Study materials for Series 7: STC vs Kaplan

13 replies [Last post]
kineticsolution's picture
Joined: 2013-07-03

I am about to start my training/study pipeline to take the Series 7 and 66 tests. My company is currently providing us with STC materials. I've heard that some suggest Kaplan instead.

For those of you who have taken the test in 2013, which program did you use to study and would you suggest it to others? Is there really a difference between STC and Kaplan when it comes to "up to date" and "realistic" covered materials?

I plan on eating/breathing/sleeping around studying for these tests. If i have to use two different test preps to pass I have no problem doing so. I just want to know if it is worth it.

Thanks in advance!


ak157879's picture
Joined: 2013-09-06

I took the Series 7 3 weeks ago and failed with a 68%, and I was using STC. My first attempt scores were in the mid 70's on the Closed Book Exams, and in the low 90's by the time I retook all of the Closed Book Exams. There were A LOT of account discretion questions on the real exam that STC did not prepare me for. STC is good at teaching you the facts, but not good at teaching you the numerous ways to apply those facts on customer accounts.

So, I went out and purchased Kaplan Series 7 QBank practice tests. And, my gosh. There is a big difference. Kaplan's questions are much more detailed, and they have a lot more account discretion question than STC. The two aren't even comparable in this regard.

I don't have a problem with STC as far learning the facts is concerned, but if you are newer to the industry I would recommend Kaplan over STC, because STC seems to lack detail in key areas. Everyone has there own preference, but in my experience Kaplan tests are much closer, and give you a lot more flexibility than STC. I retake the the Series 7 in 2 weeks. Hopefully prepping with Kaplan made the difference : ). Good luck!

RPrescott's picture
Joined: 2013-09-09

Have you taken a look at I work for Solomon Exam Prep, and we produce materials for both the Series 7 & Series 66.

Margaret's picture
Joined: 2013-09-11

I have taken all of my exams using Test Teachers. Passed everything first time including life and health insurance exams. I tried to use Kaplan for my life and health exams but I did not have the time to study 26 chapters. Good luck with your tests:)

wvarner's picture
Joined: 2013-10-21

I am looking for a course that is mostly audio. Does anyone know where I can find this?

STCisgreat's picture
Joined: 2013-10-23

I passed the series 7 two days ago using STC with an 86. If you follow the calendar, read the book (don't cut corners) once through, test your understanding, watch the lectures, and take all of the quizzes as scheduled, all of the tests as scheduled, you will be as prepared as anyone could be.

I have found that a lot of people who did not pass simply were not honest with themselves about following the course. It isn't college. You haven't studied like this before. When you get to the closed book exams STC states that you should be scoring above 80% to show maximum retention of the material.

My average in the closed books was 83%, and I never scored in the 90's. I took ten of the closed books at the end of the course and one more the night before my exam. As I said, I followed the program and nothing more. STC has done this for years, and anyone who comments saying it wasn't enough is really saying the work was not put in and the calendar wasn't followed.

Follow their directions and you will more than pass. Another piece of advice, stop reading these forums. I just created an account so I could tell folks that. You will do nothing but worry yourself to death reading about others' failing the test.

Erodg's picture
Joined: 2013-10-25

I passed the 7 3 weeks ago with a 79. I first used STC provided by my firm and failed with a 67. I was getting in the mid 80's on the practice test and made a 94 on the greenlight exam first try the day before I took the test. I felt that I was completely un prepared while taking the test the first time. Luckily I was not laid off from the firm I currently work for and was able to study for 30 more days in order to improve S7 score and keep the job. I decided to pay out of pocket and get the Kaplan Series 7 Qbank test questions. There were many questions from Kaplan that were very similar to the actual test. I ended up with a 79 on my second try. Not the best but I will not have to worry about it again. I really think that the major improvement was from Kaplan so I strongly advise ordering the qbank tests for the Series 7. Good Luck!!

rosebiz's picture
Joined: 2014-04-10

for the person looking for audio I downloaded this program called natural reader its free.. I used it when I studied my 6 it's not the best voice as it does sound like a robot is reading to you but it did the trick of reading the book for me as I'm an auditory learner.. try it I passed my 6 with flying colors now studying for the 7 using STC.. not my favorite but I'll have to deal! Good Luck!

Wallstreet6485's picture
Joined: 2014-10-30

I recently used STC for the 7 and passed. I think the On-Demand lectures gave me the extra edge. I recommend this if you want audio, plus you can access the lectures anytime you want..loved that I could watch them at home on my own time.

mstudy's picture
Joined: 2011-10-05

I would think that both Kaplan and STC use the FINRA outline as a basis for creating content. I routinely recommend Pass Perfect's materials to my students. I think their material is very comprehensive and their questions can be very challenging.

Richard C. Garcia's picture
Joined: 2015-04-18

I'm currently studying for my series 7 this month and i borrowed the Stc and Kaplan study guide from my finance buddy. I'm terrible at math! i
Is there any way to bypass the math and just hit the key parts of the exam and still pass?

Thank you!

CCole86's picture
Joined: 2015-07-13

I came from a business admin background with no investment experience. My current Investment Advisor is not in the office much and all I do currently is paperwork. They would like me to take the series 7, but I am still new to all this. As far as never came easy but I worked hard. So I was wondering what the best program would be for me to use since I will be starting from scratch? Any advice would be great. Thank you!

MA09's picture
Joined: 2015-08-18

I took the Series 7 on 08/10 and I used the STC to prepare. 3 days before the exam, I was freaking out about memorizing questions so I bought the Kaplan Qbank for $124. Is anyone interested in purchasing it? It has two downloads and 3000 questions. $90 OBO

wallstreetsurvivor's picture
Joined: 2015-09-20

MA09 wrote:
I took the Series 7 on 08/10 and I used the STC to prepare. 3 days before the exam, I was freaking out about memorizing questions so I bought the Kaplan Qbank for $124. Is anyone interested in purchasing it? It has two downloads and 3000 questions. $90 OBO

Is this still available? I'm interested.

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