SIE Exam and Exam Restructuring Frequently Asked Questions

Following are frequently asked questions (FAQ) about the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and exam restructuring. Click on the links below to view all sections of the FAQ.

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Enrollment & Eligibility


1. How old do I have to be to take the SIE?

You must be 18 years or older to take the SIE.

2. Do I have to be associated with a broker-dealer to take the SIE?

No, you do not have to have any association with a broker-dealer to take the SIE.

3. Do I still have to be associated with a broker-dealer to take FINRA qualifications exams?

Yes, you still must be associated with a broker-dealer to take any qualifications exam, such as the Series 7 exam.

4. Is it possible to take the SIE and a qualification exam (such as the SIE and revised Series 7) on the same day starting on October 1, 2018?

Yes, persons associated with a broker-dealer can take both the SIE and a qualification exam on the same day. Taking two exams in one day is dependent on finding a seat for both exams at a Prometric testing center. The exams will be treated as separate sessions.

5. If I take the SIE and the Series 7 exam on the same day and I fail the SIE but pass the Series 7, will the Series 7 result count?

Yes. To become a registered representative, you must pass both the SIE and the Series 7 exam. The order in which you pass the exams does not matter as long as you pass both exams. This is the same for the SIE and all other representative level exams.

6. What is the cost of the SIE exam?

The cost of the SIE exam is $60.

7. Will there be any changes to the costs of the revised representative-level exams?

The following are the revised representative-level exam fees, effective October 1, 2018:

Revised Series 6 $40
Revised Series 7 $245
Revised Series 22 $40
Revised Series 57 $60
Revised Series 79 $245
Revised Series 82 $40
Revised Series 99 $40

8. What study materials are available for the SIE?

The content outline is available on FINRA.org. While FINRA does not endorse the materials created by any particular vendor, a number of test providers have created materials.

Exam Scoring, Results, and Validity


1. What score is needed to pass the SIE?

The passing score for the SIE will be 70 (on a scale of 0 to 100). This test score is placed on a common scale with all other candidate test scores for that exam and statistical adjustments are made to the score to account for slight variations in the difficulty that may exist among different sets of exam questions. This method allows for a fair comparison of scores and ensures that every candidate is held to the same passing standard regardless of which set of exam items he or she received.

2. Is there a waiting period if I fail the SIE?

The waiting period for the SIE is the same as FINRA’s other exams. After the first and second failed attempts, there will be a 30-day waiting period. After the third failed attempt, there will be a 180-day waiting period. For any attempts after the third attempt, there is also a 180-day waiting period between each exam.

3. I am a college student and want to take the SIE while I am in school. If I pass, for how long will the SIE be valid?

The SIE will be valid for four years from the date that you pass the exam. This means that if you become employed by a broker-dealer during the four-year period and need to become registered as a general securities representative, you will not need to take the SIE again. Instead, you will only need to pass the Series 7 exam to become registered. If you register with a broker-dealer and subsequently terminate your registration, then the SIE will be valid for four years from the termination date of the representative-level registration.

Registration


1. Will the SIE have a registration category?

The SIE will not have a registration category. Passing the SIE alone does not qualify an individual for registration with FINRA or to engage in securities business.

2. If I already have a registration (e.g., General Securities Representative/Series 7) do I have to take the SIE?

If you are currently registered with most representative-level registrations on October 1, 2018, then you will be granted credit for the SIE and will not have to take the SIE exam to maintain your registration. Please see the “Credit for SIE” section for further details on who will be given SIE credit.

3. If I’m currently registered as a general securities representative (Series 7) can I take the SIE?

No, if you are currently registered with a broker-dealer and will receive SIE credit, then you cannot sit for the SIE exam.

4. If I terminated my General Securities Representative registration more than two but less than four years ago, will I get credit for the SIE exam?

Yes, you will receive SIE credit which will be valid for four years from your termination date. For example, if you terminated your registration in July 2016 and you join a broker-dealer again in July of 2019, you will only need to take the revised representative-level series exam.

5. I maintain a Series 7 registration. I plan on expanding my job duties in 2019 to include investment banking. When I am ready to do so, will I need to take the SIE and the Series 79 exam to become an investment banking representative?

No. Because you have an approved Series 7 registration, you will be given credit for the SIE on October 1, 2018. This means that if you seek registration in any other representative level position, you will not need to take the SIE exam. Therefore, you will only need to take and pass the revised Series 79 exam to become an investment banking representative.

6. I last held my Series 7 registration in July 2015 (more than two but less than four years ago). I plan on becoming employed by a broker-dealer in December 2018 and will need to regain my Series 7 registration. What exams will I need to take?

You will need to take the revised Series 7 exam to regain your registration. Because you held your Series 7 registration within the most recent four years from October 1, 2014 to September 30, 2018, you will receive credit for the SIE on October 1, 2018 and will not need to take it to regain your Series 7 registration.

Note: However, if you wait until September 2019 to regain your Series 7 registration, you will need to take both the SIE and Series 7 exams. This is because the four-year period of validity for the SIE began in July 2015 when your Series 7 registration terminated.

7. Will I appear in BrokerCheck if I pass the SIE?

No, by only passing the SIE, you will not appear in BrokerCheck.

SIE vs. Revised Registered Representative (Series) Exams


1. If my exam window has a start date prior to October 1, 2018, which exam would I take?

If your exam window is open before October 1, 2018 then you will sit for the current version of the registration series exam and you will not have to sit for the SIE.

2. What if I fail the current version of the exam and, after the 30-day waiting period, my next enrollment window starts on or after October 1, 2018?

You would have to take the SIE and the revised representative-level series exams.

Note: You would be eligible to take the SIE and qualifications exams on October 1, 2018, regardless of the waiting period because they are different exams.

3. I want to take the Series 7 exam for the first time in its current 250-question format. When is the last date I can request the exam via the Form U4 process?

The last date you can request the Series 7 exam in its current format is September 29, 2018. If you make a request on this date, you will be taking the exam on or after October 1, 2018. However, you will still be taking the Series 7 exam in its 250-question format. If you pass the exam, you will receive credit for the SIE. If you fail the exam and want to retest, you will be taking the SIE and the revised Series 7 exam.

4. I want to take the SIE and the revised Series 7 (125 question) exam. When is the first date that I can request these exams?

October 1, 2018 is the first day that a broker-dealer can request the SIE and the revised Series 7 exam.

5. I want take the current version of the Series 7 exam, but I am concerned that I might fail and need to retake the exam. What is the last date I can fail the Series 7 exam and ensure that my next attempt will be on the current version of the Series 7 exam?

August 31, 2018 is the last day that a person can fail on their first attempt of the Series 7 exam and be able to retake the exam in its current format. This is because there is a 30-day waiting period after a failure before a person can attempt the exam again.

Retired Exams


1. I have a Series 17 registration, which is one of the exams and positons that will be retired on October 1, 2018. If I move from my current broker-dealer to another broker-dealer, will I be able to transfer my Series 17 registration to my new broker-dealer.

Yes, you will be able to move your Series 17 registration to the new broker-dealer, as long as you re-register within 2 years. However, if you have a two or more year break between registrations, you will not be able to regain your Series 17 registration and will have to consider one of the other registrations instead.