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    Hi all, welcome to this expository write-up about the Series 66 Exam.

    This article promises to help you understand the nitty-gritty of the Series 66 Exam, the pass rate and the scores required to scale through it.

    You will learn:

    What the  NASAA/FINRA Series 66 exam covers
    Passing scores needed to secure your Series 66 license 
    The pass rate for the exam
    Frequently asked questions

    Let’s get started!

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      Introduction to Series 66 Exam

      In today’s article, we look at the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) Series 66 exam, also known as the Uniform Combined State Law Examination. 

      Administered by Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), this exam is a necessity for investment adviser representatives, broker-dealers, and securities agents that have their Series 7 license as a prerequisite. 

      Without a doubt, if you want to know more about this securities exam, you are in the right place. 

      FINRA Series 66 Exam Overview

      So we’ve already mentioned that a Series 7 license is a prerequisite for this exam.

      The SIE exam, however, is not a corequisite, although it is for a Series 7 if you haven’t completed that yet.

      Theoretically, however, you could study for both your Series 7 and Series 66 at the same time.

      Also, if you’d like to take your Series 66 license, you won’t need sponsorship from a FINRA-member firm at all. 

      Should you wish to act as an investment advisor or broker-dealer that provides investment advice to others, you will need to pass this exam.

      Interestingly, experts call The Series 66 a combination of the Series 63 exam and Series 65 exam

      What’s covered in the Series 66 exam?

      There’s quite a lot to get through, that’s for sure.

      There are four core modules and they are:

      • Economic Factors and Business Information 
      • Investment Vehicle Characteristics 
      • Customer Investment Recommendations and Strategies 
      • Laws, Regulations, Guidelines (including Prohibition and Unethical Business Practices)  

      Other quick facts you need to know about the Series 66 exam

      While it is longer than the Series 63 exam, the Series 66 is not as long as the Series 65 exam.

      It consists of 100 multiple choice questions and to complete it you will be given 150 minutes or two-and-a-half hours.

      That’s around a minute and 30 seconds per question which is on par with other licensing exams

      As for pricing, to register for an exam date, candidates must pay $177. 

      If you fail the exam, you will need to pay $177 for each additional attempt to write it.

      And you cannot register to rewrite the next day, for example, should you just fail it.

      No, a period of 30 days is needed between attempts.

      For those candidates who want to carry on trying after their third failure, that waiting period moves to six months!

      Series 66 Pass Rate

      Because this is a state licensing exam that’s administered in each state separately, finding the passing scores isn’t possible.

      These figures are simply not released by the various states in America.

      In our research, however, we saw that experts say that around 60% to 70%of candidates pass the Series 66 exam. 

      Again, those figures only prove just how tough it is. 

      To pass the exam, candidates will need to score 73%.

      As the exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions, that means getting 73 of them right.

      Exam structure

      Why don’t we break down the modules a little more?

      Economic Factors and Business Information 

      This is the smallest module on the exam and just five questions will come from it. 

      They will cover various analytical methods. 

      Investment Vehicle Characteristics

      20 questions will come from this module.

      It covers concepts such as:

      • Valuation factors of fixed income and equity securities
      • Valuation of pooled investment vehicles 
      • Futures
      • Characteristics, risks, and application of alternative investments
      • Insurance-based products 
      • And more

      Customer Investment Recommendations and Strategies

      Test-takers will find 30 questions relating to this module.

      They cover the following: 

      • Type of clients
      • Client profile
      • Capital market theory
      • Portfolio management strategies, styles, and techniques
      • Tax considerations
      • Retirement plans
      • ERISA issues
      • Special types of accounts
      • Ownership and estate planning techniques 
      • Trading securities  
      • Portfolio performance measures

      Laws, Regulations, Guidelines (including Prohibition and Unethical Business Practices)

      This is by far the biggest module covered by the exam and 45 questions will come from it.

      They will cover:

      • Regulation of investment advisers 
      • Regulation of investment adviser representatives 
      • Regulation of broker-dealers
      • Regulation of broker-dealer’s representatives
      • Regulation of securities and issuer 
      • Remedies and administrative provisions
      • Communication with clients and prospects  
      • Ethical practices and fiduciary obligations 

      Series 66 Preparation

      From looking at the pass rates alone, you can tell that preparation for the Series 66 exam is going to be key for candidates who want to pass the first time. 

      The bedrock and foundation of that preparation is about going beyond the coursework.

      Yes, that’s critical and you should never forsake it because the questions from the exam cover it all.

      But candidates who go beyond the coursework in their preparation give themselves a far better chance of getting through the exam than those who don’t.

      That’s where extra exam prep comes in.

      And when it comes to studying materials, you can find so much online.

      Some are free and others you’d have to pay for but they include:

      • Practice questions
      • Full practice exams
      • Flashcards
      • Prep course/study guides 
      • Other online courses

      All of these can help you make sure that you use your study time effectively.

      But there is more you can do to make your life even easier.

      Start with the coursework

      It seems like the place to start but many people only breeze through the coursework before jumping into anything else.

      The coursework is very text-heavy, so it’s critical to get an understanding of it.

      To reach that is going to be different for each candidate.

      For some, it means reading through it, for others making notes.

      Just use an approach that will work for you.

      If you read through it, perhaps do it twice.

      The first time to get what it covers and the second to understand those concepts a little more. 

      Draw up a plan of action

      Call this a study plan or whatever you’d prefer, but planning your approach to covering the coursework and other exam prep is critical.

      Why?

      Well, remember that you have 120 days from the registration date to write the exam.

      A study plan will help you use them as effectively as possible.

      Build-in revision works as well to help keep concepts you covered earlier at the forefront of your mind. 

      Once you’ve covered the coursework only then consider extra exam prep

      If you are taking practice exams and failing, you haven’t covered the coursework properly.

      Experts suggest that if you are scoring around 80% on these practice tests, you should be ready to take the exam.

      So make sure you use all your study guides and extra study material to reach that point. 

      Conclusion

      With around 60% to 70% of candidates passing this exam, getting your first-time pass isn’t going to be easy.

      That’s why taking an online course, tutorial, or using other study prep is a must to help you get through the final exam.

      And remember if you are to operate with a Series 7 license, you will need to pass this exam as well.

      If you have any queries about the Series 66 exam, leave a comment below and we will get back to you.

      FAQ

      References

      1. Kaplan

      2. NASAA

      3. FINRA

      4. Investopedia

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