Hi @Striking_amaranth_bi, welcome!
I’m really happy to hear that Achievable’s course has been a good fit for you and that you appreciate the spaced review aspect of it!
We make our questions as similar as possible to the real exam. It’s basically an arms race though: as we update our questions to match the FINRA ones, FINRA updates the real ones. We make updates to our material almost every day and try to stay as close as possible.
To overprepare, the best thing you can do is just know the facts cold, inside and out. And this really is the foundation of our course, especially coupled with our memory tracking. You want to be in a place where you’re spending time on understanding and answering the question wording itself rather than being unsure of the material.
As a bit of an aside, one of the biggest mistakes we see is that people underestimate the stress of exam day. It makes us underperform, even when we know the material. We recommend that you build in a few points of a buffer on top of the required passing score, not because our questions or material are any different, but because it’s expected that you’ll end up making some silly mistakes.
It should be obvious, but just to be clear - our UX does not mirror the real exam - because that would be a terrible study experience. We have essentially the same functionality, but the exam software is old, glitchy, and you just get this sense that it might break at any time. And in person, well… sitting in the classroom with the proctor over your shoulder is also kind of nerve-wracking. So the stress builds up from there.
TAKE YOUR TIME ON THE REAL EXAM. Seriously, use every minute. With the extra stress and FINRA always changing up the wording, you should intentionally go very, very slow - to the point where it feels ridiculous. Read each question out loud in your head, slowly, paying extra attention to any of the wording gotcha words like “not”, “except”, and “must”. Reframe the question in your own, simpler words, and then go over each choice individually to see if it is true or false. Note that I said true or false, and not correct or incorrect. Because so many questions have gotcha wording, it’s better to focus on the facts. Then without worrying about the wording you can say “ok, A) true, B) true, C) false, D) true” and then it’s clear that the odd one out is the correct answer (despite sometimes being the choice that was actually false).
Anyway back to your question of what can you do to study for a retake, here are the cliff notes:
- Take a full-length practice exam, in a single sitting (also helps train for the exam stress)
- Take a short break and clear your mind
- Review the exam, question by question, going over every single thing you missed or guessed. Remember that for every question you got wrong, there were at least two topics you need to understand: the correct answer, and why you picked the wrong answer.
- After reviewing all the questions, look at the summary. If there are obvious weak chapters, it wouldn’t hurt to re-read some of those textbook pages or drill the topics in review mode
- Repeat the previous steps as much as possible. Achievable is a complete course, and we’re all you need to pass. That said, if you do have questions from other vendors, you should absolutely use those too. Having that diversity in writing style helps ensure that you’re not subconsciously picking up on the style of the author and getting clues about the right answers that way
You can start by re-reading all the chapters if you want, but to save some time you can just strategically review. Regardless, if you’re taking 15+ practice exams in this way, seriously reviewing your mistakes, you will certainly be overprepared.