Budget Pick Series 7 Study Guide
Series 7 Exam for Dummies is our budget pick for the best prep book on our list of the top FINRA GSRE prep guides.
The one main positive about Dummies is that it is at a lot lower price than all of the other review guides on our list. What you get in this prep book is very good for the price.
Another plus is that this preparation guide gives you a really good idea of what you need to know what you don’t need to know for test day. This is really good for those of you that are up to speed on the concept review and just need an overview of the test and what to expect on test day.
Dummies also includes:
1) 2 full-length practices tests
2) Answers that include full explanations to improve your understanding of the content
3) Access to an additional full-length practice test and other study tools online
One weakness of Dummies is that the practice questions that are included are not very exam-like. You may be surprised on exam day by questions that don’t seem familiar or that you were not prepared for.
Also, this prep book is geared a lot more towards test preparation and strategies instead of concept review. This prep guide may be good as a supplemental guide to a different prep book on this list. Although it has its strengths, its flaws make Series 7 Exam for Dummies our 5th best overall and budget pick on our list of the top Series 7 study books.
Series 7 Exam For Dummies
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What Is A Series 7 Exam Prep Course
The purpose of the Series 7 exam is to assess the competency of entry-level registered representatives seeking to join the securities industry as a General Securities Representative. A Series 7 exam prep course consists of the study materials and resources a person needs to prepare for the exam. Basic exam courses include a study guide and practice exams and are typically designed for self-directed study.
Generally, higher-cost courses include more study resources with more extensive materials. Premium courses can consist of virtual online classes in addition to instructor support. Practice exams supported by question banks are a vital component of exam prep courses, allowing students to gauge their readiness for taking the exam. A useful course provides students with a study guide and calendar to help them organize their time, helping them to track their progress toward their study goals.
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Best User Experience: Knopman Marks
Although Knopman Marks offers just one exam-prep package, its comprehensiveness and easy-to-follow format provide students with the best exam prep user experience.
High first attempt passing rate
Mobile app for offline training
Limited course package offering
No money-back guarantee
Established in 1991 by Harvey Knopman, a 40-year veteran in the securities training industry, Knopman Marks has earned a reputation for developing and delivering high-quality exam prep courses. What it lacks in course options, it makes up for with a comprehensive and easy-to-follow single course that provides users with an excellent user experience, as evidenced by its 95% passing rate.
For $350, students receive both a physical and an electronic textbook. The course includes online and printable practice exams that come with rationales and textbook references. There are more than 15 hours of video lectures covering 20 lessons and digital flashcards. Students also have access to downloadable study supplements. There is even a mobile app for offline training. It all seems overwhelming, but Knopman also provides a step-by-step study guide.
Students also receive personalized attention from instructors which includes updates, tips, and more.
For another $225, students can take as many in-person or virtual classes as needed. Classes are scheduled roughly once a month.
Reviewing The Exam Basics
The Series 7 exam is a computerized, closed book , six-hour exam. The exam consists of 260 multiple-choice questions , and its divided into two three-hour sessions. You take a mandatory 3060 minute break between sessions.
tip.eps You can take bathroom breaks at any time, but the clock continues to tick away, so you may want to reconsider drinking a mega-jumbo iced latte in the morning before you arrive at the exam center.
For information on the types of questions to expect, see Chapter 3. Flip to Chapter 4 for an overview of how your exam day may progress.
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Mastering The Computerized Format And Features
Although you dont need any previous computer experience to do well on the exam, you dont want your first encounter with a computerized exam to be on the date of the Series 7. Being familiar with the way the questions and answer choices will appear on the screen is essential. Figure 1-1 can help you prepare for exam day.
A friendly exam-center employee will give you an introductory lesson to familiarize you with how to operate the computer before the exam session begins. Although the computer randomly selects the specific questions from each category, the operating system tracks the difficulty of each question and controls the selection criteria to ensure that your exam isnt ridiculously easier or harder than anyone elses.
Figure 1-1: The PROCTOR computer system lets you select answers and mark them for review.
arrow Investing in a prep course versus studying on your own
arrow Finding time to study and using study strategies
arrow Staying focused and building test-taking skills
arrow Evaluating your readiness
When youre preparing for the Series 7 exam, a good cup of java and an all-nighter just arent gonna cut it. Neither will a frantic two-week study session like the ones that used to work miracles when you were taking college finals. The Series 7 is a mini-marathon of the test world, and as with all endurance events, you need to train for it both mentally and physically.
Best Value: Securities Institute Of America
With the backing of leading financial publisher John Wiley & Sons, Securities Institute of America not only produces high-quality courses, but they also create the best value, with a lineup of reasonably priced courses that cater to any learning style.
Reasonably priced course package for any learning style or budget
Live chat and phone support
Backed by renowned financial publisher John Wiley & Sons
Question bank may not be the biggest
No live content
With its lineup of reasonably priced, high-quality course packages offered with a money-back guarantee, Securities Institute of America is the best value among exam prep providers. With a proven 17-year track record of exam prepping, renowned financial publisher John Wiley & Sons thought highly enough of SIA to acquire them in 2013. That gives SIA the industry heft needed to provide high-quality products at reasonable prices.
The best study package SIA offers is its Series 7 Complete Self Study Solution for $259. The package includes the popular Wiley Series 7 exam textbook, a 2,100-question practice exam bank, 20 hours of online video classes, and an ebook. The videos and test bank are available for six months.
If you don’t need the online video course, you can pay $194.95 for the Series 7 Textbook and Exam Prep Software with unlimited access to the test bank for six months. The software allows you to take practice exams anytime and anywhere using any browser on PC and Mac as well as on mobile devices.
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How Much Does A Series 7 Exam Prep Course Cost
Obtaining the necessary means to pass the Series 7 exam successfully is viewed as an investment for people who seek a career in the financial industry. Investment firms positively view it as an investment because many will cover the cost of exam prep for qualified job candidates.
If you pay for a Series 7 exam prep course yourself, you can expect to pay between $150 and $400 depending on the extent of learning tools and materials included in the course. A self-study course will cost much less than one that provides for online classes and personal instruction and other resources. Some providers offer supplemental live in-person or online instruction for an extra $150 to $250.
If you are concerned about using your own money, it’s best to go with a provider that offers a money-back guarantee.
Best Budget Premium Package: Kaplan Financial Education
Kaplan Financial Education
While all of Kaplan’s study packages are stacked with features, its Premium Instruction Package is the most complete package for the price.
Comprehensive list of offerings for any learning style and budget
Robust question bank and practice tests
Course access for five months with a five-month extension for $49
Personalized instructor support for premium packages
Instructor support only available on premium package
No mobile app platform
With more than 50 years as a financial education company, Kaplan is one of the more established exam prep providers. With that level of experience, Kaplan knows what students want in a high-end Series 7 study course, and they have the scale to deliver it at a reasonable price.
At $139, its Basic Self-Study Package is perfect for budget-minded self-starters. Its primary study tool is an extensive license exam manual, which is backed by Kaplan’s highly acclaimed SecuritiesPro QBank. QBank provides access to unlimited exam attempts that help users zero in on weaknesses. The exams, which can be downloaded for offline use, are customizable according to students’ study progress. The basic package also includes a performance tracker and study calendar to help students stay on track with their study goals.
Kaplan does not offer a money-back guarantee, but its 85% Series 7 exam passing rate is indicative of its success in preparing students for the exam.
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Most Comprehensive Offerings: Examfx
With three reasonably priced, full-featured study packages that appeal to multiple learning styles, ExamFX has the most comprehensive offerings.
Comprehensive offering of study packages to match learning styles
Reasonably priced, full-featured packages
Course access limited to 90 days
Founded in 1996, ExamFX is a division of Ascend Learning, one of the top technology-based learning solutions providers in the country. ExamFX has combined leading-edge technology with proven adaptive learning methods in three full-featured study packages to create the most comprehensive offering at a reasonable price.
ExamFX appeals to multiple learning styles by offering a self-study package , a video study package , and a live online package . All packages include an interactive learning portal, online exam simulations, a readiness exam, instructor support, and a guarantee exam that qualifies users for ExamFX’s money-back guarantee.
The video study package adds on-demand video lectures and online flashcards. The live online package includes all the features of the lower-priced packages but adds live online training.
ExamFX’s best feature is the simulated online exams, which give students many opportunities to make sure they are prepared. The packages give an unlimited number of practice exams.
Its A Plan: Getting Into A Study Routine
Establishing and sticking to a study routine is essential. Many people find the Series 7 exam to be difficult because they have to absorb so much material in a relatively short time span. Furthermore, most of the information on the test is easy to forget because its not info you use every day. Therefore, you have to reinforce your knowledge on a daily basis by constantly reviewing and revisiting the old information while learning new material. Youll continue to follow this routine over and over and over again.
Setting up shop: Finding an ideal place to study
When youre first learning new material, set yourself up in a place where you have as few distractions as possible the local library, a separate room, even the bathtub. One of my students used to retreat to his car in the driveway after dinner while his wife put their young kids to bed.
The exam room, with its small cubicles, places you
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What Is The Pass Rate Of The Series 7 Exam
While FINRA doesn’t publish a pass rate for the Series 7 exams, it is widely accepted to be around 65%. Regardless, the most reliable indicators of passing rates are those published by exam prep providers. As you have seen in this article, some of them are above 90%. All the providers listed in this review have a pass rate of at least 85% or, if no pass rate is published, they offer a money-back guarantee.
People who do fail the test on their first attempt tend to do better on their second attempt. If you fail on your first attempt, you are allowed to retake the test after 30 days. The 30-day wait rule also applies if you fail on the second attempt. If you fail again on your third attempt, you will have to wait 180 days to retake the exam.
Practicing On Ten Additional Trial Questions
To ensure that new questions to be introduced in future exams meet acceptable standards prior to inclusion, you answer ten additional, unidentified questions that dont count toward your score. In other words, you get 260 questions to answer , but only 250 are scored.
Note: If you see a question on the Series 7 that doesnt seem even remotely similar to anything that youve studied , it may very likely be an experimental question.
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Taking A Peek At The Tested Topics
As a practical exam, the Series 7 requires you to master vocabulary, handle customer accounts, understand the rules and regulations that govern the securities industry, and yes, work with some math formulas. For ease of use , this book focuses on the most commonly tested topics on the Series 7 exam. Heres an overview of what to expect:
check.png The underwriting process
check.png Common and preferred stock
check.png Corporate bonds and U.S. government securities
check.png Securities issued by local governments
check.png Margin accounts
check.png Investment companies
check.png Direct participation programs
check.png Analyzing the benefits and risks associated with investments making appropriate recommendations to customers
check.png Following how new securities are brought to the market and how existing securities are traded in the market
check.png Risk considerations and income-tax implications that stock market investors face
check.png Rules and regulations governing the purchase and sale of securities and the registered representatives responsibility for maintaining accurate recordkeeping
The FINRA has released a listing of the distribution of questions on the Series 7 exam. See Table 1-1 for the number of questions devoted to each activity that a registered rep performs.
Table 1-1 Distribution of Series 7 Exam Questions
Best Overall Series 7 Study Guide
The Series 7 Exam Prep Study Guide is our 3rd best overall prep book on our list of the top FINRA GSRE review guides.
This preparation guide has very detailed answer explanations. When you miss a question on a practice test, it is important that you are able to understand the nature of your mistake and how to avoid making that same mistake again in the future. Being able to learn from your mistakes really allows you to increase your score on test day.
This review guide has great test taking strategies that teach you to properly utilize the time provided during the test and to get through the test without making easily avoidable errors. This really gives you confidence on test day that you won’t be tripped up by simple questions.
This review book also includes:
1) Review for each section of the test
2) Practice tests with detailed answer explanations
Because of its short length, this review book might be better for someone that already has a lot of knowledge of the topics that are on the test.
With only 172 pages, this preparation guide is very short on review and does not have enough length to go in-depth on the topics. Because of this weakness, the Series 7 Exam Prep Study Guide is our 3rd top overall prep book on our list of the top prep guides to prepare for the Series 7 exam.
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Managing Your Study Time Wisely
Unless youre a direct descendent of Albert Einstein, you probably need to allow yourself as much time as possible to prepare for the Series 7 exam.
Get your affairs in order. Go to the dentist and get that sore tooth filled, pay your bills, get your flu shot, visit your friends and relatives, finish any critical home improvement projects basically, clear the decks as best you can so you can concentrate on your studies. The following sections can help you establish a study plan.
Back To School: Attending A Prep Course
People who learn best by listening to an instructor and interacting with other students benefit from attending prep courses. Unfortunately, not all Series 7 exam prep courses and training materials are created equally. Unlike high school or college courses, the content of Series 7 prep courses and the qualifications of the instructors who teach them arent regulated by your states Department of Education, the Securities and Exchange Commission , the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority , or any other government agency. Do some research to locate the Series 7 training course that works best for you.
The following sections explain some things to consider and questions to ask before enrolling. Take a look at the info you gather and trust your gut. Is the primary function of the prep course to train students to be successful on the Series 7 exam, as it should be? Or do you suspect its the brainchild of a broker-dealer whos looking for extra revenue to supplement her failing stockbroker business?
Training school background
Try to get recommendations from others who took the course. Word of mouth is an essential source of referrals for most businesses, and stockbroker training schools are no different. The stockbroker firm youre affiliated with should be able to recommend training schools.
Qualifications of the course instructor
Texts, course content, and extra help
The practical details
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