Series 66

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Jan 2, 2010 9:29 am

I hope is is not duplicative of older posts.

I took and passed the Series 66 on 31 December, the last day before NASAA changes the test composition.  I crammed for about three weeks prior to the test.  Some observations:

The material can be a little confusing at first especially when determining SEC versus State rules.  I found that I could template it and it was easier to learn.  Curiously none of the study materials I used (Pass Perfect) thought of that.

Otherwise the material was not that difficult or complicated.  Having suffered through Series 7 a short while earlier, I sort of cruised through the material and the mandatory quizzes.  In the days leading up to the test I took something like 10 practice exams.  All but one of the scores were above 80 percent.  I was still sweating it but not as much as with the Series 7.

The actual test was challenging.  Surprisingly so.  Because of the way the test is written, you really must plow through a short paragraph of material before you even get to the actual question.  "In accordance with... blah blah blah... and SEC Rule... yada yada yada... the following is permitted..."

With Series 7 a lot of questions were presented in a simple and straightforward manner.  Not so for Series 66.  it is a good example of RTFQ* because the devil is often nuanced here.

After going through the test once, I took a bathroom break.  I went back and started with question 1 just to see if I may have missed anything.  Against all test taking rules I changed something like 3 answers based on re-reading the answers posed.  In those cases, there was no clear cut answer.  I took a wild assed but educated guess.  One question I had mis-read.  The question asked "what was lawful..." but I answered what was "unlawful."  I corrected that.  While reviewing, I kept track of those questions that I was not 100 percent sure on.  Had something like 20.  I figured that gave me a 9 percentage point cushion since I was very confident on the other answers.

I pushed "submit" and waited an eternity for the score which turned out to be 84%.  Whew.

My best advice is not to short shrift the Series 66.  Give it the same level of attention you give to the 7 Test.  Be prepared for long and sometimes complicated questions filled with lots of "noise." 

Starting January 1st the test composition will change from 80% Legal/Ethics and 20% Analysis to an even 50%-50% split.  That will certainly change pre-testing preparation but the overall advice remains the same.