What You Should Know Before Opening Your Exam Window This Summer/Fall!

FINRA’s transition from the current licensing exam requirements to the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) and Specialized Knowledge Exam (SKE) raises many questions for candidates who will be testing this fall. This discussion clarifies requirements during the coming transition period.

How Do I Know Which Exam to Take?

The date on which a candidate files their Form U4 determines whether that candidate tests under the current rules or the new rules applying to the SIE and SKE exams. A candidate who opens an exam window on or before September 30 tests under the current rules. On the other hand, candidates who open on or after October 1 test under the new rules.

This means that Individuals who apply for registration as a representative on or before September 30 must pass the current representative-level exam for their registration category, such as the current Series 6, Series 7, or Series 22. These individuals will NOT be required to pass the SIE exam.

What If I Fail My Exam Before October 1?

However, if such individuals fail to pass the current exam and their next eligibility date for retaking the exam is on or after October 1, they must pass the SIE and the appropriate SKE exam to qualify for registration. The good news for these individuals is they can avoid the normally required 30-day wait period before they retest; they may take the SIE and SKE exam at the next available date on or after October 1, 2018. These individuals will not have to wait the requisite period for retaking a failed exam because the SIE and SKE exams are different exams with separate testing windows than the current representative-level exams.

Check out these examples:

  • Carol opens her 120-day window and it falls before October 1, 2018. Carol must take the current Series 7.
  • Thomas opens his 120-day window on October 1, 2018. Thomas must pass the SIE and appropriate SKE.
  • Cass fails the current Series 7 on September 17, 2018. Since his 30-day retest window for the Series 7 is after October 1, 2018, Cass may not retake the Series 7. He is now subject to the new SIE and the SKE exam requirement. However, Cass may take those exams beginning October 1, because he is not subject to a 30-day wait period.

We hope this discussion clarifies FINRA’s approaching transition period from the current exams to the new SIE and SKE program. For more information about the SIE and updates, keep an eye on this space: