Exam Shazam

The Best Series 65 Study Guides

Article by Jane Newsom. Last Updated: Saturday, Sep 2, 2023.

Overview Of The Series 65 Exam

The Series 65 (Uniform Investment Adviser Law) Examination certifies individuals who act as investment advisors on a non-commission basis. The exam covers topics like portfolio management, retirement planning, fiduciary responsibilities, as well as ethics, laws, and regulations.

Passing the exam will qualify you to act as an Investment Adviser Representative in some locations, but the test is not easy! Given the exam difficulty and cost, it’s important to prepare yourself going in, and a quality study guide can help get you there.

We’ll cover the exam in detail, and give you our picks for the best Series 65 study guides, review guides, and flashcards below, but if you just can’t wait, here’s the short list:

Series 65 Exam Details

The Series 65 Exam is made up of 130 multiple choice questions, which you’ll have 3 hours to answer. It’s a multiple choice test, and you’ll be provided with a basic 4 function calculator.

Exam Topics

The 4 broad topics which make up the full Series 65 Exam. Those topics, and some example focus areas are:

  • Economic Factors and Business Information (questions: 20, weight: 15%)
    • e.g. Basic Economic Concepts, Financial Reporting, Analytical Methods, Risk Types
  • Investment Vehicle Characteristics (questions: 32, weight: 25%)
    • e.g. Cash and Equivalents, Fixed Income Securities, Equity Securities, Pooled Investments
  • Client Investment Recommendations and Strategies (questions: 39, weight: 30%)
    • e.g. Client Types and Profiles, Capital Market Theory, Tax Considerations
  • Laws, Regulations, and Guidelines (questions: 39, weight: 30%)
    • Regulation of Investment Advisers, Representatives, Broker-Dealers, Securities and Issuers, etc

Each of the test topics covers a huge amount of material, so it’s important to manage your study time effectively. Self assessments and practice exams can be a great way to help you determine which areas you need to improve your knowledge on.

Exam Scoring

The Series 65 is scored as a pass/fail, with a passing grade being 72% (or 94 out of the 130 questions). There are no penalties for incorrectly answered questions, so you should take an educated guess on any question you’re not sure about. You’ll receive a printout with your score immediately after the exam, and a copy is sent to the FINRA Central Registration Depository.

Best Series 65 Study Guides

Wiley Series 65 Exam Review

Wiley Series 65 Exam Review
Standard Edition
by Wiley

Pros: Concise, well organized, and easy to follow format.
Cons: Some examples can be hard to follow.
Our Rating: 5.0 / 5

Wiley Series 65 Exam Review is our #1 pick for best Series 65 study guide in 2019! It features over 512 pages of review notes that touch on every exam topic covered by the Series 65. The full list of features include:

  • Dozens of examples
  • Assorted practice questions for each subject area covered in the exam
  • Priceless test-taking tips and strategies
  • Helpful hints on how to study for the test, manage stress, and stay focused

This newly revised edition covers the most up to date version of the exam. There are plenty of good reasons to choose this guide over the others, but it’s strong organization, plenty of practice questions, and comprehensive coverage are some of the best!

Series 65 Exam Secrets Study Guide

Series 65 Exam Secrets Study Guide
Standard Edition
by Mometrix

Pros: Complete and comprehensive review of all exam topics.
Cons: Some examples can be hard to follow.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

Series 65 Exam Secrets Study Guide is our second place entry on our list of best Series 65 Exam guides. It comes complete with a comprehensive overview of all exam topics, and great practice questions.

The full list of features include:

  • A thorough review of the Series 65.
  • An analysis of economic factors and business information
  • A guide to investment vehicle characteristics
  • An examination of client investment recommendations and strategies
  • A detailed overview of laws, regulations, and guidelines
  • Comprehensive practice questions with detailed answer explanations

Compared to our top pick, the organization in this guide isn’t quite as good. The material is pretty comprehensive, but the lack of structure makes it hard to reference effectively in the days leading up to the exam. While this is a perfectly good option for studying for the Series 65, we tend to recommend the Wiley guide above for most people. That said, if you’ve used other Mometrix guides and enjoyed them, this one is perfectly fine.

Series 65 Practice Question Workbook

Series 65 Practice Question Workbook
Standard Edition
by Coventry House Publishing

Pros: Massive number of relevant practice questions for Series 65.
Cons: Not a full length study guide.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

Series 65 Practice Question Workbook is our pick for best question bank for the Series 65. It contains over 700 relevant questions that can be a tremendous help when you’re preparing for the exam. The practice questions are laid out as 6 full length practice exams (130 questions each), which is great for assessing where your studies need to be focused. All of the questions are the same general level of difficulty as what you’ll find on the actual exam.

One of the best ways to prepare for any exam is to run through realistic practice tests. This book’s 6 full length tests can make all the difference, whether you’re taking it for the first time, or coming back after an unsuccessful attempt.

Series 65 Exam Flashcard Study System

Series 65 Exam Flashcard Study System
FLC Edition
by Mometrix

Pros: Complete coverage of all exam topics.
Cons: Cards can be fairly densely packed with info.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5

Series 65 Exam Flashcard Study System is our pick for best flashcards, and are the perfect way to help drill in the days leading up to the test. It distills all of the test topics down into compact cards that are perfect for quick review and memorization.

The full list of features include:

  • Over 200 cards
  • Professional-quality cards that will not smear or wear out with heavy usage
  • Written in an easy to understand, straightforward style
  • Cards include thorough explanations so you understand why you answer was right or wrong

Flashcards aren’t usually enough for most people to study from on their own, but they can be a terrific way to compliment a study guide. We strongly recommend picking these up, despite their somewhat higher price tag.

Series 65 Exam Frequent Questions

How long do I need to study for the Series 65?

Most people only spend about 2-4 weeks preparing for the Series 65, with a couple of hours of focused study per day. All in all, you should plan on between 10 and 50 hours of prep time depending on how well you know the material going in.

What is the pass rate for the Series 65?

A passing score for the Series 65 exam is 73%. Pass rates aren’t published, but the exam isn’t on the same level of difficulty as the CFA for example.

How much does it cost to take the Series 65 exam?

The Series 65 Exam costs $165.

Does Series 65 expire?

If you aren’t licensed in a state that requires the Series 65 for 2 years, you’re status in the FINRA CRD will show “expired”. Some states will waive the requirement that you retake the exam when you seek licensure there.

Wrapping Up

While the Series 65 isn’t quite as difficult as some other finance exams (e.g. the CFA), it’s still a good idea to set aside a decent amount of study time to prepare. A good set of materials, including a study guide, practice questions, and flashcards can help focus your efforts and ensure a passing score.

We’ve rounded up the best Series 65 Exam study materials out there, and presented them above. To recap our recommendations:

Top Study Guide Recommendation:Wiley Series 65 Exam Review
Top Question Bank Recommendation:Series 65 Practice Question Workbook
Top Flashcard Recommendation:Series 65 Exam Flashcard Study System

Our top pick for best Series 65 Study Guide is Wiley Series 65 Exam Review. If you only plan to pick up one study aid, make it this. It’s the most comprehensive and accurate guide out there, and presents the material in an easy to digest format.

For top question bank pick, we recommend Series 65 Practice Question Workbook. It’s got 6 full length tests worth of questions that are relevant and similar to what you’ll find on the exam.

Finally, if you find flashcards to be useful, our top pick is Series 65 Exam Flashcard Study System. It condenses down the materials to the most critical concepts, and puts them onto hundreds of cards that are great for review.

Whatever your circumstance, supplemental study and review materials are a key part of ensuring success on the exam. We’ve listed some of the best Series 65 resources available. Good luck, and study hard!

Related Posts

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.
Product prices and availability are accurate as of the date/time indicated and are subject to change. Any price and availability information displayed on [relevant Amazon Site(s), as applicable] at the time of purchase will apply to the purchase of this product.