SERIES 7 11/24/2012

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hcalvarez's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-24

Failed my 7 today despite getting high seventies to mid 80's in STC exams. For some reason, i found the new exam a lot harder, no options but a ton of suitability questions that was emphasized in the STC materials. The new addendum, didnt even come up. Majority were muni suitabilities, annutiy sutabilities, and just a few options, the a little here in there of the last chapter of STC Any advice what study material i can get that is closer to the actual exam? I dont even think the greenlight was close enough for the new test. Bad day for me

hcalvarez's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-24

i meant not emphasized on the stc materials...

rfeely174's picture
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Sorry to hear that .  STC is really all  you need to pass the exam.  It might be a question of how you approached the exam.  You really need laser sharp focus and concentration when studying for the 7.  Put in at least 100 hours and study almost every day.  DO NOT put away your books for more than two days at a time.  You may think this is funny, but pick-up Series 7 for dummies.  It really does break things down and can give you a different perspective.  I really don't think you need to spent a couple hundred more dollars on prep material.  Get the dummies book, study until you are getting high 80's-low 90's and you will be fine.  

MikeA101010's picture
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I passed the exam yesterday with an 80% using STC materials. I agree that the greenlight exams were not even close to the actual test format. I only had a few things come up for the addendum. One question on what the vix moves inversly with, few questions on CMO's, but a lot on discretion on accounts. I really thought the STC supplemental exam that is 163 questions is fairly similar to how the test is structured.

hcalvarez's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-24

Thanks guys. I think i need some new set of questions though. Any feedback about the kaplan materials? Copyright for this was just January 2012.I think i need to focus more and re-read everything again. Basically going through each and everything. MikeA101010 i think you're right it had really a ton on acccount discretion and suitability. I was basing everything on concept and muni's and all the advice that was given to me about concentrating on it, but i think it applies more for the previous format. 

mstudy's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-05

Well, the new series 7 was suppose to de-emphasize munis and spread the questions around.  I am surprised Muni's were as heavily tested as you suggest.  If the emphasis is on suitability, it will be more difficult to get a high score.  The quantitative element (options, etc.) in the past has enabled people to get high scores.  It is much easier to get points on quant questions, than on questions that require you to memorize some text from the material.  

MikeA101010's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-16

Munis were still a big part of the exam. I took the previous version of the test a few months back and failed by 3 questions and then passed on Tuesday and I would say Munis are weighted about the same. The only difference being it is not geared towards the underwriting of them, but more towards the suitability of them for clients, as well as things like the advertising of them and so forth. Now obviously that only applies to my 250 questions that I saw, in what I believe is a 1000 question bank to draw from. Another thing I noticed in the live exam versus practice, is that the live exam didnt have answer sets that were in the form of;A) IB) I or IIC) I, III and IVD) I, II, III, IVWhich really made me feel comfortable. They still had the paired answers (I & II, II & III, etc.)

spree82's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-26

Hey MikeAWhat study guide did you use for the series 7 exam?

MikeA101010's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-16

I used STC book with the online exams. Comes with 13 Exams that you can do 4 times Q&A style, and 4 times closed book, all of them 125 questions each. They also have a 163 question supplemental exam that is supposed to prep you for the new test question format. They also have 2 progress exams that  I believe are broken down for each half of the book, 2 "Greenlight" Exams that are supposed to be the closest version of the test (I didnt think so though). And then they have an options test, and a muni test. And then you can take by topic exams.

spree82's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-26

Thanks Mike, I'm currently using the STC material as well. Hopefully I will pass on my first try.

MikeA101010's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-16

Good luck. I would spend some time on the addendum question set as well. Its a good way to study the new version of the question format. I took that quiz the night before and got a 92 on it. Then after the first half of the test, felt like there was no way I would pass it. But luckily it worked out for me.

hcalvarez's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-24

I got the kaplan stuff today, so far been reading through my online access that they provided me. It seems like it is more detailed and explains suitability more in their sample questions in one PDF file i am reading. I hope this helps me out.Example:A customer is considering adding a real estate investment trust (REIT) to their portfolio.They list all of the following as “plusses” or advantages. You correct your customer andpoint out that one of them is not an advantage of investing in REITs. Which one is it?A.) a professionally managed portfolio of commercial real estate assetsB.) dividend treatmentC.) using real estate as a potential hedge against the movement of other equity securitiesthe customer ownsD.) being able to divest of the shares easilyCorrect answer: B.) dividend treatmentRationale: Of those listed, only dividend treatment can be identified as not being anadvantage. While the expectation of receiving dividends is inherently good, dividendspaid by REITs to their shareholders are not recognized as qualified, and are thereforetaxable to the investor at their full ordinary income tax rate. The shares are traded onexchanges or OTC and considered liquid, and having professionally managed assetsshould be a plus. While real estate valuation and price movements are subject to manyforces, historically real estate has provided some hedge against the movements of otherequity securities. Hope this helps out: Five Major Job Functions / Number of Questions1.) Seeks Business for the Broker-Dealer through Customers and potential Customers / 68 Questions2.) Evaluates Customers' Other Security Holdings, Financial Situation and Needs, Financial Status, Tax Status, and Investment Objectives / 27 Questions3.) Opens Accounts, Transfers Assets, and Maintains Appropriate Account Records / 27 Questions4.) Provides Customers with Information on Investments and Makes Suitable Recommendations / 70 Questions5.) Obtains and Verifies Customer's Purchase and Sales Instructions, Enters Orders, and Follows Up / 58 Questions

rfeely174's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-17

Good luck man.  Study your butt off for the next month, reschedule the exam and pass it.  

MikeA101010's picture
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Joined: 2010-09-16

My score breakdown per section was 1) 76-85% 2) 50-60% 3) 86-90% section 4 and 5 was 76-85%

mstudy's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-05

Hcalvarez,  if the questions are as easy as the one you included in this thread, then everyone should do just fine

MikeA101010's picture
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There were some complex questions along those lines on the live exam. Little bit trickier though I thought. The one that sticks in my mind from the test was, what kind of position would you add to a clients IRA based on his salary, his 401k investments, his life insurance policy and the fact that he is getting a raise.

Cee Bone's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-17

Hi Everyone, I used Training Consultants and passed the 7 two days ago. I was very satisfied with with the support I received from TC. I could email a question and get a response the same day. On the exam I had alot of option questions, hedge fund, ETF, ETN, variable annuity, and municipals too.

jmaka's picture
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Joined: 2012-02-01

I passed last week with an 86 using STC. I'd say it was still pretty muni and options heavy, and the options were extremely easier than most of the ones on the STC material. There was a lot of suitability, but you just have to think about what you've learned and apply it. Most of the suitability I saw were either tax treatment, time horizon suitability, or it was explicitly tell you what the client is looking for and you had to pick the appropriate product. There was one kinda tricky one that said 'joe wants to get broad exposure to the market and is willing to accept a lot of risk, which of these would meet his objective of accepting high levels of risk for maximum return' or something to that end. Then there would be answers like index etfs, etns, etc. but at the bottom was hedge funds. One thing that I know wasn't covered in too much depth on STC was the minutae of Coverdell vs 529 plans and there was a question on that which you really had to know the both of them pretty well. It asked for a client who wanted to control the distributions of the account AND didnt want to pay someone to manage the account. Those options are mutually exclusive in both the 529 and Coverdell (they each have one or the other). The other two answers were UTMA which I didn't pick because you don't control the distribution on that one either...everything transfers at 18. The final answer was the one I picked with was a Trust, which I know barely if anything was mentioned about, but it was the process of elimination. Again, I don't know if I was right or not and I'm sure someone here will let me know if I'm wrong, but overall it was stressful but if you do the Q&A's, identify which ones you're getting wrong and study them before you do the next one, then do the closed book exams after you do all of them in a row, you will be fine. By the way, don't freak out if you're not scoring high on the first round of Q&As. It will all come together if you're honest with yourself about not memorizing the questions and you put the time in to do all of the tests. Good luck to all...on to the 66.

CT1206's picture
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Joined: 2011-12-06

I also used STC Material and failed the exam. I was scoring 80%+ on my practice and progress exams. I am looking to purchase new test questions and am leaning towards TC. Has anyone used them? Any input would be greatly appreciated. 

hcalvarez's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-24

I have been studying the kaplan now for a few weeks and find it very similar to the test. I was on your boat, but now with kaplan, I am having a wake up call. I was not ready at all for the test. Scoring only low 60's so far. Havent finished the book yet, but the questions are more complex, and i beleive more closer to the actual exam. I hope this helps you out. Feel for you..im taking my second shot at it next month. Good luck to us both.

spree82's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-26

Just took the 7 today and missed it by 3 points after scoring 80s and 90s on STC practice exams. I'm thinking about getting a tutor or use a different company. I really need to pass this exam.....

mstudy's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-05

spree82, I am surprised to hear that after getting 80s and 90s on STC's practice exams, you did not pass. Which investment topics gave you the most trouble?

registerme's picture
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Joined: 2011-11-16

I think that the STC material doesn't focus on the new format- which is a LOT of situational questions.  "What investment option is best for this client".  STC didn't really have a whole lot of expertise in this area.  I remember this for my exam, before the new format and luckily there weren't too many situational questions.  A girl at my office just hardly skated by with a 72 and she said that the STC material was ok, because she passed but there were many, many, many questions where it came down to 2 answers and she guessed.  I think STC is good for the point blank stuff, but when it comes to this new format where you're using your intuition, STC doesn't really do a great job, however, if you're in this industry maybe you should be able to figure out which investments are best for people given less information.  I mean I guess that is our job, isn't it?

mstudy's picture
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I know that people are commenting on suitability but you can't really tell based on the new format that suitability is a heavier weight.  I compared the old format to the new format. The suggested heavier weight is coming from some test takers.  There is suitability related content through the STC material but you have connect the dots.  While reading the material concerning the characteristics of securities and portfolios, you have to keep in mind that investors have objectives and constraints.  If there are more questions about suitability now, I would think that the exam prep companies would at least start adding additional questions in this area.  Also, it might be helpful for them to add a section covering portfiolio management

registerme's picture
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I agree with all of this.  Connecting the dots is a lot more prevalent in the updated series 7 test.  I am not sure if STC has updated their stuff since the test was updated.  That takes some time to update and people who work for STC are not allowed the take the tests (that is what my STC in class teacher told me at least). 

spree82's picture
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mstudy wrote:spree82, I am surprised to hear that after getting 80s and 90s on STC's practice exams, you did not pass. Which investment topics gave you the most trouble? There was alot of ETF's, ETN, Mutual Funds and situation questions.  I had problems with some of the situational questions. I saw alot of questions where I had no idea and just guessed. Now I dont even know what to do....

registerme's picture
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YUP!  ^^^^  This is the same thing a lot of people are saying.  The study material is not set up for all the situational questions.  Yes, we need to know that stuff but if you are brand new to t he industry that stuff comes over time, not just from studying for 2 months.  Craziness.  With the new format of the Series 7, I almost feel like the Series 7 should be done after you are in the industry for a year +.  I understand why its not, but I feel like a situational test is completely different than the concepts which the Series 7 was based on before.   Series 7 should have stayed simple in terms of being mostly about general concepts and what you should know when you start in the industry.  A situational test should be taken after you are in the industry for a year + to add extra credibility to your skills in giving solid, sound investment advice.  Just sayin'. 

mstudy's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-05

If it has become more situational, industry experience would be a factor in answering the questions and passing the test.  However, you don't get up the learning curve until you have been working in the business for several years. You are right in that the prep providers have not changed their approach.   Modifying the material would probably take a long time. Writing situational questions is very time consuming.  What I am starting to incorporate into my teaching is a portfolio management component.  Essentially, I am going through the various components of creating an investment policy statement (IPS)  To create an IPS, you need to detail the investor's objectives and constraints.Unfortunately, if the exam is different and more challenging now, pass rates will likely fall. 

jmaka's picture
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Joined: 2012-02-01

Lest we forget that this is the general securities rep licensing test. I know there are analysts and traders that take it that won't be using much of the info but jeez... You're not going to have a study guide or a guide for every client you see. Then you'd be no more use than someone at a call center for customer support following a matrix as if everyone's needs can be met by answering yes or no to a few questions.

You are given more than enough information if you're using STC. You do have to use it in order to pass. This means drawing inferences, or choosing what you believe to be the best answer given the situation presented, which is what this job is supposed to be about. Just my 2 cents.

registerme's picture
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No one is disagreeing that it is what the job is supposed to be about but its more than just a "general securities rep liceensing test" when it is asking questions that you really need more experience in the industry to answer. I am sure it is a little frustrating.  People at our company take the series 7 who aren't fincncial advisors as well.  Our support desk who helps advisors has to take the tests, and they will NEVER be giving investment advice, they just work in the industry, but its kind of a "you have to get your series 7 or you are worthless", and it should be I guess. I am just being a devils advocate and I think its good to weed people out with the new format, I am simply stating that with the new questions, it seems more like it would be better to have a little more experience before trying to take the tests.  No one remembers anything they take on the test anyway- they just study to pass. I just think if people were in the industry a little longer before taking it, it would be better in the long run for people. 

hcalvarez's picture
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registerme wrote:No one is disagreeing that it is what the job is supposed to be about but its more than just a "general securities rep liceensing test" when it is asking questions that you really need more experience in the industry to answer. I am sure it is a little frustrating.  People at our company take the series 7 who aren't fincncial advisors as well.  Our support desk who helps advisors has to take the tests, and they will NEVER be giving investment advice, they just work in the industry, but its kind of a "you have to get your series 7 or you are worthless", and it should be I guess. I am just being a devils advocate and I think its good to weed people out with the new format, I am simply stating that with the new questions, it seems more like it would be better to have a little more experience before trying to take the tests.  No one remembers anything they take on the test anyway- they just study to pass. I just think if people were in the industry a little longer before taking it, it would be better in the long run for people.    +1 on this...im starting to get fraustrated everyday studying. i am new to the industry. I do not even give investment advice, and even if i pass, i still wont. My role on a daily basis shows my understanding when i score well in topics such as customer accounts, brokerage support services, variable annuties. Because his is what i mostly do everyday assisting my advisors and i understand it.When it comes to the others, options, muni's, suitability, margins, taxation etc. since i do not even do this at work, i find it such a hard time to understand. i guess experience comes with some of the questions, but for newbies the new format, i beleive, it more financial advisor related...just my 2 cents..joping to pass this soon

registerme's picture
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Yes- the new series 7 is undoubtedly geared toward people in the financial advisor role.  I thought the Series 7 was more for anyone in the industry, including support roles which wouldn't give advice.  I guess they are switching over a bit on the purpose of the Series 7.  Like I stated before.  I think the Series 7 should have remained the same, and they should have added a Series 7-2 (or something), which would have been more geared toward financial advisors- situational questions etc, (but not quite to the extent of what a CFP, CFA, etc would be).  Again, just my opinion but they do what they do- and they want the Series 7 to be more Financial advisor geared. 

hcalvarez's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-24

Well its is what it is I assume, just a though exam to tackle

mstudy's picture
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The following is from FINRA's website:"The Series 7 Examination is designed to assess the competency of entry-level General Securities Representatives.  It is intended to safeguard the investing public by helping to ensure that General Securities Representatives are competent to perform their jobs"The entry level part of this description is not necessarily consistent with a format that contains lots of situational questions.  The CFP and CFA exams have many situational questions but these exams are not geared towards entry level people.     

registerme's picture
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Exactly.  And there are a ton of situational questions on the Series 7 now.  Just kind of odd, thats all.  Whatever, I passed before they changed it- I just like to discuss this stuff :)

jerefack's picture
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Joined: 2012-04-12

I'm brand new to the industry and I have zero background in economics (beyond high school) and finance.  I'm trying to change careers to become a financial advisor because it's interesting and others have said I'm "good with people".  Still, I'm at a loss as to what to do next.  I took the 7 on March 1st and scored a 63, using the Pass Perfect materials and taking practice exams on Investopedia.com.  I was frustrated with such a low score, but I got back on the horse.  I went over all the Pass Perfect materials again and made Investopedia worthless to me since I had memorized every question they threw at me.  I took the 7 again on April 10th.  I scored a 63 - the same exact score.Now, I'm not the brightest bulb on the tree, but I also know I'm not "special" (at least I'm pretty sure).  What I saw on the exam was a lot of suitability/situational questions that my materials and Investopedia barely even touch on.  The second time around, I was hoping my clearer knowledge of the products would assist me in deducing the multiple choice situational questions.  Apparently it did not.  I'm taking the test for a third time on July 10th.  I NEED to pass this test, I NEED something that's actually going to prepare me for it.  I like what people have said about TC, maybe I'll give that a go. Right now I'm an assistant at a firm.  I acquire no knowledge of this biz in my day to day work (there's no question that asks "how many pieces of paper do you need to load into the copier for an F246 form?").  Any additional comments on what/how to study would be wonderful.  Thanks.

registerme's picture
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Well, first off, you need to be more than "good with people" to make it in this industry, let alone as a financial advisor.  You need to have a knack for understanding the economy and how to give people advice based on what is going on in the economy.  If you are "good with people", maybe some other sales position would be better suited. I mean, no offense but a 63 both times?  Didn't you realize after the first time you should switch your material up?  No offense, but it seems like thats common sense that if you fail a test with material the first time, you won't pass with it again.  You don't need to memorize the qusetions and answers, that is the LAST thing you want to do with any of this series 7 material.  You literally have to UNDERSTAND what you are reading and how it can be applied to situations that clients may encounter.  Yes, I think TC would be better suited, but a lot of people pass with STC.  HOWEVER, there will be no identical questions with any of these study materials, so simply MEMORIZING will not do the trick- you must understand this stuff.  The series 7 now, is more geared toward weeding people out who literally don't know how to apply the information they are given, in a client focused manner.  If you aren't able to pass the new Series 7 because its focused too much on situational questions, I am a little worried about you being a financial advisor.....  Maybe you need to take a little more time to really understand the industry before you jump into being a financial advisor.  ITs a lot of work and you really have to know what you are doing- if you are in more of an administrative role, thats different.  But if you are wanting to jump right into an advisory role, I would be a little hesitant..  just my 2 cents. 

mstudy's picture
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Joined: 2011-10-05

Jerefack,  Great first post and nice to see that you have a sense of humor about all of this.  Suitability questions are very difficult for people who have no investment experience. They can also be difficult for people with investment experience.  TC has a good reputation so they would be a good option.  I have never actually seen their materials, though.  STC is also a very option for materials.  How much time are you studying each day?  I usually recommend reading the materials cover to cover.  Do every practice exam once, review all of the answers and note which ones you got wrong or guessed on.  Go back and re-read those sections in the book.  Take the exams again but only focus on the ones you got wrong, guessed or are especially difficult.  Then, re-read the materials cover to cover again.    When you are reading the materials, take notes.  Taking notes sometimes forces you to concentrate.Improving on the suitability questions is diffciult but doable. Start talking to people with some investment experience and start watching CNBC and Bloomberg.  You need to get more exposure to investing. 

jerefack's picture
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Joined: 2012-04-12

@ registerme... yeah, I guess I blamed myself rather than the material the first time, went back to it and gave it another shot... an associate of mine passed with that material, so I thought I could too.  @  mstudy - I've been coming into work at 7 everyday, studying for 2 hours before work, an hour at home after work (although I'm usually toast) and then 6 hours on Saturday.  I try and take Sundays off to not get burned out.  Mistake?  I've done the books cover to cover and the practice tests... one thing I haven't done is note-taking.  I've composed some summaries in a word doc but haven't actually "written out" anything long hand.  That might help.I wanna give it one more really good honest shot before I consider something else.  Thanks for your honesty and encouragement.

mstudy's picture
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I think it is a good idea to take Sunday's off.  When I studied for the CFA exam, I studied 4 hours per day and then all day Saturday.  Eventually it became a mission for me and I would use every free moment to study.   I had an advantage in that I had already been working in investments for several years prior to taking any of these exams plus I majored in finance in college and in grad school.

registerme's picture
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Joined: 2011-11-16

I did hear the Training Consultant stuff is pretty good for the Series 7 as well, although I used STC.  Unless STC changed their program, they didn't really have any situational questions in their material.  Definitely try a different set of study material to gain some variety this time- good luck.  Its nice to see you'll go at it again to see if this is really for you. 

hcalvarez's picture
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Joined: 2012-01-24

I re-scheduled my exam again to get more understanding. I did not pass Kaplan's practice and mastery exam in my q bank. Weird thing is that I havent touched STC in 3 months and I took 7 closed book exams and scoring 78 to 84.Kaplan is tough. i hope this pay off.   

Mase's picture
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Joined: 2012-03-02

Jerefack... did you use the smart 7 program that comes with pass perfect or did you just use the books?  I ask because i also used pass perfect to study took the 7 first week in april and passed with an 85.  Passperfect overprepares you for the exam, i never scored more than a 75 on the practice tests.  If you did use the smart 7 program that comes with passperfect then disregard this post and some other material may be better suited for you.  I think all material is gonna depend on the person studying. Good luck with your next test!

karlaa's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-04

i also passed the exam last week with a pretty high percentage.. karla

NeedToPass's picture
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Joined: 2012-04-24

karlaa, which vendor did you use for your studying? 

AMPman's picture
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Joined: 2011-09-09

 I am about to take the seven finally and bought kaplan with qbank, does anyone know a good area for the suitability questions?

mup143's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-21

Can anyone point me in the right direction for the STC product containing 13-14 practice exams. I have all the literature I am looking to purchase the product with just the practice exams. Message me or email at Matthewpaul2@gmail.com if you have any useful information. 

banker95's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-26

How do the STC closed book exams compare to the actual Series 7 exam? One of the instructors told me that exams 6 thru 11 are the most similar in level of difficulty compared to the real test. Any feedback from those who used STC and took the exam recently?? Thanks!

BlueBevy's picture
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Joined: 2012-05-04

USE PASS PERFECT's SMART 7 program, nothing else! I passed with an 82

Berm's picture
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Joined: 2013-08-03

Really need some insight on how to properly prepare for my second go on the series 7. I began with the STC material, reading and reading then went to practice tests with scores around the 70's. Went to the week Kaplan crash course and continued on studying for another 2 weeks. The past couple of days I put in long hours & felt pretty good about getting 180 out of 250. I have to say that I was shocked to see how heavily (ETN,coverdell,529,variable annuities etc...) were on the test. I got so flustered that time became a major issue yesterday. Any suggestions, ideas or input is much appreciated.
Thanks

Stringfellow Hawke's picture
Joined: 2013-08-21

Just took it and passed it in the high 70s. I used Kaplan and I was ok. Lots of questions on Variable Annuities, Preferred (including converts and callable and cumulative), risks, retirement plans, suitability, and account registration. Not as much on options (other than the basics). A little on ETF, ETN, AMT, margins (basic stuff), zero coupons, Coverdell, mutual funds, DPPs, market orders, economics, and Registration Acts. Nothing on Classes of Shares, convertible bonds (lots on convertible preferred), and market levels (1st, 2nd, etc.)

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