Series 57 - Securities Trader Examination (TD)

The Series 57 exam – the Securities Trader Qualification Examination – assesses the competency of an entry-level Securities Trader to perform their job.

The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform the critical functions of a Securities Trader.

The exam consists of 125 scored questions and an additional 10 unscored pretest questions. Candidates are given 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam. The passing score is 70 percent.

Please see NASD rule 1032(f) and Regulatory Notice 15-45 for more information

Content Outline


The Series 57 Content Outline is intended to familiarize exam candidates with the range of subjects covered on the exam, as well as the depth of 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 major content areas:

  • Function 1—Market Overview and Products
  • Function 2—Engaging in Professional Conduct and Adhering to Regulatory Requirements
  • Function 3—Trading Activities
  • Function 4—Maintaining Books and Records and Trade Reporting

Download: Series 57 Content Outline

Eligibility


The Series 57 does not have a prerequisite exam.

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

Permitted Activities


Covered activities and products include the following.

  • NASDAQ equity trading
  • OTC equity trading
  • Proprietary trading

Taking the Exam


The table below lists the allocation of the exam questions for four supervisory sections.

Job Functions Number of Items

Function 1 – Market Overview and Products

22

Function 2 – Engaging in Professional Conduct and Adhering to Regulatory Requirements

12

Function 3 – Trading Activities

79

Function 4 – Maintaining Books and Records and Trade Reporting

12

TOTAL

125

See On the Day of Your Exam for more information.

Key Questions


CRD Transition

1. Will an individual currently registered as an Equity Trader (ET) or Proprietary Trader (PT) have to take the Securities Trader Exam (Series 57) to gain the Securities Trader (TD) registration?

No, an individual who is currently registered as an ET or PT will automatically receive the new TD registration on January 4, 2016. The individual will not have to request the position, take any additional exams or pay a fee to receive the TD.

2. Will FINRA update the Form U4 to reflect the new TD category?

FINRA will update the Form U4 on January 4, 2016, to replace the ET and PT registration categories with the TD registration category. Going forward, the selection of this category on the U4 will then open a Series 57 exam window.

3. What will show in my registration history on January 4, 2016, if I currently hold an ET or PT registration?

The CRD system will show your ET or PT as having a termination date of January 4, 2016, and your TD as having an approval date of January 4, 2016. This will apply to every SRO where you hold the ET or PT.

4. I am currently registered as a PT with CBOE (or another SRO), but not as an ET at FINRA. Do I need to do anything on January 4, 2016?

No, but on January 4, 2016, you will receive the TD at both CBOE (or the other SRO) and FINRA.

Exam and Exam Windows

5. Does the Series 57 exam have a prerequisite?

No, there is no prerequisite exam for the Series 57.

6. My firm requested the ET position for me and opened my Series 55 exam window on November 10, 2015. I have scheduled my exam for January 15, 2016. Which exam will I take?

Because your exam window is open prior to January 4, 2016, you will take the Series 55 exam. However, the approved registration category for individuals passing the Series 55 exam after January 4, 2016, will be TD instead of ET, provided the other registration requirement (i.e., Series 7/General Securities Representative) has been met. Similarly, an individual in the same position whose firm requested the PT position will take the Series 56 exam on January 15, 2016. If such an individual passes the exam, he or she will receive a TD registration.

7. I want to register as a TD and take the new Series 57 exam. Can I request the position and schedule the exam prior to January 4, 2016?

No, the TD position and Series 57 exam will not be available in CRD until January 4, 2016.

8. I have my Series 55 (or Series 56) exam scheduled for December 15, 2015. What happens if I fail?

Because of the 30-day waiting period between failed exams, you will not be able to retake the Series 55. You will instead take the Series 57. However, because the Series 57 is a different exam, you will not be required to wait until January 15, 2016, to retest. You may request and schedule the Series 57 beginning on January 4, 2016.

9. I have my Series 55 (or Series 56) exam scheduled for January 15, 2016. What happens if I fail?

You will take the Series 57 on your next attempt. However, because the Series 57 is a different exam, you will not be required to wait until February 15, 2016, to retest. You may request and schedule the Series 57 immediately. However, a subsequent fail of the Series 57 will trigger the 30-30-180 waiting period.

10. If I take and pass the Series 55 (or Series 56) on December 15, 2015, and meet all other requirements, what registration will I receive?

You will receive the ET (or PT) registration, which will convert to a TD on January 4, 2016.

11. If I take and pass the Series 55 (or Series 56) on January 15, 2016, and meet all other requirements, what registration will I receive?

You will receive the TD registration.

12. What is the last day that I can request the ET (or PT) to take the Series 55 (or Series 56) exam?

The CRD system will shut down for renewals from December 29, 2015, to January 3, 2016. December 28, 2015, will be the last day a request to take the Series 55 (or Series 56) can be processed.

Continuing Education

13. Which Continuing Education Regulatory Element do Securities Traders take?

Beginning January 4, 2016, the personalized S101 CE Program will be the required CE program for TD registrants. Topics covered by the S501 CE Program will be integrated into the personalized S101 CE Program. On this same date, the S501 will be retired and the personalized S101 CE Program will be available online for participants to satisfy their CE requirement. The testing centers will remain available as an option to take the S101 CE Program, but FINRA plans to phase out the use of the testing centers around the middle of 2016. View more information.

14. What happens if I have an open S501 Continuing Education window on January 4, 2016?

Your S501 window will automatically be converted to an S101 window. These programs require the same amount of time, so if you have already scheduled your session at a test center, your appointment will be kept. You will just receive the new personalized S101 program.

Securities Trader Principals

15. Will FINRA update the Form U4 to reflect the new Securities Trader Principal (TP) registration category?

Yes, on January 4, 2016, the Proprietary Trader Principal registration category will be renamed the Securities Trader Principal. However, the registration acronym on Form U4 will remain the same — TP. Additionally, the TP registration will also become available to FINRA registrants.

16. I am currently registered as a TP, and my firm is not a FINRA member. Do I need to do anything on January 4, 2016?

No. An individual who is currently registered as a TP will maintain his or her TP registration without taking any exams or paying a fee.

17. I am currently employed by a FINRA member and registered as a TP with another SRO, but not FINRA because it is not currently a recognized registration category by FINRA. Do I need to do anything on January 4, 2016?

Yes, you will need to submit an amended Form U4 to request the TP registration category with FINRA within 180 days of January 4, 2016. The registration will be approved without taking any exams.

18. I currently supervise traders and am registered with FINRA as a GS, ET and GP. Will I have to register as a TP?

Yes, you will need to submit an amended Form U4 to request the TP registration category within 180 days of January 4, 2016. The registration will be approved without taking any additional exams or paying a fee to obtain the TP registration. FINRA will also make available rosters in early January to assist firms identify individuals in their organizations holding these registrations prior to January 4, 2016, who qualify for the TP registration category.

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.