Passed the Series 7 & 66 and Here is What I Think
I told myself I would do this if I passed the series 66 my first time after I completed my series 7. I Just passed my Series 66 earlier today with a score of 76 and passed my Series 7 less than a month before with a 78. Granted, these scores are not very impressive but I put in less time studying than your average person does to pass these. I attribute a large part of my passing to prayer from family and friends and thorough research on these forums for what materials and study methods would work best. For the 7, I initially got the passperfect material which is what was recommended by my sponsor but I had a tough time going through the very wordy material and seemingly overly difficult questions. They are known for over preparing you which seems to work for many. I know a lot of people swear by it and I know people who have passed using it but it just wasn't the right fit for me. I did some research online and got the full TC program after doing some digging. There was glowing reviews for TC (mostly towards the 66) which seemed a little suspicious to me at the time that people were being paid to push it but I went with it anyway. After some more research, I saw that the Kaplan Qbank was being reviewed highly as well so I supplemented their Qbank with my TC material. To be honest, I only read a 1/3 of the TC book and focused mainly on taking practice questions. I mainly learned the material by going through each separate section within the Kaplan Qbank and trying to score at least a 72 on each section and taking and retaking quizzes while continually reviewing the questions I had taken before to keep the material fresh in my head. I had put in some brief periods of time studying before which maybe accumulated to around 15 hours but it was the 5 days before the test that I REALLY buckled down. Im the kind of person who has a tough time focusing unless I know I am in crunch time mode which is my reason for waiting so long. I probably took and retook at least around roughly 4000 questions total with the Kaplan Q bank and reviewed the ones I got wrong in between. After I did this, I took all 5 TC practice exams and scored around the mid 70s for the average of those tests. I than went on to take at least 5 Kaplan weighted finals and averaged around a 74 on those. I read from some people that you can expect to score around a few points higher than the Kaplan Qbank weighted finals and that's exactly what happened. TC did help and I feel if I were to exclusively use them, I would've still passed but I liked how Kaplan allowed you to answer a question and see the answer and explanation right after the question which is how I learn best. I would highly recommend the Kaplan Qbank for preparing for the 7 as I felt the questions were very similar to the test and I felt overall good about the the entire test.
As for the 66, that was a whole different beast. With the 7, I feel the main reason people don't pass is because they aren't honest about putting in the full effort and time required to pass. The difficulty lies with the huge amount of information you need to absorb but the questions are all pretty straightforward. The difficulty with the 66 lies within the test itself however. I had read a bunch of horror stories on here about people failing repeatedly after owning the 7 and how ridiculous the test itself was. Honestly, I hated the Series 66 myself. I would have rather studied for a test similar to the 7 again rather than study for the 66. The 66 is much less material but is also very dry and boring and pointless to be honest. Even my employer admitted I will never use anything I learn from the 66 which is frustrating. It simply seems to be made to weed people out. The majority of the test is designed to trick you and make you second guess yourself. Many times, there will be at least two sometimes 3 answers which appear right and you have to figure out basically which one is most right. With the 7, If you knew the material the question was asking, you would easily be able to choose the answer the majority of the time. I would say the program you choose to use for the 66 matters much more than it does for the 7. For the 66, half the battle of the test is learning how to take the test. There were a number of times during the actual test looking at a question I thought, "how does anyone even prepare for this?" This is why it is important to learn how to take the test because there guaranteed will be questions you wont know and have to figure out what the question is asking and what it wants you to know. For the 66, I got the Kaplan Qbank again since it worked for the 7 along with purchasing the TC book and Final exams and quizzes (I dont learn well from watching videos or listening to audio which is why i didn't get the whole program but I hear its good) I know they say you should put in AT LEAST two weeks of study time for the 66 but again, I waited until the week before with the last few days being my most productive. I did roughly around a 1000 practice questions with the Kaplan Qbank and felt less than impressed with it this time. I read repeatedly that what make TC the best choice is they cut down on the fluff and focus on what you need to know and make it much more efficient and easy to learn. Sure, there are going to be some questions which have material that were not covered in the TC book but this is about passing the test. Not getting 100% on it. What lies with the value of TC is the test format is very similar to the one on the actual test. The practice tests on TC helped me learn how to take the tests and analyze each question while getting the main information you need to know drilled in to you. So for the majority of the days leading up to the test, I read the entire book this time (which is around 160 pages) and took all the practice quizzes and than went on to take the finals. My final scores in order were 75, 82, 78, 85, and 83. I than went on to continually review the questions I answered and focused on the ones I got wrong. TC recommends you average at least an 85 ideally on each final exam before the real exam but I didn't exactly leave myself a ton of time... ;) I basically told myself that I would use this test as a way to help prepare me next time since I know more what the test would look like and if I pass the first time, than great! I feel like if I put in the recommended time and effort for the TC review, I would've scored in the 80s but a 76 is the same as a 96 when all that matters is passing. For me, I was skeptical trusting TC because the people pushing them on these boards seemed a bit too eager to push it and it seemed suspicious how many people were on the TC bandwagon. I still personally feel like some of the reviews on here are indeed fake since I have learned through weeding through reviews on sites such as amazon what is likely fake and what is likely real. However, from my personal experience, TC is for real for the 66. I thought people were exaggerating that they had at least 10-20 questions that were nearly worded the same but I had the same thing as well. Roughly around 15-20 seemed almost word for word for me. Even the answer choices for some questions were all practically the same at times. The question format for the actual test was very similar to the TC practice exams which was just as important to me as the info I learned from them since the questions can be very confusing at times. I also, called TC a few times either to discuss details about the test or specific questions to the material. They are very helpful and will work with you as long as you need which was impressive to me. The main reason I am writing this is because the 66 is IMO an unfair exam and I want to advise those looking for help on what to use to study for the 66 and maybe take my advice for the 7. I am by no means a very smart guy. I was a slightly above average student in school and suffer from mild test anxiety at times so that is just to show that anyone can pass these tests. I admittedly could have put more time into studying but I wanted to be done with these exams and man does it feel amazing to be done. Please, feel free to post any comments or questions you may have on this boar or PM if you wish :)
Thanks for the story -
I passed the 7 last November (barely) with a 73% after mostly doing the STC practice exams over and over and over and reading about half of the book. It took me three tries to pass the 66 (64%, 71%, 81%). I admit that I did not put enough effort into the first attempt because I didn't realize the difficulty level of the exam itself after having thought that I understood the material. Many times (like other posters have mentioned), there appears to be multiple correct answers. An answer that appears to be correct will be worded in a very persuading manner, however there will be one word or minor detail that will make the answer choice less perfect than what is actually the correct answer. Also, I have noticed that a lot of the suitability/client recommendation questions are basically just telling the test taker "Good Luck!" as all four of the answers could, in a way, be correct. Also, you need to be familiar with a broader range of assets than for the S7, such as futures, forwards, all types of annuities and life insurance including the different payout methods, hedge funds, and specifics relating to all types of college savings plans and retirement plans (which makes since passing the exam qualifies to individual to register as an agent AND an IAR).
I used Testeachers for my first two attempts. I think the problem with Testeachers is that the practice exams are very good but do not cover the wide range of question types like Training Consultants. I didn't watch any of the TT online classes, which many have told me are very helpful. After failing the second time, I bought he TC book and online QBank. Just from my knowledge of what I learned from Testeachers, I was scoring above 80% on every TC final exam without having read the book. I did read the TC book in about 3 days (easy to read, some pages have loads of important information within small sections such as CAPM, Efficient Market Hypothesis, Modern Portfolio Theory, Discounted Cash Flow, Expected Returns, Time Value of Money, etc).
I will say that the third time I took the test, it seemed easier than the first two times, and I think given that exact same test on my second attempt I would have passed with what I learned from Testeachers. I guess the questions are luck of the draw, but you do need to know everything because this test can and will ask anything from the NASAA outline.
I still have 60 days of access for TC if anyone is interested, please PM me for a good price.