10 Great Study Habits for the Series 7 Exam - dummies

10 Great Study Habits for the Series 7 Exam

By Steven M. Rice

Make no mistake, the Series 7 Exam is not easy. What compounds the difficulty of this exam is the fact that you may be working full time while studying, and you may have to take the exam in a relatively short amount of time. Using correct study habits will greatly increase your chances of passing the Series 7 the first time and will let you put it in the rearview mirror. These ten study habits can help you along your way:

  • Put in the hours: The Series 7 is a bear of an exam and will require a lot of hours on your part. Set yourself session and daily goals (such as finishing a chapter, finishing and reviewing a test, and so on).

  • Study every single day: Most of the information on this exam is going to be new to you (and most other people), so don’t take any days off unless absolutely necessary because the information will be too easy to forget.

  • Take and review lots of practice questions: It’s one thing to know the information on the exam but another thing to know how to answer questions. Once you have a relatively good handle on the information, you should spend half of your study time taking and reviewing tests and half of your study time reading your book.

  • Use sticky notes: Use sticky notes as placeholders in your Series 7 study book. Put sticky notes in every location in your book where you need additional work. In the beginning, your book will be covered in notes. Once you fully understand the information next to your sticky note, remove that note and go to the next one. Keep working your way through the book, focusing on studying the areas next to the sticky notes. Hopefully, prior to your exam, there will only be a few (or no) sticky notes left in your book.

  • Find a quiet place with no distractions: You really need to focus on this exam if you stand any chance of passing. Get away from the TV, family members, your phone, and your computer (unless you are using it to study for the Series 7). Lock yourself in your room, go to the library, sit in your car, or go wherever you need to go to be able to focus.

  • Carry a review book or equivalent with you everywhere: Time management is very important. You never know when you are going to squeeze in an extra 10 or 20 minutes of study time. If you have your book or flashcards with you, you can take advantage of that time.

  • Make your own flashcards: Make flashcards of the information you need to commit to memory. Keep them with you all the time so that you can look at them when you have extra time. When you fully understand (and will remember) the information on one flashcard, take it out of your stack.

  • Take short breaks: They say that most people are good at focusing for about 20 minutes at a time. Obviously, everyone is different and you may find that you can focus for an hour or so. However, once you get to the point where you’ve just read a paragraph or question and you need to read it again because you forgot what you just read, take a break because you are wasting time. A 5 to10 minute break will usually be enough to get you back on track.

  • Know what you don’t know: Don’t waste your time studying material that you fully understand. Spend your time focusing on the material you don’t understand.

  • If possible, record your notes for playback: There are applications for your smartphone, tablet, and computer that allow you to record audio. When you get tired of looking at your notes or sampling practice questions, take some time to record yourself reading your notes or sections of your book. Then put on your headphones and listen to the recordings when you have extra time or are just tired of looking at your book.