What Is The Series 7 Exam? A Complete Series 7 Overview

In October 2018, FINRA enacted a prerequisite exam known as the Securities Industry Essentials exam to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge of basic financial concepts. Also known as the General Securities Representative exam, the Series 7 is required of anyone who makes trades on all types of corporate securities, excluding commodities and futures. Anyone who wants to work with financial instruments such as stocks, call and put options, or bonds needs to pass this exam administered through FINRA, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. It is also required for other positions like insurance agents, financial planners, or advisers. When you’re shopping around for a financial advisor, you should always seek what kind of licensing he or she holds. The Series 7 license stands out in the industry, because practitioners must pass one of the longest and most rigorous exams in the industry to obtain it. This license not only allows them to sell most securities, but it also means they have extensive knowledge around financial topics.

Some make commissions based on the products they sell, while other ones earn no such commissions. These are calledfee-onlyadvisors, and they operate in your best interest at all times. Plan to spend most of your time on the 3rd component because this is where most calculations are found. The exam does not test you on your methodology of the calculations, but only the final product of them. Always be sure to reference the organization’s website to see what type of calculator and resources are allowed and be sure to set your study area up in the same manner.

How To Get A Series 7 License If I’m Not Employed

Series 7 financial advisors and other practitioners also specialize in building diversified, risk-assessed investment portfolios for their clients. Because the Series 7 Exam weighs heavily on portfolio building and asset-allocation concepts, it’s best to seek these professionals when considering serious investing or retirement planning decisions. After finding employment, ask your employer about sponsorship for the series 7 exam. The company usually applies for you and often pays the exam entrance fee. If a candidate does not pass the Series 7 exam on their first attempt, FINRA allows them to re-take the exam after 30 days. There is no limit on the number of times a candidate can attempt to pass the exam, but there are time restrictions for candidates who’ve taken the exam several times.

  • The new firm will file a Form U4, applying for re-registration on your behalf.
  • However, the Series 7 license does not allow these registered professionals to sell commodities, futures, real estate and life insurance products.
  • Learn financial modeling and valuation in Excel the easy way, with step-by-step training.
  • In October 2018, FINRA enacted a prerequisite exam known as the Securities Industry Essentials exam to evaluate a candidate’s knowledge of basic financial concepts.
  • When it comes to seeking a financial advisor, licenses aren’t everything.

Some states also will allow individuals qualified as broker agents to register as investment adviser representatives without further exam. In some instances, even though an exam is shown in a CRD record as having expired, a state has discretion to waive the requirement to re-take the exam. This is most frequently done when someone has remained working in the financial services industry, just not in a position requiring state registration . The regulator in the jurisdiction in which licensing will be sought can provide information on waiver policies.Contact information for all state regulatorsis available on this site. Even if you may have no particular sponsorship prospects now, that could change at any minute, and you need to be prepared.

Series 7 Exam

During your job search, look on the company’s website for any mention of series 7 sponsorships. Because the firm knows entry-level professionals need to take this exam, it usually advertises sponsorship opportunities. Stockbrokers in the United States need to pass the Series 7 exam to obtain a license to trade. The Series 7 Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of topics covered on the exam, as well as the depth of knowledge required.

Consider forming a study group or setting aside a specific time to study. Effectively studying for a series 7 can help you feel more confident in your ability to pass the exam. The Securities Industry Essentials exam is an introductory-level test for future professionals in the finance industry. FINRA states that the SIE and series 7 exam are corequisites, which means you must pass both before earning a license, but you can take them in any order. Most professionals start with the SIE exam because it requires fewer qualifications. Apart from being equipped with industry knowledge, finance practitioners who pass the Series 7 exam are required to abide by stricter standards compared to unlicensed brokers.

Pass The Exam

The Series 63 is a securities exam and license entitling the holder to solicit orders for any type of security in a particular state. Julia Kagan has written about personal finance for more than 25 years and for Investopedia since 2014.

Should I take Series 7 or 66 first?

Should I take the series 7 or 66 exam first? While you may take either exam first, we strongly recommend that you start with this Series 7 Exam. The Series 7 Exam is a much bigger test and will require significantly more study time.

You can do research on FINRA member firms here or on the North American Securities Administrators Association website. Before you can begin selling securities, you will have to pass this exam. Study for the Series 7 exam, once you find someone who is willing to sponsor you. You can purchase study guides and take practice exams leading up to the real examination. Passing the Series 7 is essential to advancing your career in the financial services industry. If you’re looking to work with a financial advisor, you may be confused by the different types of licenses and certifications they hold.

Who Should Take The Series 7?

This function deals mostly with public communication and regulation for advertising materials. The rules and regulations tested in this section are of particular interest to investment salespeople such as brokers and securities dealers. Candidates will be given 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam and must achieve a score of 72% to pass. Javier Simon, CEPF®Javier Simon is a banking, investing and retirement expert for SmartAsset. The personal finance writer’s work has been featured in Investopedia, PLANADVISER and iGrad. Javier is a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing.

series 7 requirement

Every test taker gets some, but they do not count towards the final score. Because of this rigorous procedure, which starts in January of each year, changes to the questions don’t actually become operational until later in the year. The Series 66 exam was created at the request of industry to avoid their employees having to take two exams. Because of the way the exam is structured, the individual also must have a valid Series 7 at the time of registration. The Series 66 is a shorter test than the Series 65 because items covered by the Series 7 are not covered on the exam. Furthermore, a person who has taken the Series 63 already has been tested on some of the content of the 65. When you leave a firm, that firm files a Form U5, terminating your registration.

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The Securities and Exchange Commission requires entry-level finance professionals to earn this license before practicing any of the major job functions of a financial advisor. For this reason, all finance professionals interested in higher-level occupations must get a series 7. The Series 7 exam does not cover real estate properties or insurance products.

To be eligible to take the series 7 exam, you need a sponsorship from a Financial Industry Regulatory Authority member organization or a self-regulatory organization . To earn this sponsorship, find a job or internship at a financial institution, such as a brokerage firm or bank. And how they function, acceptable and unacceptable industry practices, product knowledge, and fundamentals of securities trading. The SIE exam does not require potential candidates to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm. The Series 7 exam is an exam and license that gives successful candidates the authority to sell all types of securities such as stocks and bonds, except commodities and futures. FINRA governs the activities of securities firms and registered brokers, ensuring that anyone who sells securities products is qualified and tested.


Both the SIE and the Series 7 exam are corequisites, meaning that candidates must pass both exams to get a securities trading license. Potential candidates can opt to take both exams in any order, as long as they pass both exams within the prescribed period. The Series 7 exam licenses the holder to sell all types of securities products except commodities and futures.

series 7 requirement

It is advisable to first start by reading what FINRA publishes on their website because it will lead you to the specific laws, requirements, and legal documentation of the industry. This resource will also provide regulatory updates and changes to the exam format and topics.

Learn financial modeling and valuation in Excel the easy way, with step-by-step training. Gain the confidence you need to move up the ladder in a high powered corporate finance career path. A futures contract is an agreement to buy or sell an underlying asset at a later date for a predetermined price.

Beyond extensive industry knowledge, financial professionals with Series 7 certifications must live up to stricter standards than unlicensed ones. FINRA enforces strict regulations Series 7-licensed professionals must abide by in order to keep their jobs and serve their clients as best they can.

  • Thus, those who hold this title must live up to strict standards when it comes to client relations.
  • The second function covers how to provide customers information about account types and related disclosures and restrictions.
  • When you’re shopping around for a financial advisor, you should always seek what kind of licensing he or she holds.
  • Often the fee is covered by your sponsoring FINRA member firm – be sure to check with your sponsor.
  • The Series 7 exam does not cover real estate properties or insurance products.

This license gives an individual the ability to sell most, not all, investment products on the market. This includes, mutual funds, stocks, bonds, variable annuities, options, and other packaged securities products. A majority of employers in the financial services industry require potential employees to have passed the Series 7 exam as one of the entry requirements.

Exam Content Outlines

Upon completion of the Series 7 exam, FINRA does not award physical certificates to successful candidates. Instead, potential employers can access the proof of exam completion on FINRA’s Central Registration Depository . The Series 7 exam also serves as a prerequisite to other securities exams, such as Series 24, Series 26, and Series 31. Completion of the Series 7 exam is a prerequisite for many other securities licenses, such as the Series 24, which permits the candidate to supervise and manage broker activities. Prior to Oct. 1, 2018, the Series 7 exam contained 250 questions covering five major job functions. The Series 7 exam has 125 multiple choice questions, lasts 225 minutes, and cost $245. The Series 7 exam covers topics on investment risk, taxation, equity and debt instruments, packaged securities, options, and retirement plans.

Candidates who want to take the Series 7 exam must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm, and FINRA has other Series 7 eligibility requirements. The firm must file a Form U4 for the candidate to be registered for the licensing exam.

series 7 requirement

Learn about the individual sections and determine what areas you need to work on more. By doing all that initial prep work, not only will you be able to take the exam as soon as you find a potential sponsor, but you will also be more knowledgeable during interviews. When you become an insurance agent, you will have to take the Series 6 exam, which allows you to sell mutual funds and some basic investment securities. After selling these products for some time, you may then be able to take the Series 7 exam through your company. The Series 7 is a qualification exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority designed to determine if an individual is qualified to be a Registered Representative.

In order for a review to occur, you must identify the question involved and the nature of the problem. You can do this by completing the survey at the end of the exam and indicating the problem when asked for comments or by contacting NASAA and providing the required information. There is no limit for NASAA exams as long as the applicable waiting period requirements are met. No, having a qualifying professional designation only will waive the Series 65 requirement.

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