SERIES 66... Seriously?

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Sep 30, 2010 10:59 pm

Passed the S7 with a 82%.  No special circmstances, just studied, and made it happen.  Not the best, but I definitely could have done worse. 

On to the Series 66...

I happened to mention the impending exam (hadn't even received the material yet) to a co-worker, when an adviser from another branch walked by and nearly ran into the wall in order to MAKE SURE he provided his 2 cents. 

"Series 66??  Ohhh, GOOD LUCK!  Don't use Kaplan!, I passed the 7 with a 94 and it took me 3 attempts to pass the 66, it's horrible" ...Kaplan is the material provided by our firm, of course.

...and the discouragement ensued.

I've done every type of research I could on the content of the exam.  Whether it was from NASAA themselves, or simply those that have experienced it first hand - yet was unable to draw a specific conclusion as to a similar contributing factor of the horrible passing average.  I've head everythin from "the way the questions are worded makes it near impossible to understand what theyre asking," to "the study material is simply inaccurate."

So given this information, I decided to do what any over-achiever with a complete intolerance for failure would do... and studied like imy life depended on it.  Honestly, I studied 3x harder than I did for the S7, as failure of the 66 would be a bit harder to swallow. 

BUT....  that's exactly what happened. 

I walked into Prometric with the perfect balance of confidence and anxiety... but as the exam went on - I couldn't help but feel an amazing sense of relief!  Seriously?? 

"Client with a Long-term time horizon, adverse to risk, who wants to preserve capital??"

  A.) Government bonds

B.)  Chickens

C.) Bubble gum

D.) Wanna ride bikes?

....ok, not literally, but that's a perfect indication of how sure I was of my answers.  Trust me, I "RTFQ" ...as a matter of fact, I did so twice as I finished in enough time to reveiw the test in its entirety - and no is didn't change any answers.  The reveiw simply solidified my confidence in my original answer selection. 

I can't stress enough how unlike me that is.  I'm a realist - these exams are tough - I'm very aware of the ways they try to throw you off.  - if the State Administrator himself came over and said I could have an addl hr to run through it again - I would have refused.

Upon completion, and that oh-so-familiar blank grey screen appeared while my score was generated... instead of the usual ability to hear my heart beat for what feels like an eternity... I found myself staring at my Drivers License wondering how anyone ever let me get away with that hair color!?

And there it was:   74%    FAIL

I stared at the screen for the next 3 minutes, waiting for a "Ha!  Just kidding genius, here's your 97%" ...but that didn't happen. 

SO - the point of my thread is this:  I invested MORE than enough time to studying for this exam.  I would have accepted failure of the Series 7 12x in a row before THIS.  I was MORE THAN CONFIDENT in my answers - which makes it nearly impossible to determine what happened, or how to FIX it.

help.  please.  anyone? 

Sep 30, 2010 11:10 pm

I opted for the 65 and studied the walker book on amazon " pass the 65" ; studied 3 hours for 2 nights and passed with no problem. That walker book really helped. Normally if you fail the 66 you can "open the window" for the 65 right away...  good luck! 

Oct 1, 2010 11:09 am

Kes, welcome to the forum!

From what I understand, the 66 is a combo of the 63 and 65. I've taken both, but a long time ago, 1992 for the 63, and about 1995 for the 65. The 63 I failed the first time, by one question, had not taken it seriously. No trouble the second time. Then, I took the 65 in 1995, and after about 20 minutes of study, passed with a 90%. The 65 back then was easy, kind of a joke, common sense. I'm not sure if the 65 is still that easy.

Anyway, so many years later, about 5 yrs ago, some of my colleagues were told it was a requirement for them to have the 65. So, they were given material, and got signed up for the....66. So, the pass rate was quite poor, test difficult, and numerous complaints about how poor the study material was, didn't match up to the test.

I told my buddies, "why on earth didn't you just take the 65, since you already have the series 63??"

I"d be interested in hearing if the 65 is still a pretty simple process.

As far as test goes, you'll only have to go through the stupid hurdles of the 7, Life/Health, 66, whatever...once in your life. Get it over, take it serious, and move along. Nobody cares the least bit what your score was, and if you scored REALLY high, keep it to yourself, because the washout rate is significantly higher for folks that scored in the good 90's, compared to the low 70's. This is a sales job, not an academic one...

Oct 1, 2010 12:05 pm

I took the 66 a bit over year ago and passed with a 77%.  I used Fire Solutions, my company's choice, and found them to be extremely useful.   Each and every question seems to be designed to trick you.  A 74% is not bad and until last January, that would have passed.  I would recommend hitting the material again and giving yourself 2 weeks to study.  Practice tests were my saving grace, I found the material dry and daunting, but simply doing the questions over and over got me accquainted with how the test would appear.  As far as identifying your missteps, that will be hard to pin down, like you said.  Good luck and don't get down, this is merely a jumping off point to better things.

Oct 1, 2010 2:12 pm

I don't know what state you are in but our state has a requirement for the testing centers to only allow X number of people to pass the test each month. As that number increases or decreases so does the level of difficulty of the test... take it again, you will do fine, post more pics cutie!!

Oct 1, 2010 2:15 pm

3x5 cards, that is the secret to passing anything. Flash cards, key terms, dates, phrases...

And...I second ND's motion....

Oct 1, 2010 4:45 pm

As you know, it's a very hard test. I was right there with you back on July 12. Staring at the screen-my heart about to pound through my chest-as my score was calculating. 71%.

When I saw the score I seriously thought that my eyes must have just found a score for only a section of the test or something and that I just hadn't seen my actual score yet. It honestly took me a few minutes before I accepted that as my final score...

I made an 86% on the 7. No problem... And, like you, I read and studied EVERYTHING I was supposed to for the 66. And, took ALL of the practice tests. And, averaged in the 80's on the practice tests. I thought I was set.

But, the practice tests I took and the actual 66 were 2 different tests entirely.

After studying a different set of materials and retaking the test after the 30 day wait, I scored an 89%.

I think that those that haven't taken the test since the update would be in for a surprise.  Here's the thing, not only has the test introduced new questions and material and raised the passing score, but the general laws and regulations have changed as well. I don’t think that some vendors have updated their material to be in line with the new test. It is my perception that my orignal provider got the majority of their practice test’s questions from previous tester’s feedback. With this being a new test, I don’t feel that their material was up to date with the new testing. (My original provider was great for the 7. The 7 hasn’t been updated and their practice material was in line with the actual test. I made an 86% with their material)

My advice: go to testeachers.com and sign up. Do everything they instruct you to do. It's an absolute pain to go through the material again, but most likely your job is riding on you passing this test this time around.  Don't chance it.

Oct 1, 2010 5:25 pm

testteachersonline .com Best money you will ever spend. $100 for the 66????? I used them for the options portion of my 7 ($25!). I scored an 83 on both exams. It will help. You'll do great. Of the two exams, I thought the 66 was a lot harder.

P.S. I have nothing to do with that website other than being a happy customer.

Oct 1, 2010 5:31 pm

call/ push

call add lower strike price

push up.  remember that and you will pass. :)

Oct 3, 2010 9:59 pm

I just failed the 66 twice, after getting a different book as well.  The second time I actually thought the test was easier (wording was simpler maybe?) but ended up with the same exact score as the first time.  I feel your pain Kes1122.  So now I am debating on trying again, or getting the 63 and then the 65 later down the road.  I haven't actually started soliciting business because I don't have state licensing yet, so I was thinking that if I could just get the 63 done with I can finally start prospecting/calling.  Any suggestions?

Oct 4, 2010 11:42 am

Take the 63. Do you have a 7?

Oct 4, 2010 12:53 pm

Sorry to hear that KES....but don't feel bad, you are not alone.  The series 66 is proving to be extremely difficult.  I got a 90 on the series 7, studied hard for the 66 only to fail with scores of 71 and 73.  I just took and passed the 63 and am studying for the 65. 

N.D......where did you get that info about the test centers only allowing x number of passing test takers?

Oct 4, 2010 8:00 pm

[quote=careerchngr]

Sorry to hear that KES....but don't feel bad, you are not alone.  The series 66 is proving to be extremely difficult.  I got a 90 on the series 7, studied hard for the 66 only to fail with scores of 71 and 73.  I just took and passed the 63 and am studying for the 65. 

N.D......where did you get that info about the test centers only allowing x number of passing test takers?

[/quote] I apologize for not being clear earlier but it is a pass/fail ratio range they are required to stay with in. This info was given to me by word of mouth from an employee at the testing center. I do not or have ever thought about verifying it. I passed the first time so I didn't see a reason to be mislead but it is possible I was.

Oct 5, 2010 6:42 pm

I would agree with everybody else that the 66 is pretty tough.  I passed on my first try and the only I advice I would give is to take the practice tests over and over and over.....until you are sick and tired of them.

Oct 5, 2010 8:30 pm

PRactice tests from where, Westwood?

Oct 5, 2010 8:43 pm

I do have the 7 and will schedule for the 63 sometime later this week, probably taking it on monday.

Oct 5, 2010 8:48 pm

[quote=KES1122]

PRactice tests from where, Westwood?

[/quote]

My firm provided us with Test Prep material from PassPerfect.  We had the 2010 version, so from what I hear what extremely helpful, since they just changed  the exam material and format. 

We didn't get any books other then a cliff notes version of the content in a little sprial bound booklet to refer to.  We had to complete the chapters and tests thru the online course, which was really convenient.  Once you read and completed the courses, I just kept taking practice after practice test.

It was really helpul, I would highly reccommned PassPerfect materials, had them both for the 7 and 66. 

Oct 5, 2010 9:56 pm

This Series 66 must have changed dramatically, I took mine in 2002 with a 92 and Series 7 with a 94.

My good CSA for the last six years, was told by the firm this year she had to take and pass the Series 7 and 66. Three attempts at the Series 7  passed the third with a 78. On the 66 - got a 73 and 74. Studied for weeks, took different books and exams, had a two day live coaching plus a webinar. And got the 74 on the second shot. The firm will not let her take the 63 or wait again. Her last day is 30 days away. I am bummed out big time, she cried for days....

Study hard - didn't help. It seems that no 3rd party has good test preparation questions. Kaplan sucks.

Oct 6, 2010 1:41 am

Kaplan is what I used for the first time, then got pass the 66 by Robert Walker, while still using the practice CD from Kaplan.  Pass the 7 helped me out, but the practice exams were cheesy and baby you.  The test prep material is weird compared to the actual exam (66).  For some reason, the exam question wording is vague and simplistic compared to the 2 paragraphs of questions on the practice exams.  My supervisors are telling me that they studied for the 66 and 24 all in one week or something ridiculous.  One has a law degree so I'm sure that helped, but were these exams totally different back then?  What gives?  I reeeaaallly wish the 66 was a 70 to pass, I wouldn't be stuck taking the 63 just to start working, even though I'm sure I'll have to take the 66 later on down the road.   I have the Kaplan material for the 63, although outdated by 3 years, and I ordered Empire Stockbrokers 63 material which is up to date, so let's hope that does the trick.

Oct 6, 2010 1:41 am

Kaplan is what I used for the first time, then got pass the 66 by Robert Walker, while still using the practice CD from Kaplan.  Pass the 7 helped me out, but the practice exams were cheesy and baby you.  The test prep material is weird compared to the actual exam (66).  For some reason, the exam question wording is vague and simplistic compared to the 2 paragraphs of questions on the practice exams.  My supervisors are telling me that they studied for the 66 and 24 all in one week or something ridiculous.  One has a law degree so I'm sure that helped, but were these exams totally different back then?  What gives?  I reeeaaallly wish the 66 was a 70 to pass, I wouldn't be stuck taking the 63 just to start working, even though I'm sure I'll have to take the 66 later on down the road.   I have the Kaplan material for the 63, although outdated by 3 years, and I ordered Empire Stockbrokers 63 material which is up to date, so let's hope that does the trick.