Passed Series 65 With Bad Kaplan Practice Exam Scores
I wanted to provide some insight on my experience passing the series 65 exam, as I was searching the forums recently to put my mind at ease before the exam and I couldn't find too many recent ones so I thought I would add my thoughts.
A little background on myself, I have a bachelors is financial counseling and planning and my job before the new one, was with a self directed IRA custodian that specialized in alternative investments. With that said, the topics of the exam were not that foreign to me, but it had been a while since I had gone through many of them thoroughly.
My main point for writing this is to let people out there know that the Kaplan practice/mock exams are not the end all be all. I got a 64% yesterday on the "Mastery Exam" in the online Kaplan resources. I just took the exam about 3 hours ago and passed with a 78%.
I studied for 150+ hours over 5 weeks while working full time. I studied before and after work and a lot over the weekends. I read through the entire book, and while doing that typed out notes. My notes took a long time, but I think they helped retain a lot of the information. For reference, my notes were 470 pages (double spaced with a lot of bullet points etc.).
While my notes and getting through the book definitely helped, the QBank is what I think really helped me to pass. I took 54 Qbank quizzes ranging from 6 to 50 questions. My scores ranged from 47% to 100%. I also took 4 130 question quizzes covering all of units. My scores for those were 70, 74, 73, 74. I didn't take all of the checkpoint exams. I took Unit 1 and the Mastery Exams and scored 62 and 64 respectively. In the 130 question quizes, I was finishing them in about 1 hour and 40 minutes or under. In the actual exam, I took 2 hours and 40 minutes before I submitted the exam. I made sure to take my time, take breaks (stretch, go to the bathroom, etc), and review questions I wasn't certain about. I flagged about 25 questions to review before submitting and I only changed 1 or 2. Go with your gut on the ones you don't know and don't switch unless you are 100% sure you are switching to the correct answer.
Again, my point is that just becuase you don't score 80% or above on the Kaplan exams/quizes doesn't mean you won't pass the exam. My advice for anyone who is in the process is to get through the book in what ever way works best for you, but you have to get through the book. Once you are done with the book, watch the videos in the Kaplan resources online while at the same time starting Qbank quizes. From that point on, continue to crank out as many Qbanks as possible and review where you are struggling. Go back in the book and reread those sections, or if you took notes, review your notes on those sections, and then get back to the Qbank. The more Qbank quizzes you can get done and understand your weak points, the better.
This is what worked for me, and I'm not saying it will work for everyone but for anyone who is like me and looks to these forums for some insight, I thought I would put this out there to put some people at ease. If you study, and really take the time needed to understand the concepts, you should be fine.
I would recommend Kaplan to anyone asking and I would say it is worth the extra cost to get the online resources and got to a live in person class. The online resources and class helped a lot too.