FINRA releases final SIE exam outline and confirms effective date; specialized exam outlines to be released soon!

FINRA is radically restructuring its representative-level qualification exam program beginning October 1, 2018. Here’s what you can expect:

How is FINRA changing its qualifying exam program?

Beginning October 1, 2018, all new representative-level applicants must take:

  • General knowledge examination called the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE)
  • Specialized knowledge examination (a revised representative-level qualification examination) for their particular registered role

Candidates may take the SIE exam without being associated with a FINRA member broker/dealer. No sponsorship will be required.

However, just passing the SIE examination will not satisfy that candidate’s FINRA registration requirement. The individual must then become associated with a firm to take a subsequent specialized knowledge exam, sometimes referred to as a top-off exam, and complete all additional registration procedures. For example, one such top-off exam will be the revised General Securities Representative (Series 7) exam (see illustration below). This exam will qualify representatives to work with the full range of securities, as the current Series 7 does and will until the transition.

The Securities Industry Essentials exam and a top-off exam are required to register with FINRA.

What will this new SIE exam look like?

The new exam will contain 75 multiple-choice questions. This is FINRA’s content outline for the exam:

Section Description Percentage of Exam Number of Questions
1. Knowledge of Capital Markets 16% 12
2. Understanding Products and Their Risks 44% 33
3. Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts, and Prohibited Activities 31% 23
4. Overview of the Regulatory Framework 9% 7
TOTAL 100% 75

Full SIE Exam Outline

Where can I get more information?

FIRE Solutions is preparing SIE study materials and will be publishing additional resources, including a webinar, as the implementation date approaches.

Sign up here for ongoing updates and to be notified when our new study resources are available!