Series 7 Takeaways

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Jul 4, 2016 6:16 pm

I wanted to share some feedback from just having taken the 7 to hopefully help those preparing.

First piece of advice is to take every practice test you can get your hands on from SEVERAL sources if you can.  I was lucky enough to have access to STC, Kaplan, and Walker's Pass and I felt all 3 helped me in different ways.  Also, if you have the option to "score as you go" with explanations I HIGHLY recommend it.  But also take a TIMED test so you know how much time you should dedicate to a question if you get stuck on the exam.  I never did this and I was surprised how close I was cutting it on time.

I believe the questions you get are selected lottery style from a larger pool.  Mine came out like this: 


There were fewer 2-prong and "except" questions than I anticipated. Good news if these are a trouble spot for you, not so much If they are a strength of yours like they were for me.
Options were not as heavily tested as I expected, and most of the options questions I received were in regards to index options. Break even points, max gain/loss were scarce.  The only equity options questions I got were in regards to protection and strategy. 
Tax implications and cost basis were frequently addressed
Tons of questions were testing your proper course of actions for advisors to take in certain circumstances.  For example: what should you do if a minor wants to open an account, or if an elderly client is showing signs of dementia, how to keep your blog/facebook/website compliant.  Luckily these a mostly common sense but I wouldn't rely solely on that.
Fundamental analysis questions rarely involved calculations.  In other words, just knowing debt ratio = Long-term debt / total capitalization won't cut it.  You'll need know what that means and how, for example, it would be impacted by a stock repurchase
Obviously, suitability is heavily tested.  There were usually 2 answers you could eliminate easily and 2 that were decent.  Read the question several times and look for clues to help pick from the remaining 2.  They are in there but they weren't presented in an "in-your-face" manner.
Margins - know the FINRA minimums. I didn't get asked these outright, but they were layered into nearly all of the Margin questions.  

Also, if you are a faster typer than writer - make use of the "notepad" feature on the computer.  I didn't take full advantage of it because I assumed anything you wrote would not be available on the second portion of the exam but I was wrong.  Had I known it would have been saved, I could have saved a lot of time on my dumpsheet and making notes of questions that I thought could be helpful for answering other questions.  

Hope this helps! You're welcome to PM with any questions. Good luck!

Jul 7, 2016 1:39 pm

Good tips here! I think one thing that's often overlooked is reproducing the test environment for your practice exams. The closer you can get to simulating the real thing in practice, the better off you are on test day.

Another important thing you touched on is answer elimination - in most test questions, you can eliminate one or two multiple choice answers, which over time can add up to a significant boost when you're making multiple 50/50 bets on questions you're unsure of instead of 25/75 bets.