Taking The Series License Exam

Passing the Series 7 License Exam is a requirement before anyone working in the finance industry can sell or buy securities including stocks, bonds, derivatives and any other investments promoted to the general public. The exam is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and covers a broad range of investments and products. In order to take the exam, generally you must be sponsored by a registered member of FINRA, although in some instances the state can act as your sponsor if you are a Registered Investment Advisor ISACA CISM.

The Series 7 license exam is one of several securities licenses that agents must hold in order to communicate with retail investors; some states require further licenses such as the Series 63 or Series 66 licenses. Account managers, analysts and advisors employed by registered Brokers and Dealers hold Series 7 licenses, giving the investing public confidence in dealing with members of the finance industry.

The exam itself consists of 260 questions, of which at least 72% must be answered correctly in order to get a pass mark. On average, 66% of those sitting the exam obtain a pass mark, with an average score of 73%. Of the 260 questions, only 250 counts towards your final score, with the other 10 questions considered experimental questions, or practice. The cost to sit the Series 7 license exam is a non-refundable $265, as of November 2010. Check when you make your exam appointment to confirm the cost.

Typically, to register for the exams you will need to complete a U-4 application, on which you must disclose details such as previous work history, criminal convictions and anything else that may affect your ability to work in the finance industry as an advisor. Exams are offered daily, and you must pay your fee and set your own appointment time to sit the exam. Exams are sat in two consecutive 3 hour time slots, with 125 questions each.

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