There are many career options to choose from in the financial services industry, such as stockbroker, investment banker, financial analyst, or financial advisor. Whether you’re aiming for a job on Wall Street or off, you will probably need to pass a securities licensing exam or two (or three) to be permitted to work in your chosen role. To reach her career goals, Solomon customer Pennie Kincade, Financial Advisor at Raymond James Financial Services, decided to take the FINRA Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) and Series 7, and the NASAA Series 66 exams. Pennie recently shared her experience studying for and passing her exams.
“From passing the exams, I have been able to further my career and truly enjoy coming to work every day. It’s been a privilege to partner with my clients and plan for their retirement.”
Solomon Exam Prep: What led you to take the SIE, Series 7, and Series 66?
Pennie Kincade: When I started working in the financial services industry, I found my passion helping individuals and businesses reach their financial goals. I wanted to take this a step further by helping with their long-term goals, wealth management strategies, business succession planning, and retirement planning. With the SIE, Series 7 and 66, now I can follow my dream of assisting clients with wealth management strategies.
Solomon Exam Prep: Out of the exams you passed, which one did you find the most challenging and why?
Pennie Kincade: The Series 7 was the most challenging and the longest exam. It was helpful to have Solomon Exam Prep available to answer my questions and breakdown concepts into simple terms. They gave me confidence to push through and not give up.
Solomon Exam Prep: How did you approach studying for your exams?
Pennie Kincade: When studying for each exam, it was important to read each chapter and take a chapter exam at the end. Regardless of my scores, I continued reading through, taking an exam and then I started taking half exams once or twice a week. The questions I missed, I wrote down and referred back to for review. I reread my notes and reviewed each chapter on sections I scored low in. Once my scores were in the 80s, I moved onto a full exam once a week. Making note cards and writing out the questions I missed were helpful to review later. Two weeks before the exam, I made a sheet with notes to review each day with definitions, formulas or calculations.
Solomon Exam Prep: How did you take the exams – at a testing center or remotely? How was your experience, and do you have any tips to share?
Pennie Kincade: I completed my exams at the testing center. Before each exam, I would arrive an hour and a half early. During this time, I would have a small snack and drink some water. Then I reviewed my note cards and one page cram sheet. When I was able to write down notes during the exam, I wrote down everything I could remember from my cram sheet since it was fresh in my mind. I found this helpful to refer back to when I was getting a little anxious. It helped me stay focused and maintain confidence.
“It was helpful to have Solomon Exam Prep available to answer my questions and breakdown concepts into simple terms. They gave me confidence to push through and not give up.”
Solomon Exam Prep: Any words of wisdom to help motivate others who are preparing for exams?
Pennie Kincade: Give yourself enough time to study and know when you need a break. I read my notes out loud, while recording my voice and listened to them on the way to work. The chapters I had a difficult time remembering I would read the section before bed and touch on it the next morning. If I felt I had information overload, I would get up for a snack and take a 15-minute break.
Solomon Exam Prep: How has passing these exams affected your work and your career?
Pennie Kincade: From passing the exams, I have been able to further my career and truly enjoy coming to work every day. It’s been a privilege to partner with my clients and plan for their retirement.