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Get the Right Study Materials

First things first.  Make sure you select the best materials to prepare. You will need a comprehensive text and question bank at a minimum.  Don’t rely on old versions of materials because industry rules change often.  Read online reviews and talk to friends and colleagues who have taken the exam previously. Access to an instructor can make all the difference, so be sure instructors are available to you.

Know What You’re Dealing With

Understand the key areas of emphasis on the 2 parts of the Series 3 exam, and practice accordingly.  If time becomes short, you’ll want to spend more time on a subject worth 20 questions than one worth 2. And don’t expect to perform well on a 2 ½ hour exam of 120 multiple choice questions without practicing your focus for that length of time.  These exams aren’t easy, but you only need to get 70% right on each part to pass!

Follow a Proven Process

Use the recommended Series 3 At-A-Glance guide to prepare.  Think of yourself as an athlete and stick with the program.  You can’t expect great results if you skip steps or take too much time off.  It comes down to hard work, and “working smart” will get you there faster.

Dust off your Test Taking Skills

Take advantage of these techniques and you’ll earn extra points.  Slow down when reading questions, and discipline yourself to read questions twice before you answer.  Read all answer choices before you select the winner. Use the process of elimination to help you land on the right answer by figuring out which answers can’t work.   Be especially careful with questions that include “not” and “except”.  And finally – don’t change your answers without a strong reason.  Your first instinct is almost always best.

Know Where You Stand before you Test

Confidence is half the battle on the Series 3 Exam.  You will earn it by working 120-question practice exams until you are consistently averaging in the mid-70’s before you test.  Take time to understand your areas of weakness and practice some more.  Then go pass the Series 3 – you deserve it!

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Written by Dave Meshkov
Dave's mission (and job: Managing Director of Course Design) is to make FINRA exam training engaging, approachable, and dare he even say, enjoyable. Having trained and coached over ten thousand students to exam success he knows how to present complex subjects in memorable and understandable ways. Prior to joining Knopman Marks in 2011, Dave practiced bankruptcy law at Weil, Gotshal & Manages and served as a law clerk in a the Southern District of New York Bankruptcy Court working on the General Motors and Lehman Brothers bankruptcies. Building on his legal expertise and training allows him to keep all our courses updated with the latest legislative and rule-making changes. Dave currently trains for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and the Top-Off Series 6, 7, 24, 57, 63, 65, 66, 79, 86, 87, and 99 exams. He also delivers executive one-on-one training and shares his passion for learning outside of work as a ski instructor and yoga teacher. Dave graduated magna cum laude from Fordham Law School, and cum laude with a BA from the University of Pennsylvania.