Series 66 or 65?

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Sep 25, 2015 12:24 pm

Hey Everyone,

Here's my brief story.  I got a 91 on my Series 7 and an 88 on the 63 (6 years ago when I first got licensed.) I accomplished this by studying hard and drilling the STC practice exams until my brain was about to explode. At my new firm, I needed the 66 and my new firm had the Kaplan materials. "What the heck, how bad can it be?" I thought. I employed basically the same strategy - skim the book, pound the tests, reskim the book to fill in any gaps. I walked into the test this past week fairly confident I would pass. 20 questions in, I knew I was in big trouble. There were huge chunks of the test that were not touched upon in Kaplan's practice tests or chapter quizzes. Very specific questions on random rules that were not stressed, two questions about "forward contracts" (did not see that once in the book) as well as tons of questions where two answers seemed to be right and you are basically required to pick the one that is "more right". Sheer brutality. Any way, I want to acquire my RIA designation asap, so I'm wondering: Should I buy the TC test material for the 66 (which seems from what everyone says to be far and away the best) and take it in a month, or drill for the 65 on the TC program like an animal for the next few days and try to pass that. My rational is: if I fail the 65, who cares? I can still take the 66 a month from when I failed. I have heard there is a decent amount of overlapping material between the 66 and 65 as well. Thoughts?

Sep 28, 2015 1:24 pm

Dantheman, I’m in the same boat as you. My firm contracts with Kaplan for both the Series 7 and the 66. I failed the 7 the first time by 4 points, busted my tail doing practice questions and reviewing the book, just as you did. Passed the 7 a second time with a 75. Using the same methodology, I took the 66 on 9/25 and failed by 6 points. Your experience with the 66 is the same as mine. (By the way, forward contracts is found in the Kaplan book,, but not cited in the Index). My firm may give me the option of taking the 65 and 63 or waiting the 30 days and retaking the 66. After reading the posts here, I’m leaning towards spending the money and buying the TC 66 course. My rationale is that my recall of the test questions is still relatively fresh, and from all accounts posted here, the TC materials best replicate the test questions. Personally, I’d rather build on what I’ve learned for the 66 rather than prep for a different exam, but best of luck in whichever way you decide to go.

Sep 28, 2015 2:56 pm

I passed the 7 with a 72% on the dot. My research on the internet suggested that the 66 is worded so crazily that if you skated by on the 7, the 66 is going to be hell.

I learned the material via testeachers, did their practice test, and then banged out 15-20 test on Kaplan Qbank. I was scoring anywhere from 73-80% on the practice exams with Kaplan. I figured I was set considering my highest practice score on the 7 was a 72%.

Took the 66 failed at 70%. Took the 63 a week later after maybe 2-3 practice tests and passed with a 78%. All the material I learned from the 66 translates right over to the 63 and 65. For the 65, I was desperate to get this because the whole IAR thing, I like the title, and opens the door to what I really want to do. I took about 13 practice test, passed every single one from 74%-79%. Again I did no additional studying, all the 66 material translated over. I scored a 80%.

TLDR: If you scored high on the 7, your crazy not to try the 66, because if you can afford the extra money, worse case is you take the easier route and only be off track 2 weeks instead of waiting another 30 days if not longer because of scheduling.

If you skated by on the 7 like me and want to save money and go an easier, but longer route. the 63 and 65 are not a bad option.

Jan 11, 2016 12:40 pm

I too passed the 7 with a 72% and frankly I was shocked. I studied endlessly but was so intimidated by the amount of material to learn and worse, translate that into questions/answers given on the test. I work for an IAR with a smallish practice as Ops Mgr with a small portfolio of my own. He wants me to be Series 65 licensed.
asu47 I totally concur, studying the 65 material was much harder for me. It’s been a nightmare. I’ve taken the it three times, yes three and now am locked out for 180 days which I’m about to lose my mind over. I really bombed the 1st, then scored a 70 and 69 on the next two. So close, which doesn’t matter when it’s a pass fail.
I’ve decided to go for the 66 to avoid the wait which seems to put me back at square 1. After reading so many blogs on both 65 and 66 tests and study materials I’ve ordered the TC materials. I used both STC and Kaplan and felt I’d gotten too accustomed to the wording of the practice questions. My last test was on 12/30 and compared to the previous test, the wording seemed much harder. Due to work stuff (switching BDs) it was over a year since my second attempt (the 70 score). I’m hoping studying for the 66 after the 65 material won’t be too much different. Any suggestions/comments will be appreciated.

Jan 13, 2016 8:55 pm

I passed the 7 with an 80% and the 66 with an 86% after about 3 weeks of studying using STC. To me, a lot of the 66 is common sense. Go with the option that doesn’t screw over your client and you’ll be good.

Jan 16, 2016 1:11 pm

Hey guys. The series 65 is so damn tricky. Failed once with Exam FX and then failed again with TC. 63% and 66% respectively. I am going for round 3. I have the top package for Series 65 on TC, with all recorded lectures and what not. Feel free to PM me. I’ll be happy to share. We are in this war together!

Jul 24, 2016 1:43 pm

Hi all , thank you for the information. I am thinking series 65 or 66. Which one is easier ? I have 7,63. ( 80% in S7 2 years ago). thank you

Oct 11, 2016 1:11 pm

I’m trying to decide if she I should, take the Series 66 or 65. I passed the Series 7 & 63, each with an 80% back in 2003. I have the Kaplan book for the Series 66 but haven’t opened it yet. I see references made to TC and STC. What does those acronyms stand for?

Oct 11, 2016 1:26 pm

After further research I have discovered that TC stands for Training Consultants and STC stands for Securities Training Corporation. If I’m wrong let me know. Please let me know which you think is better/more helpful with their material/program in preparing for the Series 66.