I failed the series 7 then passed it
The forums I read prior to taking the 7 the first time all seemed to have the same theme. There was a lot of people saying things like "I studied for a few days and received 88%". My experience with the exam was not so rosy. I have never been a "great test taker", but I am also am not a horrible test taker. I used Fire Solutions on my first round. I studied hard for two months. The day before the test I was a wreck. I had a lot riding on me successfully passing the thing. My exam was scheduled for 7am and I tried to get to bed early(8:30-9pm). My mind would not shut down and by 3am I knew I was screwed! I must have finally passed out from exhaustion because the 5:30AM alarm I set almost gave me a heart attack. My sweet wife made a nice breakfast but I just could not eat. The only thing I ingested was a Redbull. It was a total nightmare. I fought my way through the exam. Time seemed to go by much faster then it had during my practice exams. I was fighting the clock as well as second guessing all of my answers. When I finally finished (I used up the entire 6 hours) and submitted the exam, I prayed to god that I had somehow miraculously passed. I received a 68%. I was crushed. The firm that sponsored me would now fire me, I would have to go home and somehow explain to my wife, friends and family that I blew it. It was truly horrible. I had left a high paying job in a time when good jobs were hard to come by in order to pursue my dream of becoming a financial advisor.
By some stroke of luck and the graces of god, my firm did not fire me. They told me could retake the exam one more time in a month. The second time around I used a combination of STC and Fire Solutions. I also used a digital flash card program called ANKI. (BTW -I highly recommend this program for any studying for anything.) The night before the exam I once again had trouble sleeping but I did managed to get 5 hours in. I was just as stressed out as the first attempt but I forced myself to eat that morning. The crazy thing is that even after all the time I put in studying, I still felt like I was missing a lot of questions. In the end I received a 86%. It was a great moment that I will never forget.
I am now 4 years in. I made it through the training program with one of the bigger firms and I have a nice base of business . The funny thing is that in retrospect, passing the 7 is nowhere near as hard as building a successful practice. This is a very unforgiving environment. If you want to be successful you will have to become the best version of yourself and remember that passing the 7 (although difficult) is the easiest thing you will do in this business.
Thanks for sharing. That is helpful for me who is just going to prepare the exam.