SIE Information for Students


Securities Industry Essentials Exam

Your First Step to a Career in the Securities Industry

About the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam

The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE or Essentials) Exam is a new FINRA exam for prospective securities industry professionals. This introductory-level exam assesses a candidate’s knowledge of basic securities industry information including concepts fundamental to working in the industry, such as types of products and their risks; the structure of the securities industry markets, regulatory agencies and their functions; and prohibited practices.

The Essentials Exam at a Glance

The Essentials Exam at a Glance

  • The exam is open to anyone aged 18 or older.
  • You may take the exam before you have a job offer.
  • Your results are valid for four years.

Key Features of the Essentials Exam

Key Features of the Essentials Exam

  • Number of Questions: 75
  • Format: Multiple Choice
  • Duration: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Passing Score: 70
  • Cost: $60


What happens when I pass the exam?

When you pass the Essentials exam, you must take a few more steps before you can register with FINRA or engage in securities business. To become registered to engage in securities business, you must also pass a qualification exam appropriate for the type of business in which you will engage.

First, you must be associated with a broker-dealer to take a qualification exam. The broker-dealer then sponsors you to take an exam, such as the General Securities Representative (Series 7) exam.

In addition to passing exams, you must satisfy other requirements, such as completing a background check, before you can engage in securities business.

Learn more about the registration process and FINRA’s qualification exams.