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Series 16 – Supervisory Analysts Exam

Beginning June 9, 2023, candidates will need an approved accommodation to schedule an online appointment for an NFA or FINRA exam (other than the SIE). Online appointments scheduled to be taken after Sept. 9, 2023, will be canceled if the candidate does not have an approved accommodation. 

Learn more in the How to Schedule an Appointment to Take Exams Online (Remotely) section of the Schedule an Exam page.


The Series 16 exam — the Supervisory Analysts Qualification Exam (SA) — assesses the competency of an entry-level principal to perform their job as a supervisory analyst.

The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of a supervisory analyst, including the rules and statutory provisions applicable to the preparation and approval of research reports.

For more information about the Series 16 exam, refer to FINRA Rule 1210 and FINRA Rule 1220(a)(14).

Content Outline

The Series 16 Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of topics covered on the exam, as well as the knowledge required. The outline is comprised of the four major job functions of a supervisory analyst in two parts: Regulations (Series 161) and Valuation of Securities (Series 162), and their corresponding job functions. The table below lists the allocation of exam items for each major job function.

Major Job Functions
Part 1: Series 161
Number of
Exam Items
(F1) Review and approve research analysts’ communications to ensure
compliance with applicable SEC and FINRA rules and regulations, and firm
policies and procedures
(F2) Serve as liaison between the Research Department and other internal
and external parties
Major Job Functions
Part 2: Series 162
Number of
Exam Items
(F1) Review the content of the report to assess the accuracy, consistency,
and sources of data and calculations included in the report
(F2) Review the content of the report to ensure a reasonable basis exists
for the analyst’s conclusions (e.g., price targets, recommendations, ratings,
estimates, and valuation parameters)


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 principal-level qualification exams. For more information on registration requirements, refer to FINRA Rule 1210.

The Series 16 does not have a corequisite exam.

For more information on the registration process, see Register a New Candidate

Permitted Activities

A supervisory analyst is qualified to review and approve:

  • research reports on debt and equity securities;
  • discussion of broad-based indices;
  • commentaries on economic, political or market conditions;
  • technical analysis of the demand and supply for a sector, index or industry based on trading volume and price;
  • statistical summaries of multiple companies’ financial data, including listings of current ratings;
  • recommendations for increasing or decreasing holdings in particular industries or sectors;
  • notices of ratings or price target changes, provided certain conditions are met; and
  • other research that does not meet the definition of research report under FINRA Rule 2241, provided that the supervisory analyst has technical expertise in the particular product area and any additional product-specific registrations that may be required.