A few observations about Series 66 course material providers

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Oct 29, 2011 12:53 pm

Several people that I saw try, and fail the Series 66, before me used several course providers at the same time or to supplement.  Not only was that advised against, it didn't work.  

While I was studying the Training Consultants (TC) material, I realized at a certain point that they were not going to teach me everything to be a competent IA, however, I would have a working vocabulary and know the right questions to ask in the future.   

At the beginning I thought that TC might not be explaining some concepts as thoroughly as I had wished and for those areas, I would look at Investopedia or one of the other providers.  But then I realized, the reason why they may not get into super detail about everything is that you don't need to know it.  And in practical terms, to pass the test, they are right on.  So, sometimes my curiosity got the best of me and I wanted to know more, but the additional information I gained really didn't contribute to my overall performance.  

The TC questions, especially for Final Practice Exams 1 and 2 are of the same quality and difficulty as the actual exam.  Although I didn't pass them on the first try, I noticed that I learned a lot from the explanations of why I got them wrong and did better after I went through all of the exams (1-5) and went back to take exam 1 again.   I had the urge to try and take a practice test from another provider, but you really don't need more than what TC gives you.   Just get through those well and try to pass them on the second time around if you need to.  I would say that about 20-25 questions on the actual exam ended up being identical.  Remember that they put hundreds of people through the course every few months and get continual feedback as to what the questions were like.  So they are really up to date. 



I had the opportunity to look at other course providers material.  For example, I heard that Pass Perfect works well too, but they take the opposite approach as TC.  They give you everything! It is verbose and extensive.  I know one person who passed and one who failed after two attempts with that program.  The books are hundreds of pages and the questions are not similar to the actual test.



One colleague passed using Fire Solutions, out of about 10 who didn't.  I looked over the Fire Solutions material and found that it was way too wordy and they also gave you too much information.   Again, the questions were not very similar to the test.  Also, the webinars don't really add to the material.  The executive summaries of what you NEED to know, aren't really that helpful either.



I also looked at the Pass The 66 book by Robert Walker and it was worthless.  He thinks that he knows how to right, but couldn't be more wrong.  Ironically, in that book, the area regarding the USA, NASAA and IA Act of 1940 is in the very back of the book and that is what you need to study the most.  Also, he fills his book with statements like, 'a security must be registered within the state, except when it doesn't.'  Wow! Sage wisdom to live by.  Some of this descriptions of investment strategies are okay but I would not drop $65 on the book.

Lastly, STC's material for the 66 is also somewhat of a shot gun approach.  They give you everything because they really don't know what is actually on the test.  A colleague who attended their weekend course a few months ago reported that they admitted as much.  Several who used the material said that it was too voluminous and failed on the first try. 

I heard that Kaplan was good, but have no experience with it.  A colleague went to their two day course and passed and another went to the two day course and failed the test two weeks later.  I guess taking the test closer to the course is more helpful. 

So, stick with TC, forget the rest, and use the support feature of TC to ask clarifying questions as they come up.  I bombarded their support with them until I understood.  Also, when you have to articulate the question, often times, you either answer it yourself or when you get the answer, it really sticks with you.  Focus on the areas that are recommended to index card, highlight or that are in bold print.  Lastly, create separate sheets/index cards listing the definition, exclusions and main points for each of the B/D, IA, Agents, IAR, Fed Covered IA, Security, Fed Covered Security, etc that you read about AS YOU GO ALONG through the book.  I also made a sheet with columns to compare between the relevant terms.  It is easier to see patterns emerge and memorize that way.

Hope that this helps.

PS: I would probably say that the above holds true for the Series 7 exam as well since I also compared the various providers for that as well.

Oct 29, 2011 6:49 pm

STC is dead money for the 7.

Their 66 material is not as good.

Oct 31, 2011 12:21 pm

thanks for the info. i take the test tomorrow (november 1st). im definitely nervous as ive been studying with STC material. someone who works at my firm took the 66 a month ago and failed. he used strictly stc material. he had to pass on the next try or he would  be fired. so he decided to pickup Knopman 66 material. he said he just passed with a 75. he was kind enough to give me the Knopman material and i have to say there are ALOT of differences between that and STC's. i have no time to read Knopman's book so i just listened to the online classes and took notes. i will continue to take stc practice tests and review any material im unsure of. i would really like to get my hands on training consultants material.

we'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Nov 1, 2011 4:14 pm

well i took the 66 today and passed! i just managed to pass and still cant believe it! so here is my advice for those that will be taking the 66 soon:

for study material, i used STC's, Robert Walkers Pass the 66 book, and Knopman's audio. i have to say the stc material really isnt THAT bad. it definitely has a ton of stuff to remember, but there was not one instance on the test where the question did not look familiar. in addition, i think Robert Walkers pass the 66 book helped only a little bit. it does clarify some concepts by using plain english, but at the same time i feel he may confuse ppl with certain wording like "this security always need to registered, except when it doesnt". its a cheap book and could definitely help so i recommend it. as for the Knopman material, i only used the audio section. its basically a tutor going over general topics. it doesnt explain EVERY concept, but it gets the jist of it. also having someone speak to you while take notes makes you feel like ur in a classroom which i think helped. although i think i could of done without it. in addition, Knopman said the 66 would test concepts on the newly passed Dodd Frank Act and as a result provided additional material to study. I did not see ONE single question regarding it. 

Nov 3, 2011 2:45 pm

Hey Abovo, I used your recommendations and picked up the TC tests.  I use FIRE for the content, but using TC to supplement my practice testing.  I did the same thing for the S7 using FIRE for content and STC for practice test fill in.  Can you tell me how you were scoring before your S66 test on the TC practice tests?  So far I have done (all are first attempt)

Random Final #1 - 84%

Standard Final #1 - 86%

Standard Final #2 - 88%

I think I am pretty much dialed in, with a few either ors I guess wrong on.  What do you think? 

Nov 3, 2011 2:46 pm

Oh I got a 91% on my S7 using the FIRE + STC method. 

Nov 5, 2011 9:56 am

Hi I scored on TC Standard Final Exams: # 1-5: 72, 72, 84, 80, 77, retake of exam #1  94%.  So at first I was concerned about my scores but then after I reviewed my mistakes, things just clicked.  On my actual exam I scored an 87%.

Nov 11, 2011 8:55 am

OK finished all the standard TC exams and one random.  The results...first attempts and only attempts so far...

Standard Final #1 - 86%

Standard Final #2 - 88%

Standard Final #3 - 87%

Standard Final #4 - 90%

Standard Final #5 - 83%

Random Final #1 - 84%

I take my test on the 21st.  I think by what you posted, and my scores that I am pretty much on target for nailing it.   Let's hope! 

Nov 16, 2011 8:38 pm

[quote=ECD]

OK finished all the standard TC exams and one random.  The results...first attempts and only attempts so far...

Standard Final #1 - 86%

Standard Final #2 - 88%

Standard Final #3 - 87%

Standard Final #4 - 90%

Standard Final #5 - 83%

Random Final #1 - 84%

I take my test on the 21st.  I think by what you posted, and my scores that I am pretty much on target for nailing it.   Let's hope! 

[/quote]

I have mine on Friday (18th) and have had very similar scores on my practice tests and my 7 (92 on my 7)

My practice exams have been 89,87,88,85,85 and 91 on the first random.  

I am going to take one more random final tomorrow and then brush up on a few topics before eating a steak dinner and having a double bourbon to prep for friday.  I will let you know how it goes!

Also, I took 2 STC practice tests and got 79s on them.   I felt fine about those because the questions I missed were nitpicky BS that did not even appear in the TC info so I did not feel bad about missing them.  

With the feedback I have seen about TC on here, I feel pretty good going in.  

Nov 19, 2011 11:06 am

i got a 70 and failed the 66 this week. i used fire solutions as that is what Merrill Lynch gives us to study.

i was averaging 69 on the practice finals so i guess i got what i deserved. only 3 questions were the exact same on the test as ones that were on practice tests with fire solutions.

i am thinking maybe i should switch to kaplan or training consultants?

i used fire solutions and passed the 7 w/ a 75.

Nov 19, 2011 11:23 am

Sorry to hear that. You're not alone  because a colleague of mine also failed using fire solutions this week scoring under 65. However another colleague use training consultant and scored a 94 last week. I don't work for them, nor do I have any affiliation, but I'm just trying to share what I've learned so that might help out.

Nov 19, 2011 12:56 pm

FADavo,

How was the steak dinner?  More importantly, what was your SCORE on your real exam yesterday?  Please let us know.  I take mine Monday and so far got 83 and 88 on TC Practice 1 and 2.  83 and 87 on two kaplan practice exams.  77-79 on STC exams, seems that STC is harder on average.

Abovocom - based on your scores, I should be ready for this exam.

Nov 20, 2011 9:20 am

[quote=amit25]

FADavo,

How was the steak dinner?  More importantly, what was your SCORE on your real exam yesterday?  Please let us know.  I take mine Monday and so far got 83 and 88 on TC Practice 1 and 2.  83 and 87 on two kaplan practice exams.  77-79 on STC exams, seems that STC is harder on average.

Abovocom - based on your scores, I should be ready for this exam.

[/quote]

I got an 88 on the test.  TC is amazing.  I would say 35-40 questions were almost word for word.  HIGHLY recommend the product.  I was scoring in the high 80s on the practice tests and also received a 79 and 78 on the two STC tests I took.

I pressed the button and KNEW I had passed.  Took the test in 55 minutes.  After TC, it literally felt like a joke it was so easy.  

If you do not use TC, you are stupid.  Its that good.

Nov 20, 2011 3:59 pm

i think i will switch and use Training Consultants for the 66 this time.

fire solutions had only 3 questions that were the same.

Nov 21, 2011 3:22 pm

Took the exam today and got a 91%. A lot of the exam questions were nearly verbatim from TC testing material. I am a PMD, and I used Fire Solutions as the foundation knowledge, and used TC exams to bring it home. If you want to pass the 66 first time..GET TRAINING CONSULTANTS!

Nov 21, 2011 11:15 pm

ecd, I am a PMD also. Did you just use the  TC exams only or did you go thru the whole TC  program w/ all the lectures?

Nov 23, 2011 1:46 am

Thanks for the info on TC. My firm provided STC. They were great for the 7 but lacking several areas for the 66.

On the recommendation of a friend who took the test a month before me (and failed the first time but got it the second time) I picked up Pass the 66. I thought the book was helpful and I was able to pass the first time with a 76% back in April. Everyone I talked to either barely passed or barely failed so to see some people getting a score in the 90s in a nice testimony for TC!

Nov 23, 2011 1:52 pm

Can someone sell me series 66 study material please? I am taking my test next week & don't want to spend $125 for the book. I used STC & failed the first time. I am taking TC tests now.-thanks!

Nov 23, 2011 1:54 pm

I mean Training Consultants book.

Nov 30, 2011 10:42 am

I didn't buy the book.  I just bought the tests.  As a PMD, use the Fire Solutions to build a good base to recognize the terminology and how it differs from the S7.  Then take all their tests, and buy the Training Consultants test package.  It is in the exact format as the exam, and you can target your problem subject areas.  I am a fomer Army officer, and you are always taught "Train as you fight".  Therefore when studying for an exam...TAKE PRACTICE EXAMS.  And when studying for the S66...get TC tests.

I got a 91% on my test boys and girls.  It works.