Hello all, welcome to the most beneficial write-up on the preparation and tips to pass Kaplan Series 65 Exam.

By reading through this write-up, we guarantee you will be well-informed on the basics of this exam, the prep courses that will help you better prepare for the actual test, and the tips to help you scale through the exam.

Today, we want to cover:

The basics about the Series 65 exam
Kaplan Series 65 exam prep course
How Kaplan Series 65 exam prep course compares to others
Tips to ace the Series 65 exam

Let’s get started right away.

The Basics About Kaplan Series 65 Exam

Series 65 exam is designed by North American Securities Administration Association (NASAA).

The exam is administered by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Series 65 exam, also known as the Uniform Investment Adviser Law exam, is designed for financial advisors aspiring to become investment advisor representatives (IAR).

Investment advisor representatives’ responsibilities include offering investment advice and managing clients’ investment portfolios.

The exam prepares IAR for these roles. 

The Series 65 exam covers rules and regulations for an investment adviser.

It also focuses on fiduciary duty, state and federal law, as well as ethical practices.

The exam has 130 choice questions.

A financial advisor should get 94 of the 130 questions right to pass the exam. 

In other words, the pass mark is 72.3%.

FINRA’s Series 65 exam takes 180 minutes to complete. 

Students are usually given a calculator, a dry erase board, and markers during the exam.

FINRA has strict guidelines for the exams that even an attempt to cheat will call for severe punishment.

Once an advisor has passed the Series 65 exam,  they are required to register with the state security regulatory authority and a registered investment advisor (RIA) firm.

IAR education doesn’t stop with the Series 65 exam. 

Many IARs pursue certifications to further their career development.

Many investment advisors opt for a certified financial planner or a chartered financial analyst certification.

Apart from these certifications, an investment advisor can further their education in other areas depending on their specialization.

In some states, financial advisors are exempted from the series 65 exams if they have a CFP certification.

Another key area to note is that Series 7 and Series 63 exams are viewed as alternatives for the Series 65 exam.

That is to say, if an advisor already has a series 7 license and series 63 license, they are exempted from the Series 65 exam.

Now, to the big question, what happens when someone fails Series 65 the first time?

They’ll have 30 days waiting period before registering for the exam again.

Additionally, they’ll pay the exam fee and wait for the usual 120 days after the registration.

If they fail the second time, they’ll wait for 30 days before enrolling again.

Failing the third time calls for 180 days waiting period.

The waiting period is for one to reread the study materials, take more practice exams, and hopefully be better equipped for the exam.

Registration for Series 65 exam

One doesn’t need sponsorship by an investment firm to take the examination.

The registration process is pretty straightforward.

To get started, a financial advisor creates an account with FINRA’s Investment Adviser Registration Depository (IARD).

They’ll then be issued a Central Registration Depository (CRD) number, which they’ll use to file form ADV and the U4 form.

Self-sponsored students file form U10 instead of U4.

The next step is to pay the exam fee of $175 and schedule the exam.

As is typical of all exams the world over, it’s crucial to prepare adequately.

That’s where Kaplan Series 65 test prep steps in.

Thus, to give an overview of what Kaplan financial education series 65 exam prep offers, here is a comprehensive review of the different packages.

Kaplan Series 65 Exam Prep Course

Kaplan financial education is well known in the financial advisory industry as a leading authority in securities licensing exam prep.

Its Series 65 exam study guide has everything one needs to pass the NASAA’s Series 65 exam.

The Kaplan series practice exams truly give value for the money.

Kaplan has three packages for the Series 65 practice exam. 

Each with a different offering, starting with the basic to essential to the premium package.

Let’s now review what the different plans have to offer.

Basic self-study package

Just like the name suggests, this plan has the least number of offerings when it comes to exam prep.

The basic self-study package is perfect for anyone who has consistently shown that they can study independently and pass exams without the help of an instructor.

The exam prep course is solely self-study.

Students have access to Kapan’s question bank, one of the most comprehensive test banks with dozens of practice tests a student can use to check their mastery.

The QBank practice exams help students focus on their weaknesses. 

The more one cracks the questions on the QBank, the more they can drill down on every topic and pinpoint the areas they are struggling with.

From their weak points, they can go back to the book, review the topics they are failing, and then retake question bank quizzes on those particular topics.

The practice exams can be done online or downloaded, printed, and used as a hard copy.

The exams are customizable, depending on the student’s progress in the study material.

So one doesn’t have to worry about falling back on the previously done practices if they take some time off.

The basic package also has a study calendar and a performance tracker.

Both of which are instrumental in ensuring the practice sessions run smoothly.

Further, this plan has a licensing exam manual, which gives students an overview of the actual exam.

The basic self-study package goes for $159.

Essential self-study package

The essential self-study package has more to offer than the basic package.

It’s also more expensive, going at $199.

The essential package has the study calendar and performance tracker, just like the basic plan.

Suppose an advisor works full-time or part-time or has committed an entire period to series 65 exam prep only. 

They can easily plan their daily study schedule based on their study time using the study calendar.

The performance tracker tracks progress, helping students stay on top of the game throughout the Series 65 exam prep course.

Students also have access to the licensing exam manual, exam tips and updates, and securitiespro QBank quizzes.

What sets this package apart is the access to checkpoint exams, video library, and midterm exams.

Once an advisor has gone through the entire book, they can use the video library to reinforce the knowledge from the manual.

The midterm and checkpoint exams are exactly what a financial advisor needs to test their level of preparation.

The essential self-study package is quite comprehensive, though it’s also a self-study.

Hence, a student must be a self-starter to get the most from the exam prep.

Otherwise, not even the high-quality study materials will help. 

Premium instruction package

The premium instruction package offers great value.

On top of what the two first packages offer, the premium package also has class notes that one can download and an instructor link, which students can use when they are stuck while preparing for the exams.

Moreover, students have access to mastery exams that can be live online or on-demand plans with an instructor-led class just to reinforce key points and help students internalize the course material.

The premium instruction on-demand package goes for $299, while the premium instruction live online package is $329.

Kaplan series 65 exam prep is known to be harder than the actual exam.

So, if students put their best feet forward and thoroughly go through the study materials, they will definitely ace the exam.

Kaplan reports an 88% pass rate for the candidates who’ve gone through their securities series exams.

How Kaplan Series 65 Exam Prep Course Compares to Others 

Apart from Kaplan’s, there are other Series 65 exam prep courses.

These test preps are offered by ExamFX, Securities Training Corporation, Securities Institute of America, and NRS FINRA Training, among others.

So, to give you an overview of what they offer, let’s kick this off with ExamFX.


ExamFX, just like Kaplan, offers a comprehensive Series 65 exam prep course that suits different learning styles and budgets.

ExamFX offers a money-back guarantee if a student doesn’t pass the exam the first time.

The prep course has three packages, each with an advanced offering than the previous package.

The self-study plan goes for $159.95.

Students can access the exam prep course for 90 days.

The self-study plan offers an interactive learning portal, instructor support, a readiness exam, an online exam simulation, and a guaranteed exam.

The simulated exam helps students review areas of weakness. 

It has an unending stream of practice tests to help students fully comprehend the study guide.

The video study package costs $234.85.

This package has online flashcards and on-demand video lectures on top of what the self-study package has.

For one to be eligible for ExamFX money-back guarantee, they must sit for the company’s money-back test three days before the actual exam.

The student has to score at least 80% in the exam to get their money back if they fail the actual exam. 

Securities Training Corporation

Securities Training Corporation (STC) has been around since 1969.

Just like Kaplan and ExamFX, they offer three packages.

Once a student enrolls in a plan, they’ll have access to the study materials for six months

The standard package is $185.

The package offers 2407 access to tech support.

In fact, a student can reach an instructor through a phone call or email if they need help.

The package also has eight tailored practice questions

More than that, students have access to a list that highlights exactly what they need to know to pass series 65 exams.

The Premier course package costs $209 and is as comprehensive as they come.

On top of the study tools the standard package offer, the premium course offers 1 500 online flashcards to help students master the concepts.

There is also an on-demand lecture.

More importantly, STC guarantees a pass for this plan.

Lastly, we have the premier plus course, which is $325.

The package is ideal for students that want a live instruction session.

The plan includes everything in the standard and premier packages plus 12 hours of in-person or live virtual instructions, whichever the student prefers.

STC reports a pass rate of 95%.

Even more important is that there’s a money-back guarantee for premier and premier plus students who fail the actual test the first time.

Securities Institute of America

Securities Institute of America (SIA) provides an all-in-one study guide with everything a student needs to pass the series 65 exams.

SIA exam prep course is flexible.

So, apart from the one complete package that goes for $200, students can choose one study tool from the full package.

The all-in-one plan has an e-book, a test bank with 1,800 questions, 13 hours of video instructions, and a textbook that one can either access digitally or get a hard copy.

Now, if one doesn’t need the entire package, they can buy a single study tool or a combination.

The textbook alone goes for $89.95.

One can combine the book and the question bank for $129.95.

Students can also get the 13 hours of video instruction at $99.

Or better yet, pair it with the practice exam software for $124.99.

if one prefers audio learning, they can settle for the mobile learning e-book for $89.95.

SIA claims to have the highest past rate among the Series 65 exam prep course providers.

They have their Greenlight Guarantee exam to prove it.

Since SIA offers a money-back guarantee, students take the Greenlight exam five days before the Series 65 exam.

If they pass the exam and fail the actual securities exam, they get a refund.

NRS FINRA Training

Just like the Securities Institute of America, NRS also has a single complete exam prep course.

The program goes for $210.

It entails 20 chapters of series 65 study guides, which can be printed or read online, either on desktop or mobile.

Each of the 20 chapters has 20 practice tests.

Although, students can create more practice exams from each chapter to sharpen their knowledge.

There are also additional practice exams students can crack.

NRS has a no pass, no pay guarantee.

And so students are guaranteed their money if they pass the final practice exam with NRS and fail the pass the real exam with FINRA.

That’s it.

Like we’ve seen, it’s only Kaplan that doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee.

Apart from that, only NRS and STC offer an all-in-one package. 

The rest have three packages, just like Kaplan, although the costs vary depending on the study tools in each plan.

Tips to Ace Series 65 Exams

Series 65 exam is challenging to say the list.

Therefore, adequate preparation is necessary to pass the exam for the first time.

With that said, let’s walk you through tips to help you ace this exam.

  • Take your time to read through the series 65 textbook. Read the entire book, highlighting important points, key sections, and examples.
  • It’s recommended that you study for a minimum of 50-60 hours when preparing for the exam.
  • Take advantage of the practice questions offered in the exam prep courses. Do as many practice exams as possible to have a strong foundation on every topic. QBank will help you better assimilate definitions and key concepts.
  • Find out the weight of each topic on the actual test. There are 40 questions in the ethics and legal guidelines, 40 on investment strategies, 31 on investment vehicles, and 19 on economic analysis. This will help you put more effort into topics that weigh more.
  • Flashcards are great study tools when it comes to recalling key concepts. So, have them with you at all times. They’ll help you retain information on the topics that you are weak in.
  • When it comes to the exam itself, read the full question. Please avoid skimming through to find keywords. Take your time with each question to find out what exactly the examiner wants from you.
  • When you are unsure of an answer, don’t waste time there. Click record and review. Once you’ve answered all the questions, you can review the ones you were not sure about.
  • Use the elimination method when answering exam questions that are confusing or you don’t know the answer to. In the elimination method, you’ll first eliminate all the choices that can’t be correct. From the choices that are left, go with your guts.
  • Finally, the cardinal rule. Don’t change your first answer. Most of the time, you’ll end up replacing it with the wrong one.


Series 65 exam is tough, to say the least.

That’s why the exam prep courses are crucial to help prepare.

Kaplan Series 65 study guide plus the dozen other exam prep courses can set you up for success if you take the time to internalize the materials.

Most financial advisors who’ve taken the test report that, more often than not, the practice questions are a lot harder than the exam.

So, if you have consistently gotten 80% in the practice tests, you are set up for a pass the first time.

Having said that, all the best in your preparation for the Series 65 exam.










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