How to Pass The Series 10 Exam? Why The Series 9 and Series 10 are So Powerful
How to pass the Series 10 exam is no mean feat. As I am writing this blog post, I find myself opening my brand new Series 10 book from Kaplan, where I am seeing topics like Correspondence, banking regulations, a review of some things that were on the Series 7, and where I see a 500+ page book that I read maybe the first 40 pages of while I was bored one day at the Library. I am hoping to sit for my Series 9 and 10 at some point this year, likely towards the holidays after I have completed my CFP. With this being said, it is a fairly difficult exam, and while not as extensive or with nearly the same course load as the CFP is, it still needs to be taken seriously. I have often said that exams like the CFP, CFA, MBA or CPA, all are marathons, they take between 6 and 36 months depending on how dedicated you are to the courses, and they just take a really long time.
Licenses like the 7 and 66, or the 9 and 10, are sprints more than anything. The fastest I have seen someone take these exams is 4 weeks, and the slowest successful timeline for these is usually 8 to 16 weeks. Personally, I find 8 weeks to be the sweet spot for these exams. With the SIE, I needed about 8 weeks to crush the exam, for the Series 7, I attempted to pass it after 5 weeks, and thankfully it got postponed due to COVID or I likely would have failed, and so I ended up studying for around 4 months. The 66 I decided to take 8 weeks for to make sure that I gave myself enough time to pass it on the first go, and that is exactly what happened. Luckily this strategy worked, because it really clicked for me (being the material) around the last week of the test. Definitely felt good to have them done from there, be sure to read on or subscribe to our blog for additional details and information!
Other licenses that we will be covering on this website include the following:
And a host of other licenses, read on or subscribe to our blog for additional details and information.
How to Pass The Series 10 Exam, Study Strategies that Work For Me
I have yet to pass the Series 10 Exam, but I am working towards my Series 9 and my CFP currently, and I have passed the SIE, 7, 66 and 2-15 licenses, all on the first shot, so I do feel somewhat qualified to speak on study strategies regarding passing this exam. What I have done for every single securities license exam that I have taken so far has boiled down to a handful of steps:
For starters, read the book cover to cover – I cannot stress this enough. I have seen people that brag about certain courses over others, or those who skip straight to the practice exams, etc. etc. In my opinion, reading the book (and I find Kaplan textbooks work the best, followed by the Training Consultants online quizzes) is the single best way to give yourself a foundation and understanding of the material, in a way that nothing else can. When you read the book, chapter by chapter, you begin to build up momentum, and you begin to build up an understanding of all the concepts. Since you are on an 8 week study schedule typically, and since it takes around 4 weeks of taking practice exams to really get into testing mode and be ready to pass the exam, if the book is broken out into 15 or 20 chapters, I will aim for 1-2 chapters per day, this can usually get the reading done in about 3 weeks. I take notes in the margin and I write out all the definitions so I am understanding them as much as I can. I do a real, thorough read of the material, not just a skim.
Past this, what I find is that it becomes about the volume and accuracy of practice exams that you can take. I usually aim to take around 50 practice exams, and with the last 20 or so being in the low to mid 80s range, in order to feel comfortable enough to pass the exam. Not only will this give you enough of a cushion to almost guarantee passing, but it will foster a real understanding of the material in a way that I haven’t found any other study strategy does. And if you understand all the material, you pass the exam…simple as that.
Why I Would Recommend Combining Kaplan and Training Consultants For Passing The Series 10
What I have done is read the Kaplan manual, do the Kaplan exams, AND also do the Training Consultants exams. There are rumors going around online saying that Training Consultants almost mirrors some of the questions exactly. I’m not sure how much I buy this, but I will say that for the reasonably cheap price (I think the Training Consultants Quiz bank is like $40 to $60), that it is definitely worth having a second set of questions to practice off of. I used Training Consultants for my Series 66, which I had to pass to keep my job and which absolutely crushes people most of the time (I can’t imagine the pass rate being much higher than 50 or 60% for that exam) and TC basically had me cracking a smile while I was in the exam room, best $60 I ever spent.
How The Series 10 Compares to the Series 9
I am pulling out both my Series 9 and 10 books right now as I am writing this. The Series 9 textbook looks to be around 150 pages worth of Material, and actually reminds me a lot of the size and structure of the Securities Industry Essentials exam booklet (only it is 100% focused on options, which is easy or hard depending on how good you are at options.) The book for the Series 10 reminds me more of the Series 66 than anything else, 350 pages of legal jargon, correspondence information, and regulations, regulations, and more regulations on all things the Securities Industry. I can’t imagine the 9 and 10 being that much harder than the 7 and 66 in all honesty, and from looking at these books they might actually be a lot easier, just an additional qualification is all I guess.
The topics on the Series 9 Exam, Chapter by Chapter, Include:
- Introduction to Options (puts, calls, spreads, etc.)
- Income and Hedging Strategies
- Multiple Option Strategies
- Nonequity Options
- Options Accounts and Supervision
- Trading Rules and Margin
Honestly in reading the table of contents the Series 9 looks like something I could do with some light reading in like 2 weeks. The Series 10 is a little more information dense, and the chapters include:
- Supervision of Associated Persons and Personnel Management Activities
- Supervision of the Opening and Maintenance of Customer Accounts
- Supervision of Sales Practices and General Trading Activities
- Supervision of Communications With the Public
Each unit is like 100 pages long, which is somewhat brutal but again, I think I could crack this exam in about 8 weeks, with 6 weeks for the 9.
Other Licenses That Will Aid In Your Journey, The 7 and 66, and the CFP Designation
Aside from the fact that you actually need your 7 and 66, as well as to be employed at a member firm in order to get sponsored to take the 9 and 10, my opinion on the matter is that having your Series 7 and Series 66, and your CFP, CHFC, EA, CPA license, or other valued designations, will help you out exponentially and pay some serious dividends with regards to passing these exams. The 7 and 66 will help you out the most, since they are both securities licenses, and so you learn how to study for and pass Securities exams. On top of this, things like the CFP give you the kind of focus of mind and disciplined study schedule that is required for you to push through something like passing your Management licenses the first time around.
How Much Of The Series 10 Is Actually Useful In The Real World?
Depending on how long you study for, my thoughts on this are you retain between 20 and 40% of what you learn when studying for these exams, even if you just cram the information in. Years down the road you will not remember the information specifically enough to take the test again, but you will remember snippets of the options strategies, the information you learned will be recalled once an options compliance issue comes up in the work place, etc. etc. Personally, I think these FINRA exams are the way they are because:
They function as an IQ test to weed out certain people. Higher IQ managers are typically better at their job (although people skills is really 60%+ of the job)
More educated managers and more qualified managers typically do better
Experience and education, as well as qualifications, are the most important things to foster in your employees
How to Pass The Series 10 In 4 Weeks
Passing the Series 10 in 4 weeks, especially while working a full time job, is going to be next to impossible. What I would do if I had 4 weeks to pass this exam is:
Strive to read 50 pages per day for the first 8 or 9 days, this should make it so you have the manual down pact. Read it as thoroughly as possible for maximum recall.
Take the next 3 weeks and do nothing but practice exams, practice exams, and more practice exams. If you can take 50 practice exams (2-3 exams per day and reviews) for 3 weeks straight, and you are scoring in the 80s on each exam, you might have a fighting chance.
How to Pass The Series 10 in 8 Weeks
8 weeks is actually a better study schedule for long term retention of the material, and understanding this material long enough to have knowledge of it throughout your career has got to count for something. An 8 week study schedule would look more like this:
Spend the first 4 weeks reading the book as thoroughly as you possibly can. Shoot for 20 pages per day that you learn as thoroughly as possible.
Spend the next 4 weeks taking every single practice test humanly possible. Shoot for 50 to 100 practice exams in total, encompassing the entire question bank for both Kaplan and Training Consultants, and be scoring in the 80s on each course for the last 20 exams or so and the last 1-2 weeks prior to the exam.
Get a good nights rest and knock this thing out of the park!
Final Thoughts On How to Pass The Series 10, My Ideas On The Subject
And those are my thoughts on passing the Series 9 and 10 exams, and for how to pass the series 10 on your first shot. The series 10 is by no means rocket science, brain surgery, or the bar exam. It is not impossible, and the fact that it is something that can be finished in 4-8 weeks, versus the CFP which takes 6 to 18 months depending on how fast you go, says a lot about the amount of content. Be confident that your industry knowledge and prior education can push you to succeed on this exam, and go in with the confidence that it takes to hit a passing score. Best of luck, and be sure to comment down below or subscribe to our blog for additional details and information.
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