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Jun 7, 2008 2:32 pm

Well, I just completed the Edward Jones training and took the series 7.  After all of the hype about their wonderful study program, I failed the test.  I studied, spent more than the suggested time, and still failed miserably.  I still desperately want to become a FA but have no clue where to go from here.  I live in a remote area and there is no other firms within reasonable driving distance with gas at $4 a gallon.  I just want to find a way to be sponsored.  Jones told me that they only allowed you to sit once unless your score was 68 or better.  I just need advice on where to go from here???  I left a job with retirement, insurance, benefits, and concrete stability to accept their offer and now I am left with nothing.  Very frustrated and discouraged.  Even had one trainer explain a concept when I called in by saying, "because it is just that way..."  Any advice on sponsorship is greatly appreciated. 

Jun 7, 2008 6:03 pm

I was well within their guidelines keeping my minimum scores and scoring mid 60's on my final and mid 70's on my practices one and two.  My score was only a 50 on the actual 7.  The first half of the exam was almost completely foreign.  The second half was fairly easy.  Horrible score to go in feeling prepared. 

Jun 7, 2008 6:12 pm

I find it hard to believe mid 60's to mid 70's was within guidelines.  This should have been your first wake up call.

Jun 7, 2008 7:04 pm

wow. I am sorry, but this may not be for you. I went thru the whole Jones program and got a good score (mid 80s) with relative ease--sorry, just the facts here. Poor testing/studying does not equate to less intelligence, of course, but you DO need to pass this test and Jones spoon-feeds it, making it a relative breeze for most people I know. I was in my mid-forties at the time, so it is not like I was used to studying or anything.

Jun 7, 2008 7:46 pm

I probably need to clear up what I mean by mid 60's.  I kept my weekly test averages in the 70's.  On our pre-7 conference call, they told us that there was a 7 point differential on the 7 and on their finals.  They said we should score a 60-65 on the first final and a 65-70 on the second to receive 70 on the 7.  I scored a 63 on the first final and a 65 on the second.  Well within the EJ reccomendations.  Almost everything I have read said EJ spoon feeds you, but I disagree.  I was in the first new training group and there was a lot that I disagree with here.  They told me to not waste time on margins, only 6 on the test.  When I received the print out from my testing center, there were 26 margin questions.  Likewise, there were many of philosophies and they also said not to put much time in those chapters.  Plus, because this was a new training program, there were many mistakes in their study tests that we had to use curriculum updates to correct ourselves for a good deal of the tests.   So you had to double check their questions for their mistakes before giving your answers.  Just confusing.  Anyway, I didn't go into this blindly.  I put money aside to make a career change and am able to study again if I can find a sponsor.  Just don't know where to go.  I realize I failed the test, I was trying to ask for advice here, not have everyone point out the obvious. 

Jun 7, 2008 7:55 pm

Also, they informed me that the Practice tests 1 and 2 were almost just like the finals.  I had mid 70's on both.  According to EJ this is what was needed.  My trainers looked at my scores every day and I was never even up for review due to performance.  I felt like because of posts like these, if you kept their recommended scores, you were safe.  It just wasn't so.

Jun 7, 2008 9:31 pm

First you need to figure out why you failed the 7 the first time.  Make sure you do not do it again.  Jones is known for a high pass rate.  Assuming you find another sponsor, they are going to look at your explanation with a wary eye.  Did others in your training class fail?  How many?  If there were this many issues with the materials, how could you feel prepared?  If I take your information at face value (although I am skeptical), I would call Jones and lay out your case.  If you live in a remote area with no other B/Ds, this may be your best option.  End of the day you did not come close.  You need to take a long look in the mirror and determine if you really put in the effort.  Excuses like how many margin questions were on the 7 do not fly.  It is your responsiblilty to know the material.  I am not trying to bust on you, but instead trying to give you a glimpse of what is ahead.

Jun 8, 2008 12:11 am

You are correct about taking full responsibility Primo.  It doesn't really matter if you take me at face value or not.  I have no reason to lie here because no one here knows me.  So far, 5 others that I know of have failed.  Can't find out about others.  I guess I felt prepared because every forum or website, including this one, said that EJ offers the best training.  I took that at face value.  Now, overlooking Kaplan materials, it seems more authentic.  I do live in a remote are with zero other options unless the one national bank decides to sponosor me.  The nearest firm is not at all within driving distance.  I put in more than the requried hours and believe me, I would have never quit my former job if I weren't willing to commit fully and give it my all.  I have a family to look out for.  I am not asking for anyone here to buy into my excuses.  I failed, point blank.  If you will read my original posts I was asking for advice in obtaining sponsorship.  Not for someone to tell me it wasn't my fault.   I was just also hoping to offer insight to any that may be considering resigning from a stable career to end up unemployed like I did. 

Jun 8, 2008 12:30 am
nojonesaboutit:

You are correct about taking full responsibility Primo.  It doesn't really matter if you take me at face value or not.  I have no reason to lie here because no one here knows me.  So far, 5 others that I know of have failed.  Can't find out about others.  I guess I felt prepared because every forum or website, including this one, said that EJ offers the best training.  I took that at face value.  Now, overlooking Kaplan materials, it seems more authentic.  I do live in a remote are with zero other options unless the one national bank decides to sponosor me.  The nearest firm is not at all within driving distance.  I put in more than the requried hours and believe me, I would have never quit my former job if I weren't willing to commit fully and give it my all.  I have a family to look out for.  I am not asking for anyone here to buy into my excuses.  I failed, point blank.  If you will read my original posts I was asking for advice in obtaining sponsorship.  Not for someone to tell me it wasn't my fault.   I was just also hoping to offer insight to any that may be considering resigning from a stable career to end up unemployed like I did. 

 
This may have been your first mistake.  How does any one person know who has the best training?  I mean, think about it.  Someone would have had to go through all the different training programs to decide which is the best.  Of course, people will their program is or was the best, but that's because it's all they knew.
 
The simple fact of the matter is that in this business, you need to be scared to death.  You need to be scared that you don't talk to enough people on a daily basis.  You need to be scared that you don't open enough accounts.  You need to be scared that you will fail.  You need to be scared that you don't pass the test, or else you will be fired.
 
If you only have one chance to take the test, why on earth would you be satisfied getting 60's or 70's on the practice test?  I can't understand this for the life of me.  I remember I would have been fired had I not passed the 7.  It scared me to death.  I studied so hard and tracked my progress every chapter, every practice exam.  I remember answering over 10,000 practice questions throughout my 3 months of study time.  I got an 89 and kept my job.  Some will say I studied too hard, but I wanted to master it because failing the test was and losing my job was not an option to me.
 
In my opinion, your options are as follows.  1.  Hope and pray that you get the bank job and they will let you sit for the 7.  2.  Find a different career in your community.  3.  Move to a new city and open yourself up to more companies.
 
There is not much more information you will gain from us or this forum.  You are between a rock and a hard place and for your family's sake, you will need to find a new job quickly.  You haven't said how old you are, I don't think, so if you're young enough, you may get a second chance at some point. 
Jun 8, 2008 9:30 am

I never heard of a single person scoring that low on the actual tests. Most people I know (including myself) scored BETTER on the S7 than their practice exams at Jones. If you failed that poorly on the S7, I would seriously consider bagging it. If you REALLY felt comfortable on the practice exams, and failed that bad, something is wrong. Why don't you consider taking an operations job in the industry (though I think you mentioned you are nowhere near another office)?



Honestly, since you failed by that wide a margin, I would NOT try again right away. Chances are you would fail again, and blow through more $$ doing it. As someone else mentioned, go get a job, then try studying on your own.

Jun 8, 2008 10:40 am

My first hunch is that you cheated while studying.  I find it impossible to believe that your test scores were at the level that EJ would let you sit for the test and you failed that badly.  All that says to EJ is that you cheated somehow during your SFS training.  I may be wrong but I don't think Jones will give you another chance.  Tell us exactly how you studied and how did you manage to pass the exams?

Jun 9, 2008 3:26 pm

I agree with capt. Either you were not honest about the way you studied(maybe looking at material duriing practice test?) or you just choked, I scored mid 70,s on practice finals and was done in half the time allowed on 7 with a higher score and i  have the attention span of a 5 yr old, and was it my late 40's.. go back to work study at your own pace until you know it inside and out then go back with more confidence

 
Yooper
Jun 9, 2008 3:31 pm

I'm going to disagree somewhat with what is being said above.  I don't think success on the S7 relates much to success in this business.  I know several successful advisors who had to retake the test, or just barely passed.



 
You could try to find an insurance company to sponsor you.  They may want you to focus on insurance, but still will sponsor you for the 7.  You could also approach a local bank without a program and try to talk to them about starting one.  You would then need to get a BD to affiliate with.
 
Good luck.
Jun 11, 2008 12:46 am

EDJ4now, thanks for your advice.  So far, you are the only poster that has offered good solid advice.  I really don't mind that no one here seems to believe me, they don't know me and never will.  I was only hoping for advice, not for everyone here to point out how badly I screwed up.  I did completely choke.  Contrary to what snaggletooth said and others insinuated, I think I put too much emphasis on passing the exam.  I was so stressed out about keeping my job if I failed that it was extrememly hard to not be panic during the exam.  I worried not only for me but my family.  It's just a lesson learned.  I gave EJ 8 weeks of my life, without cheating, and failed.  So did 5 others that I already know of.  Anyway, thanks for actually giving advice and not pointing out what I already knew.  I may check with some insurance companies, or accept an offer from a local bank as a Loan Officer and then work my way into becoming sponosored.   Probably my last post since only one person out of 2 pages of responses actually tried to be helpful.  Thanks again Jones4Now.

Jun 11, 2008 10:00 am
nojonesaboutit:

EDJ4now, thanks for your advice.  So far, you are the only poster that has offered good solid advice.  I really don't mind that no one here seems to believe me, they don't know me and never will.  I was only hoping for advice, not for everyone here to point out how badly I screwed up.  I did completely choke.  Contrary to what snaggletooth said and others insinuated, I think I put too much emphasis on passing the exam.  I was so stressed out about keeping my job if I failed that it was extrememly hard to not be panic during the exam.  I worried not only for me but my family.  It's just a lesson learned.  I gave EJ 8 weeks of my life, without cheating, and failed.  So did 5 others that I already know of.  Anyway, thanks for actually giving advice and not pointing out what I already knew.  I may check with some insurance companies, or accept an offer from a local bank as a Loan Officer and then work my way into becoming sponosored.   Probably my last post since only one person out of 2 pages of responses actually tried to be helpful.  Thanks again Jones4Now.

 
Obviously.  That's why you still have a job, right...
Jun 11, 2008 11:50 am

NJAI-


I don't think anyone was saying that you can't make it in this industry (or maybe they were??), but that maybe you will have a hard time passing the exam, and not to spend more time without a job studying for it.  The issue is that you can't even START in this industry until you pass, so if you can't pass, no job.  But EDJ4 is right - it doesn't really matter what you score - there is no correlation betwen test scores and success in the industry (and actually, sometimes the highest scorers do really poorly in this industry).


Jun 11, 2008 12:07 pm
Broker24:

NJAI-


I don't think anyone was saying that you can't make it in this industry (or maybe they were??), but that maybe you will have a hard time passing the exam, and not to spend more time without a job studying for it.  The issue is that you can't even START in this industry until you pass, so if you can't pass, no job.  But EDJ4 is right - it doesn't really matter what you score - there is no correlation betwen test scores and success in the industry (and actually, sometimes the highest scorers do really poorly in this industry).


 
B24, I agree there is no correlation.  But for the people who say, "Study just enough to pass, otherwise you're wasting time", I don't agree wtih.  Why would anyone take chances like that if the result of not passing is being fired?  I mean, the burden you are possibly putting on your family isn't fair to them.  If you're studying for these tests, you need to do whatever it takes to pass.
 
If you treat studying for the test like it's your full-time job, there should be no doubt about passing.  At the time of my studying, there were about 5 others in the same boat.  Only 2 of them failed.  Both were very nice guys.  One guy didn't speak English very well and neither put the time in that I did.
 
Don't really know what the point of this post is, just felt like adding it to the water cooler talk...
Jun 11, 2008 2:36 pm

Snaggle, I agreee with what you are saying about the "just study enough" attitude.  I got an embarassingly high score on the 7, because even though I had it down cold, I kept studying.  The penalty for failure was too great.  Over my wife's objections, I quit a very good job to start at the bottom at EDJ.  If I called from the testing center to tell my wife that I just failed the 7 and was about to be fired, she probably would have had the locks changed before I got home.

Jun 11, 2008 4:16 pm
snaggletooth:
Broker24:

NJAI-


I don't think anyone was saying that you can't make it in this industry (or maybe they were??), but that maybe you will have a hard time passing the exam, and not to spend more time without a job studying for it.  The issue is that you can't even START in this industry until you pass, so if you can't pass, no job.  But EDJ4 is right - it doesn't really matter what you score - there is no correlation betwen test scores and success in the industry (and actually, sometimes the highest scorers do really poorly in this industry).


 
B24, I agree there is no correlation.  But for the people who say, "Study just enough to pass, otherwise you're wasting time", I don't agree wtih.  Why would anyone take chances like that if the result of not passing is being fired?  I mean, the burden you are possibly putting on your family isn't fair to them.  If you're studying for these tests, you need to do whatever it takes to pass.
 
If you treat studying for the test like it's your full-time job, there should be no doubt about passing.  At the time of my studying, there were about 5 others in the same boat.  Only 2 of them failed.  Both were very nice guys.  One guy didn't speak English very well and neither put the time in that I did.
 
Don't really know what the point of this post is, just felt like adding it to the water cooler talk...
 
Snags, I see what you are saying.  And if he had not started with Jones yet, nor had he started studying yet, I would have said "go balls to the walls and pass the thing with everything you've got"
 
BUT, since he has already failed it once, I question if going to another firm, spending another few months without a real job yet, in the hopes that he MAY pass, really makes sense.  For me, it was a full-time job.  I was getting paid by Jones to study, and I had nothing else to do, so I passed it with like an 89 or something.  However, if I had failed the exam with a 50 and got fired, I am not sure it would have made sense to roll the dice again without a job (especially with a family).  And frankly, Jones' study process is pretty darn good.  If he failed with a 50-whatever score, soemthing is wrong, and it's NOT because Jones mislead him about scores and practice exams or whatever.  I probably could have scored a 50 without ever picking up the manual.  So I guess that's why I would suggest that someone in his shoes maybe look for a job to pay the bills, then go at it again.
Jun 11, 2008 4:25 pm

Nojones,  you were misled on what scores you needed to acheive to have a chance to pass the S7. It also seems that your trainers let you down on what areas to concentrate on. If the world was fair it would be they who would be on the outside looking in instead of it being you. The world is not fair. That said, you are at this point, screwed. Your options are to try another firm, even if that means moving your family to another location, or to move on. Plenty of people move for career choices so that may not be as outrageous as it sounds. Unless you are willing to do so, and very good at explaining why you failed the 7 without whining about how you got screwed by EDJ's trainers, then it is time to move on.


Just so you know, most firms want to see scores at least in the mid eighties before sending a trainee for the test. In my case, any trainee in my training class who didn't score a ninety on the firm's pre-test was sent to NY the week before the test for a 5 day cram course. Those who failed the cram course with scores below 80 were fired on Friday afternoon. Those who scored above 80 were allowed to take the test which, back then, was given only on Saturdays. Then, like now, trainees got one shot. It's a tough gig.


I feel for you because the trainers essentially didn't do their job. You were a dead man walking in taking that test with those scores. Still, that doesn't change the reality. Dig in or move on.
 
Good luck!