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Crunch Time

The last week before a Series exam is critical for reaching your goal. It’s “crunch time” and managing it appropriately can make all the difference. Follow these 5 best practices to help you keep your sanity when the pressure is on!

  • Take inventory of where you are relative to the goal. Check the At-A-Glance Guide for your series for the minimum number of practice questions you need to complete before testing.  If you haven’t reached the objective, plan your schedule allowing about 2 hours for each 100 questions.  Do your best to complete the minimum number of Q-bank questions and achieve the minimum average scores with at least 2 days left before you test.
  • Plot a schedule for the week and stick to it. Try to set aside at least 2-3 hours per day for continued practice questions. Always choose the exam setting for new questions until you have exhausted the supply. Review rationales of questions you got wrong thoroughly, and go back to book if the concept isn’t making sense.  Questions take priority over reading the book during crunch time, but don’t ignore the textbook if you need to clarify concepts.
  • Test your endurance. With one week left until exam date, take some online exams on all topics equal in length to your real test and don’t allow interruptions. You need to test your endurance and ensure you can stay focused for the amount of time of your actual exam experience.
  • Build in time to review supplements and class handouts. 3-4 days before test date is a great time to do this. If you’ve already done it, do it again.  You’ll pick up a few more details that add points.  Then take the Knopman Marks Benchmark Exam.  Ideally, you’ll achieve a passing score or a score within several points of passing at this time.  If not, you need serious work in the Q-bank, and need to make working/reviewing as many questions as you can a high priority.
  • Plan for a good night of sleep before you test. Depending on what your day holds before the day of your test, and your practice exam scores, a final review of supplements and 50 – 100 more practice questions is a good plan for the day before you test.  However, if you’re still below the score objective, do as many questions as you can, but still allow for a good night’s rest.  You need to be firing on all cylinders on test date, so don’t ignore this advice!

As your Series exam test prep partner, Knopman Marks is here to help you make it through crunch time and achieve success the first time around.  Questions?  Email us at [email protected] for help at any time.

Marcia Larson is Vice President, Faculty, at Knopman Marks Financial Training, New York, NY. She has extensive experience in financial licensing and regulatory training, having authored, developed and presented courseware for numerous securities and insurance exam preparation and continuing education and compliance programs. Before joining Knopman Marks, Marcia was Director of Annuity Products and Business Development at CUNA Mutual Group, where she developed and marketed industry-leading annuity products and retirement solutions and implemented distribution relationships. She was previously VP, Securities Products for Kaplan Financial, managing securities training products and subsequently, international training and businesses development. Marcia has trained thousands of financial industry exam candidates throughout their careers, and also college students as an adjunct professor. Marcia was a summa cum laude graduate of Wartburg College with degrees in Business Administration and Piano Performance. Marcia also holds the designations of Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS), and Fellow Life Management Institute™ (FLMI®). She currently teaches the SIE, Series 6, 7, 24, 50, 52, 63, 65, and 66 exams.