Series 7 Exam - General Securities Representative Exam (GS)

Exam Restructuring

The Series 7 exam — the General Securities Representative Qualification Examination (GS) — assesses the competency of an entry-level registered representative to perform his or her job as a general securities representative.

The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of a general securities representative, including sales of corporate securities, municipal securities, investment company securities, variable annuities, direct participation programs, options and government securities.

Please see NASD Rule 1032(a) General Securities Representative for more information.

Effective October 1, 2018, candidates must pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and a revised Series 7 to obtain the General Securities Representative registration. For more information about the SIE and Series 7 exams, refer to FINRA Rule FINRA Rule 1210 and FINRA Rule 1220(b)(2).

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Series 7 At a Glance


Before October 1, 2018

Number of Items 250
Format Multiple Choice
Duration 360 minutes
Passing Score 72%
Corequisite None
Cost $305

On or After October 1, 2018

Number of Items 125
Format Multiple Choice
Duration 225 minutes
Passing Score TBD
Corequisite SIE exam
Cost TBD

Content Outline


Before October 1, 2018

The Series 7 Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of topics covered on the exam, as well as the depth of knowledge required. The outline is comprised of the five main job functions of a general securities representative. The table below lists the allocation of exam questions for each main job function.

Major Job Functions Percentage of Test Questions Number of Test Questions
(F1) Seeks business for the broker-dealer through customers and potential customers 27% 68
(F2) Evaluates customers’ other security holdings, financial situation and needs, financial status, tax status, and investment objectives. 11% 27
(F3) Open accounts, transfer assets, and maintains appropriate account records. 11% 27
(F4) Provides customers with information on investments and makes suitable recommendations.  28% 70
(F5) Obtains and maintains customer’s purchase and sales instructions, enters orders, and follows up. 23% 58
TOTAL 100% 250

On or After October 1, 2018

The Series 7 Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of topics covered on the exam, as well as the depth of knowledge required. The outline is comprised of the four main job functions of a general securities representative. The table below lists the allocation of exam questions for each main job function.

Major Job Functions Percentage of Test Questions Number of Test Questions
(F1) Seeks Business for the Broker-Dealer from Customers and Potential Customers 7% 9
(F2) Opens Accounts after Obtaining and Evaluating Customers’ Financial Profile and Investment Objectives 9% 11
(F3) Provides Customers with Information about Investments, Makes Suitable Recommendations, Transfers Assets and Maintains Appropriate Records 73% 91
(F4) Obtains and Verifies Customers’ Purchase and Sales Instructions and Agreements; Processes, Completes, and Confirms Transactions 11% 14
TOTAL 100% 125

Eligibility


Candidates must be associated with and sponsored by a FINRA member firm or other applicable self-regulatory organization (SRO) member firm to be eligible to take FINRA qualifications exams. For more information on eligibility requirements before October 1, 2018, refer to NASD Rule 1032(a). On or after October 1, 2018, refer to FINRA Rule 1220(b)(2).

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

Before October 1, 2018

The Series 7 does not have a corequisite exam.

On or After October 1, 2018

The SIE exam is a corequisite to the revised Series 7 exam. Candidates must pass both the Series 7 exam and the SIE exam to obtain the general securities registration.

Permitted Activities


A candidate who passes the Series 7 exam is qualified for the solicitation, purchase and/or sale of all securities products, including corporate securities, municipal fund securities, options, direct participation programs, investment company products and variable contracts.

Covered activities and products include:

  • Public offerings and/or private placements of corporate securities (stocks and bonds)
  • Rights
  • Warrants
  • Mutual funds
  • Money market funds
  • Unit investment trusts (UITs)
  • Exchange traded funds (ETFs)
  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • Options on mortgage-backed securities
  • Government securities
  • Repos and certificates of accrual on government securities
  • Direct participation programs
  • Securities traders
  • Venture capital
  • Sale of municipal securities
  • Hedge funds

Key Questions


1. If I obtain a Series 7 registration, will I be able to trade municipal securities?

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration prior to November 7, 2011, you will be able to trade municipal securities, structure municipal securities underwritings and perform certain other activities involving municipal securities.

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration on or after November 7, 2011, you will be qualified to engage only in municipal securities sales to and purchases from customers. If you want to be qualified to structure municipal securities underwritings or perform activities involving municipal securities that are beyond the scope of selling municipal securities to and purchasing municipal securities from customers, you will have to take and pass the Municipal Securities Representative (Series 52) Exam.

2. Does a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration serve as a co-requisite to the Municipal Securities Principal (Series 53) Exam?

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration prior to November 7, 2011, you are qualified to sit for the Series 53 exam.

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration on or after November 7, 2011, you will have to pass the Municipal Securities Representative (Series 52) Exam as a co-requisite to taking the Series 53 exam.

3. What is the difference between Series 7 and Series 62?

The General Securities Representative Exam (Series 7) is an entry-level exam that qualifies the individual for registration with all self-regulatory organizations to trade:

  • corporate stocks and bonds
  • rights
  • warrants
  • real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs)
  • municipal securities
  • options-equity, index, and foreign currency
  • investment company products/variable contracts
  • direct participation programs
  • exchange traded funds (ETFs)

The Corporate Securities Limited Representative Exam (Series 62) satisfies a FINRA qualification requirement for individuals who will trade corporate securities only. These include:

  • corporate stocks and bonds
  • rights
  • warrants
  • REITs
  • collateralized mortgage obligations (CMOs)
  • exchange traded funds (ETFs)

FINRA is retiring the Series 62 exam. Individuals will no longer be able to take the Series 62 exam after September 30, 2018. For more information, refer to Regulatory Notice 17-30.

4. My firm opened my Series 7 exam window on August 1, 2018. I scheduled my exam for November 1, 2018. Which exam will I take?

Your exam window opened prior to October 1, 2018. Therefore, you must pass the 250-question Series 7 exam to receive a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration.

5. My firm opened my Series 7 exam window on August 1, 2018. I took my Series 7 exam on September 1, 2018, but failed. If I retake the exam, which exam will I take?

In order to retake your exam, a new exam window must be opened. Your new exam window will open on or after October 1, 2018. Therefore, you must pass the SIE and revised 125-question Series 7 exam to receive a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration.

6. My firm opened my Series 7 exam window on October 2, 2018. I scheduled my exam for November 1. Which exam will I take?

Your exam window opened after October 1, 2018. Therefore, you must pass the SIE and revised 125-question Series 7 exam to receive a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration.