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Assessment tests Morgan Stanley Smith Barney’s Financial Advisor Associate Training Program

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Jun 4, 2011 7:21 pm

Hi everyone,

I am searching on the Internet to find any info about Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor Training assessment tests, but I do not find anything helpful.  Most of the time people are bragging about themselves, how great they were and how easy it was, but nothing practical or helpful.  I like to do my homework before I go into something new and I would definitely appreciate any help from recent trainees who took the actual Morgan Stanley Financial Advisor assessment tests online.  What I hear is kind of confusing information.  Some say topics are about finance, interest rates, etc.  Others say get ready for numerical math and logic tests of the calculus level.  Others say it mostly about percentages, ratios, charts, diagrams, etc.  Some say prepare for actual series 7 exam because questions will be just like on that exam, which in my opinion focuses a lot on actual stock market, exchanges, options, futures, stocks, bonds, etc. and preparing for this exam is happening during the Morgan Stanley training.  And others say just prepare like you do for SAT and you will be fine.  I don’t know whose info is legitimate.  And I simply do not want to focus on wrong area for my preparation.

So, I would greatly appreciate if recent Morgan Stanley trainees can answer following questions below and it would give me an idea of what I need to focus on now before I take the assessment tests.  I will be applying to one of the California Morgan Stanley branches and if you took your tests in California your help would be even better. 

Thank you in advance for your help!


Please reply to the following questions:


How many tests there are (how many sections), what areas they cover and in what order they are given?

How many questions for each section?

What level of difficulty and what topics? And maybe one or two example of the problems for each section to help me recognize the topics and level of difficulty and know what to prepare for.

Is it timed?? If yes, then how much time for each section.  Basically how many minutes does one have for one question? And if you run out of time then what?

What percentage of the correct answers will make one pass each test?

Any materials or info you can suggest for preparation.  Anything that would be helpful for practice.

Any other advise..

Jun 5, 2011 6:11 am

I took it almost a year ago. I'm sorry, I don't remember the exact details but I'll try to answer your questions as best I can.

I was never told how I did on it but I assume that I passed (since I got hired). The math was pretty easy, I don't remember there being a time limit but I could be wrong - the 7 and 66 are both timed exams.

There were 3 sections and I think I spent about 2 hours on it.

The parts were math, logic and personality.

Math and personality were easy but the logic part was tricky. Those types of test always throw me through a loop and convince me that I've failed. I've done a few others and every time I've gotten the score back and its high and no one is more surprised then I am. I felt that way getting my score on the Series 7.

What makes the questions difficult isn't the material being tested but rather it can be hard to determine what the heck the question is asking and then on top of that there is more then 1 correct answer. On the actual exam (specifically the 66) there are a lot of double negatives (or tripple negatives, if there is such a thing) and two technically correct answers. You have to choose which one is better and its rarely clear. On the actual 66 I felt like I was making an educated guess on every question after #30 (the first 25-30 questions seemed really easy). I spent at least 150 hours on the 66 material and read two different study guides and still barely passed that exam.

Specifically on the MSSB logic test, you'll see questions like:

Circles are to sphears and spears are the circles...

Not similar at all

Some what different


Some what similar

Very Similar


I mean... seriously, wtf? It's kind of retarded, but then again you see those types of questions you'll see on the series 66 (where there is no clear cut correct answer and you have to pick the "best" answer - or there is more then one (technically) correct answer and you have to choose which one is better).

My biggest gripe on the series exams (especally the practice exams) was that the questions straight up try to trick you. The MSSB pre-hire test are designed to test your aptiude and probability of passing the series exams.

Math: Series 7

Logic: Series 66

Personality: Sales/Self starter

Consider this. Firms hiring 3-5% of the people that apply to be FA's, so figure 1 in 20 gets hired.

Of those that get hired - Only about 10%, or 1 in 10 will survive the 3-4 year mark.

So just to find ONE person that will make it, 200 or more people have to apply, be screened, interviewed, ect.

When you think about it, the whole path to becoming a Financial Advisor is one big weeding out process.

But thats why they (can) make the big bucks. If most people could do this, everyone would.

Good luck, feel free to PM me if you have more questions.


May 13, 2013 2:09 am

Does anyone have examples of questions/answers or know where I can get a sample test?