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Coronavirus Impact on FINRA-Administered Exams

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Test Centers & Exam Enrollments

Updated March 29, 2021 New

FINRA and Prometric continue to make the health and well-being of our community a top priority during this COVID-19 pandemic. Most Prometric test centers in the U.S. and Canada are open, at either full or limited occupancy. In addition, on February 24, 2021, FINRA announced the adoption of an interim accommodation process to allow candidates to take additional exams online.

FINRA understands that some candidates for exams now available to be taken online under the interim accommodation process may need some additional preparation time. Therefore, for exams other than the SIE, Series 6 and Series 7, FINRA and the MSRB will extend all enrollment windows that are currently expired or that will expire between March 16, 2020, and June 30, 2021. FINRA and the MSRB exam enrollment end dates will be extended through the same end date of June 30, 2021. Affected enrollment windows will be systematically updated and reflected in CRD on March 31, 2021.

FINRA does not anticipate providing any additional extensions of exam enrollment windows beyond June 30, 2021.

Updated December 31, 2020

FINRA and Prometric continue to make the health and well-being of our community a top priority during this COVID-19 pandemic. While most Prometric test centers in the U.S. and Canada are open, at either full or limited occupancy, FINRA and the MSRB understand that some candidates for exams that are not available online (such as the Series 24 and Series 53 exams) are not yet ready to take their exams in a test center. Therefore, for exams not available online, FINRA and the MSRB will extend all enrollment windows that are currently expired, or will expire, between March 16, 2020 and March 31, 2021. FINRA and the MSRB exam enrollment end dates will be extended through the same end date of March 31, 2021. Affected enrollment windows have been systematically updated in CRD. FINRA and the MSRB will continue to assess this situation and consider whether any additional extension of their exam enrollment windows is necessary.

Updated November 13, 2020

FINRA and Prometric continue to make the health and well-being of our community a top priority during this COVID-19 pandemic. While most Prometric test centers in the U.S. and Canada are open, at either full or limited occupancy, FINRA and the MSRB understand that some candidates for exams that are not available online (such as the Series 24 and Series 53 exams) are not yet ready to take their exams in a test center. Therefore, for exams not available online, FINRA and the MSRB will extend all enrollment windows that are currently expired, or will expire, between March 16 and December 31, 2020. FINRA and the MSRB exam enrollment end dates will be extended through the same end date of December 31, 2020. Affected enrollment windows will be systematically updated and reflected in CRD on November 16, 2020. FINRA and the MSRB will continue to assess this situation and consider whether any additional extension of their exam enrollment windows is necessary.

Updated September 28, 2020

FINRA and NASAA have recognized the challenges our test candidates have faced during this COVID-19 pandemic and extended all enrollment windows, most recently on August 24, through the same end date of September 30, 2020. In addition, on July 13, FINRA and NASAA announced that candidates and firms may schedule online test appointments for FINRA's Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), Series 6, and Series 7 exams and NASAA's Series 63, Series 65 and Series 66 exams. During August and September, FINRA has continued to work with Prometric to add online and test center appointment availability, which now exceeds the availability needed to satisfy open enrollments.

Since July 13, more than 7,000 candidates have successfully scheduled and taken one or more of these exams online. In addition, during the same time period, more than 47,000 candidates successfully scheduled and took one of these exams in a test center. FINRA and NASAA believe there is sufficient appointment availability at test centers and online for candidates interested in taking the SIE, Series 6, Series 7, Series 63, Series 65 and Series 66 exams to schedule and take their exams. FINRA and NASAA will provide one additional extension of enrollment windows for the SIE, Series 6, Series 7, Series 63, Series 65 and Series 66 that are currently expired, or will expire, between March 16 and October 16, 2020. The exam enrollment end dates will be extended through the same end date of October 16, 2020. Affected enrollment windows will be systematically updated and reflected in CRD on September 29, 2020. All candidates should note that FINRA and NASAA do not contemplate any further extension of exam enrollment windows for these exams.

FINRA and Prometric continue to make the health and well-being of our community a top priority. While Prometric has resumed testing in most of its U.S. and Canada test centers, at either full or limited occupancy, FINRA and the MSRB understand that some candidates for exams that are not available online (such as the Series 24 and Series 53 exams) are not yet ready to take their exams in a test center. Therefore, for exams not available online, FINRA and the MSRB will extend all enrollment windows that are currently expired, or will expire, between March 16 and November 16, 2020. FINRA and the MSRB exam enrollment end dates will be extended through the same end date of November 16, 2020. Affected enrollment windows will be systematically updated and reflected in CRD on September 29, 2020. FINRA and the MSRB will continue to assess this situation and consider whether any additional extension of their exam enrollment windows is necessary.

With the initial rollout of online testing earlier this year, online test candidates did not have the ability to review previously answered questions and make changes. Recently, FINRA changed this policy to be consistent with the test center experience; now candidates who take an exam online will be able to review questions that they had previously answered and make changes. In addition, most testing accommodations have been available only for appointments delivered at a test center. However, additional time can now be administered to online exam appointments for candidates with an approved special accommodation or limited English proficiency (LEP) request. FINRA is testing various provisions to make additional online delivery accommodations available to candidates with disabilities. 

Remote Exam Updates

February 24, 2021

To address the ongoing challenges facing exam candidates by the COVID-19 pandemic, FINRA is adopting an interim accommodation request process to allow candidates to take additional FINRA exams online, including the Series 24, Series 57, Series 79 and Series 99 exams. This change is effective on February 24, 2021. An interim accommodation request is not required for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), Series 6 or Series 7 exams, which have been available online for all candidates since mid-July 2020.

To request an interim accommodation, candidates should visit the Schedule An Exam page on the FINRA website. Exam candidates seeking to take an exam online based on the interim accommodation request process must complete and submit to FINRA an Online Exam Administration Request Form. To complete the form, in addition to the candidate’s name and CRD number, the candidate must provide an explanation as to why they are making a request to take an exam online. During this temporary period, no other supporting materials, such as the documentation required for a testing accommodation, will be required to be submitted with the request to take an exam online as an accommodation.

FINRA will continue to assess the impact of COVID-19 to determine how long to offer this interim accommodation and will announce any future changes to this interim accommodation policy.

July 13, 2020

As previously announced, FINRA and NASAA have been working together to deliver an online testing service for candidates seeking to take qualification exams remotely. Beginning July 13, candidates and firms may schedule online test appointments for FINRA's Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), Series 6, and Series 7 exams and NASAA's Series 63, Series 65 and Series 66 exams.

FINRA and NASAA anticipate high demand for online test appointments and recognize the challenges associated with accommodating the current demand driven by months of COVID-19 restrictions. Online appointments will be limited initially so we can monitor program performance under increased volume and adjust if necessary. We expect to be able to increase appointment availability during the months of July and August. FINRA and NASAA encourage firms and candidates to utilize a combination of online testing as well as testing at an available local test center as we work with Prometric to increase online capacity. More information on test center openings and availability can be found on Prometric's website

To be eligible for an online test appointment, candidates must not have a concurrent appointment at a test center and must meet technical and remote environment requirements. Candidates who currently have appointments to take an exam at a test center but wish to change to an online test appointment should make sure they can meet the above-stated requirements and be aware of any rescheduling policies before cancelling a test center appointment. In addition, firms considering online test delivery through their network and firm-issued equipment should review the technical requirements pertaining to equipment, networking and information security.

As a reminder, as previously announced, all FINRA-administered exam enrollment windows that are currently expired, or will expire, between March 16 and August 2020 have been extended through the same end date of August 31, 2020. As of September 28, 2020, exam enrollment windows have been extended (see the full announcement for the applicable October and November dates.)

May 10, 2020

As previously announced, FINRA and NASAA have been working together to deliver an online testing service for candidates seeking to take qualification exams. Validation of this service for the administration of securities industry exams began in late April. FINRA has decided to extend the validation period. As a result, additional time is necessary before we can make online appointment scheduling available to all test candidates and firms. We will continue to refine the implementation of this online service and will communicate an anticipated launch date in the near future.

We recognize the ongoing challenges our test candidates face during this COVID-19 pandemic and will extend all enrollment windows that are currently expired, or will expire, between March 16 and June 2020. FINRA, NASAA and MSRB exam enrollment end dates will be extended through the same end date of June 30, 2020. Affected enrollment windows will be systematically updated and reflected in CRD on May 11. Additionally, test center administration of FINRA, NASAA and other securities industry qualifications exams has resumed in some test centers.

May 1, 2020

FINRA and NASAA are pleased to report continued progress toward the launch of an online test delivery service, planned for May 24, 2020. In the weeks ahead, we will finalize requirements for this service, which will initially include online delivery of the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE), Series 6, Series 7, Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams. Starting May 11, candidates and firms will be able to begin scheduling their online test appointments for May 24 and beyond. Additional details regarding online test delivery requirements and appointment scheduling will be made available on the Qualifications Schedule an Exam page by May 11. Please note: This announcement references launch dates that are currently under evaluation as noted in the above May 10 announcement.

April 24, 2020

FINRA and NASAA are working together with input from other regulators and the industry to accelerate the delivery of an online testing service that will be administered and remotely proctored by our test delivery provider, Prometric.

The online test delivery service will allow candidates to use their personal or firm-provided, camera-equipped computer to take qualifications examinations. Prometric staff will proctor the examination through the camera and other online tools.

We are currently conducting a trial of the online testing service to work out any technical, operational or candidate experience issues.

We expect to launch the service on a limited basis in the near future, starting with the SIE, Series 6, Series 7, Series 63, and Series 66 with increasing capacity and exam offerings over the next four to six weeks. You can access additional details about this service on FINRA’s COVID-19 page, starting Friday May 1st.

Prometric also announced its intention to open select test centers in limited geographic locations as early as May 1. Select in-center testing will only be made available to essential service programs, including financial services programs, and capacity will be limited due to social distancing requirements. These requirements may impact already scheduled exam appointments. For the most up-to-date information about test center availability and COVID-19 impacts, please visit the Prometric COVID-19 website.