Series 16 - Supervisory Analysts Exam (SA)

The Series 16 exam—the Supervisory Analysts Qualification Examination (SA)—assesses the competency of an entry-level supervisory analyst to perform his or her job as a supervisory analyst. The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of a supervisory analyst, including the rules and statutory provisions applicable to the preparation and approval of research reports.

The exam consists of 100 scored questions and is administered as two separate exams: Series 161 for Part 1 and Series 162 for Part 2.

  • Part 1 consists of 50 scored questions. Candidates are given one hour and 30 minutes to complete this part of the exam. The passing score is 72 percent.
  • Part 2 consists of 50 scored questions. Candidates are given two hours to complete this part of the exam. The passing score is 74 percent.

The Series 16 was created by NYSE Regulation. Please see NYSE Rule 344 Research Analysts and Supervisory Analysts for more information.

Content Outline


The Series 16 Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of topics covered on the exam, as well as the knowledge required. It includes sample questions to acquaint a candidate with the types of multiple-choice questions on the exam.

The outline is comprised of the four main job functions of a Series 16 supervisory analyst in two parts: Regulations (Series 161) and Valuation of Securities (Series 162), and their corresponding job functions.

Part 1: Regulations

This section covers relevant FINRA rules, and applicable provisions of the Securities Act of 1933 and the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. For this area of the exam, candidates should gain a thorough understanding of FINRA Rule 2210, NASD Rule 2711 and NYSE Rule 472, as well as applicable information found in regulatory notices.

  • Function 1 – Review and approve research analysts’ communications to ensure compliance with applicable SEC and FINRA rules and regulations, and firm policies and procedures.
  • Function 2 – Serve as liaison between the research department and other internal and external parties.

Part 2: Valuation of Securities

This section covers various topics concerning securities analysis, including accounting, economics and technical analysis, among other areas.

  • Function 1 – Review the content of a research report to assess the accuracy, consistency and sources of data and calculations included in the report.
  • Function 2 – Review the content of research reports to ensure a reasonable basis exists for the analyst’s conclusions (e.g., price targets, recommendations, ratings, estimates and valuation parameters).

Download: Series 16 Content Outline

Eligibility


The Series 16 does not have a prerequisite exam.

Prior to taking this exam, a member firm is required to file a Series 16 Experience Acceptability Request on behalf of the candidate. The request must be filed electronically via the Firm Gateway and provide evidence of three years of appropriate experience involving securities or financial analysis within the preceding six years. Please see NYSE Rule 344 for more information on the experience acceptability requirements.

Chartered Financial Analyst Exemption: A candidate may request an exemption from Part 2 of the Series 16 exam (Series 162) if he or she possesses appropriate experience and has passed the Chartered Financial Analyst Level I examination. You also must include evidence of having passed the CFA exam.

Please see Register a New Candidate for more information on the registration process.

Permitted Activities


A candidate who passes the Series 16 exam is qualified to prepare, review and approve:

  • Research reports on debt and equity securities
  • Discussion of broad-based indices
  • Commentaries on economic, political or market conditions
  • Technical analysis of the demand and supply for a sector, index or industry based on trading volume and price
  • Statistical summaries of multiple companies’ financial data, including listings of current ratings
  • Recommendations for increasing or decreasing holdings in particular industries or sectors
  • Notices of ratings or price target changes, provided certain conditions are met
  • Other research that does not meet the definition of research report under NASD Rule 2711(a), provided that the supervisory analyst has technical expertise in the particular product area and any additional product-specific registrations that may be required

Taking the Exam


The tables below list the allocation of exam questions for each main job function of a supervisory analyst.

Major Job Functions Number of Exam Questions
Series 161 - Function 1 – Review and approve research analysts’ communications to ensure compliance with applicable SEC and FINRA rules and regulations, and firm policies and procedures 34
Series 161 - Function 2 – Serve as liaison between the Research Department and other internal and external parties 16
Series 162 - Function 1 – Review the content of the report to assess the accuracy, consistency, and sources of data and calculations included in the report 16
Series 162 - Function 2 – Review the content of the report to ensure a reasonable basis exists for the analyst’s conclusions (e.g., price targets, recommendations, ratings, estimates, and valuation parameters) 34
TOTAL 100

See On the Day of Your Exam for more information.

Using Reference Materials


The test administrator will provide whiteboard/dry erase marker and basic electronic calculators to the candidates, which must be returned to the test center administrator at the end of the testing session. Some test questions involve calculations. Only the provided calculators may be used during the examination.

The examination may contain questions that require the use of exhibits (e.g., charts, graphs, tables). If so, the questions will indicate when to refer to an exhibit.

Candidates are not permitted to bring any reference materials to testing sessions. Severe penalties are imposed on candidates who cheat or attempt to cheat on FINRA administered examinations.

To learn more about logistics and protocols for your exam day, please see On The Day of Your Exam.