The Best Online FINRA Series 7 Test Prep Courses
What Is the Series 7 Test?
The Series 7 exam is taken by entry-level, registered representatives pursuing a career in financial planning. If you want to be a broker, dealer or securities representative, you must pass the Series 7 exam.
Sometimes called the Level 7 top-off exam, this test is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).
The Series 7 exam assesses whether you have the knowledge, skills and expertise to sell complex financial products to investors. To pass, you must perform well in all areas of the test. In addition, you must show your integrity and ability to guide clients appropriately.
The Series 7 exam is also important for career development. You must pass the Series 7 if you wish to sit other FINRA exams. For example, passing the Series 7 exam will enable you to sit the Series 24 exam. Passing the Series 24 exam allows you to supervise and manage branch activities as a finance professional.
FINRA does not publish the national pass rate for the Series 7 exam. However, it is estimated by the industry that around 65% of first-time candidates achieve a pass.
The test lasts 3 hours and 45 minutes and it is made up of 125 multiple-choice questions.
To pass the test, you must achieve a minimum score of 72%. After passing the exam, you can apply for the General Securities Representative license, sometimes referred to as the Series 7 license.
Preparing for the Series 7 exam requires significant time and energy. For the best chance of success, you must find study methods and materials to complement your preferred learning style.
Before taking the exam, you should set aside a minimum of 80 hours for exam preparation and attempt to answer at least 1,000 practice questions.
How Can You Give Yourself the Best Chance?
Buying a structured exam preparation course can bring many benefits. These include:
Familiarity with the exam format – Practice is the best way to become familiar with the exam format. This will help you to feel more relaxed when taking the real test.
An opportunity to learn more about the subject matter – Answering practice questions will help you improve your knowledge of the subject matter. It will also help you to identify which questions you feel confident answering, and which you need additional support with.
Reduced costs – Level 7 candidates must pay a fee of $245 each time they take the test. Investing in a high-quality prep course could help you to pass the test on your first attempt, preventing you having to pay the exam fee more than once.
What to Look For When Choosing a Prep Course
There are many Series 7 Test prep courses available. It is important to choose one that suits your individual needs.
Consider the following points when choosing a prep course:
How long has the education provider been offering Series 7 classes? Do they have positive online reviews?
How does the provider support its students? Do they offer online chat, video calls or a telephone helpline? Will you have access to live lessons, or do they only provide course materials on demand?
Consider your learning style and preferences when thinking about this element. For example, visual learners will process and retain information most effectively when they can see it. This could be through reading, reviewing graphs or watching videos.
Remember, if you are self-motivated and able to plan your studies, a cheaper course with reduced interactivity may suffice.
Course prices vary, so it is wise to shop around before making a decision. Avoid choosing a course just because it offers the widest range of learning resources. Instead, consider which resources you will find useful to avoid spending money on unnecessary extras.
Some providers offer a free trial, which is a useful way to find out whether a course is right for you.
High Pass Rates
Some learning providers publish their pass rates, but many do not. Check the learning provider’s website to find out if pass rates are available for your preferred course. If they are not, find out whether the learning provider offers a money-back guarantee.
For additional peace of mind, choose a course that offers a money-back guarantee if you do not pass the Series 7 exam. Ensure you understand the conditions of any guarantee before signing up.
The period for which you have access to the study materials varies between providers. Think about when you aim to take the exam, then work back to decide how much study time you will need.
Some providers offer a discount if you choose to extend your subscription.
Some courses are accessible using a smartphone or tablet, others are completely textbook and computer-based. A few courses are available via apps.
If learning on the go is important to you, choose a learning provider that offers app-based learning.
It is vital to check that your chosen learning provider offers a Series 7 course covering all aspects of the exam.
You should also check whether the study materials are suitable for your preferences. For example, if you find self-study difficult, choose a course that offers plenty of interactivity and support.
7 Best Online FINRA Series 7 Test Prep Courses
STC Series 7 preparation courses are priced from $220. The top-level Premier Plus version is more expensive at $427. Premier Plus is covered by the STC Pass Guarantee.
You will also have access to an instructor hotline, course updates, online/printed study materials, live virtual and in-person classes, on-demand lectures, flashcards and progress exams. Signing up for the course allows you to access all of these materials for six months.
It is possible to buy elements of the course or study materials separately. You can also join scheduled virtual classes, supplemented with a printed study manual and the chance to sit a mock Series 7 exam. The cost of individual parts of the course ranges between $65 and $350.
- Long-standing track record
- High pass rates
- Money-back guarantee
- Responsive support from instructors
- Expensive, especially the PremierPlus package
- No mobile app offered
SIA offers high-quality preparation courses at reasonable prices. The course is supported by highly regarded financial publisher John Wiley & Sons. It offers good value for money and provides resources to suit every learning style.
The best package available from SIA is the Complete Self Study Solution, priced at $259. This package includes the Wiley Series 7 exam textbook, 20 hours of online video class sessions, an ebook and an exam question bank with over 2,000 practice questions.
The Series 7 study guide, video classes and question bank are available for six months after opening your account.
If you want a cheaper option, you can buy the Wiley Series 7 exam textbook and exam prep software for $194.95. This includes access to the question bank for six months. Practice exams can be completed whenever and wherever you like, using your phone, tablet, PC or Mac. If you prefer audio learning, SIA offers a mobile audiobook version of its textbook for $144.95.
If you choose the SIA course, you will be able to take its GreenLight exam close to your Series 7 exam date. If you pass the GreenLight test within five days of your exam but you do not pass the Series 7, SIA will refund some or all of the course fees.
- Value-for-money packages, suitable for all learning styles
- Access to live chat and telephone-based support
- Affiliated with financial publisher John Wiley & Sons
- Money-back guarantee
- Does not include any live learning content
- Limited question bank
- SIA does not publish information on pass rates
Established for more than 50 years, this financial education organization is well-qualified to support Series 7 students. It also has the means to deliver useful exam preparation content at reasonable prices.
Kaplan's basic Self-Study package costs $139 and is an affordable option for self-motivated Series 7 students. The main learning tool is the license exam manual which features access to Kaplan’s SecuritiesProTM QBank. This includes hundreds of mock exam questions, helping you to identify any areas of weakness.
Exam questions can be downloaded, allowing you to access them offline. They can also be customized to suit your progress. A study calendar and performance tracker are included to help monitor your progress.
The mid-range package costs $189. As well as the content included with the basic package, you will also have access to a video library, checkpoint exams and a mid-term exam.
The premium package is available in two formats. You can choose to add either on-demand instruction for $279, or live online instruction for $299. Premium packages include InstructorLinkTM, which provides personal assistance whenever you need it.
- Comprehensive question bank and practice tests
- Course materials can be accessed for five months. If you wish to continue accessing the materials, you can extend this by a further five months for $49.
- Individual instructor support for students who opt for a premium package
- Varied range of courses to suit all learning styles and budgets
- No money-back guarantee
- No instructor support with the lower-level packages
- Course content cannot be accessed via an app
This provider offers one comprehensive learning package in an easy-to-use format.
Knopman Marks was established in 1991. Since then, it has earned its reputation for developing and delivering highly regarded exam preparation courses. It boasts a pass rate of 95%.
This course costs $350. In exchange for this fee, students receive a textbook and ebook. The course provides access to online and printable practice tests, including over 2,000 questions alongside rationales and textbook references. You can also view over 15 hours of video-based lectures, covering 20 learning sessions and 900 electronic flashcards.
Class summaries and worksheets are available to download, and there is an iOS mobile app, providing access to offline training. A step-by-step study guide is included, allowing you to plan your learning.
You can access personalized support and guidance at any time of the day or night during the subscription period. For an additional fee of $225, you can add on as many in-person or virtual classes as you need, with classes running approximately once a month.
- High pass rate for first-time exam candidates
- Individual instructor support available day and night
- Mobile app for offline training (only available for Apple users)
- Only one course package available
- No money-back guarantee offered
This online learning package offers exam-focused study materials. It can be used to improve your knowledge using a range of superior e-learning resources. You will be supported to gain the required confidence to pass the Series 7 exam on the first attempt.
The course is priced at $349 and includes on-demand video lectures, hard-copy and digital textbooks, a selection of practice exam papers, online flashcards and instructor support. A personalized study calendar will help you to plan your learning and track your progress.
- High-quality video lectures
- Plenty of online resources if you prefer self-led learning
- Supported by mobile app, allowing you to view digital flashcards on the go
- Learning content is updated in real-time, ensuring you always have access to current information
- Can be difficult to navigate the platform and find what you’re looking for
- The price of this course is higher than many others
Achievable’s Series 7 prep course was devised by Brandon Rith, a highly regarded FINRA instructor. Achievable provides access to comprehensive course materials, including an online textbook, over 1,700 review questions and more than 20 full Series 7 practice exam papers.
A free trial is offered, so it is possible to try before you buy with no need to provide your credit card details. The full course costs $149.
The test prep platform is user-friendly and intuitive, with progress charts to detail your key strengths and overall learning journey. This course can be accessed via your computer, smartphone or mobile device, making it easy to learn at times to suit your schedule.
A money-back guarantee is included if you do not pass the exam first time.
- Free trial available, allowing you to try before you buy
- 98.2% pass rate, backed by a money-back guarantee
- Intuitive and responsive learning platform
- Charts that show your progress and highlight areas of strength within each section.
- Unlimited access to question banks and practice exam papers for a full year
- The course is based on over 10 years of training experience
- Templated math questions to ensure students learn the underlying concepts, rather than just the correct answers
- Course materials can be accessed using a smartphone, mobile device or computer, allowing you to learn at a time and place to suit you
- Limited formal support from instructors
- Does not include any online virtual learning resources
Passing the Series 7 exam is essential if you want to pursue a career in financial planning.
Signing up for an online prep course will improve your knowledge and boost your confidence, allowing you to perform to the best of your ability.
As there are so many Series 7 courses to choose from, it is important to research the different options carefully, choosing one that suits your learning style and study preferences.