to start a race riot in here, I'll not participate.
Then I was going to make a comment about the guy's use of statistics and how his reasoning is flawed because not everyone gets to take the test in the first place and the test is not a naturally occuring phenomenon, it is created at a difficulty level that creates a 30 fail rate. If the same test were given to the entire spectrum of the population the fail rate would be somewhat higher than 30 in that the vast majority of sponsors have a minimum IQ level that they will acceptas a candidate in the first place....
But then again, I said, that guy is long gone from here, what's the point?
But I will comment to BondGuy's post given that BG is a poster deserving of respect.
Right on Bondguy!
Although Investopia might be a good clearinghouse for information and perhaps people read it and decide to move on to a different career pdq.
As such, your ire might be better directed at the guys who figure "If I can pass it anybody can!" (as if this is anything but self assassination, in stead of taking pride that you did something you denigrate the accomplishment by saying that "The only people who can't do what I have done must be morons. I'm Borderline deficient!") 
http://www.iqcomparisonsite.com/IQBasics.aspx
OTOH, you yell at whomever you so choose, I trust your judgement!

babbling looney's picture
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cordoba1965 wrote:What percentage of applicants pass broken down by race?This exam certainly is based upon merit only, and not affirmation action used to enable less qualified candidates into top B schools.
Who cares about what race passes or doesn't pass the series 7?
How many women pass percentage wise compared to men who take the test?? If there are 5 women who take the test and all 5 pass, (100% of the pool) and there are 500 men and 400 of them pass (80% of the pool) does this mean that women are smarter than men?   Well, of course we know they are, but that's beside the point.     All it means is that the people in the pool are preselected and filtered from a wider range of potential outcomes.  Meaning that the women who would not be interested in the test or have the aptitude to pass have already been selected out of the pool by their own choice.
 

ManagedMoney's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-25

bfree wrote:Prompts another question:
The consensus is, it's too easy. My own opinion: you could train a chimp to pass an exam that's all 4-way multiple choice (all you need is 70% and you're pretty much guaranteed 25% if you just hit "A" 250 times).
So why does one candidate in three fail?
One in three fail because they probably use the same logic you just used in your statement, "you're pretty much guaranteed 25% if you just hit "A" 250 times."With logic like that, you wouldn't stand a chance of passing. (hint: the people who designed the exam were not required to have an even distribution of letters among the correct answers.)

ExPropTrader's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-19

babbling looney wrote:
cordoba1965 wrote:What percentage of applicants pass broken down by race?This exam certainly is based upon merit only, and not affirmation action used to enable less qualified candidates into top B schools.
Who cares about what race passes or doesn't pass the series 7?
How many women pass percentage wise compared to men who take the test?? If there are 5 women who take the test and all 5 pass, (100% of the pool) and there are 500 men and 400 of them pass (80% of the pool) does this mean that women are smarter than men?   Well, of course we know they are, but that's beside the point.     All it means is that the people in the pool are preselected and filtered from a wider range of potential outcomes.  Meaning that the women who would not be interested in the test or have the aptitude to pass have already been selected out of the pool by their own choice.
 

Babs can correct me if I'm wrong but the women I know that took it had a hard time with the math part of it, considering options and the associated calculations are a big part of the test I can see why some say it is skewed toward men.
POLITICALLY CORRECT DISCLAIMER:  I am not in any way, shape, or form saying that women are not as smart, they just have different strengths and study afer study shows that in general, men are better at math. 

babbling looney's picture
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ExPropTrader wrote:babbling looney wrote:
cordoba1965 wrote:What percentage of applicants pass broken down by race?This exam certainly is based upon merit only, and not affirmation action used to enable less qualified candidates into top B schools.
Who cares about what race passes or doesn't pass the series 7?
How many women pass percentage wise compared to men who take the test?? If there are 5 women who take the test and all 5 pass, (100% of the pool) and there are 500 men and 400 of them pass (80% of the pool) does this mean that women are smarter than men?   Well, of course we know they are, but that's beside the point.     All it means is that the people in the pool are preselected and filtered from a wider range of potential outcomes.  Meaning that the women who would not be interested in the test or have the aptitude to pass have already been selected out of the pool by their own choice.
 

Babs can correct me if I'm wrong but the women I know that took it had a hard time with the math part of it, considering options and the associated calculations are a big part of the test I can see why some say it is skewed toward men.
POLITICALLY CORRECT DISCLAIMER:  I am not in any way, shape, or form saying that women are not as smart, they just have different strengths and study afer study shows that in general, men are better at math. 

No, you are right.  I was being silly about women being smarter.  Women do tend to not be as adept in math as men are. But...not all men are that hot in math either. My father who is very smart and a published writer cannot do any form of math in "his head".  Seven times nine????   uuuuuuhhhhh where is my calculator.!!!   I'm sort of in between and most certainly not a math savant.  The options portion were more or less logic questions to me with a small portion of math involved. I visualized them as a tangible 3D projection   Disclaimer:(My sat scores over 1480..long ago, with an almost perfect score in the English section. I've been erasing those brain cells ruthlessly with scotch and other substances since then ,however.)
What I meant was that the test (Series 7) has already mostly screened out the people who have no affinity for the subject of the test, so you have a skewed sample of people taking the test. That means that you can't equate passing the Series 7 with smarts because as you say there are different types of intelligence.  For instance my brother who is also not very good in math was a systems analyst and programmer/trouble shooter for NASA.  Logic and patterns are his forte.  You also can't equate passing or not passing to ethnicity or gender because the representative samples are skewed and yes probably more to men than women.

ExPropTrader's picture
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I knew you'd clear that up Babs.
My wife says women have more common sense and I prove it to her on a daily basis . . . just doing my part for feminisim.

babbling looney's picture
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Joined: 2004-12-02

ExPropTrader wrote:
I knew you'd clear that up Babs.
My wife says women have more common sense and I prove it to her on a daily basis . . . just doing my part for feminisim.

Your wife is very smart.

BondGuy's picture
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Joined: 2006-09-21

BondGuy wrote:bfree wrote:
First: thanks, Bankrep1, for your insightful reply.
Second: Jonesnewbie, I agree that you have to be a special kind of stupid to flunk the S7. Everyone in this forum who's going on about the CFP is absolutely right that the S7 is dumbed down. the S7 content outline prepared by the NYSE states clearly that it's only intended as a screen for *entry level* positions in financial services. Still, I think we're all agreed that a lot of, shall we say, unsophisticated people have managed to pass the exam.
So let me restate my question: Why do some *morons* fail while other *morons* pass?

If you agree one must be a special kind of stupid to fail the S7, why are you writing a guide to passing it? Having that kind of contempt for your target market is usually not very smart from a business POV. Personally, I doubt that you could add any value to people you don't respect. You'd be doing anyone unforunate enough to rely on your guide a great disservice by inferring in anyway that the S7 is so easy only morons fail it. MY SA failed it twice before passing it. At 1400 plus on the SAT and a degree from Rutgers she's far from a special kind of stupid. Still, to this day, she gets tripped up on options math.
While not as comprehensive as the CFP, the S7 is not a "give me." People fail because it's a hard test. I suspect you agree, or why waste your time writing a guide?

2 year old post? Now that's a waste of time. Gotta look before I leap next time.

forge1's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-21

bfree wrote:
I'm a one-time RR, now a journalist, writing a guide to passing the S7. First, I hope I'm at the right place to ask some friendly, curbside advice. Second, I have a specific question up-front: Does anyone know (and NASD won't tell me) how many people take the S7 in a year? Extra credit: how many *pass* it?
Thanks in advance!

Bfree
Did you ever write that guide?

DJW8282's picture
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BondGuy wrote:BondGuy wrote:bfree wrote:
First: thanks, Bankrep1, for your insightful reply.
Second: Jonesnewbie, I agree that you have to be a special kind of stupid to flunk the S7. Everyone in this forum who's going on about the CFP is absolutely right that the S7 is dumbed down. the S7 content outline prepared by the NYSE states clearly that it's only intended as a screen for *entry level* positions in financial services. Still, I think we're all agreed that a lot of, shall we say, unsophisticated people have managed to pass the exam.
So let me restate my question: Why do some *morons* fail while other *morons* pass?

If you agree one must be a special kind of stupid to fail the S7, why are you writing a guide to passing it? Having that kind of contempt for your target market is usually not very smart from a business POV. Personally, I doubt that you could add any value to people you don't respect. You'd be doing anyone unforunate enough to rely on your guide a great disservice by inferring in anyway that the S7 is so easy only morons fail it. MY SA failed it twice before passing it. At 1400 plus on the SAT and a degree from Rutgers she's far from a special kind of stupid. Still, to this day, she gets tripped up on options math.
While not as comprehensive as the CFP, the S7 is not a "give me." People fail because it's a hard test. I suspect you agree, or why waste your time writing a guide?

2 year old post? Now that's a waste of time. Gotta look before I leap next time.I'm new here and I brought the topic back up. I did a Google search on the S7 and this particular thread came up. In reading some of the arrogant comments, I just gave my 2 cents on the topic. I didn't realize it was such an old topic.

vero's picture
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Joined: 2010-08-04

Newbie, posted on wrong line.  Sorry.

jajafosheeshee's picture
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Joined: 2013-02-11

I realize that this is a really old post but I want to be optimistic for some idiots that claim that the test is sooo easy. It's not. Maybe 5 or 6 years ago FINRA didn't think to make it as challenging as it is today. This test doesn't challenge your knowledge, and most study guides will say that FINRA isn't out to trick you; bullshit. I failed the exam on my first try. Sometimes learning or knowledge about all of the different variations of investments are easy to some and harder to most. No different than to say that sports are easy to some and hard to most. How many here can do 100 push-ups in one sitting? Doing 100 push-ups is very difficult for some and very easy for others. Some have to train for hours and hours to get there and some train for minutes. If you can only do 69 in most terms you are a failure, does it mean that you are weak or a pussy? No. Know it all assholes need to grow up and come back to reality.

TickTock's picture
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Joined: 2010-01-16

Jajafo, seriously find another profession. We all have different talents. Logic, math, english comprehension are not yours. The 7 was easy, I scored 95 with little studying, the 66 is more difficult (memorization) - and frankly, I was surprised just how easy the CFP was. The CFP provided no grades, but my fellow CFP certificants have asked me to refrain for letting the world know just how easy it really was. Compared to 3rd semester calculas or 2nd year physics this stuff is all easy... regardless, good advisors are better communicators than math wizards, and put the client first... always.

jajafosheeshee's picture
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Tick Tock, very big of you to come on here and blast me. I have struggled with memorization and comprehension skills for the most part of my life. It could have been the large amount of my brain that they had to remove when a was a child after I had a brain tumor. I am trying my best but I appreciate you absolutely giving me the boost of support. You are a very big man! I thought bad asses like yourself are too busy to come on here and make rookies feel terrible about their career choices. I appreciate it, good luck in your career. Jagoff!

intellibusiness's picture
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Man the arrogance in the room is thick! Why are people putting down others if they passed "such an easy test". If its that easy then its nothing to brag about "smarties" lol

There is no need to put others down because they fail. You don't know their struggles. It sickens me people like yourselves are in the industry. Obviously you have been privileged and had your mom wipe your butt until you left to college. Humble yourselves because I will take all of your money. you guys are obviously weak and poor excuses of men. Man up and stop whining, and don't be such cowards because you wont last in this industry.

orion's picture
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Joined: 2014-08-05

I totally agree with Intellibusiness, the arrogance is sickening in this community! I've been in the business for 5 years now, with another 10 in a similar financial field and I 'should be' accustomed to this by now. Fellas, you get a little bit of money and power and spit on everyone else. It is truly pathetic! You are missing the boat on what this business means. I got tired of dealing with this crap, the arrogance and lack of humility from my peers (former teammates / business partners) that I worked with so I went out and started my own firm. The response from the clients was overwhelmingly positive b/c they don't want to deal with arrogant ***holes that this industry seems to produce along with a sense of entitlement.

Going back to the original topic, people are different. I have a math and science background, so I am stronger in those areas. I grab larger concepts (big picture / end results) and thrive when it comes to an equation. But micro stuff is totally lost on me. Certain things are easier to some folks but more difficult to others. Plus, maybe the person taking the exam has been out of school for 20+ years, or they are just bad test takers. You can't judge them cause you don't know them. They may be taking this exam to do another piece of the job that is not relative to their immediate daily duties but need it for other purposes and have no immediate or relative experience in the business, so all of this is very brand new. I had 3 interns last summer that took the series 7; 1 passed it on the first try, 2nd on the 2nd try and the 3rd on the 3rd try). This year they all are making six figures 1 year out of college and are less than 25 years of age. So really how can you judge a person and their intelligence or success rate off of an exam? You can't. We all learn differently, I think the most important point is that the person keep trying and never give up. It demonstrates more character then the person who passes on the first attempt with minimum studying. It seems some of you lack just that, character. In the end, that will come back and bit you in the butt! Do you really think the spouse of the great client you have right now is gonna tolerate that bs after the hubby passes? Within the year, she will kick your arrogant butt to the curb. Let's see who's laughing then!

orion's picture
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Tick Tock - bud I totally disagree with you as well. We all learn differently. You may feel the S7 is easy but guess what, I was the highest scoring person in my all of my calculus classes for 5 straight semesters! I failed calculus my first semester of college (I had top math scores so they skipped me over about 3 math levels). I took it over winter break and 3/4 of the way thru it I figured out the whole thing but it was too late b/c by then I failed again. However, from that point on it clicked and I NEVER studied for a single calc test again for the rest of my college days and I had the highest scores in my class! Now, I was lost on biology - too grey of an area and lots of memorization so it was very painful for me to get through. I also was an honors program with chemistry, again, heavy in the math. Just b/c something is easy for you, doesn't make it easy for someone else. We all have unique ability. What if I laughed at you for the things you weren't good at? You sound more like a high school bully than a man of a mature age. I just hope you don't pass those same traits to your children.

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