Just passed Series 7 + 66 using STC

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May 2, 2015 5:52 pm

So for the last two months I have been studying full time and just recently passed the Series 66 using STC training material. I felt it would be a valuable addition to go into detail on my study program, how prepared I felt, and other tips to anyone in the same position.

I will start by letting you know that I do have a background in Finance, it was my major in college, and in general I felt that it helped me to grasp the concepts in the Series 7 much easier. I got hired into a new position and was given 60 days to pass both my Series 7, and my Series 66 on my first attempts, or I would lose my job. The stress and pressure that it put on me was awful, but also led to me studying hard enough to ensure that I passed.

In general I would say that I am not a good standardized test taker. I got a 24 on my ACT years and years ago, and consider myself to have a really bad memory. I simply can't memorize things, I have to learn them, and there is a big difference.

I was put in a room by myself, with no other co-workers and was allowed to study full time, that means 8 hours a day, 5 days a week, and I was getting paid to do this. I understand a lot of people preparing for this exam are doing so on their own time and I will let you know, you can still get through the material.

I had a 5 week timeline for my Series 7, and roughly 3 weeks for my Series 66.

For my Series 7 using STC material I followed a detailed study Calendar that outlined " Read Chapters 1 and 2" on this day, and "Read Chapters 3,4 and 5 plus take Progress Exam 1" on that day.  Having a plan to break up the material really helped. Although sometimes 2 chapters didn't feel like nearly enough to fill an 8 hour day, sometimes 3 chapters felt like it was too much. I suggest if you are making your own study schedule for the Series 7 you read at least 2 chapters per day, and attempt all practice questions at the end of each chapter. I also suggest that you complete the entire study manual in 2 weeks or less.

At first my approach was to read through the chapter, not writing anything down, just reading it word for word start to finish and then going back through and re-reading that same chapter while making flash cards of any specific information I felt may be testable. I never actually used the flash cards that I made, but simply writing down certain things I feel helped me to learn them.

I have to say that I actually don't reccomend this technique. It took far too long to read each chapter in full twice back to back, and when I started studying for the 66 I changed to using a highlighter while I was reading, marking anything I felt important. This not only allowed me to reach each chapter only once, but also when I was going back through the book for referance I could find key terms much easier. 

Another suggestion I would give is to not get too caught up in the details. You are going to be tested on the general ideas, theories, concepts and principals. While certain specific information you need to memorize ( T+1 vs T+3 for example) you are not going to be expected to know every date that treasury securities are offered, or the exact retention period for certain documents. This is of course only stemming from my test, yours could be different. My theory however is that they only have 260 questions to test your knowledge of a 500+ page manual. There is no way they can waste time asking you to memorize each and every detail of every concept. Try to get the basics, and allow the sample test questions to fill in the details.

I felt that I was actually overprepared for the Series 7 going in. I had taken every one of the practice tests ( there are 12), which are 130 questions each. That totals to 1560 practice questions. If you actually take each practice test in Q+A mode, where it provides the correct answer after every question with an explanation, and use those answers to study the concepts, go back and look up things your unsure of ect, I feel you will be prepared. Also don't freak out if you arent getting 80+ on your first attempts on these practice tests. I got 66,68,72,72,73,73,73 on my first 7 practice exams. These exams are meant to TEACH you, not prove weather you are ready or not for the real test. Take them like you would take the real test, which means don't look up information to answer questions. You should have your book out ready to look up the explanations if you got an answer wrong, but using study materials to get a better score does absolutely nothing for you. The scores on those tests mean nothing, and your not doing anyone any favors by cheating to make it look like you are getting better scores. After taking all 12 practice tests if you still feel you are unprepared I would reccomend going through the diognostics of each test where it breaks down areas you did poorly and or did well in. Write them down and look for a common theme across multiple tests. If you consistently are scoring low on options, or muni bonds, then go back and RE READ that chapter.

I passed my Series 7 with an 85, and finished each of the 3 hour sections in roughly 2 hours. Its not a race, I'm just telling you that for reference, time was not a factor when I was testing.

The Series 66 I found to be harder than the Series 7. I think part of it was I was going on 2 full months of studying full time, and I was getting burned out. The other difference is that the Series 7 tests you on specific facts and knowledge. If you know how to calculate the breakeven on an option, then you know it, period. The Series 66 takes those concepts, and puts them into scenarios and then you have to actually apply the information.

I followed a similar approach on the Series 66, followed a study Calendar, took all of the practice tests, and read the entire study manual. 

I scored an 83 on the Series 66, and took a little less than an hour for all 100 questions. Yes I went fast, again probably a combination of being burned out and just wanting to be done, and the simple fact that if you don't know the answer to a question, you pretty much just don't know it, no use in staring at the screen for another 5 minutes.

Anyway, I just felt like I should contribute back to this site, I was browsing before I tested and felt this may help someone. Good luck out there!

Jun 3, 2015 10:33 pm

Thanks for your feedback.. I'm scared as hell.. I'm using test teachers as a study guide, I'm wondering if I should now switch to Tc?

Jun 3, 2015 11:11 pm

mylon i used testeachers as the learning material for my 7 and do not regret it...however i would not have done as well as i did on the test were it not for the qbank for tc...so when it was time for my 66 i went with tc full route...I have left over time on mine and am going to put it up for sale

Jun 3, 2015 11:11 pm

mylon i used testeachers as the learning material for my 7 and do not regret it...however i would not have done as well as i did on the test were it not for the qbank for tc...so when it was time for my 66 i went with tc full route...I have left over time on mine and am going to put it up for sale

Jun 3, 2015 11:11 pm

mylon i used testeachers as the learning material for my 7 and do not regret it...however i would not have done as well as i did on the test were it not for the qbank for tc...so when it was time for my 66 i went with tc full route...I have left over time on mine and am going to put it up for sale

Jun 25, 2015 6:20 pm

when you say TC, do you mean Training consultants? I have 1 week to take my test and a goal of mine is to take as many practice test as possible. Do you feel like questions on the TC bank were similar to the test? Thanks

Jun 29, 2015 11:11 am

I just took the Series 65 yesterday and failed by a good amount. I was taken by surprise when I was sitting the exam because almost 80% of the practice tests and questions I had prepared for with Training Consultants (TC) was in NO way similar to anything being asked on the test. I was scoring in the low 70's and high 80's on the practice tests with Training Consultants, and should have been in the clear or at least close to passing. Does anyone have ANY suggestions at all regarding what material, practice tests, etc I can take? I just bough the STC exam finals and will use those to study for the next time I take the test. Any help/guidance would be much appreciated.