Overview Of The Series 66 Exam
The Series 66 (Uniform Combined State Law) Examination certifies individuals to act as qualified investment adviser representatives or securities agents. The exam covers topics directly related to client investment advice and placing securities transactions.
The exam was most recently updated in January 2019, following the tax law changes passed in 2018. The Series 66 is a co-requisite of the Series 7 exam, and both must be passed in order to register in a given state. You can find our list of the Best Series 7 Study Guides for resources you can use to help pass that test as well.
We’ll cover the Series 66 Exam in detail, and give you our picks for the best Series 66 study guides, review guides, and flashcards below, but if you just can’t wait, here’s the short list:
Series 66 Exam Details
The Series 66 Exam is made up of 100 multiple choice questions, which you’ll have 2.5 hours to answer.
You’ll be provided with a 4 function calculator and note taking materials when you sit for the exam. You’ll also need a government issued photo ID. No personal items are allowed inside the test room, so be sure to leave your cellphones, and other items somewhere safe.
The 4 main topics which make up the full Series 66 Exam. They cover the broad list of activities undertaken by investment advisors.
- Economic Factors and Business Information (5% of questions)
- Investment Vehicle Characteristics (20% of questions)
- Client/customer Investment Recommendations and Strategies (30% of questions)
- Laws, Regulations and Guidelines (45% of questions)
Each of these broad topics contains tons of sub-topics which you’ll need to know like the back of your hand going into the exam. Preparing yourself is a huge task, and knowing where to focus your study efforts is critical to success. The guides, practice questions, and flashcards below will act as a force multiplier and get your ready in the smallest amount of time possible.
The Series 66 is scored with one point per question answered correctly, with a passing grade of 73% (73 questions out of 100). There are no penalties for incorrect answers, 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 for your firm to reference.
Best Series 66 Study Guides
Series 66 Securities Licensing Exam Review
Pros: Well laid out and easy to follow.
Cons: Explanations for some examples are not as in-depth as they could be
Our Rating: 5.0 / 5
Wiley Series 66 Exam Review is first choice in Series 66 study guide for 2019! It contains 320 pages of densely packed information covering every topic found on the Series 66 Exam. The full list of features include:
- Priceless test-taking tips and strategies
- Helpful hints on how to study for the test, manage stress, and stay focused
- Dozens of examples
- Assorted practice questions for each subject area covered in the exam
The guide presents information in a clear and easy to follow fashion. It’s well organized, which will help ensure you don’t waste a minute of your precious study time. Between the in-depth review, excellent practice questions, and high production value, this is our hands down pick for best Series 66 guide.
Series 66 Exam Secrets Study Guide
Pros: Excellent review of all exam topics.
Cons: Layout is less well organized than some alternatives.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
Series 66 Exam Secrets Study Guide is our first runner up on our list of best Series 66 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 66.
- An analysis of client investment recommendations and strategies
- A breakdown of economic factors and business information
- An examination of investment vehicle characteristics
- A guide to laws, regulations, and guidelines
- Comprehensive practice questions with detailed answer explanations
The layout of this guide is less well done than our number one recommendation. That said, it’s still a completely viable option. The slightly lower price tag is a good draw if money is an issue, and the material is covered thoroughly. While you might want to compliment this guide with some additional practice questions or flashcards, it is definitely capable of forming the core of your Series 66 study materials.
Pass The 66 Study Guide
Pros: Massive number of relevant practice questions for Series 66.
Cons: Not a full length study guide.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
Pass The 66 Study Guide contains over 420 pages of highly relevant information drawn from every topic covered in the Series 66 Exam. We tend to recommend most people go with the Wiley Series 66 Study Guide (above), but if the price tag or other preferences are turning you off, this is a good alternative.
The feature list includes:
- Full coverage of all exam topics
- Helpful tips and tricks to pass the exam
- Easy to read and well organized
A good study guide is critical to ensuring that you do well when you sit for the Exam. While not our first choice, this guide has everything you need to do well, and as the name says “Pass The 66”!
Series 66 Exam Flashcard Study System
Pros: Complete coverage of all exam topics.
Cons: Cards can be fairly densely packed with info.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
Series 66 Exam Flashcard Study System is our pick for best flashcards! If you’re someone who has found success with flashcards in the past, the Series 66 Study System is sure to help you get to a maximum state of readiness.
The full list of features include:
- Cards include thorough explanations so you understand why you answer was right or wrong
- Professional-quality cards that will not smear or wear out with heavy usage
- Over 200 cards
- Written in an easy to understand, straightforward style
It distills all of the test topics down into compact cards that are perfect for quick review and memorization. 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 and other materials.
Series 66 Exam Frequent Questions
What is the pass rate for the Series 66?
There are no officially released pass rate statistics, but informal estimates put it in the 60-70% range for first time test takers. It’s a challenging exam, but it’s definitely possible to succeed on your first attempt if you put in the time to prepare!
How many hours should you study for the Series 66?
This is heavily dependant on your personal situation, but most recommendations say you should allow for 80-100 hours of study time. It’s also important to start your studies early, between 1 and 2 months before your exam date.
Does my Series 66 expire?
If you pass the Series 66, but don’t register with a state for 2 years, your status will show up as expired in the CRD. You’ll have to take the exam again. If you do get registered within that 2 year window, you won’t need to worry about it again.
How much does the Series 66 exam cost?
The Series 66 Exam has a registration fee of $165.
Can I take the Series 66 exam without a sponsor?
The Series 66 Exam can actually be taken without a FINRA associated sponsor firm. If you’re taking it without a sponsoring firm, use form U10 to register and pay for the exam.
While the Series 66 isn’t the hardest finance exam out there, you should still set aside a good amount of time to prepare. While there’s no replacement for good old fashioned hard work, the addition of quality study materials like those outlined here can make a huge difference!
We’ve rounded up the best Series 66 Exam study materials out there, and presented them above. To recap our recommendations:
|Top Study Guide Recommendation:||Wiley Series 66 Exam Review|
|Top Flashcard Recommendation:||Series 66 Exam Flashcard Study System|
Our top pick for best Series 66 Study Guide is Wiley Series 66 Exam Review. It has everything you need to serve as your sole resource (but adding in flashcards and other materials is always a good idea).
If you find flashcards to be useful, our top pick is Series 66 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 66 resources available. Good luck, and study hard!