My first attempt at the Series 65 ended with a 69%

Hello all!

Let me start by saying I have used Achievable test prep material to pass the SIE, Series 6, and Series 63 (all on my first attempt). I swear by their methods, material, and overall learning style and recommend them to every single person who asks me what study prep material I use. However, I feel a little uneasy after attempting the Series 65 two weeks ago. Here’s why:

I read every single chapter of the material and I took every single chapter quiz. I did the recurring practice questions daily (although I’ll admit I fell behind as my testing day approached as I was spending most of my daily study time taking practice exams). I had been consistently passing the practice exams in the high 80’s and low to mid 90’s leading up to the actual exam and I went into the exam just as confident as ever. I know the material and I know it well!

My exam experience on the Series 65 was unlike any exam I have ever taken before, including the three prior securities exams I have passed over the last four months. Out of the 140 questions I answered on the series 65, I only knew with 100% certainty the answer to 30 questions. If we exclude the 10 experimental questions, that means I made educated guesses on 100 questions. My test day method includes notating every question I made an educated guess on so that I can go back and review those questions before exiting the exam. I finished the exam and scored a 69% which means I missed passing by roughly four questions.

I feel as though I completely understood every question I read (and had a good idea of what the answer was before reading the multiple choice answers). However, most of the questions I guessed on either had two very similar (and correct) answers, or, the correct answer wasn’t listed (obviously the correct answer was listed but it didn’t appear correct to me).

I say all this so that hopefully my following question can be answered more specifically.

How should I go about studying for the Series 65 this go around so that I can pass it on my second attempt?

I think the world of everyone at Achievable and I can’t wait to pass the Series 65 next go around.


Hi @Nater_Potater - I’m sorry your test experience was not optimal. Unfortunately, this happens sometimes, and I primarily credit your “draw” of questions. There’s always an element of randomness to these exams, and it sounds like you randomly stumbled upon a very difficult test. Next time will certainly be different, and possibly easier.

Here’s the good news - it sounds like you’re a good test taker. Scoring a 69% on an exam you had to guess on nearly 100 questions tells me you may know more than you’re giving yourself credit for.

In terms of advice, it depends on a few factors. When is your retake? What were your scores in the 4 units? Was there any material in particular that felt challenging? In general, we would the following to someone only 3 points off a passing score:

  • Take and review a practice exam
    • Do a thorough review, take notes, think “beyond the question” (focus on the concepts, not the specific question itself)
    • Periodically review your finals notes, especially prior to your next practice exam and your retake
  • Identify low-scoring sections on your exam breakdown
    • Re-read chapters covering those sections and take practice quizzes in this sections
    • Just like with practice exams, do a thorough review of each question and take notes
    • Review your practice quiz notes periodically
  • Repeat the steps above as many times as possible prior to your retake
  • Also, keep up on your assigned reviews

If you want some personalized advice, send me a direct message with answers to the questions above. I might have a custom approach based on your situation.

Again, sorry the exam didn’t go your way. I’m confident you’ll get it next time. Good luck!

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Hello all!

I passed the Series 65 on my second attempt!! I appreciate everyone at Achievable for giving me the tools to be a successful SIE, Series 6, 63, and 65 test taker! I’ll continue to refer everyone I know in need of test prep material to Achievable.

Thank you, guys.

I’ve enjoyed my time with you all!

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Congrats @Nater_Potater - I’m so happy to hear that you passed!

We sincerely appreciate any referrals/recommendations, and feel free to reach out anytime if there’s anything we can help you with in the future.

What is the Series 65 Test taker? Is that a different product?

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Hi @Vicky_Williamson, the Series 65 is just another FINRA/NASAA exam, and test takers are just people who take the tests!