Successfully completing FINRA
registration exams stands as an initial milestone for those aiming to operate as a broker-dealer or become a registered representative of one. To be eligible to attempt these exams, securing a broker-dealer sponsorship is a fundamental requirement (with the exception of the SIE exam).
The FINRA exams delve into various topics to ensure individuals entering the securities industry comprehend industry regulations, markets, and FINRA rules thoroughly. Navigating the array of FINRA qualification exams for roles in M&A brokerage, investment banking, or placement agencies can be daunting. Here's an overview of common FINRA exam types:
1. SECURITIES INDUSTRY ESSENTIALS (SIE) EXAM:
The SIE exam
assesses fundamental securities industry knowledge, covering topics like market structure, regulatory agencies, and their functions. While it doesn't directly qualify individuals for registration or participation in securities business, it's a prerequisite for registration with a FINRA member firm. The exam comprises 75 questions and has a duration of 1 hour and 45 minutes.
2. SERIES 7TO EXAM: GENERAL SECURITIES REPRESENTATIVE EXAM:
The Series 7 Top Off exam
is an entry-level exam that evaluates a prospective registered representative’s abilities in areas such as selling securities and options. This often serves as a prerequisite for other FINRA exams. It consists of 125 questions to be completed within 3 hours and 45 minutes.
3. SERIES 24: GENERAL SECURITIES PRINCIPAL EXAM:
The Series 24 exam
assesses knowledge needed for principal roles, such as the regulations governing the supervision of a general securities broker-dealer. To obtain principal registration, you also need to complete either the SIE and a representative exam or the Series 16, depending on your business model. This exam comprises 150 questions and has a duration of 3 hours and 45 minutes.
4. SERIES 63 EXAM: UNIFORM SECURITIES STATE LAW (NASAA) EXAM:
The Series 63 exam
, administered by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) through FINRA, assesses applicants' understanding of state laws and regulations. Passing this exam grants the ability to register in any state. It comprises 60 questions and allows 1 hour and 15 minutes for completion.
5. SERIES 79TO EXAM: INVESTMENT BANKING REPRESENTATIVE EXAM:
The Series 79 Top Off exam
is designed for investment banking representatives and as such, tests knowledge related to securities offerings and mergers and acquisitions. Candidates need to pass both the SIE exam and the Series 79 exam to obtain Investment Banking Representative registration. It contains 75 questions and lasts 2 hours and 30 minutes.
6. SERIES 82 EXAM: PRIVATE SECURITIES OFFERINGS REPRESENTATIVE EXAM:
The Series 82 exam
assesses knowledge in the solicitation and sale of private placement securities products. Similar to the Series 79, candidates must pass the SIE exam and the Series 82 exam for Private Securities Offerings Representative registration. The exam comprises 50 questions with a duration of 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Why Seek FINRA Exam Sponsorship?
Becoming a registered securities professional requires passing these exams, which can be expensive and time-consuming. Hamilton Grant offers sponsorship for specific FINRA exams - we can help you navigate these exams and help you register your information with FINRA's Central Registration Depository (CRD), granting a 120-day window to take the exam.