FINRA Exams

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The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, Inc. (FINRA) is the self-regulating body for the financial industry, responsible for setting regulations and standards for financial professionals. Passing the necessary FINRA exams is vital to becoming a successful financial professional. The most popular examinations that financial professionals take will be covered here.

Series 6 Exam –
Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative

Application
Before registering to take the Series 6 Exam, one must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm. The firm applies for candidates to take the examination by filing a Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4). The firm will also pay the examination fee through FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD).

Content
Passing the Series 6 Exam qualifies a candidate as an Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative. This multiple-choice exam consists of 105 multiple-choice questions and takes 135 minutes to complete. One must score at least a 70 to pass the exam. Topics that are tested include:

  • Securities and tax regulation
  • Securities markets, investment securities and economic factors
  • Opening and servicing customer accounts
  • Marketing, prospecting and sales presentation
  • Product information about investment company securities and variable contracts
  • Evaluating customers

Location
The Series 6 Exam is administered at Prometric testing centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and U.S. territories.

Series 7 Exam – General Securities Representative

Application
To take the Series 7 Exam, a candidate must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm, which will file the Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4) in the Central Registration Depository (CRD) and pay the required examination fee.

Content
The Series 7 Exam qualifies those who pass to work as General Securities Representatives. The 260 multiple-choice question exam takes six hours to complete (two sessions, each three hours long). Candidates with a score of 72 or better pass the test. Major job functions covered on the Series 7 Exam include:

  • Seeking business for a broker-dealer through customers/potential customers
  • Opening accounts, transferring assets and maintaining account records
  • Evaluating customers’ other security holdings, financial situation, needs, tax status, financial status, and investment objectives
  • Providing customers with information on investments and making recommendations
  • Obtaining and verifying customer’s purchase and sales instructions, entering orders, following up

Location
The Series 7 Exam is administered at Prometric testing centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and U.S. territories.

Series 63 Exam – Uniform Securities Agent

The Series 63 Exam (Uniform Securities Agent) is administered in conjunction with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). This exam is not recognized in all states and must always be taken with another securities agent licensing exam (such as Series 6 or Series 7). Securities agents in the following states are not required to take the Series 63 exam for licensure purposes:

  • Colorado
  • District of Columbia
  • Florida
  • Louisiana
  • Maryland
  • New Jersey
  • Puerto Rico
  • Ohio
  • Vermont

Application
If a candidate is sponsored by a FINRA-member firm, the firm will file the Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4) in the Central Registration Depository (CRD) and pay the required examination fee on the candidate’s behalf. If a candidate is applying to take the Series 63 exam as an employee or as an agent of a non-FINRA member firm, he or she must file Form U10 and pay the exam fee through the CRD.

Content
The Series 63 Exam takes 75 minutes to complete and consists of 60 multiple-choice questions. A score of 72 or better is considered passing. Sixty percent of the exam will cover State Securities Acts and related rules and regulations. Forty percent of the exam will cover ethics and fiduciary obligations.

Location
The Series 63 Exam is administered at Prometric testing centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and U.S. territories.

Series 65 Exam – NASAA Investment Advisers Law Exam

Passing the Series 65 Exam qualifies a candidate as an investment adviser/investment adviser representative. It does not allow a professional to sell securities, but rather, to offer investment advice.

Application
If a candidate is employed by a FINRA-member firm, the firm will submit the Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4) in the Central Registration Depository (CRD) and pay the required examination fee. If a candidate is employed by a non-FINRA member firm, the firm will file Form U10 and pay the exam fee on the candidate’s behalf. Candidates who plan to establish independent investment adviser firms must file Form U10 through their state’s securities commission and pay the examination fee there.

Content
The Series 65 Exam is administered in conjunction with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). The three-hour long exam consists of 140 multiple-choice questions. A score of 72 is required to pass the test. Topics tested include:

  • Economic factors and business information
  • Investment vehicle characteristics
  • Client investment recommendations and strategies
  • Laws, regulations and guidelines, including prohibited or unethical business practices

Location
The Series 65 Exam is administered at Prometric testing centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and U.S. territories.

Series 66 Exam – NASAA Uniform Combined State Law Exam

Passing the Series 66 Exam qualifies a candidate to register as an investment adviser representative and as a securities agent. Persons who take the Series 66 Exam must also pass the Series 7 Exam prior to registering with their state’s regulatory commission.

Application
Candidates who work at FINRA-member firms will have their firm file the Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4) in the Central Registration Depository (CRD) and pay the required examination fee. Those who work for non-FINRA member firms will have their firm file a Form U10 and pay the fee through the CRD.

Content
The Series 66 Exam is administered in conjunction with the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA). The exam takes 150 minutes to complete and consists of 110 multiple-choice questions. A score of 75 or better is necessary to pass the exam. Topics include:

  • Economic factors and business information
  • Investment vehicle characteristics
  • Investment recommendations and strategies
  • Laws, regulations and guidelines, including prohibited or unethical business practices

Location
The Series 66 Exam is administered at Prometric testing centers in the U.S., Canada, Mexico and U.S. territories.