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Information for Students Regarding the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam

SIE for Students

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.

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

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

Taking the SIE

Passing the SIE shows prospective employers that you’ve mastered fundamental concepts and you’re ready to take that first step into a new career.


  • 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

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.