Cheat Sheet

1,001 Series 7 Exam Practice Questions For Dummies Cheat Sheet

From 1,001 Series 7 Exam Practice Questions For Dummies

By Steven M. Rice

The Series 7 Exam is also known as the General Securities Representative Qualification Examination. The Series 7 is the license required by most broker-dealers for their registered representatives. The Series 7 Exam is required to ensure that registered representatives dealing with the public have a certain degree of knowledge, abilities, and skills needed to perform the functions of their job. The Series 7 Exam is by no means easy and requires a lot of your attention while prepping.

Breaking Down the Series 7 Exam

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, or FINRA, administers the Series 7 Exam, which consists of questions from several different categories. The following is FINRA’s breakdown of the Series 7 Exam:

Major Job Functions Number of Questions
Seeks business for the broker-dealer through customers and
potential customers
Evaluates customers’ other security holdings, financial
situation and needs, financial status, tax status, and investment
Opens accounts, transfers assets, and maintains appropriate
account records
Provides customers with information on investments and makes
suitable recommendations
Obtains and verifies customer’s purchase and sales
instructions, enters orders, and follows up
Total 250

You are graded on a total of 250 multiple choice questions. However, the computerized examination includes 260 questions of which 10 questions are experimental (for future exams) and don’t count for or against your grade. These questions are randomly distributed throughout the test, and you won’t necessarily know which ones they are.

You are given up to 6 hours to complete the exam, which is broken down into 2 sessions of up to 3 hours each. Between each half, you can take anywhere between a half-hour to one-hour break. Most testing centers have some sort of lunch room in the building, so this would be a good time to eat a light meal.

When taking the exam, you have to answer each question before you can move to the next. If you aren’t confident in your answer, you can mark it for review and look at it again before you end each half of the exam. Quite often, students change a right answer to a wrong one. So only change your answer if you are sure that you’ve made a mistake.

You will receive your grade and a printout detailing your score shortly after submitting the second half of your exam. The passing score is 72 percent, so each question is worth four-tenths of a point.

Check here to review the FINRA Series 7 Outline.

Setting Yourself Up for Success on the Series 7 Exam

Test taking is a skill. It is important that you take a lot of practice exams before attempting the real deal Series 7. And take the practice exams as much like the real exam as possible. This means timing yourself, taking 125-question practice exams from start to finish, using scrap paper, and improving your test-taking ability. No matter what multiple choice exam you are taking, the following tips will definitely help you score higher on the exam:

  • Don’t jump to conclusions. By the time you take the real Series 7 Exam, you will probably have taken so many practice questions that you will be ready to answer the question before reading the answers. Read each question fully to make sure that you know what the question is asking. If you are not sure, read it again. Pay particular attention to the last sentence of the question.

  • Look out for key words that can change the question such as: EXCEPT, ALWAYS, NOT, ALL, NONE, and so on. When you first start taking practice exams, highlight or underline these words so that you focus on them.

  • Use a calculator when necessary to avoid making careless math mistakes.

  • If the answer isn’t apparent to you right away, eliminate any wrong answers that you can. In other words, don’t “C” your way through. Every wrong answer that you eliminate increases your chance of getting the answer correct. Considering the size of the Series 7 Exam, this approach could be the difference between passing and failing.

  • If you can’t answer the question right away and you have eliminated whatever wrong answers you can, take your best guess from the remaining answers and mark it for review. Very often, another question will turn on the light switch and help you answer a question that you have marked for review earlier in the exam.

  • Don’t stress about questions that take a long time to answer. The Series 7 is designed in such a way that some questions will take you 20 seconds and some will take you 2 minutes. It is very rare for people to run out of time. Typically, people end up with an extra half hour to an hour on each half. It’s a good idea to time yourself when taking practice exams so you’ll have a bit of extra confidence.

  • Focus on just the information in each question that will help you get the correct answer. Very often, the test developers add superfluous information to the questions, which is meant to distract you and make it harder to get the right answer.

  • Only review the questions that you have marked for review. At the end of each half, you will have a choice of reviewing the questions that you have marked for review or you can review all of the questions. The test is long and hard, so you don’t need to be sitting there wasting time second guessing yourself.

  • Only change an answer if you are sure that you’ve made a mistake. This is very important advice. More often than not, your first guess will be better than your second guess.

  • Use your scrap paper (or whiteboard) for questions besides those requiring math equations. When taking the real Series 7, you will be working on a computer and won’t be able to underline or cross anything out. Use your scrap paper for the questions that you are going to mark for review. You can write down the question number, note any keywords, write down your letter choices (or Roman numeral choices), and then cross off the wrong answers.

  • Make flash cards of the formulas and/or definitions that you are having trouble remembering. The Series 7 contains so much information that it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to commit everything to memory. Arrive at the test site early and sit in your car to study those flash cards. When you go in to take your exam, write down those formulas and/or definitions on your scrap paper right away.