Paying forward: Took Series 7 this week

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Mar 2, 2017 8:36 pm

Much harder exam than I imagined. By harder, I mean trickier. I clicked and wouldn't have been surprised with a 57%.

My score was in the upper 80s, but would have bet I had failed to pass.

Very few options questions, maybe 5, all very, very easy (covered calls, long equity protection, etc). This was annoying... that material was nuanced and time consuming to learn and didn't use it.

Very few numbers-based questions, i.e. the kind on Q-Bank/STC that you answer in 5 seconds and move on... a clear, concise answer like days, applicable regs, etc. Maybe 2 or 3, whereas if I took a Greenlight or Q-Bank simulation, often I'd have a straightforward answer, perhaps 50 of 250.

This exam was characterized by super, super, super, super annoying questions, more like word problems, rarely numerical, and often with two correct answers from which you choose the best.

I'd say 200 questions were in the "not what I was expecting" category and very wordy... you have a 17 year old considering xxxx investment, and you're friends on social media, you don't think she's accurately representing her risk tolerance, etc. Totally vague and multi faceted.

Re-approaching the exam prep I would have spent way more time looking at "a day in the life of a retail stock broker" and way less time on substance: Communications, advertisements, seminars, order taking, specific principal-level responsibilities, trust, joint, corporate accounts - and very detailed, etc. I.e., a trustee has a personal joint account and is trustee for an elderly account. She calls to ask advice and you provide it for her personal, she asks for implementation on her trust, and now you can't gwt a hold of her... that kind of thing.

On over 100 questions I felt like I was choosing between two correct answers.

Very annoying exam. Not what I studied (hard) for.

Mar 3, 2017 9:11 am

Mind if I ask what material you studied with? STC/Kaplan/TC, etc?

I am using STC and got a 69 on the S7 when I took it about it a month ago. I felt the same way after, like I spent so much time focusing on options and complex stuff but ended up missing tons of questions just about basic investments. I just passed the 66 yesterday and am starting to review for the 7 again today.

Mar 4, 2017 1:00 pm

Sorry to hear that; I can imagine it being unbelievably frustrating.

I did the STC program through Greenlight (77 on it) and approx 1500 of the Kaplan Q-bank questions. But again, I just found that what those materials covered didn't line up with the exam. So an 80 on a Q-Bank simulation is 80% on half of what you see on the exam. Worth it but not confidence inspiring. I thought Series 7 for Dummies was the best and Kaplan the worst... way too much non-relevant content. STC fine, but just not enough interactivity, and the practice questions are too complex.

Approaching it again, the account opening process, responsibilites within a retail brokerage, acronyms and slang/jargon, tax implications, withdrawl authority, treatment of dividends on various accounts, margin activity, advertising & seminars, ethics & suitibility (again more than one right option on these), order processing and confirming... a ton of that. I didn't have a single question (not one) on parity price, tender-back calculation, and not one on LMV/DR/SMA... never saw the term SMA on the exam. Not one question on SROs or governing regs. Nothing on LP tax. I did have about 5+ questions on financial statements/blanace sheets, which seemed like too many. A typical question might be, your client asks you to buy an auction rate security- which of the following best describes how this differs from a variable rate CD.

All of that wasn't your question just continuing the data dump.

Mar 23, 2017 1:20 pm

Hi Guys, good comments. I currently have my 6 going for the 7, been in the biz for 5 years, in a bank. Any advice you can give on what to study to knock it out? Thank you