Interviews - Jamie
Profession: Insurance professional
Took test: November 2004
College major: Business
Jamie said that his studying was rushed because his company needed him to acquire his Series 63 license quickly. As a result, all of his studying was done within 30 days of the exam. He studied by himself for one week and then took a four-day seminar. Then he studied with a few people from his firm for the remainder of the time. Jamie thought the class he took was outstanding and did not feel that he would have passed the test without it. He mentioned that the instructor outlined how to pass the exam and what subjects to study the most.
Exam Question Recall
Jamie felt 40-50% of the test related directly to the Uniform Securities Act and law.
In addition, he mentioned that there were some questions on the exam that were not in his study materials. However, they were mostly common sense questions. As he recalls, the mystery questions had to do with investment companies.
He said, "There's going to be stuff on the test that you will not see in the study materials. However, with a little common sense, the questions are easily passable."
Most importantly, Jamie mentioned that time matters. "It's extremely important to budget your time on the exam and constantly watch the clock."
Jamie also related a negative experience. He mentioned that he readily used the "flag" function to mark questions for review. He marked five for review, but when he came to the end of the exam, and went back to review his flagged question, the computer came back with 12, although he only recalled marking five. He thinks the program mistakenly marked several extra questions.
After the exam, Jamie spoke to a friend who related the same experience. Both did not report the problem, as they were afraid they would have to retake the exam. If this is truly a problem, it could still exist.
If the "flagging" problem does exist, there is a simple solution. As you work through the test and flag questions for review, remember to check your flagged questions as you mark new ones. By this I mean, use the review function, which you should have access to at any point during the exam to ensure that the number of questions you flagged for review truly to add up to the same amount the computer is tallying. More than likely, this was human error; Jamie may have unknowingly flagged several questions, thus causing the discrepancy. If you check the tally of flagged questions while you work through the exam and suddenly find an additional flagged question, you can record the problem and make specific note of it at the end of the exam. Moreover, by doing so, you will help save future exam participants from the same headache. Call it good test karma.
Final Words of Advice
Take a class. The problem with using only a study guide is that you do not know what matters the most. Jamie looked at several study guides and felt overwhelmed by the amount of material to cover. In other words, he felt like there was so much material in the study guides that he didn't even know where to start. This is a likely scenario for many test participants. While the material certainly is not complicated, there is quite a bit of it. It is important at this stage to take a step back, take a deep breath and just try to bite off small pieces at a time.
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