How to Prepare for the Series 65 ExamAFO|Wealth Management Forward
How to Prepare for the Series 65 Exam
What to expect from the Series 65 exam
Exam topic breakdown
Economic Factors and Business Information (15%, 20 questions): These topics include monetary and fiscal policy, financial reporting, quantitative methods, economic indicators, and basic risk concepts.
Investment Vehicle Characteristics (25%, 32 questions): These topics include cash and cash equivalents, methods of fixed-income valuation, fixed-income securities, equities and methods used in equity valuation, derivative securities, pooled investments, and insurance-based products.
Client Investment Recommendations and Strategies (30%, 39 questions): These topics include individuals, client profiles; capital market theory, business entities, and trusts portfolio management styles, strategies, and techniques; retirement planning tax considerations, ERISA issues, special types of accounts, exchanges, and markets, trading securities, and performance measurement.
Laws, Regulations, and Guidelines, including Prohibition on Unethical Business Practices (30%, 39 questions): These topics include state and federal securities acts, investment adviser representatives, broker-dealers, and agents, ethical practices, rules and regulations for investment advisers, and fiduciary obligations, including communications with clients, client funds, compensation, and conflicts of interest.
How to Prepare for the Series 65 exam
1. Do not focus on memorizing concepts
2. Do not cram for the Series 65 Exam
3. Read all test questions carefully
How to Succeed on Series 65 Test Day
- Answer every question on the exam. Every question on the exam should be answered, even if educated guesswork is involved in the test-taking process. An individual has a 25% chance of guessing an answer correctly instead of leaving a full question unanswered, which gives the candidate a 0% chance of getting that question answered correctly. Candidates are never penalized for guessing a question on the exam. This means that every test-taking candidate should respond to every question on the exam, even if one were required to make an educated guess. If an individual is able to safely eliminate even a single possible answer choice from the answer pool, the chances of selecting a correct answer increase significantly.
- Stick to your gut when answering questions. The first response chosen during a multiple-choice question on any exam is typically the most accurate or correct answer choice. If a candidate has time at the end of the test, it is vital to look back at your most unsure answers to see if there is something that was missed or in need of a change. If one is unsure of an answer to a test question, it is best to put down an initial guess as the answer to the question and move on to the next question in order to save time on the exam. Instead of wasting precious seconds on difficult questions, it is often better to answer them quickly and move on to easier questions. This way, one is able to come back to the more challenging questions at the end of the exam while answering the more straightforward questions correctly in the beginning.
- Take care of yourself the night before the exam. For a student to succeed on the Series 65 exam, it is important for them to have a good night’s rest the night before, wear comfortable clothing, and eat a healthy breakfast. Each qualified testing center has a different environment; however, many are known to have intense bright lights and uncomfortable hard chairs. With the hard work and preparation one does to study for the Series 65 exam, candidates should feel confident in their ability to pass the exam, even with the uncomfortable circumstantial environment around them on test day.
Read more: How to Become a Financial Planner
- NASAA. “Series 65 Exam Outline.”. https://www.nasaa.org/exams/exam-content-outlines/series-65-exam-content-outline/
- NASAA. “Series 65 Test Specifications.”. Accessible From: https://www.nasaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Series-65-Test-Specs.pdf
- Pass Perfect. “Series 65 Exam FAQ & Information.”. Accessible From: https://www.passperfect.com/series-65/series-65-exam-overview
- North American Securities Administrators Association. “Exams.”. Accessible From: https://www.nasaa.org/exams/
- Society of Actuaries.org. “The Impact of Investment Advice Regulations on Personal Actuaries,” Pages 4-6. Accessible From: https://www.soa.org/globalassets/assets/files/research/projects/state-sec-exam-exemptions-rev-06-27-2005-final-with-changes-from-jen.pdf
- Investment Adviser Association.org. “Chartered Investment Counselor (CIC) Designation.”. Accessible From: https://www.investmentadviser.org/resources/professional-designations/cic-designation
- Certified Financial Planner Board of Standards, Inc.”The Certification Process.”. Accessible From: https://www.cfp.net/get-certified/certification-process
- FINRA.org. “Qualification Exam Waivers and Exemptions.”. Accessible From: https://www.finra.org/registration-exams-ce/qualification-exams/exam-waivers-and-exemptions
- North American Securities Administrators Association. org. “Exam FAQs.”. Accessible From: https://www.nasaa.org/exams/exam-faqs/
- North American Securities Administrators Association.org. “Series 65 Test Specifications.”. Accessible From: https://www.nasaa.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/02/Series-65-Test-Specs.pdf
- North American Securities Administrators Association.org. “Series 65 Study Guide.”. Accessible From: https://www.nasaa.org/exams/study-guides/series-65-study-guide/