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Beginning Series 86 Practice Questions: Patience Required

When beginning Series 86 practice questions, please be patient. This is our request for every student required to take FINRA’s Series 86 exam.

Why? Let’s talk.

 

Where Are the Study Materials?

Time and again, our most common inquiry for the Series 86 is around the study material. Namely, why is it so limited? And, why does the text have so little to do with the practice questions?

Unfortunately, we don’t have a great answer for you. We didn’t come up with the study material (STC is the main provider for the curriculum). But, we do have plenty of advice.

First, we recommend skimming the textbook, as opposed to spending too much time studying it deeply. The material it covers is very little of what is needed to score well on the curriculum’s study questions (via practice exams). We have no idea how this came to be, or why this is the case. That said, it’s been this way for well over a decade and people still pass the exam. So, let’s talk about how people can pass despite this glaring issue.

 

Beginning Series 86 Studying…How to Deal with It

Most importantly, the practice questions – and their answers – will be your guide. Use the textbook to find a number of formula (we roughly estimate ~80%) you will need to know. Alas, don’t be surprised that there are formulas tested in the practice exams that aren’t in the textbook.

Surprising, but true.

In a nutshell, you will learn more from the practice questions than the text. As a result, you should expect that getting through the practice questions is an excruciatingly slow progress toward the beginning.

 

How Long Should I Expect to Spend on Questions?

So, because you can’t learn everything that you need to learn from the Series 86 textbook, the practice questions may take you a minimum of 10 minutes per question when you first start. Our Series 86 tutors report that during a 1.5 hour tutoring session, it’s not uncommon to get through fewer than 10 questions during the first couple sessions. The questions can take some time, and the answers can take even more to understand.

Overall, stick with it. If you have a background in accounting or corporate finance, much of the content may be a review. However, if you are new to these subjects be prepared to spend a significant amount of time studying. As experienced tutors in many of FINRA’s exams, we can say with confidence that this one is the hardest.

For more help on how to pass the Series 86, check out our other writing.

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