The Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative Qualification Examination is a test developed and administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Also called Series 6 Examination, it is designed to gauge the competency level of entry-level investment firm and contracts products representatives, as well as to protect the investing public by ensuring these representatives and companies perform their jobs. In other words, if an individual desires to become a registered representative and sell mutual funds, unit investment trusts (UITs), variable annuities, or variable life insurance, one should pass this exam.

Administered via computer, the Series 6 Exam has 100 multiple-choice questions and should be completed within 135 minutes. Having a 70% passing score, the exam covers the following areas: regulatory fundamentals and business development; customer financial details, investment objectives and investment products, and recommendations; opening and closing accounts, and maintaining account records; and securing and validating client purchase and sale orders.

Since it has 100 questions and one should finish it within 135 minutes, it is safe to say this is a difficult exam. What should the person do in order to pass the Series 6 Exam?

Mark the hard questions. Examinees will encounter a lot of long, wordy questions, which can take quite a bit of time to work through and answer. Questions, may it be easy or hard, take up a bit of time to work on it and answer. The computer program at the testing center allows this, it will be time-consuming though. By doing this, the examinee can go back and work on answering it after the test.

Follow the bell curve. Those who have taken the Series 6 Exam noticed the first question and the last question on the exam were simple. That structure of questions is called bell curve. The difficulty level escalates until past the middle point, then drops off slowly until the end. Whatever the structure is, keep answering the questions.

Never second guess yourself. Most exam takers observed they still had time after answering all the questions. If it happens, finish it and wait for the results. Never go back and change answers, or you flunk the examination because chances are you are wrong most of the time when you change it. When guessing, normally the first guess is the best answer.

Improve skills. Do as many practice questions as possible, then track your progress by noting your weakest topics, specifically in the areas with significant number of questions. Review that subject matter more closely.

On the day of the exam, arrive early. Upon signing in and putting your personal items in the locker, the testing center will give you a scratch paper, pencils, and a calculator. Even though the exam has lesser mathematical exercise than before, take note of the fundamental formulas for mutual funds.

Scratch paper is a huge help. Before starting the exam, jot down all the necessary notes on the paper, especially the yields on discount and premium bonds. This can be helpful in answering the questions.

And the most important pointer? Do not rush. In your haste, you might miss an easier question if you do not read those carefully. Certain questions are tricky; hence, do not be overwhelmed by it and read that carefully.