The Series 65 is a license that allows people to work as investment advisors in the U.S. The exam to earn the Series 65 license comprises 130 questions and is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). To increase your chances of passing the test, you’ll want to take a Series 65 exam prep course.
The best Series 65 exam prep courses offer a variety of learning methods, ranging from entirely self-paced to those with online videos, live virtual classes, and even in-person options, all at an affordable price. If needed, many of these courses offer access to instructors via email, phone, or live chat, as well as milestone and final exams to test your competency.
The Best Series 65 Exam Prep Courses in 2021
Best Overall : ExamFX
Why We Chose It: With three affordable packages and learning methods, ExamFX’s courses offer a pass guarantee, support from instructors, and even discounts for certain organizations.
Self-paced, on-demand, and live online/virtual options
Extensive question bank
Instructor support included
Only 90 days of course access
No satisfaction refunds after 48 hours
Whether you want to study at your own pace, prep with on-demand videos, or opt for live online/virtual learning options, ExamFX has an option for you.
There are three courses to choose from, which run $159.95 (self-study), $229.95 (video study), or $294.95 (live online). There are also discounts offered for certain organizations. All three course options include instruction support if you have questions, as well as readiness and guarantee exams. You’ll also have access to an extensive question bank and online exam simulations, though you’ll only get 90 days of course access.
ExamFX doesn’t publish a pass rate for its students. However, if you pass their guarantee exam with an 80% or higher, and then fail to pass the licensing exam within three days, the company will refund your course costs. And, if you don’t like the course or material once you purchase, you can get a full refund within 48 hours.
Best for In-Person Learning : Securities Training Corporation (STC)
Why We Chose It: If you’re looking for a course that offers in-person instruction, STC provides self-paced, live virtual, and on-demand options, some of which include a pass guarantee.
Self-study, live virtual, and in-person class options offered
Access to instructor hotline
24/7 tech support
Progress exams online offered on certain tiers
Basic course is very limited in terms of study tools
Pass guarantee not available at the lowest tier
There are three class options offered by Securities Training Corporation (STC). All three offer 24/7 tech support, access to the instructor hotline, online and printed study material, final exams, and enrollment for up to six months.
The first is the basic program at $185, which is a fully self-paced course. The second option is the premier package at $205, which blends self-study with on-demand lectures. In addition to everything the basic package includes, this course also offers progress exams, flashcards, greenlight exams, on-demand lectures, and an exam pass guarantee.
The top-tier course is the premier plus package at $325, which offers either live virtual or in-person class options, in addition to everything in the premier package. This course also provides recorded live virtual classes that you can access anytime during your six-month course, and the pass guarantee is included.
STC does not publish the pass rate of its students. However, if you choose one of the top two course tiers and follow the course requirements, you’ll get your money back if you fail your exam.
Best Self-Paced Course : Knopman Marks
Why We Chose It: With 19+ hours of video lectures and mobile tools that allow you to study anywhere at any time, Knopman Marks is our pick for the best self-paced Series 65 exam prep course.
iOS mobile app available
Self-study and instructor-led options available
Includes large, online question bank
No pass guarantee
There are two options for Series 65 exam prep courses from Knopman Marks: a $375 self-study course or a $600 instructor-led, live class option.
The self-study course includes 19 hours of video lectures, an online question bank, digital flashcards, a benchmark exam, and an iOS mobile app so you can download content and study on the go (even without an internet connection). There are 25 lessons in the curriculum.
The All Access Pass is an additional $225 (though it can also be purchased separately, without enrolling in a class) and includes a 60-minute live Q&A session, 60-minute live onboarding, live-streamed faculty-led classes, and blended classes. Private tutoring is available at an additional charge and must be scheduled via appointment.
Though Knopman Marks lists their student pass rates for many other exams, it does not provide a pass rate for the Series 65 exam. There is also no pass guarantee offered.
Refunds and returns are accepted within the first 30 days if you’re unsatisfied with the course, but you’ll need to obtain a return authorization first. Your refund may also be subject to a $20 administrative/restocking fee.
Best for Student Experience : Securities Institute of America (SIA)
Why We Chose It: SIA offers à la carte course options, live chat and phone support, and an impressive pass rate.
Live chat and phone support
Refund if you don’t pass your exam on the first attempt
90% pass rate
Small test bank
No live course options
With the Securities Institute of America (SIA), students can choose between an online video course, which costs $99, or a full self-study course for $200. Both of these courses include six months of course access and also allow you to build your own program with a variety of individual options.
Packages include a mobile e-book along with live chat and phone support. Students will have access to a test bank, though it is smaller than those offered by some competitors’ courses. If you want to build on your course, there are options available such as online video classes and a paper textbook.
You can also choose to buy just the Series 65 exam prep software for $59.95. While this isn’t a “class” per se, it does include six months of unlimited access to SIA’s software, which includes over 1,800 practice questions. You can also use this software to create your own randomized quizzes and generate final exams.
SIA’s program boasts a 90% pass rate among students. They also offer a money-back guarantee if you don’t pass the Series 65 exam on the first try.
This policy, called the Greenlight Guarantee, does require you to take and pass a greenlight (end-of-course readiness) exam within five days of taking your official Series 65 exam. If you do this, though, and still don’t pass your Series 65, you’ll get a refund for the course.
Best for Variety of Study Resources : Kaplan
Why We Chose It: With a total of four course options to choose from and as many as 10 helpful study tools included with each one, Kaplan is our pick for the biggest variety of study resources.
Live and self-paced course options
Multiple practice and checkpoint exams
Instructor access for those who need help
88% pass rate
No money-back guarantee
No mobile app
There are three tiers of Series 65 exam prep course options offered through Kaplan: Premium, Essential and Basic.
The Premium tier includes an on-demand class and a live online course option. The on-demand class includes in-depth videos from expert instructors and can be completed at your own pace. Its cost is $289 and includes 10 study tools.
The live online Premium course includes scheduled live lectures and instructor interaction, as well as archived videos for study or review purposes. This option runs $329 and can either be taken as a three-day course or spread out across 23 total days, depending on your schedule and how much time you have to commit to the lessons. It also includes 10 study tools.
The Essential tier includes a self-study online and video course for $199, which includes eight study tools. The Basic tier has a self-study course for $159, including five study tools.
All course options include study tools to help you succeed, which may include a question bank, practice and checkpoint exams, a study calendar, performance tracker, and a video library. The number of study tools you’ll get depends on the level and type of course you choose. There is no mobile app for any of the courses, however.
You’ll also have access to the course for five months; if you want more time, an additional five months’ access can be purchased for $49. If you need individual assistance at any time during your course, InstructorLink is an online resource that lets you communicate with experts and get your questions answered within two business days.
Kaplan does not offer a money-back guarantee, but they do boast an 88% pass rate among students who have completed their course and taken their Series 65 exam.
Best Value : Test Geek
Why We Chose It: The self-paced course from Test Geek costs only $99 and, with only one course option offered, it’s also the simplest.
Lifetime course access
30-day satisfaction guarantee
No question bank
Only one (self-paced) video course option
Very limited info online
Test Geek offers only one option for Series 65 exam prep: a $99, no-frills, self-paced video course. The course is run by Test Geek founder Brian Lee whose recorded video lectures have an excellent reputation for explaining difficult concepts in an easily understandable way.
When you purchase the Test Geek program, you’ll get a 30-day money-back guarantee and lifetime access to the course from any device. You’re able to watch the video lectures as often as you’d like, whenever and wherever you need.
The Test Geek video course is broken up into four modules, which include a midterm exam and a final exam. There is no question bank, but downloadable class notes are available.
There are no student pass rates published and no exam pass guarantee for the course.
Depending on how you prefer to learn and study, there are a few great Series 65 exam prep courses to choose from. Many of them offer self-paced, online, live virtual, and even in-person class options, so you can choose the one that suits you best.
Some of these companies offer pass guarantees, like SIA, STC, and ExamFX. Many of them also provide access to instructors and tutors, if needed, as well as various study tools and practice exams. If you’re looking for an all-around great choice at a fair price, ExamFX is our top pick. If you’re interested in the best value while still being highly recommended among students, Test Geek makes the top of our list.
Compare the Best Series 65 Exam Prep Courses
|Course||Course Format||Individual Tutoring Available?||Cost|
|Self-study, video study, live online||No||$159.95 to $294.95|
|Securities Training Corporation (STC) Best for In-Person Learning||Self-paced, live virtual, on-demand video, in-person||InstructorLink offered||$185 to $325|
|Knopman Marks Best Self-Paced Course||Self-paced, live virtual, or blended||Yes||$375 to $600|
|Securities Institute of America (SIA) Best for Student Experience||Self-paced or online video||No||$99 to $200|
|Kaplan Best for Variety of Study Resources||Self-paced, online video, or live virtual||Access to instructors is available||$159 to $329|
|Test Geek Best Value||Self-paced video course||No||$99|
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some of the most commonly asked questions regarding the Series 65 exam and associated prep courses.
What Is the Series 65 Exam?
The Series 65 exam, developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and administered by FINRA, is also referred to as the NASAA Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam. It is a 130-question exam designed to demonstrate competency among investment professionals taken prior to becoming a licensed investment adviser representative.
How Much Do Series 65 Exam Prep Courses Cost?
The cost of Series 65 prep courses varies, depending on the format of the course and what’s included. Generally, though, you can expect to spend between $99 and $350 for the average self-paced or live online course.
Are Series 65 Prep Exam Prep Courses Worth It?
If you want help understanding certain Series 65 topics, require accountability to stay on track, enjoy having access to instructors/tutors, or need a question bank and practice exams to know where you stand, a Series 65 exam prep course can be worth the cost.
There are many different course structures and features to choose from, and with average pass rates as high as 90%, it’s easy to see the value of many of these courses.
How Long Does It Take to Complete a Series 65 Exam Prep Course?
A Series 65 exam prep course can take as little as three days or as long as a month to complete, depending on your specific course’s schedule. There are also self-paced options that allow students to work through the material at their own pace, meaning you could take days or months to complete the course if needed.
How Hard Is It to Pass the Series 65 Exam?
The Series 65 exam involves 130 questions (plus 10 pretest questions) and requires 72% (at least 94) of those answers to be correct to pass.
Neither NASAA nor FINRA publishes average pass rates for the exam. However, some of the courses shown above have pass rates of 88% and 90%, and many companies offer money-back guarantees if you don’t pass the exam after taking their course.
To help you identify the best Series 65 exam prep courses, we analyzed and compared more than 10 different companies. We looked at important factors such as price, course structure, the length of course access, and what guarantees were offered by each company when choosing our top picks, and also considered each course’s reputation and pass rate.
All of our top choices offer multiple study tools, at least one self-paced option, and practice exams.