“I took a job which required me to pass the SIE, Series 6, Series 63 and Series 26…” Continue reading
FINRA partner Prometric has developed ProProctor for online, remote test taking. Here are some takeaways about the process. Continue reading
In person licensing exams have been a staple in the securities industry for decades, but with the novel Coronavirus COVID-19, FINRA has been tasked with providing a safer method for testing. Given this, FINRA partner Prometric has developed a new product titled ProProctor for online, remote test taking. Prometric is a giant in the testing industry, and operates hundreds of testing centers.
With all this as the backdrop, one month ago I was tasked with studying for and taking the SIE as a junior associate at Solomon Exam Prep. Using the ProProctor product seemed like the most convenient way to take the exam, and proved easy enough. However, for the benefit of Solomon exam takers, I would like to share some takeaways about the process.
I registered for the test three weeks ahead of time on the Prometric website, and there were still many time slots available, but the most convenient ones had been taken. The most feasible slot for me ended up being at 7:45 AM, so if you prefer to test later in the day, register ahead of time!
I immediately received a confirmation email detailing all of the procedures that I would need to follow for test day. It was a lengthy email. This is due to Prometric’s desire to avoid cheating and duplication of the test, so they are rightfully cautious. The full procedures can be found in this PDF. That being said, there are a few procedures that are very important to understand ahead of time. First is your testing environment. Ideally one is able to test in a bare, white room, at a desk, with no decorations of any kind. However, this is not always possible, so it is helpful to have a bed sheet or tarp on hand to cover anything that your proctor determines to be unacceptable. Furthermore, you cannot have any interruptions during the test, so it is imperative to notify your office mates! Prometric also recommends having a mirror on hand for the check in process. Ultimately, this is simply for the purpose of inspecting your laptop keyboard/screen if you cannot remove your webcam, so a medium sized mirror is fine. The more easily you can position it in front of your screen the better (I did not take my own advice here and had a giant mirror, which was tough to position so that my proctor could see my keyboard).
Leading up to the exam day, you should do one of Prometric’s system readiness checks, test your microphone specifically, and download/install their application. On exam day, you will be asked to follow a unique web link that is in your confirmation email to launch your exam. Once there, you will input user specific information, and it will automatically launch the application. Be warned, once you launch the exam application, you cannot access any other settings or applications on your computer, so adjust your volume or microphone controls ahead of time. Once there, you will be asked to photograph yourself, take a picture of your photo ID, and you will be sent to the security proctor.
Ultimately two different proctors will communicate with you. The process for meeting with them is seamless, and they will answer any questions you may have. The first will conduct the security checks and you will have a webcam view of them. The security checks are detailed on the ProProctor website, as well as in the confirmation email, but here are a few tips. I wore pants with lots of pockets, which was a mistake. Wearing as few items of clothing as possible, with as few pockets as possible, is helpful because they will ask you to empty them. Additionally, they advise no jewelry. Ideally, the only things in the testing room are you, your photo ID, and your computer. There is nothing else allowed (with the exception of tests that have certified testing materials).
The security checks also include room checks, which necessitates either an external webcam or an easily portable laptop. The fewer furniture items in the room, the easier the check will be. Finally, the security proctor will detail their break policy. I did not use the break, and it should ultimately be seen as an emergency asset. The test time does not stop while you take it, and you will have to redo all security checks upon returning.
Once all of the security protocol is over with, your security proctor will pass you on to another proctor. The new proctor will greet you via the application chat, but you will not see them on screen. They will, however, see your video and hear your audio. Additionally, they prohibit you from speaking out loud during the exam. You may mouth or whisper the words, but they do not allow you to speak. Once the exam commences, it is straightforward. There is a calculator in the application, as well as a “scratch pad” where you may type things. Be warned, you may not go back to questions once you move on.
When I was taking the SIE, I felt confident once I got to this point, since I was mostly worried about complying with the security checks. However, there is protocol from Prometric should you be disconnected from the application for any reason. I was disconnected with just six questions left (!), so it would have been helpful to know this ahead of time. Needless to say, I panicked. Prometric recommends a wired internet connection for this reason, but I gambled with wifi. Ultimately this was not the reason I was disconnected (my internet connection was fine), but the application automatically closed and I was forced to consult the FAQ.
From here, Prometric recommended that I check my internet connection, wait three minutes, restart my computer, and relaunch the exam. This proved to be perfect advice, and I was readmitted to the system. I had to re-do the entire security check with a new set of proctors, but my test time was paused and my progress had been saved. I finished my last six questions without a hitch. In other words, if you are disconnected, do not panic and simply follow their directions on the FAQ. If the issue persists, they recommend that you contact support.
As with the in person exams, my preliminary results were shown at the conclusion of the exam, and I was free to continue with my work day. All in all, the process was relatively user-friendly, and well worth it since I was able to avoid going to a testing center.
FINRA and the NASAA are now offering Prometric’s ProProctor remote assessment service which allows you to choose where and when you take your security exam. This user-friendly testing platform Continue reading
FINRA and the NASAA are now offering Prometric’s ProProctor remote assessment service which allows you to choose where and when you take your security exam. This user-friendly testing platform offers self-service capabilities, with live agents available at all times to offer support for candidates if required.
ProProctor features advanced security measures to ensure the same safety standard is being met comparable to conventional test centers, guaranteeing a consistent and fair testing experience for all candidates. These advanced security measures include multiple ID authentication and facial detection checks, personal security checks, 100% live-monitoring, 360-degree environmental readiness checks, live security agents, proactive protocols such as device checks, as well as record and review functionalities.
Each test candidate is assigned three agents to ensure the exam is administered safely and securely, with a proctor present throughout the entire test.
In order to access Prometric’s ProProctor system, you must install an application on your laptop or desktop and perform a system check.
It is important to note the following difference with exams at the traditional test center: online tests via ProProctor are forward-moving only. No flagging a question and returning to it. No changing your answer.
The online exams have an onscreen calculator, a virtual scratchpad to capture your notes digitally as well as highlight and strikethrough functionality, which allow you to mark through or bring attention to the portions of the displayed exam question.
Test-takers and firms may schedule online test appointments for the following six exams: the SIE, Series 6, Series 7, Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66.
It’s no small feat to study for and pass a securities licensing exam, especially if you have ADHD. With that in mind, Solomon has compiled a list of skill-based strategies to support ADHD learners through the process of studying for their securities licensing exams. Continue reading
Studying for a knowledge test, like a securities licensing exam, requires significant effort over time. Solomon offers some helpful tips for studying and passing your securities licensing exam(s).
Study Strategies for People with ADHD
It’s no small feat to study for and pass a securities licensing exam, especially if you have ADHD. Two areas that can be especially challenging for people with ADHD are time management skills and study skills. Time management can be difficult because it requires a person to prioritize tasks, organize their day, and plan for short- and long-term goals, all of which are potential stumbling blocks for those with ADHD. And when it comes to studying, people with ADHD often have trouble concentrating and haven’t acquired effective study habits.
However, studies suggest that people can learn specific behaviors and strategies that help them work around ADHD symptoms and succeed in their studies. With that in mind, Solomon has compiled a list of skill-based strategies to support ADHD learners through the process of studying for their securities licensing exams.
If you’re planning to study for a securities licensing exam, such as the Securities Industry Essentials exam or the Series 7 or the Series 65, managing your time effectively is crucial. Depending on the exam, Solomon Exam Prep recommends studying for between 30 to 100 hours over the course of ten days to several weeks. It’s a daunting prospect for anyone. How can someone with ADHD get better at managing his or her time?
Use schedules and planners to stay on track. Whether you use a paper or digital planner, the following tips will help you use it to your advantage:
- Refer to the Solomon Exam Prep study schedules located in the resources folder of your online Solomon account to help create an effective study plan.
- Fill in your planner with study targets for each week and smaller goals for each day. People with ADHD often get overwhelmed when confronted with a large task, so breaking the task up into smaller pieces will make it more approachable.
- Be realistic about how long things take for you and build in some breathing room for when things takes longer than expected. Also build in time for frequent short study breaks.
- Begin the day by checking your planner to see which activities you need to do. Try to complete each day’s to-do list, but don’t panic if you don’t finish everything – you built in extra time, remember?
Build structure into your day with consistent routines and rituals.
- Figure out your best time for study. Are you more alert in the morning, afternoon, or evening? Try to study at your optimal time as much as possible.
- Use alarm clocks, timers, and alerts to help you structure your time, build routine, and remind yourself of important tasks. This article has some great tips on how to use your smartphone to stay organized.
- Give yourself small rewards as you study and complete tasks. This article recommends people with ADHD improve their focus by routinely rewarding themselves for achieving small goals. A reward can be as simple as taking a 10–15 minute break to have a snack or take a walk around the block, which also helps prevent fatigue and loss of concentration.
Studying for a securities licensing exam can make you feel like you’ve landed back in high school or college, when you were forced to study and retain large amounts of information with the end goal of passing a test. If you were a successful student, the strategies that worked for you then will probably work for you now. But individuals without prior academic success, and those with ADHD, can increase the effectiveness of their study time by applying the strategies that follow.
Make note-taking a core aspect of your studying. Studies suggest that becoming a better note-taker can increase concentration and help learners make better use of their time by learning actively rather than passively. Here are some specific ways to boost your studying with note-taking:
- If you have a hardcopy of your Solomon Exam Prep Study Guide, then highlight, underline, and write notes and questions in the margins as you read. If you are reading your Study Guide online or listening to your Audiobook, take notes on paper using a note-taking system that works for you, such as the Cornell, outlining, or mapping method, all described here.
- Use color-coding to organize your notes. Invest in colored pens, highlighters, and sticky notes and use them strategically.
- Return to your notes frequently: review them several times; rewrite them; read them aloud; create possible test questions from them.
Do A LOT of self-testing. Studies have found that incorporating more self-testing, or retrieval practice, into a study routine can significantly improve retention of material, especially for people with ADHD. The Solomon Exam Prep study system has two features specifically designed for self-testing:
- Solomon Exam Prep Online Exam Simulator: with a large question bank and tools that help you identify areas that require more study, the Solomon Exam Simulator is the perfect way to incorporate self-testing into your study time.
- Solomon Exam Prep Digital Flashcards: interactive true/false and definitions flashcards that can be organized by chapter and customized to target the terms and concepts you need to study more.
Teach the content to someone else. To be well-prepared for a securities licensing exam, candidates must truly understand the content. What better way to check your understanding than to teach the content to another person? Becoming the teacher to a friend or family member is a highly effective learning technique. This list of study tips for learners with ADHD includes talking about the concepts aloud to yourself or others. Even if you don’t have a study buddy or captive family member to lecture to, imagine that you’re teaching a course on the material and write up a lesson plan. Deliver your lesson to an empty room if need be, but the act of trying to explain the material out loud is a great way to confirm which areas you have a strong command of and which you need to study further.
FINRA and NASAA plan to launch a new online testing service May 24, 2020. The online test service will allow exam candidates to use their personal or Continue reading
FINRA and NASAA plan to launch a new online testing service May 24, 2020. The online test service will allow exam candidates to use their personal or firm-provided, camera-equipped computer to take qualifications examinations. Prometric staff will proctor the examination through the camera and other online tools.
Launch exams for this new online service include the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), Series 6, Series 7, Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams. Starting May 11, candidates and firms will be able to begin scheduling their online test appointments for May 24 and beyond.
For more information about online testing and availability of test centers during COVID-19, go to FINRA’S COVID-19 exam page.
It has now been announced that FINRA and NASAA plan to implement a new remote testing service, which will allow exam candidates to take selected exams using a camera-equipped computer. Continue reading
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, on March 17 Prometric closed its testing centers in the US and Canada, with these closures being extended until May 31st. It has now been announced that FINRA and NASAA plan to implement a new remote testing service, which will allow exam candidates to take selected exams using a camera-equipped computer. Exam testing will continue to be administered by Prometric, with their staff supervising the exams via video and online monitoring tools.
While this remote testing service is currently in its trial phase, FINRA plans to launch the service “in the near future” for selected exams, including the SIE, Series 6, Series 7, Series 63 and Series 66. It is expected that further exams will be included in the weeks following the launch of this innovative service.
Details will be available on FINRA’s COVID-19 information page from May 1st.
Prometric also announced that it plans to resume testing at certain test centers on May 1st, with limited capacity to maintain safe social distancing protocols. Further information will be updated on the Prometric Coronavirus Update page.
Solomon Exam Prep is offering complimentary extensions for students who have Solomon study materials expiring before June 1st. Contact Customer Service at firstname.lastname@example.org or phone us on 503 601 0212 to have your Solomon study materials extended until August 1st.
After using Solomon Once again, I passed my Series 7 on the first try. I will be using them again to tame the beast they call the 24. I’d utilized a competitor last year Continue reading
Come to conference booth 12 to say hello and get a free copy of the Solomon SIE Exam Minibook. Continue reading
Solomon Exam Prep is thrilled to be exhibiting at the 2019 FINRA Annual Conference at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, DC. Come to conference booth 12 to say hello and get a free copy of the Solomon SIE Exam Minibook.
#finra, #securitieslicensing, #securities, #sieexam
Solomon Exam Prep is excited to announce that Pepperdine Graziadio Business School has chosen Solomon Exam Prep as its curriculum provider for its summer Securities Industry Essentials exam prep class. Continue reading
Solomon Exam Prep is excited to announce that Pepperdine Graziadio Business School has chosen Solomon Exam Prep as its curriculum provider for its summer Securities Industry Essentials exam prep class. The two-credit class for Pepperdine MBA students will begin on June 17 and will run for seven weeks. It will be taught by Chris Manfre.
Solomon Exam Prep—a leading publisher of securities exam prep materials—is proud to announce a partnership with Ohio Dominican University. Continue reading
February 1st, 2019
Solomon Exam Prep—a leading publisher of securities exam prep materials—is proud to announce a partnership with Ohio Dominican University. With this partnership, ODU students will get everything needed to pass the all-important SIE exam.
As FINRA’s “introductory” exam, the SIE is used by securities firms to measure the seriousness of job candidates. For years, Solomon’s instructors have helped professionals pass securities exams—and now they’ve drawn on this expertise to create the best possible SIE test-prep materials. Geared to a variety of learning styles, these include:
- A digital study guide
- An audiobook
- Free mobile apps
- An online exam simulator with unlimited quizzes and exams
- A video lecture with slides and narration
- Custom study schedules for classes or independent study
Perhaps most importantly, Solomon’s materials are complemented by personalized support. As one student noted, “I didn’t think this kind of customer service and general human kindness existed anymore.” The company’s dedication shows in its consistently high pass rates.
Partner instructors rave about Solomon’s materials as well—especially for featuring:
- An online interactive admin portal where courses and student progress can be monitored (making “back-end faculty work a breeze,” as UN-Omaha’s Ray LeBlanc recently put it)
- A curriculum tailored to fit the needs of each school and program
- No expense to the partnering school beyond the study materials for the students
Contact us at 503.601.0212 to discuss setting up a Solomon partnership for your school—and to join such prestigious institutions as the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Adelphi University, Seton Hall University, and the University of Dallas.
Jeremy Solomon, Founder/President
Beth Hamilton, Business Development
About Solomon Exam Prep
Founded by Karen Solomon (Ph.D., University of Chicago) and Jeremy Solomon (MBA, Wharton), Solomon Exam Prep has helped thousands of students pass their series exams: Series 3, 6, 7, 24, 26, 27, 28, 50, 51, 52, 53, 62, 63, 65, 66, 79, 82 and 99.
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