Series 7 - General Securities Representative (GS)

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.

The exam consists of 250 scored questions and an additional 10 unscored pretest questions. Candidates are given six hours to complete the exam and it is conducted in two three-hour sessions with 130 questions per session. The passing score is 72 percent.

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

Content Outline


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. It includes sample questions to acquaint a candidate with the types of multiple-choice questions on the exam. The outline is comprised of the five main job functions of a Series 7 representative:

  • Function 1—Seeks business for the broker-dealer through customers and potential customers
  • Function 2—Evaluates customers’ other security holdings, financial situation and needs, financial status, tax status, and investment objective
  • Function 3—Opens accounts, transfers assets and maintains appropriate account records
  • Function 4—Provides customers with information on investments and makes suitable recommendations
  • Function 5—Obtains and verifies customers’ purchases and sales instructions, enters orders, and follows up

Download: Series 7 Content Outline

Eligibility


The Series 7 does not have a prerequisite exam.

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

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

Taking the Exam


The table below lists the allocation of exam questions for each main job function of a general securities representative.

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

See On the Day of Your Exam for more information.

Key Questions


1. If I pass the Series 7, will I be able to trade municipal securities?

If an individual took and passed the Series 7 prior to November 7, 2011, he or she will be able to trade municipal securities, structure municipal securities underwritings and perform certain other activities involving municipal securities. 

If an individual took and passed the Series 7 on or after November 7, 2011, he or she will be qualified to engage only in municipal securities sales to, and purchases from customers.  If an individual wants 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, that individual would have to take and pass the Series 52 (Municipal Securities Representative Exam).

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

If an individual took and passed the Series 7 prior to November 7, 2011, he or she is qualified to sit for the Series 53 examination

If an individual took and passed the Series 7 on or after November 7, 2011, he or she would have to take and pass the Series 52 (Municipal Securities Representative Exam) as a prerequisite to taking the Series 53 examination.

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

The General Securities Representative Examination (Series 7) is an entry-level examination 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 Examination (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)

Using Reference Materials


The test administrator will provide scratch paper 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.