Series 7

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12345's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-04

I have spent the past 3.5 weeks studying for the series 7 using both STC and Kaplan/Dearborn. I have been taking the practice exams on both platforms and have been scoring in the 76-80 range. Do you think that this will translate into a passing grade of 70 on the real test? I understand the concepts that I am correctly answering and am not just memorizing answers, but I am having a tough time with margin requirements and some other small subjects. I have got the options and Munis down cold. Any thoughts would be appreciated, my eyes are burning from all this reading!

xbanker's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-21

If you have options and munis you have a good shot. I was scoring around 85 on the tests and got a 90 on the real thing in about 90 minutes including a break for the rest room and a soda. KNOW OPTIONS.  You'll want to memorize all the hypothecation requirements as well which will show up but aren't that hard.  Long and short margin under Reg T, etc.  Read dearborn options and munis several times. I read the book four times and did each paper practice test. No class or other instruction.  It's doable and a lot easier than I expected. We're not talking brain surgery. The people that don't pass are the ones who don't study. You can bump your score a couple points off the bat on this or any NASD exam by just rephrasing the question to yourself after reading it and filtering out all the information that doesn't need to be there. (Joe bought 5 shares for $10. How many stocks does Joe Have...) Just to break the Dearborn questions up, you may want to sign up for the online test at investopedia.com.  What firm are you at? Are they providing any support?

SimplySimple's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-25

Yeah you should be fine as long as you don't get nervous I was getting 84-86 on practice and got an 89 on the actual.  7 is nothing compared to the 66.  Xbanker had the extra info you need to ensure passing.

OldLady's picture
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Joined: 2006-11-19

Best advice I received when studying for it (which was a long time ago) was "It is a READING test."  Make sure you know what the question is asking before you answer it.  If you aren't sure, eliminate the answers you KNOW aren't correct and then make an educated guess.   Good luck!

piker's picture
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Joined: 2007-05-21

The 7 is a joke.
 
Remember that and you'll do fine. (89 here).

xbanker's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-21

I also checked out the CDs at www.passthe7.com. It's a 5-disk set and definitely will not get you a pass when used exclusively but I'd say listening through two times to the whole set (six hours x 2) probably bumped me up 5 points as opposed to Dearborn alone. You can listen while doing chores or other work.

bondo's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-15

12345 -- I've always heard the actual test scores are 10 points higher than the practice ones (not sure how that works if you get 90's on the practice tests).  I have never talked to anyone who had lower test scores than their practice tests.  Keep taking as many practice questions as you can.
xbanker -- I call BS on doing a 260 exam question in roughly 85 minutes (90 minutes minus one break for the head and a soda.  Also, where is the mandatory 30 minute break in there?). 

Section16's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-10

12345,
Try FIRE Solutions, especially for options.  They have free pre-recorded tutorials on their website.  STC tests are good to check your readiness (you want to be in the 85% range on their practice tests), but the text can be very dull. 
It sounds like you are at a pretty good point right now in your preparation.  Margin was the most difficult part for me also, luckily it is not overly weighted on the actual exam.  There is a small book, I think it is called "The Essential Math Needed to Pass the Series 7 Exam", or something like that.  Has some very good techniques for calculating margin requirements, bond yields, and NAV components. 
Good luck.

xbanker's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-21

Bondo, I'm only counting time with the "meter running." I'd also agree that I've never talked to anyone who got lower on the test than the practice exams. EVERY person I've known to fail was someone who simply did not study, which is exactly what would have happened to me, having scored a 53 on my first practice test after reading Dearborn all the way through once. The 7 is not hard at all IF you put in the work. I know someone with a 6 and 63 who took a week off before the exam to "cram" and failed with a 61. An employee in my training class said a former coworker got fired from ML for failing because he though he'd be able to just "sit for it" without studying since he had a finance MBA! (Hey, you only need a 70, right?) The fact that you're already studying as much as you are leads me to believe you'll pass without much difficulty. Never hurts to overdo it though.

12345's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-04

Thank you all for your responses. It sounds like I am on track, I have another ten days to study so I expect that I will be fine.

entrylevelFA's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-05

bondo wrote:
12345 -- I've always heard the actual test scores are 10 points higher than the practice ones (not sure how that works if you get 90's on the practice tests).  I have never talked to anyone who had lower test scores than their practice tests.  Keep taking as many practice questions as you can.
xbanker -- I call BS on doing a 260 exam question in roughly 85 minutes (90 minutes minus one break for the head and a soda.  Also, where is the mandatory 30 minute break in there?). 

I believe him, I got an 86 and it took me about 105 minutes, including the mandatory 30 minute break.  She said some test centers don't make you take the 30 min. break but hers did.

vbrainy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-26

So I guess 12345 failed since we haven't heard from him/her.

12345's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-04

vbrainy wrote:So I guess 12345 failed since we haven't heard from him/her.
I just created this thread yesterday and explained today that I have another ten days before I will be taking the exam.

Spaceman Spiff's picture
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Joined: 2006-08-08

Best advice I got from anyone was to take some time the day before you test to do something that you enjoy.  Golf, movie, bike ride, etc.  Something to get your mind out of Series 7 mode for a few hours.  Get the blood flowing to the brain for a while.  I played 18 holes the day before and scored a 99.  I'll let you guys figure out if that was my golf score or S7 score.

bondo's picture
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entrylevelFA wrote:bondo wrote:
xbanker -- I call BS on doing a 260 exam question in roughly 85 minutes (90 minutes minus one break for the head and a soda.  Also, where is the mandatory 30 minute break in there?). 

I believe him, I got an 86 and it took me about 105 minutes, including the mandatory 30 minute break.  She said some test centers don't make you take the 30 min. break but hers did.

I know I am a slow test taker, but I cannot believe how fast you guys are saying you completed the test.  The times are almost 15 seconds per question.
12345 -- Try not to overstudy for the test either.  Take at least the day before the test and do no studying.
I know some guys at ML who said their local offices went through dozens of people a few years back simply because they could not pass the test no matter how hard they studied.  Hell, I know a guy who had a double major from a top college in the midwest and he just scored a 70 on the 7 but could not pass the 66 in two tries.

troll's picture
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bondo wrote:entrylevelFA wrote:bondo wrote:
xbanker -- I call BS on doing a 260 exam question in roughly 85 minutes (90 minutes minus one break for the head and a soda.  Also, where is the mandatory 30 minute break in there?). 

I believe him, I got an 86 and it took me about 105 minutes, including the mandatory 30 minute break.  She said some test centers don't make you take the 30 min. break but hers did.

I know I am a slow test taker, but I cannot believe how fast you guys are saying you completed the test.  The times are almost 15 seconds per question.
12345 -- Try not to overstudy for the test either.  Take at least the day before the test and do no studying.
I know some guys at ML who said their local offices went through dozens of people a few years back simply because they could not pass the test no matter how hard they studied.  Hell, I know a guy who had a double major from a top college in the midwest and he just scored a 70 on the 7 but could not pass the 66 in two tries.

My score was a little higher that entrylevel's, but in about the same amount of time. It's just not that tough.

xbanker's picture
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Joined: 2007-01-21

My opinion is that the people who fail the 7 are the ones that didn't study at all or just underestimated it. Not "difficult" material. Just a lot of it, but fortunately things that you are able to "figure out" during the test like options.  The 66, however, is an entirely different animal. I know more people who have failed it than the 7.  I passed the first time but would say the dearborn book didn't prepare me nearly as well for this one as for the 7.  I read it four times as well (same prep as the 7) and was totally surprised by a few things.

bondo's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-15

xbanker wrote:My opinion is that the people who fail the 7 are the ones that didn't study at all or just underestimated it. Not "difficult" material. Just a lot of it, but fortunately things that you are able to "figure out" during the test like options.  The 66, however, is an entirely different animal. I know more people who have failed it than the 7.  I passed the first time but would say the dearborn book didn't prepare me nearly as well for this one as for the 7.  I read it four times as well (same prep as the 7) and was totally surprised by a few things.
I hear those comments often about the 66.  I thought it was a much easier exam than the 7.  I had one week to study for it and passed without problem.  I know guys who had a month and just scratched by. 
It seems there is a love-hate relationship between the two tests: You love taking one and hate taking the other.  Personally, I am pretty sure if someone dropped the 7 or 66 in front of me today I would fail both.

12345's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-04

Thanks for all the advice, A senior advisor dropped by yesterday and told me the exact same thing. On the day before go do something you enjoy, like golf and get yourself a good meal the night before. I am confident I'll do fine, thanks again.

entrylevelFA's picture
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Joined: 2006-06-05

Bobby Hull wrote:bondo wrote:entrylevelFA wrote:bondo wrote:
xbanker -- I call BS on doing a 260 exam question in roughly 85 minutes (90 minutes minus one break for the head and a soda.  Also, where is the mandatory 30 minute break in there?). 

I believe him, I got an 86 and it took me about 105 minutes, including the mandatory 30 minute break.  She said some test centers don't make you take the 30 min. break but hers did.

I know I am a slow test taker, but I cannot believe how fast you guys are saying you completed the test.  The times are almost 15 seconds per question.
12345 -- Try not to overstudy for the test either.  Take at least the day before the test and do no studying.
I know some guys at ML who said their local offices went through dozens of people a few years back simply because they could not pass the test no matter how hard they studied.  Hell, I know a guy who had a double major from a top college in the midwest and he just scored a 70 on the 7 but could not pass the 66 in two tries.

My score was a little higher that entrylevel's, but in about the same amount of time. It's just not that tough.

You're absolutely correct, it's kind of a joke.  There was a guy in my office who took a little less time and scored 3 percent higher.  If it were the old school days of filling in Scantron with a pencil it would have taken longer, but that isn't the case.  I figured most questions took about 15 seconds, so that is accurate.

kap39's picture
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Section16-
I've been searching online for the math book you mentioned (sounds like a very handy reference) but can't seem to find anything by that name or with that content...help?? Thanks!

bXpress's picture
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Joined: 2006-10-09

Know your munis!

Danboy's picture
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Don't be impressed with people who get 99's or take the test in record time, just pass the test. I PASSED with a 70 and used the entire 6 hours to take the exam The skin of my teeth are forever in tombed in the keyboard where I took the test. I will tell you though that I was averaging about 80-85 on the practice exams but when I got to the testing center, the person next to me kept passing gas (probably a nervous test taker). I had to leave my seat a few times because of obvious reasons so I could refocus. Hopefully, this does not happen to you or anyone else that takes the test. Good luck and STEER clear of nervous test takers!Dan

FL Broker's picture
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Joined: 2007-06-02

The best advice I can give is, while you are studying, prepare an index card with all of the notes and diagrams you find helpful to solve the practice problems.  Next, commit the index card to memory, i.e., be able to copy it verbatim from memory.  Finally,when you sit for the exam, the FIRST thing you do is write out your index card from memory BEFORE you view the first question (to avoid any confusion while your memory is still undisturbed).  You'll then have your "notes" available to use throughout the test.  I used this technique in 2001 and scored a 95% on the Series 7.  As I went from question to question, I waited for the questions to start becoming difficult, but the test ended before the questions got hard.  The 66 was about the same level of difficulty for me but I found the insurance exam the hardest (probably because I'm not much of an insurance guy...
 

12345's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-04

Thank you for all of the comments, I am consistently between 82-86 on the Kaplan and STC materials with a scoring average of around 95% on the options and munis. Should be good to go.

vbrainy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-26

Danboy wrote:Don't be impressed with people who get 99's or take the test in record time, just pass the test. I PASSED with a 70 and used the entire 6 hours to take the exam The skin of my teeth are forever in tombed in the keyboard where I took the test. I will tell you though that I was averaging about 80-85 on the practice exams but when I got to the testing center, the person next to me kept passing gas (probably a nervous test taker). I had to leave my seat a few times because of obvious reasons so I could refocus. Hopefully, this does not happen to you or anyone else that takes the test. Good luck and STEER clear of nervous test takers!Dan
I'm wit ya.
I had six weeks to study and a family to balance.  I thank God for every point I scored over 70.

12345's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-04

Passed the 7 with a 94%, and got accepted into MENSA all in the same week. Not bad for someone who didn't finish college.

vbrainy's picture
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12345 wrote:Passed the 7 with a 94%, and got accepted into MENSA all in the same week. Not bad for someone who didn't finish college.
The bad news is that smart a** intellectuals who think they are smarter than everyone else do very poorly in this business.

12345's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-04

vbrainy wrote:
12345 wrote:Passed the 7 with a 94%, and got accepted into MENSA all in the same week. Not bad for someone who didn't finish college.
The bad news is that smart a** intellectuals who think they are smarter than everyone else do very poorly in this business.

Far from smart ass interllectual, got my business experience in the motorcycle and commercial fishing business but thanks for your quick negative response regarding my good news. Stop typing and go find some accounts.

Dust Bunny's picture
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12345 wrote:Passed the 7 with a 94%, and got accepted into MENSA all in the same week. Not bad for someone who didn't finish college.
Congrats on the Series 7 score.  Not so much on the MENSA (if true), since it doesn't pertain to anything relevant to this business. (I'm a member too).  MENSA is an elite achievement that won't impress your clients much.
While the other poster was pretty snarky, you must realize that sales people who are overly analytical are sometimes unable to convey the gist of the topic to unsophisticated clients and lose the sale to someone not quite as smart, but who can communicate on the client's levels. 
  

12345's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-04

Dust Bunny wrote:
12345 wrote:Passed the 7 with a 94%, and got accepted into MENSA all in the same week. Not bad for someone who didn't finish college.
Congrats on the Series 7 score.  Not so much on the MENSA (if true), since it doesn't pertain to anything relevant to this business. (I'm a member too).  MENSA is an elite achievement that won't impress your clients much.
While the other poster was pretty snarky, you must realize that sales people who are overly analytical are sometimes unable to convey the gist of the topic to unsophisticated clients and lose the sale to someone not quite as smart, but who can communicate on the client's levels. 
  

Thank you for your response. I realize that Mensa and my score are completely irrelevant to success in this business. Just wanted to share my good news. My previous sales experience got me the job in the first place seeing that I didn't have a degree to open the door for me. Thanks again

vbrainy's picture
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Joined: 2006-07-26

. .oooh a thin skin on top of an egg head.  I forsee great things for you in another career field.

Indyone's picture
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Spaceman Spiff wrote:Best advice I got from anyone was to take some time the day before you test to do something that you enjoy.  Golf, movie, bike ride, etc.  Something to get your mind out of Series 7 mode for a few hours.  Get the blood flowing to the brain for a while.  I played 18 holes the day before and scored a 99.  I'll let you guys figure out if that was my golf score or S7 score.
...I take it you're not a scratch golfer...

12345's picture
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Joined: 2006-12-04

vbrainy wrote:. .oooh a thin skin on top of an egg head.  I forsee great things for you in another career field.
Thanks buddy have a good weekend.

bondo's picture
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Dust Bunny wrote:
While the other poster was pretty snarky, you must realize that sales people who are overly analytical are sometimes unable to convey the gist of the topic to unsophisticated clients and lose the sale to someone not quite as smart, but who can communicate on the client's levels. 
  

Always work on the sales skills and you will be fine.  Some of the most successful advisors I know still go to sales training.  I will agree with the above statement in that of the group I was hired with the two people who scored the highest on the 7 are now no longer in production.  They both suffered from "paralysis by analysis."

Section16's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-10

12345...Congratulations!!
Why give him a hard time?  Forget MENSA.  Do you remember how great you felt when you passed the 7? 

Billyclub's picture
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Joined: 2007-04-26

Congratulations!  I passed it just a little while ago and have already forgotten it all.     But I do remember that after the test I got one of the best nights sleep I've had in a long time.

Section16's picture
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kap39-
The book is called "Mathematics of the Securities Industry", by William A. Rini.  I think I got it at Amazon.com.

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