Overview Of The Series 7 Exam
The Series 7 (General Securities Registered Representative) Examination certifies stockbrokers in the United States to trade. The exam covers topics like equity and debt instruments, investment risk, securities, taxation, options, retirement plans, and interactions with clients.
Passing the exam is one of the basic requirements for an entry level broker, and your first step on the career path you’ve been working towards. Given the exam difficulty and cost, it’s important to prepare yourself going in, and a quality study guide can help get you ready as quickly as possible.
We’ll cover the exam in detail, and give you our picks for the best Series 7 study guides, review guides, and flashcards below, but if you just can’t wait, here’s the short list:
Series 7 Exam Details
The Series 7 Exam is made up of 125 multiple choice questions. You can take up to 3 hours and 45 minutes for the exam.
As of Oct 1, 2018, the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam is a prerequisite for the Series 7. You’ll also need to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm in order to sit for the exam.
There are no personal items allowed in the testing center, and you’ll be provided with a calculator, scratch paper and pencils (or equivalent), and ear plugs/ You need to bring a government issued photo ID like a passport or driver’s license, and they will take your fingerprints when you check in.
The 4 broad job functions which are covered in the Series 7 Exam. Those functions, and their relative weights are:
- Seeks Business for the Broker-Dealer from Customers and Potential Customers (questions: 9, weight: 7%)
- Opens Accounts after Evaluating Customers’ Profile and Investment Objectives (questions: 11, weight: 9%)
- Provides Information about Investments, Makes Recommendations, Transfers Assets and Maintains Records (questions: 91, weight: 73%)
- Obtains and Verifies Purchase and Sales Instructions and Agreements; Processes Transactions (questions: 14, weight: 11%)
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.
The Series 7 is scored as a pass/fail, with a passing grade being 72% (or 90 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 won’t get a physical copy of your certificate if you pass, but it is sent to the FINRA Central Registration Depository for your firm to review it there.
Best Series 7 Study Guides
Wiley Series 7 Exam Review
Pros: Concise, well organized, and easy to follow format.
Cons: Some examples can be hard to follow.
Our Rating: 5.0 / 5
Series 7 Securities Licensing Exam Review is our Editor’s Choice for Best Series 7 study guide in 2019! It’s the most comprehensive (and updated) guide on the market, and comes with everything you’ll need to pass the exam on your first try. The full list of features include:
- Helpful hints on how to study for the test, manage stress, and stay focused
- Priceless test-taking tips and strategies
- Assorted practice questions for each subject area covered in the exam
- Hundreds of examples
This newly revised edition covers the format changes following the Oct 1 2018 update to the exam. The study guide also includes a question bank with tons of awesome practice questions that do a great job simulating the actual difficulty of the exam. Given this guides awesome organization, comprehensive coverage of the exam material, and great practice questions, this is your hands down best bet to pass with flying colors.
Pass The 7 Study Guide
Pros: Good in-depth review of all exam topics.
Cons: Some examples seem to be light on explanations.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
Pass The 7 Study Guide is our alternate choice for best Series 7 Exam guide. 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 7.
- Comprehensive practice questions with detailed answer explanations
This guide is also updated for the most recent changes to the exam. We put this in our runner up position for Series 7 study guide, more due to the exceptional quality of the Wiley guide than any particular issue with this one. It does a good job covering all the material, and is fairly well organized. If you don’t want to go with the Wiley guide for any reason, this is a totally viable alternative.
Series 7 Exam Practice Questions
Pros: Massive number of relevant practice questions for Series 7.
Cons: Not a full length study guide.
Our Rating: 4.5 / 5
Series 7 Practice Question Workbook is our pick for best question bank for the Series 7. It contains over 500 relevant questions formatted as 2 full length tests. There are detailed explanations for answers to each question, so you won’t be left wondering what you got wrong or right.
One of the best ways to prepare for any exam is to run through realistic practice tests, and use the results to help you focus on areas where you need more help. This book’s 2 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 7 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 7 Exam Flashcard Study System is our pick for best flashcards, can make a world of difference in your test preparation efforts. It covers all of the exam topics and consists of compact cards that are great for memorization of key ideas.
The full list of features include:
- Over 450 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. When it comes to Series 7 Flashcards, these are your best bet!
Series 7 Exam Frequent Questions
What is the pass rate for the Series 7?
Prior to the exam format changes in Oct 2018, the pass rate for the Series 7 was around 65%. Revised numbers aren’t available yet, but expect it to be roughly on-par.
How many hours should you study for the Series 7?
General guidelines are that newcomers to the industry will need to spend around 80-100 hours of study time to prepare. Your needs may vary, but we definitely recommend starting early (at least 4 weeks) and doing regular assessments of your readiness.
Is the Series 7 exam difficult?
The Series 7 exam is challenging, but not extremely hard. It has an unofficial pass rate of around 65% (compare to the CFA Level 1 with 42%). It’s definitely a good idea to set aside a fair amount of study time to prepare for the exam.
How many times can you take the Series 7?
There is no limit to the number of times you can sit for the Series 7. After 2 failed attempts, you have to wait 30 days before trying again. If you fail the 3rd try, you’ll have to wait a full 6 months between future attempts.
Preparing for the Series 7 requires a few things: plenty of time, a solid study plan, and materials to help guide your efforts. A good set of materials, including a study guide, practice questions, and flashcards can make all the difference in achieving a passing score.
We’ve rounded up the best Series 7 Exam study materials out there, and presented them above. To recap our recommendations:
|Top Study Guide Recommendation:||Wiley Series 7 Exam Review|
|Top Question Bank Recommendation:||Series 7 Exam Practice Questions|
|Top Flashcard Recommendation:||Series 7 Exam Flashcard Study System|
Our top pick for best Series 7 Study Guide is Wiley Series 7 Exam Review. It’s the most complete and up to date resource. It comes with tons of great review questions, and has everything you need to succeed.
Our recommendation for best practice question bank is Series 7 Practice Question Workbook. It’s got 2 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 7 Exam Flashcard Study System. It covers all the exam content, and formats it as hundreds of cards that are great for review in the final days leading up to the exam.
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 7 resources available. Good luck, and study hard!