Series 7

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Apr 15, 2013 12:17 pm

Ok youngn's and greenhorns to the investing world.  Most of you have figured out that you have to jump through a lot of hoops to make it into this wonderful industry of investing.  The first hoop that most of you will have to jump through is taking the Series 7.  First rule, if you listen to anyones take on the Series 7 and they refer to it as a "peice of cake," ignore them.  The 7 takes focus and interest in the topics.  This is not a college course that you can somewhat pay attention in and pass with ease.  You have to study and study, and study again.  FINRA makes this test hard for a reason!  Eventhough there are morons working amongst us that have passed the exam by some grace of god, you have to study your everlivin' butt off.  

It takes supreme focus, concentration, and a full engraining of the information that you use.  Find a good study guide from a good company and follow their advice.  Do not try to do it your way!  Follow the instructions!  I didn't do this and it showed.  I didn't pass the 7 on my first try.  I am young and very confident, so I thought I could do it by doing it my way.  Hell, I did it in college and made it through.  Ha!  This is one test that you don't want to take again, believe me!  

I had a professor in college that was a genius.  He had his MBA, JD, CFA, CFP and other marks and it showed.  His class was the toughest course that I ever took in college, but he always referred to us as "Po," before we took his exams.  If you have ever seen the movie Kung Fu Ninja, you know who Po is.  He was basically telling us to be one with the exam.  He was basically teaching us to have the focus of a Kung Fu  Ninja when we took his exams.  I always thought it was stupid, until I started studying for the S7.  Lets just say that the information that you read is really good at rocking you to sleep.    

Focus young warriors!  Live, eat, and breathe the Series 7 information.  Train like a professional athlete and relax on the day of the exam.  If you know the information in and out you will do fine.  If you are not prepared you will know when you start taking the practice exams.  

May 1, 2013 6:38 pm

Thank you, I am just now learning equities and my math is so sub par but I am trying my best. I love the Po reference and will keep it in mind moving forward

Jul 9, 2013 12:24 pm


You are welcome. I hope you have had luck at studying. What I noticed helped me was going through the Kaplan manual, every single page and noticing tough information. I would type out a synopsis of the material and then if they had a graph I would copy it. The vocab part was probably 20 pages, and the graphs were seperatly about 15 pages. Once I was done doing all of this for the entire book I would go through this study sheet a couple of times. I probably went through it 10-15 times before the exam.

The first time I took the exam I knew very little about options, or any of the tough topics on the exam for that matter so I went down in flames. The second time I took it there wasn’t one topic that I didn’t know. Every exam question on the day of the test was not foreign to me. I was so fully ingrained in the information and I loved it.

Go through the practice exams, once you are done with 250 exam weighted questions, stop take a break and go over the ones that you guessed on and the ones that you missed. Notice where your weaknesses are, go back in the book and go over the information a couple of times.

For the prep leading up the day of the exam. The week before I went over the short synopsis a ton of times, I collaborated all of the incorrect questions in an EXCEL file and covered those sections until I was an expert. I also created a file for the calculations that were important for the exam and memorized those. I pretty much memorized a lot. I took one 250 question test and once I was done I went over the questions. Then for the rest of the time I went over the synopsis the rest of the time. It is the only way that I could have studied and passed.

I will tell you that you are going to be pulled in a million different directions from people who have taken it. The first time I took it I heard from two different people that they didn’t even read the book, they just took the practice exams. So, following their footsteps I took the hell of the practice exams; close to 1200 questions total. If you are a great test taker then this is your possible way to do it. If you aren’t then you need to know the vocab, etc. etc.

The night before the exam I went to bed at 11:00 pm, I really couldn’t sleep all night. I woke up at 4:00 am ready to go, but I forced myself to go back to sleep. I woke back up at 6 am and got ready for the exam. I went into prometrics looking like a bum, in slipper sandals, basketball shorts, and some breathable t-shirt. I went to the local grocery store and got a muffin, a Naked Mango/Orange juice, and a 5 hour energy drink. I drank 1/2 of the 5 hour and destroyed the muffin and juice. I pulled up the Prometrics before anyone. I kept saying this acronym in my head. J.A.D., Just Another Day. It really helped taking the edge off. I walked in, signed in, took a pre-game BM break, and got wanded before walking in the testing room. I was very calm considering what was ahead of me. I was sat down by the test admin and wrote down my options graph and any other information that was going to help me through the exam. I also did something on my sheets that helped me, I would write out the question; don’t laugh it helped me understand what they were really asking. I tabbed the questions for review that were iffy and finished the first part with 15 minutes to spare. I submitted the first part and took my hour long lunch break at a sandwich shop around the corner. During this time I reviewed some of the information that I was a little confused on, ate half of my sandwich and finished the rest of the 5 hour energy. I went back to prometrics and took another BM break, and went onto the second part. The second part was a little more nerve racking. Not because it was harder but because I knew that this was it. So, I finished the second part with a little under 60 minutes to spare. I nervously went over the questions that I had marked for review and sat there for a minute mulling over my effort. I knew that I had nothing left in the tank. As my heart pounded, just about through my chest cavity I went through all of the options of clicking the yes I want to get the hell out of here button. I waited, and waited for that stupid computer to calculate my score. I sit there in limbo, waiting and BAM! PASS! I exuberantly said YES out loud in the testing center. Sorry other people taking exams, but this was kind of a big deal. I got an 83! I was so happy. All of that effort. All those long nights. All those weekends drying up and not going out with friends paid off. I was just happy to finally serve a purpose at work. No longer am I being judged by other co-workers as being a free-loader.

Jul 10, 2013 5:15 pm

Hi, I find the difficulty of the series 7 exam is greatly exaggerated here. Most people who are of average intelligence and put in a moderate amount of effort will pass the first time. Don’t let these stories stress you out. I don’t want to be condescending to anyone who did not pass, but this post is just unnecessarily scary.

The only reason it’s a big deal is the looming threat of being sacked if you fail.

Jul 15, 2013 5:30 pm

If the consensus of most people on here of referring the exam as hard, then it probably is hard. How is my story unnecessarily scary? I tell fellow series 7 em-barkers to take it serious and to study their butt off. What is scary about that? Studying doesn’t come easy for some, just like working out, or sports maybe be very easy for some and hard for most. Most people do not know how to prepare for an exam, and I gave my take of what I did. The first time I gave moderate effort and failed, does it mean that I am dumb, or does it mean that most of the people that take the test and fail the first time are dumb? I spoke with a series 7 tutor and he said that his contact for the series 7 classes has dramatically risen since the changes were made to the exam. I am not meaning to scare people, I am just telling them to prepare. Fear is the best way to prepare the senses.

Jul 16, 2013 12:22 am

Ok…So I am taking my Series 7 on Wednesday and my 63 next Wednesday. I have been grinding through the already above mentioned monotony of Ms. Leahy, but I must say she has taught me a lot. I have studying now for 8 weeks and am getting 79-85 on the Random Final at the very end. Done it about 8 times now. Am still going through an reviewing ALL of the wrong answers Am I ready??? I’m starting to get really nervous and want to start my career off on the right foot. Any advice??? Sorry…never been on a forum like this one before.

Thanks All.

And please don’t be an a**. I’m really asking for help here,

Jul 17, 2013 12:31 am

Scoring that high on the practice exams you should do well. Do not worry. If you know the material and you are able of rehearsing your cheat sheet before the exam on cue you should do fine. Remember that with this test to take your time. You seem like a very nervous person so do not worry! Just relax, take your time, possibly write out the questions if you start getting jittery. Get a good nights rest, wake up early, and most of all RELAX… Go into the exam with relaxed shoulders and a clear mind. Stress affects your brain and memory, relax, and breathe you will do fine.

Jul 18, 2013 2:23 am

Took your advice…I am (as you gathered) a very nervous person. So…this exam and it’s preparation was very difficult for me. I approached it as just another practice test and was able to keep my nerves in check.
Long story short…I passed with 82%. I have to give 100% of the credit to Tina Leahy and Training Consultants. The format was the EXACT SAME and tons of questions were the same or very similar. I was most definitely more than prepared. Once I sat down and started answering questions, I realized that this exam was actually very easy as compared to some of the practice material in the TC program. I hope that this forum can help people just like me who worry about nothing get through this and start off right.

Thanks Again Boss

Jul 19, 2013 1:09 am

Congrats man! It is a tough test to prepare for but once you get the information down the actual test is a breeze. I made the mistake on my first try to take it for granted. I started this post to inform most on here of possible ways to study. Congrats again.