Series 7 Exam Quick Reference:

Examinee Qualification: Registered Representative
Time Allowed for Exam: 6 hours, divided into two sessions of 3 hours each
Number of Questions: 260, 250 of which count toward the final score
Exam Format: Multiple choice
Score Required to Pass: 72%
Exam preparation time: Approximately 50-90 hrs (about 1-2 hrs a day for 6-8 weeks)
Existing License Required: No
Testing Locations: Prometric Testing Centers and Pearson Vue Professional Testing Centers throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and U.S. Territories

Exam Covers Five Job Functions:

  • Soliciting business for the broker-dealer from customers and potential customers, 27 percent of the exam (68 questions)
  • Evaluating clients’ financial situation and needs, financial and tax status, other security holdings, and investment objectives, 11 percent of the exam (27 questions)
  • Opening accounts, transferring assets, and keeping proper account records, 11 percent of the exam (27 questions)
  • Giving information to customers about investments and making suitable recommendations, 28 percent of the exam (70 questions)
  • Receiving and verifying the buy and sell instructions given by customers, entering orders, and following up, 23 percent of the exam (58 questions)

Series 7 Exam Overview

Passing the Series 7 exam allows license holders to solicit, purchase, and sell all securities products, including:

  • Corporate securities
  • Direct participation programs (limited partnerships
  • Investment company products (including mutual funds)
  • Municipal securities and municipal fund securities
  • Options
  • Variable contracts (annuities)

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) develops and administers the Series 7 exam. To take the exam, applicants must be associated with and sponsored by a FINRA member firm.

A committee of registered representatives develops questions for the test under the guidance of FINRA employees. Questions are continually changing, as laws and rules within the financial industry regulatory environment change. Each question goes through a pretest vetting process before becoming part of the exam. Ten of these pretest questions are part of each exam but don’t count toward the final score.

Each Series 7 Exam is put together in real time with questions selected randomly from a pool of questions. This ensures that no two exams are the same. This process makes sure each exam meets certain content specifications and that every Series 7 Exam has the same difficulty level.

Series 7 Exam Content

FINRA divides the content of the Series 7 exam into four interrelated components:

  • Functions are the primary job functions of general securities representatives
  • Tasks are activities associated with performing these job functions
  • Knowledge statements demonstrate the underlying knowledge required to do the primary job functions and the tasks associated with these functions
  • Rules and regulations knowledge are listings of rules and regulations associated with knowledge statements, tasks, and functions

Complete Content Outline: Series 7 General Securities Representative Qualification Examination

Applying for the Series 7 Exam

To take the Series 7 exam, the examinee’s sponsoring FINRA member firm must file a Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4) in the Central Registration Depository (CRD) and pay the required fee.

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