Passed SIE 1st try w/ only achievable (tips included)

Passed my SIE exam today on first ever attempt, studying nothing but the achievable textbook!

Thought I’d do my share and put out some info for others in the same boat as myself:

  1. First and foremost, it is true that the test is EXPONENTIALLY harder than the achievable practice tests. As others have stated, you really need to understand WHY the answers are what they are. It seems like the test intentionally tries to throw you off by mixing up questions with similar answers, then gives an example of situations that look for a corresponding accurate answer instead of directly asking you for definitions. DO NOT expect to see the same questions you see on achievable!

  2. You will definitely feel like you are going to fail. This is most likely due to the experimental questions, but I must admit I do have a suspicion that there were more than 10 questions that weren’t covered in the textbook. I could be wrong, but I feel like I knew the textbook by heart and still saw more uncovered questions than I anticipated. The best way (IMHO) to combat this, is to do your studying here but then take additional practice tests on other sources AFTER you start scoring well on the practice exams (even though I didn’t), just to be sure that you haven’t subconsciously memorized answers (that, I definitely did). For reference, I was scoring 87-89% consistently before I took the real test; and even though its impossible to know what I actually scored on the exam… I feel like I passed by the skin of my teeth.

  3. Take this one with a grain of salt: I was reading that people here have stressed knowing bonds and options extremely well because THEIR tests were weighted heavily in those areas. I was especially worried when taking the test because the exam did not have as many options questions (I know this sounds odd, but I was hoping for a lot because I trade options for a living) as I was hoping. I struggled with bonds throughout my achievable experience, so I focused on that area instead of regulatory based questions which were much more prominent during my personal experience of the real exam.

  4. Don’t feel discouraged if you find the time quotes for study sessions inaccurate, like I did. I personally found myself taking nearly TWICE the amount of time to cover most sections as was estimated! This could be because I was precisely reading the material, doing every quiz, reviewing my answers, and considering each question deeply. Or… it could be because my reading comprehension is sub-par (I would like to think it’s the former). Infact, this was my only gripe about the entire program because it often resulted in me staying up much later than my bedtime as I was determined to stay on schedule.

Extra Info:
-Total study time was roughly 4 hours (not including breaks) every weekday for 1.5 months.
-Was only using 60% or so of my time on practice exams… but the real exam I was rushing to the last second and would have preferred more time.
-Only previous experience in the securities industry is option trading… A lot of option trading.

Just wanted to say thanks to the achievable team for making this possible and creating a great resource. I also appreciated the little things, like subtle hints of comic relief, hidden throughout the material. Sometimes cracking a giddy smile during a study session can really help take the edge off.

Farewell, and good luck to all!
I will see you again once it’s time for my series 7 :slight_smile:


Congrats on passing your SIE @Rita_Johnson, and thanks for sharing your tips!

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