Registration and Qualification: FINRA's Frequently Asked Questions
Here is a link to FINRA's FAQ page for Registered Representatives: http://www.finra.org/industry/registration-qualification-exams-faq. The page contains answers to many general exam and registration questions.
I have been out of the industry - do I have to re-take my exam?
With the exception of the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam, you can be out of the industry for up to 2 years before you must take your exam again. For the SIE you can be out of the industry for 4 years before you are required to take the exam again.
Do I need to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm to take an exam?
To take any FINRA or MSRB exam, except for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam, you must be sponsored by a member firm. You do not need a firm sponsor to take the SIE or any NASAA exam (Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66).
How will I receive my exam results?
Your results will be displayed immediately upon completion of the exam, indicating whether you have passed or failed. The results will also show the breakdown of your score based on the sections of the exam. You will receive a printout of the results as you sign out of the exam center.
Will FINRA send me some kind of documentation when I pass the exam?
FINRA does not send you documentation upon passing a test; however, you can request a score report if you would like. The score report will be similar to the information you receive at the testing center after completing the exam.
How long do I have to wait if I fail the exam?
You must wait 30 days after your original exam date for the first and second failure. However, if you fail the exam three or more times in succession, you must wait until 180 calendar days have elapsed since the date of your last attempt to pass the exam. See more at: http://www.finra.org/industry/after-your-exam#sthash.NCfJlRtN.dpuf
Please note: The exam date does not count toward the 30 day waiting period, meaning that if you fail on July 1, you cannot test on July 31, but would have to wait until August 1 to retake the exam.
Are the questions put into any order?
No, the questions are randomly distributed.
If I get some questions correct, does the test adjust and give me progressively harder questions?
No, the questions are randomly distributed.
Are there any shortcuts I can take to pass the exam?
No, there are not. If someone tells you that they “know” the actual questions that will be on the exam or tells you that you can cram for your exam over a weekend, do yourself a favor and don’t listen to them. The truth is these exams are a lot of work and there are no shortcuts. The over-studiers tend to pass the first time, so take yourself and your time seriously, and put yourself in that group.
How should I study?
Follow the tried and true Solomon Exam Prep study system by reading each chapter in the Solomon text (twice is best), and after each chapter, taking a half-dozen chapter quizzes in the Solomon Online Exam Simulator. Supplement your reading and quizzing by watching the Solomon Exam Prep On-Demand Study Course/ Video Lecture (when offered) and by listening to the Solomon Exam Prep Audiobook. Then when you’re done reading, quizzing, watching, and listening, start taking practice exams in the Solomon Online Exam Simulator. We recommend you take at least a half-dozen full practice exams in the Solomon Online Exam Simulator. Work towards an average score in the 80s, and always, even when you get a question right, read the explanations. If you are having difficulty with something, research it more until you understand it. Ignorance is definitely not bliss.
Where can I take the test?
Prometric has testing centers around the world.
Prometric Testing Centers
When can I take the test?
Daily, excluding holidays.
Note: Not all testing centers are open on Sundays. Check your preferred testing center for availability.
What can I expect at the testing center?
Testing centers can be hot, cold, loud, smelly, crowded, empty … you name it. Be mentally prepared. Also, to prevent cheating, testing centers have become like airports in their security measures. So be prepared to be wanded, poked, and scrutinized.
Basic calculators are available at testing centers. You are not allowed to bring your own. Don’t expect a financial calculator. Scratch paper is often not provided. Instead, you will likely be provided with a small erasable whiteboard to use.
If you don’t know the answer to a question, guess at the answer and “flag” it. You will not be penalized for guessing. After you have finished all the questions, you can come back to any flagged questions. Don’t spend too long on one question—this may cause you to run out of time and not get to other questions you know.
Come to the exam rested, hydrated, and nourished—no food or drinks (including water bottles) are allowed in the testing room. Watches are also not allowed—your computer screen will have a timer at the top, left-hand corner to remind you of the time.
Map out where the testing center is the night before, and DON’T FORGET YOUR ID!