The Path to Series 66 Success

Modified on by Andrew Cohen

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Studying for the Series 66 Exam can be a daunting process. The exam covers a lot 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.


6 Key Steps to Ace the Series 66

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 familiar from Series 7, they are tested very differently on the Series 66.


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 prep time of 4-8 weeks 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. So not only is setting aside the time critical, you also must find a quiet and well-lit place where you can concentrate to maximize your effort.


3) Find the best materials to study from. Check out the experience and pass rates of vendors. There are many choices available, but you definitely get what you pay for. Consider whether you have access to instructors or classes for questions on the material or on your study strategies. Compare the resources that come with the package. Besides just text and questions, do you have access to video or audio summaries, flashcards, and extra exams that can truly predict your readiness? Do you have mobile options that you can access while you commute?


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 there’s no way around it.


5) Read the text book 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 in reading it. Put away the highlighter and approach it 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. 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.


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 q-bank to be sure you’re ready. 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 q-bank 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


Commitment to these 6 steps earns you the right to be confident when taking your 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. To learn more about Series 66 materials and resources, check out

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