The Series 7 is a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) exam for those who want to solicit and sell all securities products such as options, corporate securities, variable contracts, and municipal fund securities.
To obtain your General Securities Representative registration, you must have both the Series 7 and Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) licenses. While you can sit for your Series 7 exam before taking your Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam, most people choose to tackle the SIE first, as you don’t need to be sponsored by a broker-dealer to take it, and you do need to be sponsored for the Series 7.
The best Series 7 exam prep courses offer pass guarantees, instructor access, and a high pass rate. If you're interested in taking a Series 7 prep course, read on for our top choices.
Best Overall : Knopman Marks
Knopman Marks is the best overall Series 7 exam prep course because of its high pass rate, mobile app, and yearlong course access.
95% pass rate
iOS app for studying on-the-go
Offers a live virtual class with the All Access Pass
Limited course offerings
Textbook and online question bank are from Kaplan
No pass guarantee
Knopman Marks has been in business since 1991 and is committed to making the Series 7 exam prep course fun and engaging. While it doesn’t have a pass guarantee, you get access to the course for a year, and it has a 95% pass rate. If you do fail your exam, you have plenty of time to study to retake it before your year is up.
Knopman Marks’s primary offering is the Series 7 Top-Off Exam Prep Course, which costs $350 and gives you access to video lectures, digital flashcards, and a mobile app so you can study anywhere. For an additional $225, you can add the Series 7 Top-Off All Access Pass. This gives you unlimited review sessions, live virtual classes, and blended classes for an entire year.
You can also purchase the All Access Pass as a standalone product without the course for $225. The All Access Pass is the only way to get live training, otherwise, everything else is self-study and on-demand. You can also bundle your SIE course with your Series 7 course to save $105.
It’s estimated this will take you five to seven weeks of study time if you’re working a full-time job. However, if you’re not working full time or you commit to studying all day, you can likely cut this time in half.
Best Self-Paced Course : Securities Institute of America
Securities Institute of America has the best self-paced course because it offers a pass guarantee and unlimited test bank access for most of its plans.
Offers a pass guarantee on most plans
Live chat and phone support
Partnered with financial publisher John Wiley & Sons
No pass guarantee for textbook/e-book packages
Doesn’t specify a pass rate for the Series 7
Doesn’t offer any live classes
Founded in 1996, Securities Institute of America became a partner of 200-year-old financial publisher John Wiley & Sons in 2013. It offers several exam prep courses, including one for the Series 7 exam.
While it doesn’t specify a pass rate for the Series 7 in particular, it does have a 90% pass rate across all of its securities exams. Plus, it offers a pass guarantee on every package but the e-book/textbook package; if you fail your Series 7 exam within five days of passing your GreenLight exam, you get your money back.
Securities Institute of America’s course offerings include the Series 7 Complete Self-Study Solution which costs $259 and gives you access to study materials like your textbook, unlimited practice exams, 20 hours of online video classes, and unlimited access to test bank questions and videos for six months. It also comes with a pass guarantee.
The Series 7 Textbook & Exam Prep Software course is $194.95 and includes a pass guarantee, textbook, 2,100 practice exam questions, and unlimited access to the test bank for six months. The Series 7 Exam Prep Mobile Ebook or Textbook course costs $144.95 and comes with an e-book or textbook and has 542 test questions included.
For $99, you can get the Series 7 Exam Prep Software Course that comes with a pass guarantee and over 2,100 questions. Also for $99 is the Series 7 Online Video Class that has a pass guarantee, 20 hours of video instruction, 21 chapter tests, and 24/7 access for six months. For access to 2,100 test questions, you can pay $50 to add it to the video class.
Each package offers live chat and phone support and the option to purchase tutoring. Prices for tutors are not advertised, but there’s a form to fill out to inquire about booking sessions.
Most packages provide six months of access to test bank questions, videos, or both.
Best for Student Experience : ExamFX
ExamFX offers the best student experience with its Series 7 exam prep courses because it has a solution for every learning style and budget plus instructor support with every package.
Exam guarantee with every package
Online exam simulations
Can purchase add-ons to support your learning
Doesn’t publish its pass rate
Only get 90 days of access
Live training only available on the most expensive package
Since 1996, ExamFX has helped 7.5 million people pass their securities exams. While it doesn’t specify its pass rate for the Series 7 exam, it does offer a pass guarantee on each package. If you score 80% or higher on the Guarantee Exam and don’t pass your Series 7 exam, you’ll receive a refund of the cost of your course.
ExamFX’s primary offering is the Self-Study Package, which costs $149.95 and includes 90 days of course access, an interactive learning portal, online exam simulations, and instructor support. Its Video Study Package costs $199.95 and includes everything in the Self-Study Package, with the addition of on-demand video lectures and online flashcards. The Live Online Package costs $249.95 and includes everything in the Video Study Package, with the addition of live online training.
The following add-ons are available if not already included in your package:
|On-Demand Video Lectures||$56.95|
|Live Online Training||$56.95|
After purchasing your package, you only have 90 days to access the course, so it’s a great motivator to keep pace. If buying the Live Online Package, you register for sessions after purchasing the course, but you can see the schedule before buying to determine if the class dates work for you.
Best Variety of Study Resources : Kaplan Financial Education
Kaplan Financial Education provides a wide variety of study resources including a textbook, online and downloadable test bank, video library, checkpoint exams, practice exams, performance tracker, and more.
You can download the SecuritiesPro QBank for offline use
Has an 85% Series 7 pass rate
Five months of course access
Premium package takes up to two business days for an instructor’s response
No pass guarantee
No mobile app
Founded in 1970, Kaplan Financial Education provides resources and tools to students across the financial services industry. While there’s no pass guarantee, it does have an 85% pass rate; the pass rate requirement for the Series 7 is 72%, so Kaplan can certainly help you get ready for the exam.
Kaplan Financial Education’s Basic package costs $139 and includes a practice exam, SecuritiesPro QBank, performance tracker, study calendar, and the License Exam Manual (LEM). For $189, you can get all that plus the video library and midterm exam in the Essential package. Its Premium package costs $299 for a live class and $279 for an on-demand class. This package comes with class notes, checkpoint exams, a mastery exam, and access to instructors.
You’ll get access to your course for five months, and if you need more time, you can purchase another five-month extension for $49 no matter which package you initially purchased. If you have a live class option with your package, you select your class when you buy the course. There are both daytime and evening classes available. After the two-day live class, you get a recording of it to watch later.
If you buy the Basic or Essential package, you have the option of getting an audiobook of the License Exam Manual for $65. Each package has the opportunity to add a Series 7 Securities Quicksheet for $19.
Best Value : Achievable
With an affordable price tag of $149, Achievable’s Series 7 exam prep course has one of the highest pass rates in the industry and offers adaptive learning techniques and a pass guarantee.
98.2% pass rate
Offers a pass guarantee
Access test prep platform on desktop and mobile
Only one package available
No live class options
Can access the course on a mobile device—there’s no mobile app
Founded in 2016, Achievable is the youngest provider of Series 7 exam prep courses we recommend, but its 98.2% pass rate, free trial, and pass guarantee make it a top contender. There’s also a monthly scholarship where you can win course access.
Achievable has one course offering, which costs $149 and includes an online textbook, quiz questions, full-length practice exams, a full year of access, and customer support.
You can access your package for one year and also purchase tutoring separately, either one-on-one or in a small group. They outsource the tutors, who you can hire for approximately $99 per hour. There are discounts for purchasing five-, 10-, or 15-hour packages.
With its pass guarantee, if you don’t pass your Series 7 exam on your first try, you will get your money back. All you have to do is send a picture of your exam scores and a copy of your photo ID and you’ll receive your refund after they verify your documents.
While there isn’t much in the way of instructor support, its dynamic learning techniques make up for it. Its technology individually tracks your retention and mastery to ensure you’re studying precisely what you need when you need it. This reduces your overall study time.
Sitting for and passing your Series 7 exam will allow you to sell municipal and corporate securities, variable annuities, options, government securities, and other registered products. It’s a difficult test, but not impossible if you have the proper preparation and game plan to pass your exam.
There are many Series 7 exam prep courses available, and we recommend Knopman Marks because of its high pass rate, mobile app, and yearlong course access. Your learning style, budget, and schedule should factor into which exam prep course you choose.
Compare the Best Series 7 Exam Prep Courses
|Course||Course Format||Individual Tutoring Available?||Cost|
|Self-Study, Live, and On-Demand||No||$225-$575|
|Securities Institute of America
Best Self-Paced Course
|Self-Study and On-Demand||Yes||$99-$259|
Best for Student Experience
|Self-Study, Live, and On-Demand||No||$149.95-$249.95|
|Kaplan Financial Education
Best Variety of Study Resources
|Self-Study, Live, and On-Demand||No||$129-$299|
What Is the Series 7 Top-Off Exam?
The Series 7 Top-Off Exam is the name of the new Series 7 exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The exam costs $245, lasts nearly four hours, and has 125 questions covering the following topics:
- Public offerings and/or private placements of corporate securities (stocks and bonds)
- Mutual funds
- Money market funds
- Unit investment trusts (UITs)
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
- Options on mortgage-backed securities
- Government securities
- Repos and certificates of accrual on government securities
- Direct participation programs
- Venture capital
- Sale of municipal securities
- Hedge funds
How Much Do Series 7 Exam Prep Courses Cost?
A Series 7 exam prep course usually runs from $100 to $300 but can be significantly higher or lower depending on features and course length. Cheaper courses are usually self-study, and the more expensive ones often contain a live component or direct instructor access. If you hire a private tutor, you can expect to spend around $100 per hour. Aside from your prep course, the Series 7 exam costs $245, but your sponsoring broker-dealer usually pays this.
It’s not unusual for students to buy used materials to study for their Series 7 exam. If you choose to purchase used books from online marketplaces like Craigslist or eBay, ensure the material is up-to-date with the current test.
Are Series 7 Prep Exam Prep Courses Worth It?
Even if you’re already working in the industry, it’s a good idea to take a Series 7 exam prep course to pass your exam. While the exam has a lot of math in it, you won’t pass the exam by memorizing formulas alone. It not only covers a wide range of products but also goes in-depth, and a test prep course can help you learn that information.
You don’t necessarily have to take an outside prep course—your broker-dealer may have one in-house with its own instructors to prepare you to pass your exam. Many of these broker-dealers require employees to have their Series 7 whether or not they’re in sales.
How Long Does It Take to Complete a Series 7 Exam Prep Course?
Most students take two months to study for their Series 7 exam, but your own study time could be more or less depending on your schedule, ability to grasp concepts, and professional background. Some broker-dealers pay their advisors to study for two months straight, whereas others require their advisors to learn on their own time outside of business hours.
It’s widely accepted that you can expect to study 80 to 100 hours if you’re already working in the industry. If you’re new to the ideas and concepts presented in the study material, you can expect to study for 150 hours.
Is the Series 7 Exam Difficult to Pass?
The Series 7 exam is more complex than many other securities exams (such as the Series 63), but it is not impossible to achieve the passing score of 72%
Questions on the Series 7 are often long and detailed, requiring careful discernment about what the question is really asking. To ensure you pass, we recommend taking many practice exams so you can get a feel for how the questions are worded. Read each question slowly before answering, and don’t panic if you get stuck on a question.
We evaluated over a dozen Series 7 exam prep courses and selected the best options based on important features and considerations. We considered costs, instructor access, company reputation, study resources, course flexibility, and pass rates. The quality of training and candidate reviews also weighed heavily in our rankings.
Each of our picks has reasonable prices, self-study offerings, and an excellent reputation for helping students pass their exams on their first shot.