Actual difficulty of the Series 7

Hi guys,

Making a transition from an analyst position in the institutional field to an advisor for HNW clients. Anyway, I have to pass the Series 7 (obviously) before actually really doing much and wanted to get a fair opinion on what to expect. If I ask someone who’s taken it but has no experience with the CFA, I hear it is “a beast,” or “I don’t care how smart you are…,” but when I ask someone with the CFA or in the program, I hear it’s about as hard as scrambling eggs. So, if anyone could take a wild guess how much time and effort one who has passed L1, although a few years ago, will have to spend to pass, I would greatly appreciate it.

You can pass with a week or two of studying. It really isn’t hard. I would expect a college graduate to be able to pass it without too much difficulty. If anyone tells you it’s a “beast” then they probably are working in the wrong industry. Don’t mean to be harsh to people who struggle with it but it’s child’s play compared to Level 1. Same goes for any series exams. I passed the 3, 7 and 63 for context with tops two weeks of studying for each.

It’s called the Series 7 because in about a series of seven minutes, you should be sufficiently studied up to pass this “exam.”

I passed series 7 and 66 both on the first attempt with a score somewhere in the 80 %'s. I definitly overstudied and spent about 4 weeks studying for the 7 and about 2 and a half weeks studying for the 66 if I remember correctly.

As compared to CFA L1, the series 7 is a piece of cake. However, it’s not necessarily an easy exam so don’t underestimate it. Just go through like 1000 practice quesitons and you’ll be fine.

As an aside, I found the 66 harder than the 7 because it’s barely any finance. If you’re working for HNW Advisors, I’m sure you will probably be taking the 66 after the 7.


I studied 3 weeks pretty hard after work and got mid 90s. If I could do it again, I would have done 2 weeks and just went for it. On my practice test at the end of 2 weeks, I got like high 70s which is more than enough. Overall it’s pretty easy but I wanted to be 100% sure I passed.

Do the STC questions, until you’ve done them all, and you start getting 90s on the practice tests. It’s very straightforward.

One AF poster said that if you score above 80%, then you studied too hard.


I had the privilege of taking the Series 7 twice.

The first time, I had zero experience and zero education in finance. And by zero, I mean absolutely none whatsoever. I didn’t know the difference between a stock and a bond. And I passed the 7 with a month of study.

The second time (a CPA license and CFA charter later), I studied for about a week.

does anyone fail this joiint?

I googled and it said 65% pass rate, so first time test taker pass % even lower.

^Yeah, but a lot of the people who fail it are elementary school teachers, cops, used car salesmen, and department store clerks that want to get into a different career field.

I wouldn’t be so sure. Those that repeat a class generally do not out perform those that are taking it for the first time. According to the data I’ve seen anyway.