Studying for the Series 66 Exam can be a daunting process. The exam covers a ton of information, and the test questions are detailed and demanding.

Whether or not you’re using the premium Knopman Marks web & mobile Series 66 flashcards in Brainscape, if you want to put yourself in the best position to pass the first time, you need to carefully craft and commit to a plan that will get you over the finish line.

Here are 6 steps you should take for preparing effectively and passing the Series 66 exam:

6 key steps to ace the Series 66 exam

Step 1: Know what you’re dealing with

The test you are taking is 110 questions long (10 ungraded, experimental questions are randomly included) and you have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete it. You must score 73% on the 100 scored questions to pass. You need to demonstrate your knowledge on a broad range of topics, including: Economic Factors and Business Information; Investment Vehicle Characteristics; Client Investment Recommendations and Strategies; and Laws, Regulations, and Unethical Business Practices. While the topics may be similar to those on the Series 7, they are tested very differently on the Series 66.

Step 2: Be realistic about setting aside study time

The Series 66 experts at Knopman Marks Financial Training recommend that you plan on 75-100 hours of prep time before your test. You should assume you'll need about 4-8 weeks of prep time if you’re working full time. This is a serious time commitment, and you need to make sure you remove yourself from distractions while you study.

[For more on this, check out our full guide to creating effective study habits.]

Step 3: Find the best materials to study from

There are several test prep companies offering courses to help you pass the Series 66 exam, but they're not all the same. Be sure to check out the evaluations, pass rates, and services offered by each of the vendors you're considering. And notice whether they offer access to instructors or classes where you can ask questions you have on the material or on your study strategies. Compare the resources that come with the package.

And besides just text and questions, make sure your chosen course provides access to video or audio summaries, flashcards, and extra exams that can truly predict your readiness. Bonus if they offer mobile options that you can access while you commute.

Knopman Marks's Series 66 prep course happens to check all these boxes, and they also have the best pass average in the business.

But don't just rely on a course. Give yourself the best chance of passing by using effective study tools that help you learn quickly and actually remember what you learn.

Brainscape's Series 66 flashcards use a scientifically proven method of confidence-based repetition to help you study large amounts of study materials over time. With the brilliance of Knopman Marks content combined with Brainscape's study technology, you'll be in great hands to ace the exam.

Step 4: Make a schedule and stick with it

The best way to make it happen is to block time on your calendar. A best practice if you’re working is to study at least an hour or two 4 days during the week and commit 6 – 10 hours on the weekend. It’s never easy to find the time, but you have to—there’s no way around it.

Step 5: Read the textbook cover to cover

There’s a myth circulating about prepping for securities exams that claims you’ll be successful just by doing questions. Don’t believe it—the text book is a vital part of the process.

But don’t get bogged down reading it. Put away the highlighter and approach it more like a novel. Read more for context and familiarity with terms instead of for memorization. You’ll get the background you need and fill in knowledge gaps as you do questions and flashcards. Some students waste time on the wrong things, so don’t let yourself get stuck in any topic. The time you devote to textbook should be no more than 1/3 of your total study time.

[Here some more tips on how to read a textbook the right way]

Step 6: Get the most value out of practice questions

After you’ve read through the text, it’s time for practice exams—lots of them. You should complete 1,500 – 2,000 practice questions from your Qbank to be sure you’re ready for passing the Series 66 exam. Memorizing the questions isn’t in your best interest, so be sure the materials you buy offer many questions.

Start out by completing a 100-questions exam on all topics just to get a sense of how the test feels. Use settings that allow you to read the explanations as you go so that you are filling in your areas of weakness. For best results, go back to the textbook to re-read information if the topic is still unclear after you’ve read the explanation. Then go back and do quizzes of 30-50 questions on each topic that you’re not passing. Keep pushing forward in this way for about 1,000 questions.

Your final Qbank step is to continue taking 110-question exams on all topics. The exams should be taken like actual tests, and you should aim to average 75-80% or above. A final step—take your vendors predicative benchmark exam and review any summaries they may provide. Usually these extra materials have been tested with many students and

Put in the work, study effectively, and you'll pass the Series 66

Commitment to these 6 steps earns you the right to be confident when taking and passing the Series 66 exam. Lucky for you, there are companies, like Knopman Marks Financial Training, that are laser-focused on helping candidates prepare for these exams. They offer materials and strategies that consistently deliver the highest pass rates on Wall Street, and will be happy to help you find Series 66 success. And, our Series 66 flashcards are the perfect complement to that course.

Use these methods, put in the time, and you'll have no trouble passing the Series 66 exam.