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Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam

Your First Step to a Career in the Securities Industry

The Securities Industry Essentials® (SIE®) 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.

Passing the SIE alone does not qualify an individual for registration with a FINRA member firm or to engage in securities business. In order to become registered to engage in securities business, an individual must pass the SIE and a qualification exam appropriate for the type of business the individual will engage in. The individual must be associated with a member firm to take a qualification exam.


Key Features

  • The SIE is open to anyone aged 18 or older, including students and prospective candidates interested in demonstrating basic industry knowledge to potential employers.
  • Association with a firm is not required, and individuals are permitted to take the exam before or after associating with a firm.
  • SIE results are valid for four years.
At A Glance

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

Content Outline

The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam 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 sections. The table below lists the allocation of exam questions for each section.

Sections Percentage of Exam Questions Number of Exam Questions
(1) Knowledge of Capital Markets 16% 12
(2) Understanding Products and Their Risks 44% 33
(3) Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts and Prohibited Activities 31% 23
(4) Overview of Regulatory Framework 9% 7
TOTAL 100% 75

Benefits

  • Ability to distinguish yourself from your peers seeking internships or jobs
  • Opportunity to jumpstart your career goals
  • Immediate notice of your pass/fail status with performance feedback if you fail
  • Increased marketability in financial services industry

SIE Outreach

FINRA has developed a toolkit for use by colleges and universities to share information about the SIE. The resources in this toolkit, some of which you can customize with your school name or logo, are intended to highlight the benefits of taking the SIE to students considering a career in the securities industry. The toolkit includes:

In addition, the SIE outline and practice test will provide your students with a guide to the range of topics covered and examples of the types of questions that will appear on the actual exam.


After You Pass the SIE

Passing the SIE alone does not qualify an individual for registration with a FINRA member firm or to engage in securities business. In order to become registered to engage in securities business, an individual must pass the Essentials exam and a qualification exam appropriate for the type of business the individual will engage in. The individual must be associated with a member firm to take a qualification exam.

Qualification Examinations


Enrollment Options

Students, individuals considering a securities-industry career, and formerly registered individuals who do not have SIE credit can enroll themselves for the SIE. To take the SIE:

  1. Create an account.
  2. Enroll for the SIE, paying with credit card or ACH, or by redeeming a voucher.
  3. Schedule your exam at a Prometric test center.

For more information, review the self-enrollment FAQ.

 


Organizations with access to CRD can request exam enrollment through a Form U4 submission, directly enroll individuals for the SIE by uploading required information to the system, and purchase SIE exam vouchers to provide to individuals.

For details about uploading the required information and purchasing SIE exam vouchers, see the User Guide for Requesting SIE Enrollments.

Note: All enrollments will be charged to the firm's Flex-Funding Account. If you do not want to use the Flex-Funding Account, please see “Other Organizations.”

 


Other organizations, including academic institutions, training and test preparation companies, and firms can purchase vouchers to provide to individuals. To purchase a voucher:

  1. Create an account.
  2. Determine the number of vouchers you want to purchase, and pay with a credit card or ACH.

For details about purchasing vouchers, see the Purchasing Vouchers section of the User Guide for Requesting SIE Enrollments.

Note: CRD-access organizations that want to purchase vouchers using a credit card or ACH instead of the firm’s Flex-Funding Account will need to create an organization account.