Series 7 pass rate

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Feb 10, 2005 4:51 pm

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!

Feb 10, 2005 9:03 pm

pass rate is about 65%

Feb 10, 2005 9:17 pm

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

Feb 11, 2005 12:20 am

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!

Feb 11, 2005 12:18 pm

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

Feb 11, 2005 2:27 pm
joedabrkr:

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.

Feb 12, 2005 6:21 pm

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?

Feb 12, 2005 7:49 pm

>>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.

Feb 12, 2005 7:59 pm

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.

Feb 14, 2005 10:49 am

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

Feb 14, 2005 12:03 pm

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.

Feb 14, 2005 8:33 pm

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?

Feb 16, 2005 9:32 am

Not all morons are born (or training) equally? 

Feb 17, 2005 11:11 pm

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

Jan 12, 2007 11:20 pm

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.

Jan 13, 2007 12:11 pm

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

Jan 13, 2007 12:20 pm
The Prophet:

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.

Jan 13, 2007 5:19 pm

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.




Mar 15, 2007 2:38 pm

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.

Mar 15, 2007 2:54 pm

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.