Series 79 Practice Test
The Series 79 Exam is a test you’ll need to pass in order to qualify for a job as an investment banker. The official title of the exam is the Investment Banking Representative Qualification Examination (IB), but it’s pretty much universally referred to as the Series 79. Don’t confuse it with the Series 7 exam, which is the test for people seeking to be licensed as a broker. Series 7 is a much broader test, covering many more subject areas than the Series 79. The Series 79 is the newer exam; it was created because many people who seek to be licensed in investment banking have no interest in becoming brokers, which meant that much of the material on the Series 7 test was covering material they didn’t need to know. Now they can take the Series 79 without spending months or years studying subject matter they’ll never use.
However, this doesn’t mean that the Series 79 exam is easy. It may be less wide-ranging than the Series 7, but it’s a very difficult test to do well on, by any measure. The exam, which is taken on a computer, consists of 175 multiple-choice questions, with a five-hour time limit to finish the exam. It’s not uncommon for someone to take all five hours to complete the exam, and many don’t finish all the questions within the time limit. Questions fall into four subject areas, or functions:
- Function 1 – Collection, Analysis and Evaluation of Data (75 questions)
- Function 2 – Underwriting/New Financing Transactions, Types of Offerings and Registration of Securities (43 questions)
- Function 3 – Mergers and Acquisitions, Tender Offers and Financial Restructuring Transactions (34 questions)
- Function 4 – General Securities Industry Regulations (23 questions)
There are currently no prerequisites a person must satisfy before taking the Series 79 exam, but all prospective test-takers must be sponsored by a member of FINRA ((Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), the watchdog organization authorized by Congress to hold the brokers and dealers to high standards of fairness and honesty. The current cost to take the Series 79 exam is $305. Tests are administered nationwide by appointment at Prometric and Pearson VUE testing centers. Arriving early is recommended, as late arrivers may be turned away, or they may be allowed to take the exam, but their allotted time of five hours to complete the test may be reduced by the number of minutes they’re late.
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