Jim

Series 7 Score Stuck? What Kind of Plateaus to Expect When Studying

Is your Series 7 score stuck? Have your practice exam scores hit a plateau? You’re not the only one. In today’s post, I outline what kind of progress you should expect for your Series 7 studying.

 

Series 7 Score Stuck…In the Beginning

When you first start out, I suggest you take a comprehensive practice exam. Sure, you don’t know the material yet. Sure, you will be totally guessing on many questions. And, sure you should expect a low score. But, this first practice test will give you a baseline score off of which you can start to progress. Please keep your expectations quite low for this first practice exam. You shouldn’t expect to score above 60%, for instance. In fact, anything over 55% I would consider extremely good. The goal is to begin the familiarization process around how questions will be asked.

You should hereafter start studying your text more thoroughly. Read the text, work through chapter questions from your book (or practice material). After you’ve completed your review, try another practice exam. Again, this will be another low score (but ideally marginally higher than your first one). Most people that we tutor start out in the high 50s or low 60s after they’ve finished reviewing the material. Plan to see your Series 7 score stuck around here for a week, at least.

 

Getting Better

A week or two after your first plateau around the high-50% to low 60% range, you should expect to start moving up. Most students for this challenging FINRA exam move up to the high 60%-range after a couple weeks. There are two paths that we generally see after this: 1) Some students get stuck here for more than a few weeks, at which time they seek a Series 7 tutor. After we come into help the plateaus still occur but for less time; 2) The other type of student will keep progressing on their own and eventually plateau again around the mid-70% range.

At this point, we don’t recommend taking the exam even though you’re technically passing the practice exams. Leave room for a buffer in between the practice exam scores, and the actual exam. The Series 7 Top-Off difficulty level is up there, and you want to be quite sure you’re ready when you go in. Most students stay in the 70% range for a week and then start moving up.

 

Almost Ready

Once your score reaches the high 70% range and/or low 80% range, it usually takes another week to consistently hold the 80% line. Expect your score to consistently grind higher from here. At this point, the average student knows the material quite well. More questions, memory-work (e.g., with formulas, definitions, rules, regulations, etc.) will help. Ultimately, most people slowly start grinding higher toward the mid-80% range. Around this point, you’re ready to go. I prefer to see my students crack 90% at least once before I send them in. But, if you don’t have much time you still have a very high probability of success in the 80s.

Overall, the main takeaway is to expect periodic plateaus in your practice scores. If you expect to score 90% after a week of studying your expectations are too high. Give yourself some time to plateau and learn more as you inch up toward the 80s and 90s. You’ll get there eventually but patience is required. And of course, if it’s taking longer than you have tutors help! Book a tutor with us if you need one. We shave off significant time off of most people’s plateaus. Good luck!

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