Series 42 - Registered Options Representative Exam

The Series 42 exam—the Registered Options Representative Qualification Examination (OR) — assesses the competency of an entry-level registered representative to perform his or her job as an options representative. The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of an options representative, including handling option accounts and the understanding of equity, debt, foreign currency and index options.

The exam consists of 50 scored questions. Candidates have one hour and 30 minutes to complete the exam. The passing score is 70 percent.

Please see NASD Rule 1032(d) Options Representative for more information.

Content Outline

The Series 42 Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of topics covered on the exam, as well as the depth of knowledge required. It includes sample questions to acquaint candidates with the types of multiple-choice questions on the exam.

The outline consists of four sections:

  • Section 1—Terminology, Types of Options, Investment Strategies and Taxation
  • Section 2—Handling Options Accounts
  • Section 3—Trading and Settlement Practices
  • Section 4—Qualifications and Business Conduct of Registered Options Representatives, Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements

Download: Series 42 Content Outline


The Series 42 has a prerequisite exam requirement. Candidates must pass one of the following exams to hold the registration:

  • Series 62
  • Series 72

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

Permitted Activities

The covered activities and products of an options representative include: 

  • Solicitation and sale of option contracts

Taking the Exam

The table below lists the allocation of exam questions for the registered options representative exam:

Section Number of Questions
Section 1 - Terminology, Types of Options, Investment Strategies and Taxation 20
Section 2 - Handling Options Accounts 14
Section 3 - Trading and Settlement Practices 10
Section 4 - Qualifications and Business Conduct of Registered Options Representatives, Reporting and Recordkeeping Requirements 6

Learn more about exam protocols and logistics here: On the Day of Your Exam.

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.