Are the Series 7 Practice Exams supposed to make me

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May 26, 2012 8:59 am

...feel slightly retarded?

I just started reading my Kaplan Series 7 book on Wednesday provided by Ameriprise.  I have no financial background whatsoever - nothing.  I never received a lick of finance, economics, etc in school or college.  I'm very good at math, however, and very good at memorization.  I'm also motivated by challenges.

Nevertheless,  I can't help but feel a little bit discouraged.  The Kaplan book is intense: there's so much information that I can't absorb it.  It literally goes in through the eyes and out the back of my head.  I still read the units and I even study prior to taking the little practice exams both online and in the book.

My first exam was a 78%
My second was a depressing 40%
My third was not as encouraging at 56%

Is this normal?  I've noticed that the chapters become easier and more comprehensive as I progress, but it all seems like hours upon hours of memorization.  I woke up at 10am and studied until 1:30am this morning.

Am I going about this wrong?  Does my employer think badly of me for these scores?

Warmest Regards,

May 26, 2012 10:46 am

With no financial background, it is normal for your initial scores to be lower than people with financial backgrounds. This means that you will have to work twice as hard as those people. For many of the topics, you are going to have to re-read them at least a few times before you get it.  People with financial backgrounds should also be re-reading the material because there is so much of it to remember.  I am sure that I wouldn't score well on a biology test after reading a few chapters

May 26, 2012 5:55 pm

Thank you.  I really appreciate the encouragement.  I'll keep at it! 

May 27, 2012 3:32 am

I am at the tail end of studying for the 7 (I test on Tuesday) and here’s what I suggest…don’t spend too much of your study time reading the book. I read the book cover to cover and feel like those 3-4 weeks it took me to get thru the book could have been better spent doing more practice questions and exams. I am using STC (not a big fan, I think Kaplan is better), but the book is enormous with tons of information and you can’t possibly remember all of it.

I suggest doing all the questions contained within the chapters so you are focusing on the critical material and not getting bogged down with too much detail. This way you are answering the chapter questions open-book style and reading what’s most important for the exam. After you do that for all the chapters, start working on the practice questions where you receive immediate feedback after you answer each question. Then start working on the simulated exams and review each answer you got incorrect and read the explanations to understand why you got it incorrect. The explanation should provide the chapter and page in the study manual for you to reference if you are still having trouble. Then continue to do as many practice tests as possible and review the ones you got wrong and your scores will eventually improve. Trust me, I went from 50s to 60s to 70s to finally 80s. It’s a process but if you keep going, you will get there! Good luck!!

May 27, 2012 8:13 am

I took your advice where I briefly skimmed the material, focused on the bold definitions and concepts and really applied myself to the practice tests.  I did so much better on Unit 5!  I scored 60 on my first and then 74 on my second try right after!  Woo!  Improvement!

Taking the practice quizzes that immediately inform you if you are correct or not are insanely helpful.  I was retaining information and things began to, "click."

Series 7, you don't scare me anymore!

Jun 6, 2012 6:27 pm

Almost done with the book! Can’t wait to really nail down some study time. My scores are still relatively lower in comparison to the experienced candidates, but hard core studying is my forté!

Any tips and tricks would be helpful! <3

Jun 6, 2012 7:37 pm

I’d run out to amazon and pick up another series 7 study guide. Not to re-learn the material, just to take their practice tests and read their answers.

Jun 7, 2012 12:58 am

Content will be on the exam, not necessarily questions from prep providers. There is a diminishing marginal return to doing questions. Towards the end, you should be focusing on content.


Jun 7, 2012 2:33 pm

Questions test your knowledge of the content. You know knowledge gaps by utilizing the questions and then backfilling with “content” … I scored a 97 on 7 utilizing this method. Blindly reading content without using a smart bomb is silly to me.

Jun 7, 2012 7:33 pm

I appreciate it. Knowing the content is by far the most challenging part. I am now starting to drill myself on the questions. What other study test material do you recommend?

Also, is there anywhere that has a comprehensive list of calculations and recognizing the calculations in the word problems? I so often have difficulty figuring out what they’re asking for.

Thank you!

Jun 8, 2012 12:54 am

Element, not sure what you mean by “blindly reading.” You read to learn the material. The concept here is no different for any exam.

Jul 9, 2012 5:15 am

The Kaplan assemblage is intemperate: there’s so often information that I can’t engage it. It literally goes in finished the eyes and out the o.k.640-802 of my membrane. I still scan the units and I modify ex cogitate prior to attractive the immature implementation exams both online and in the volume. 350-001

Jan 26, 2016 10:56 am

Series 7 Practice Exam is a free website that is focused on Series 7 Exam prep. We have great collection of resources to help you prepare for this challenging test. One of the best ways to study for this exam is with practice questions. We have two free Series 7 practice exams that you can work through. These are online interactive exams and they include answers as well as detailed explanations.