Have you decided that you want to pursue a career in the financial industry? Whether you want to become an investment advisor, a broker, a registered representative, or any other type of professional in the securities industry, you’ll need to become licensed in order to do so.
Depending on exactly which area you want to go into such as the type of investments that will be sold depends on which financial exam you will need to take.
The Series 7 exam is for General Securities Representatives, which is essentially an “entry-level exam” that often serves as a pre-requisite for other FINRA exams. Once you pass the Series 7 exam, you’ll be able to sell different types of financial products.
The Series 7 license qualifies the candidate for the solicitation, purchase and the sale of security products which can include municipal securities, investment company products, and many other contracts.
On the Series 7 exam, you will be tested over different job functions such as opening accounts, transferring assets and maintaining account records, providing customers with information on investments, and seeking business for broker-dealer through customers and potential customers.
In order to take the Series 7 exam, you will need to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm. The Series 7 exam takes about six hours to complete; there are two sessions that are each three hours long with a break between the sessions. The exam consists of 250 multiple choice questions. To be considered as passing, the candidate will need to have a score of 72 or higher.
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The Series 6 exam is also known as the limited-investment securities license and is required for those who wish to sell open-end mutual funds and variable annuities. Passing the Series 6 exam qualifies you to be an Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative.
On the Series 6 exam, you will be tested on different topics including ongoing and servicing customer accounts, securities and tax regulation, evaluating customers, and marketing, prospecting, and sales presentation.
You’ll need to have a sponsor by a member of FINRA or a Self-Regulatory Organization in order to be able to take the Series 6 exam. The Series 6 exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions that must be completed within 2 hours and 15 minutes. To be considered as passing, you should achieve a score of 70% or higher.
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The Series 65 exam is also known as the NASAA Investment Advisors Law exam. In order to give anyone any type of financial advice or service, you’ll need to take and pass the Series 65 exam.
It is required for anyone who manages money, are investment advisors or manages funds on a non-commission basis. This exam does not allow a financial professional to sell securities but allows them to offer investment advice.
To take the Series 65 exam, you will need to be employed by a FINRA-member firm. You will be tested over investment vehicle characteristics, economic factors and business information, and client investment recommendations and strategies.
The Series 65 exam consists of 140 multiple-choice questions that must be completed in three hours. You must also achieve a score of 72 to be considered as passing the Series 65.
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The Series 3 exam is the National Commodities Futures exam which allows representatives to sell commodity futures contracts. Those who hold a Series 3 license specialize in commodities.
The Series 3 exam consists of two parts which include 125 multiple-choice questions as well as true/false questions. You are given two and a half hours to complete the exam. This test assesses your knowledge of futures trading in the United States. To be considered as passing the Series 3 exam, you will need to have a score of 70% on each part of the exam.
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Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam
The Securities Industry Essentials exam tests your knowledge of basic securities industry information that includes fundamental concepts such as the structure of the securities industry markets and regulatory agencies and their functions.
The SIE exam includes 75 multiple-choice questions that are to be completed in 105 minutes. You also do not need to be associated with a firm in order to take the SIE exam. This exam is open to anyone who has an interest in basic industry knowledge. If you need more information about the SIE exam, visit: http://www.finra.org/industry/essentials-exam
For more information about the FINRA exams, visit: http://www.finra.org/