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5 Tips for Summer Program Success

Summer programs are both exciting and nerve-wracking.  There are high expectations for all involved, and program managers like you are expected to deliver outstanding results and hassle free implementations.  You can be at the top of your game when you follow these 5 tips for summer program success.

  1. Understand the Process.  Exam prep logistics can be complicated, so taking time to learn the process is well worth it. Follow these three suggestions to become a “program expert”:
    • Get acquainted with the study materials
    • Understand how to help students with their study process
      • The Knopman Marks At-a-Glance Guides give you the insights you need to counsel students who ask you for specific information about each exam.  With a guide for each Series exam, you’ll be able to help give students confident answers about exam specifications and recommended study strategies that address the unique aspects of each test.
    • Know key information about the test center and exam scheduling
      • Students like to know what to expect at the test center. The “Testing and Qualifications” Section (pages 4 – 5) of FINRA’s Registered Representatives Brochure is an excellent resource for this information.  The entire brochure is worth reading and recommending to students, too.
  2. Get to Know the Knopman Marks Team. The support staff at Knopman Marks is at your service.  They know the ins and outs of summer program logistics and can help you manage any disruptions with great efficiency.  Each program has an assigned teaching assistant (TA) who monitors the program carefully and supports the instructor.  TAs prepare daily reports and will be in regular communication with you so that the information you need is available when you need it.  Your TA will reach out regularly throughout the program and you are encouraged to contact them any time.
    • Also, make sure you know where to direct students for help. [email protected] is good for nearly any question, including your own.
  3. Review Daily Reports. Metrics matter in ensuring the success of your program.  Scores are collected throughout the program when testing is administered, and will be reported to you.  Our instructors and TAs will identify students that are at risk and will color code reports so that the information is easily available for management reports that you need to provide.  By the end of the program you will have a very strong sense of any students who are not positioned for exam success.
  4. Stay Connected with Struggling Students. The program reports will make it easy for you to identify students who need encouragement or perhaps even extra time or attention.  Reach out to them, help them stay calm, and encourage them to contact their instructor for extra help.  Your attention might just be extra motivation they need to get over the hump.
  5. Stress the Importance of the Exam.  It’s easy to assume that everyone knows how critical it is to pass the exam, and to give it top priority.  This isn’t always the case.  Other projects seem more important, and some students simply underestimate the effort needed to prepare.  It is helpful to constantly remind students and managers that these exams are a big deal, and that the consequences may be uncomfortable for those that don’t give it their best effort.

At Knopman Marks, we know how critical you are to the success of your summer program.  We look forward to partnering with you and encourage you to contact us 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.