**new** series 7 exam 11/7

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Nov 7, 2011 6:46 pm

Hello all,

I have been looking at this forum for quite sometime now and finally decided to just sign up. 

Unfortunately, I failed my series 7 the first time I took it back in October.  As I am sure you are all aware had to wait the 30 days to re-open my window and sign up to take the exam again.  Saturday, 11/5 was the day i was able to register.  I was not able to find availability at ANY of the testing centers along the entire East Coast.  I say East Coast because I was advised by many people to take this test anywhere I could before the changes go into effect on 11/7 (Today).  I have 2 addendums from two different testing companies containing additions and changes to rules, regulations, securities, formulas etc.  However, I did not spend much time looking at these because I anticipated on writing this exam before 11/7.  I avoided them because I briefly read through the information and was sure it would just make me confused as there are quite a number of changes and additions.

I have been contacting instructors from numerous test prep companies to try and get some feedback/advice on what the changes will be.  I have heard from some that the test will be harder and much different and I have also heard that it will be easier.  One congruent message from all was that they "think" the questions will be geared more towards customer suitibility.  Also, a common answer I've heard from series 7 gurus is "I don't know".  I completely understand that FINRA is obviosuly keeping the details confidential, but I am quite surprised that before today (11/7) there hasn't been more discussion about this on the internet.  I am consistently getting 80's on  tests from Empire and STC covering the "old" material, but am very concerned about the uncertainty of the new exam being that I have already failed once. 

My firm is very understanding about this and is not pushing me to take this exam ASAP, but waiting another 2 weeks or so  is probably not going to go over too well with them AND I want to get this nonsense out of the way already!

If you have taken the new exam yet, could you please respond with some of your feedback?  Also, I would love to talk to other people who are in this situation as well.  I look forward to hearing from everyone and wish you the best of luck on your awful, mundane, dreadful study hours followed by a Series 7 license!!

Nov 8, 2011 3:40 pm

I took the revised test yesterday and passed with a 74. It was my first attempt, so I don't have any basis for comparison. That being said, make sure you know options and munis. My score would have been higher if I'd focused more on those areas.

Nov 9, 2011 11:32 am

Congrats snowjamas! What training program did you use and how many hours did you put in? Did you take lots of practice exams? Did you focus on reading material, or reviewing questions that you missed on practice tests? I'll be taking mine in three days.

Nov 11, 2011 12:02 am

I took the new test today and got an 80!!! I do have a finance background and that certainly helped. I'll tell you what I did and didn't have to do while it's still fresh in my mind. I have no experience with the previous version and I used STC to study. My highest grade on the practice tests was a 75% & I read the addendum they give out for the new materials twice.

What I knew but didn't do once:

Calculating interest accrued on bonds, record/ex-div date, when securities settle. Corp - 3 Muni 3 Govt 1 Option 1 Paydate T + 5, T, T, T + 5. -- yeah, didnt do that once. I didn't need to know the order of steps for opening accounts. STC focused a LOT on the ROP..no questions on that. There were no questions regarding the concession, takedown, total takedown, etc..only one question about what the spread is, but just the bid ask spread.

I had all these sayings in my head to help with things that I could mix up, the only 2 that actually helped for the test were:


I have no interest in Bill Clinton -- T Bills = no interest; Bernanke wants to save us by selling me securities  == selling securites on open market reduces M1 and therefore inflation. Everything else I didn't need to know about.

There were some things I remember from the test that weren't covered in depth on the STC stuff - DK orders, little stuff here and there. If one thing was going to mess me up it was the complexity of the muni questions vs what the practice materials said.

The stuff that you DO need to know that will be new is: ETN's, heavy focus on variable annuities, 529s, coverdell savings, tax treatments of all of the above.

Hope that helps!

Nov 11, 2011 3:41 pm

Cool deal. I take mine tomorrow, so we will see how it goes.

Nov 12, 2011 1:20 pm

Unfortunately I did not pass. I scored a 61. Luckily I still have my job and have another chance to improve my score and pass in 30 days.

This was my breakdown:

Seeks business for the broker-dealer through customers and potential customers - 37/68
Evaluates customers other securities holdings, financial situations and needs - 11/26
Open Accounts, transfer assets, and maintains appropriate account records - 19/28
Provides information on investments and makes suitable reccomendations - 47/70
Obtains and verifies customer's purchases and sales instructions, enters orders - 37/58
Totals - 151/250 - 61%

Nov 15, 2011 1:41 pm

fwiw

When I first took the 7, 63 and 65 about 8 years ago I used
a tactic suggested by a colleague, and that to take the practice exams over and
over again until you score in the upper 80’s, low 90’s. About 8 years later and
I had to go through the process again after letting my licenses lapse due to
managing private money. So I once again took the same approach.

Unfortunately the results weren’t very good at first, I barely
squeaked by one exam, and had to retake 2 others. I decided to switch study
materials from the widely used STC to Kaplan. I purchased their Qbank questions
online and downloaded the software. I was shocked how many questions on the
practice exams where almost identical to the real exam. The method I used
(take, retake, retake, etc  the practice
exams until I score high) was effective with STC material years ago, but
apparently STC has been surpassed by Kaplan.

Anyway, just thought I would share this
because I wasted many hours having to retake 2 exams (shoving useless information in my head over and over again). I wouldn’t normally push
a product on a board but I highly recommend spending the money on the Kaplan
Qbank questions. The questions and explanations are definitely superior to STC
(and the software is very user friendly)

Nov 17, 2011 11:44 am

I took the Series 7 yesterday and scored a 70!  I did a week long cram school plus I had studying with STC materials for 7 weeks.  I was scoring 85-90 on my practice exams.  On the exam the stuff I knew I knew well... options, variable annuities, account set up... however there was A LOT of stuff on there I had never heard of.  It was a lot of theory questions.  None of which was discussed in my class or study materials.  I am concerned now about what approach to take in studying for my re-take.  I am schedule to take it on December 19th.   The study material is not updated and I can't remember what was on the exam.  I know the STC material like the back of my hand so I am now searching for somewhere that has the additional study information.  Any suggestions?

Nov 17, 2011 12:30 pm

[quote=Kcox]

I took the Series 7 yesterday and scored a 70!  I did a week long cram school plus I had studying with STC materials for 7 weeks.  I was scoring 85-90 on my practice exams.  On the exam the stuff I knew I knew well... options, variable annuities, account set up... however there was A LOT of stuff on there I had never heard of.  It was a lot of theory questions.  None of which was discussed in my class or study materials.  I am concerned now about what approach to take in studying for my re-take.  I am schedule to take it on December 19th.   The study material is not updated and I can't remember what was on the exam.  I know the STC material like the back of my hand so I am now searching for somewhere that has the additional study information.  Any suggestions?

[/quote]

Yea, read my post, use Kaplan. Buy the qbank and thank me later.

For some reason the STC material stinks now. My experience was very similar to yours.

Nov 21, 2011 2:43 pm

Sounds to me like you're working at a good firm.  I passed my seven twelve years ago... I'm sure you know the best way to succeed is to take the tests over and over again!  My licensed recently expired, and I'm retaking the 63 next month, but need to be sponsered to take the seven.  I reside near NYC, so if anyone knows of a great place to work, I'm all ears!

Nov 29, 2011 6:03 pm

took my exam today and passed with a grade of 88%.

I have been on the industry for around 1 year, and my advice to you, that have not taken the exam yet is to use Kaplan. I had the opportunity to use STC and STCs material is OUT OF DATE. I was getting 85-90 on the STC exams....  when I logged on and checked this website and read some of the reviews, i decided to switch to Kaplan. It was the best decision I made, and on my first practice exam i took on Kaplans i got an 68%.  It was a wake up call!!

The new exam does have a lot of suitability questions, you should know variable annuities, everything about it..!. at least 10 questions. I saw a bunch of questions on preffered stocks(parity, differences between common,etc..)....  a few on CMOs.  current yield questions, balance sheet, t bills...  everything always related to suitability.  The questions are very complex but Kaplans will get you where you need to be. The questions on the Qbank are harder....  before i took my exam, i was getting around 80% on 250 questions practice exams. Put the time on it and you will get there.

Good Luck and lifes great!

Nov 29, 2011 9:40 pm

I am taking the STC class in 2 weeks, testing in 4...I am scoring in the 60's on the practice tests, but in the 80-90 range on the by topic exams. Looks like taxation is going to be a big part of the exam. Failed by 3 the first time I took it. Felt good until I read this topic...

Nov 29, 2011 10:57 pm

does anyone have the hardcopy stc tests.  iam signed up for electronic version but i think it would be helpful to take them by hand than on my laptop.  can't seem to find pdf's anywhere.

Nov 30, 2011 6:06 pm

Have taken 3 practice exams for STC in three days. Have scored a 68%, a 72% and an 89%. Not sure how to judge my level of preperation. Still a few weeks to go before I test though. Need to be more consistent thats for sure. Seems like there are a lot of practice questions that ask about options, when you own the underlying stock simultaneously.

Dec 1, 2011 9:41 pm

I am now taking the practice test and scoring in the 60-70% range. Reading through the test and the explanantions, and retaking and scoring in the high 80's. Taking the test just before xmas and am putting in 3-4 hours of study a day. In a NO FAIL type of situation here. Starting to sweat a little bit. Still have yet to go over the addendum materials.

Dec 2, 2011 4:38 am

Mike, keep plugging along.  Your scores will jump once you review and go through everything.  Things will click all the sudden.  I used STC and got a 92 yesterday.  Did exams 1-13 in QA mode scoring in a range of low to high 70s, reviewed for a week, went back and took them again in closed book and scored low 90s on all of them and then a 92 and 93 on progress exams 3 and 4 (what they call the "green light" exams)....I hammered a few of the topic specific tests...munis, options and annuities in QA mode and made sure I could get mid 90s.  I was a little paranoid after reading this and didn't want to lose my job over this test but in previous life I had taken level 1 of the CFA exam and now looking back that test is about a million times harder.  If you study this stuff you can pass.

The exam has some easy layup type questions but there is also a lot of suitability type questions where you need to just apply logic and the answer doesn't jump off the page at you sometimes like some questions.  My experience was similar regarding the content previously mentioned.  Some of the stuff STC stressed didn't show up and some stuff was more heavily tested.  Know the options, munis, annuities...I didn't get hardly anything to do with margin or that annoying calendar find the settlement, ex date...

Go through everything thoroughly.  Don't just take the same few tests back to back to back...you aren't really learning it that way.  Do QA mode and then read the description slowly and take it in...even for the ones you get right.

I didn't think I was doing as well as I was when taking it since the questions were a little different but obviously I ended up knowing what I needed to know....good luck

Dec 2, 2011 2:16 pm

Thanks for the insight. I am getting litteraly sick thinking about not having a job if I fail. I have the review class after next week and then the test the week following. I am trying to do at least 4 hours a day of testing, and reading the answers and explantions.

Dec 8, 2011 3:53 pm

JA MS

Wanted to get more of your thoughts on the new exam.  I have been getting in the 80's on all the closed book exams for STC but am still feeling a little on edge.  I read that FINRA changed this exam to focus more on the actual day to day activites of the RR and limited a lot of questions on municipal securities.  I am taking the exam next Monday and wanted to see what you think I should try and focus on for my final week of preperation.  Any insight you have have would be great.  Thanks.

Dec 20, 2011 12:58 pm

Took the exam yesterday and got an 80.  I used STC and was getting between 80-85 on the q&a exams.  I felt the STC material did a good job preparing me for the real exam.  I randomly had like 10 questions on Auction rate securities that suprised me.  My second section also had about 30 option questions, some of which I actually used the claculator for.  People using the STC material should be fine if your scoring in the 80's.  Good luck!

Dec 20, 2011 1:29 pm

jjp...How similar are the structure of the questions versus what is on the materials in the STC questions? I take my exam in 4 weeks and am starting to really scramble and grow concerned. In conversation with my STC instructor he says I know the material well enough to pass the test, but need to work on comprehension of questions. And the new format of the questions makes me nervous a bit.