0 Material vs Psychology of the tests

Why are these tests hard?

I (Brian) believe there are 2 aspects of the Series Exams that make them difficult. The Material on the exam, and the Psychology of the exam.

The Material

This is the area most students focus on. This is everything found in the License Exam Manual, or any of the videos. This is the information on Common Stock, on Investment Advising, or Oversight, on State Laws, or any of the other material on the 4 exams. This is what you are “studying” when you are reading the material.

I do not think this is the area most people have problems with though.

The Psychology

This is the area that I believe is why most people have problems. It can come in several forms that I have seen;

  • For some reason I had a bad teacher or a bad adult early in life who some how made me feel I was stupid and can’t do this. Please PLEASE do not listen to those jerks from your past. You CAN do this!
  • You have heard from friends how hard this exam is. You think it is too hard for you to do, if someone else couldn’t do it you likely can’t. Don’t listen to that either. These are hard tests, different people learn differently, what might be easy for one is not necessarily easy for the other and vice versa. You can only focus on yourself!
  • You have personally failed, perhaps multiple times. This may be the hardest of all the poison pills in your head. You thought you were ready before, you think you’re ready now, you were wrong then, maybe you are wrong now, and bam the test breaks you. The past is the past. You are not the same person taking the test the same way. It is different, FORGET ABOUT THE PAST!
  • Or similar feelings

These tests do not care about you. I know how weird that sounds, but I think one of the hang ups a lot of people have is they think these tests are like the hard tests they had in High School or College. The difference is those were generally made by people who for the most part, at least a little bit, cared about you. Maybe not as much as they should have, maybe not as much as a good teacher would have, but at least, the bare little bit, if for no other reason than if every student failed they’d likely lose their jobs. They had at least a little care. This test doesn’t. It doesn’t care if you tried. It doesn’t care if you want it. You need to PROVE IT to the test!

These tests pose questions that are “gray” or “rainbow” if you prefer, where it is a gradient, a transition between that has no lines or breaks. Sometimes questions will have 3 wrong answers, so even if you don’t know the actual answer, if you know 3 of the questions are wrong, then you know the right answer. Other times you know the right answer, and it doesn’t matter what anything else is. But there will be a great many questions where there are maybe 2 wrong answers at best, but where the test taker must find the BEST answer, not necessarily the RIGHT answer, as several could be “RIGHT” to varying degrees. These questions can get in your head, and make you second guess yourself if you spend too much time on them.