Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam

Beginning in October 2018, the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam will be available for candidates who are pursuing entry-level positions in the securities industries. The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which is a non-profit organization, created the SIE exam to give candidates an opportunity to demonstrate basic security industry knowledge to potential employers. FINRA’s mission is to ensure investor protection by enforcing regulations, monitoring firms, offering investment education, and promoting market transparency.

The SIE exam covers the fundamental concepts of the securities industry, including risks, products, market structures, and regulatory agencies. Candidates should note that passing the SIE exam is only one of the prerequisites for becoming a securities industry professional. Other requirements include completing a background check and passing a qualification exam for that specific type of business (Ex. General Securities Representative Series 7 exam).

Who is eligible to take the SIE Exam?

The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam is available to candidates and students who are at least 18 years old. Candidates are required to take the SIE exam before or after associating with a firm.

When is the SIE Exam available?

The SIE exam is available beginning October 1, 2018.

How to apply for the SIE Exam

Candidates may enroll for the SIE exam on the FINRA website and schedule their exam at a Prometric testing location. Individuals have 120 days to schedule their exam. If you have to reschedule, please do so at least 10 business days prior to your scheduled exam date, to avoid penalty fees.

How much is the SIE Exam?

The proposed fee for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam is $60.

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What topics are covered on the SIE Exam?

The SIE exam assesses candidates’ knowledge of entry-level practices and core concepts of the securities industry, as well as rules and regulations. The exam is divided into the following sections:

  • Knowledge of Capital Markets. This section makes up 16% of the exam and includes 12 questions. Some categories in this section are market structure and participants, regulatory entities, offerings, and FINRA rules.
  • Understanding Products and Their Risks. This section makes up 44% of the exam and includes 33 questions. Some categories in this section are categories include exchange-traded funds, real estate investment trusts (REITs), municipal fund securities, and MSRB rules.
  • Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts, and Prohibited Activities. This section makes up 31% of the exam, with 23 questions. Some categories found in this section are compliance considerations, market manipulation, anti-money laundering, and NASD rules.
  • Overview of the Regulatory Framework. This section makes up 9% of the exam, with 7 questions. Some categories in this section are employee conduct, continuing education, reportable events, and SEC rules.

In total, the SIE exam includes 75 multiple-choice questions and 10 pretest questions that do not count towards the final score.

What is a passing score for the SIE Exam?

The passing score for the SIE exam will be announced by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) at a later date. The test scores are valid for four years.

What to expect on test day

The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam is offered at Prometric testing facilities. On test day, candidates can expect the following:

  • The SIE exam is a computer-based test with 75 multiple-choice questions and 10 pretest questions.
  • Test-takers must provide a valid government-issued ID, which includes a signature and photograph. Examples include an active passport, driver’s license or military ID.
  • Test-takers will have 105 minutes (1 hour and 45 minutes) to complete the exam.
  • Study materials and personal items, including backpacks, notes, books, and briefcases are not allowed in the testing area.
  • At the start of the test, test-takers will receive a four-function calculator, 2 dry-erase boards, and dry-erase pens.
  • Test-takers are encouraged to arrive 30 minutes early to avoid forfeiting their test and cancellation fees.

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How to prepare for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam

When searching for the most effective study materials for the SIE exam, it’s important to consider materials that will help you thoroughly understand the key concepts and the test format. Our test experts, who have meticulously studied the SIE exam, created study materials that are sure to help you earn a passing score and beyond!

The Mometrix SIE Study Guide provides in-depth explanations of all critical concepts tested on the exam, including market structure, regulatory agencies, and securities products. Conquering a test requires more than understanding the information, so the Mometrix SIE Study Guide also includes secret test-taking strategies that will help you avoid question traps, easing your anxiety on test day.

Repetition is proven to be one of the most effective study strategies, so Mometrix also offers the SIE Flashcards. With these flashcards, you are able to quiz yourself on the go!
We understand that preparing for an exam that can change the trajectory of your career can be intimidating. We created the SIE study materials to not only help you earn the score you deserve but to ease your anxiety, so that you can be more relaxed and confident on test day! We look forward to helping you pass the SIE exam!

Securities Industry Essentials Study Guide

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by Mometrix Test Preparation | This Page Last Updated: November 3, 2022