Thinking about becoming a licensed broker? To operate as one, or to become a registered representative of a broker-dealer, you will have to pass FINRA licensing examinations. All top-off FINRA exams require a broker-dealer sponsorship before a candidate can sit for the tests.
The FINRA exams, including the broker-dealer exams, cover a wide range of topics to ensure that individuals entering the securities industry have a thorough understanding of the markets, industry regulations, and FINRA rules. This is to ensure that individuals are equipped with the knowledge and expertise to assist clients in a competent and ethical manner.
It can be challenging to determine which exams are appropriate for your specific line of business. To help, we've provided a list of the most common FINRA qualification exams for those looking to establish and grow a career in M&A brokerage, investment banking, or placement agencies.
FINRA exam types
SECURITIES INDUSTRY ESSENTIALS (SIE) EXAM: The SIE 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 is a requirement for individuals looking to begin a career in the securities industry. While passing the SIE exam alone does not qualify a person for registration with a FINRA member firm or authorize them to participate in securities business, it serves as a prerequisite for registration with a member firm. FINRA introduced the SIE Exam in order to eliminate the overlap of content found on multiple exams and to provide a foundation of general industry knowledge.
The exam consists of 75 scored questions, and candidates have 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete it.
SERIES 7 EXAM: GENERAL SECURITIES REPRESENTATIVE EXAM
The Series 7 exam for General Securities Representatives (GS) is essentially an entry-level exam. It is designed to evaluate the ability of entry-level registered representatives to perform their duties as a general securities representative and it often serves as a prerequisite for other FINRA exams.
The exam measures the knowledge and ability to perform key tasks such as selling corporate, municipal, and government securities, investment company securities, variable annuities, and options.
The exam consists of 125 scored questions, and candidates have 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete it.
SERIES 63 EXAM: UNIFORM SECURITIES STATE LAW (NASAA) EXAM
The Series 63 exam, also known as the Uniform Securities State Law Examination is a North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) exam administered by FINRA. The examination is intended to provide a basis for state securities administrators to determine an applicant’s knowledge and understanding of state law and regulations. This securities license entitles the holder to register in any state. The exam consists of 60 scored questions, and candidates have 1 hour and 15 minutes to complete it.
SERIES 79 EXAM: INVESTMENT BANKING REPRESENTATIVE EXAM.
The Series 79 Exam, or Investment Banking Representative Exam, measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of an investment banking representative, including advising on or facilitating debt or equity securities offerings through a private placement or a public offering and mergers and acquisitions.
The exam consists of 75 scored questions, and candidates have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete it.
Candidates must pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and the Series 79 exam to obtain the Investment Banking Representative registration.
SERIES 82 EXAM: PRIVATE SECURITIES OFFERINGS REPRESENTATIVE EXAM
The Series 82 exam, or Private Securities Offerings Representative Exam, measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of a private securities offerings representative, including solicitation and sale of private placement securities products as part of a primary offering.
The exam consists of 50 scored questions, and candidates have 1 hour and 30 minutes to complete it.
Candidates must pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and the Series 82 exam to obtain the Private Securities Offerings Representative registration.
Why choose FINRA exam sponsorship?
Obtaining licensure as a securities professional requires passing FINRA exams, which can be costly and time-consuming. However, at Finalis, we understand the importance of obtaining your licensure and advancing your career. Finalis is one of the broker-dealer firms that FINRA regulates and we offer sponsorship for certain FINRA exams.
Our sponsorship covers the cost of your testing fees and submits your personal information to FINRA's Central Registration Depository (CRD), giving you a 120-day window to take your exam(s) without incurring additional fees. When you've successfully passed your exams, you'll be eligible for registration and Finalis will assume responsibility for supervising your ongoing activities in the industry.
Feeling ready to tackle your next exam? Not sure what exam you require? Contact us to schedule an appointment. We'll be happy to help you determine which FINRA exams are appropriate for your specific business model.