FINRA Proposes $60 Fee for Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam

As the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam looms in the distance, FINRA is moving full steam ahead to ready the exam for its October 1 launch. Continue reading

On December 20, 2017, FINRA held its Board of Governors Meeting to discuss rule proposals and the 2018 budget. One rule that was addressed was the fee for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. FINRA chose a fee of $60 for the exam. This rule change will be filed with the SEC and await approval sometime in the new year.

The $60 fee is considerably less than the $100 fee for the Series 6 and the $305 fee for the Series 7 exam. FINRA’s meeting notes report that the price for other exams will be reevaluated as well, to adhere to the changing securities landscape.

Jeremy Solomon, President of Solomon Exam Prep, responded to the proposed fee:

“This is another indication of how serious FINRA and the industry is about making the SIE exam as user-friendly and available as possible. Kudos to FINRA.”

For more information about the SIE or other FINRA, NASAA or MSRB securities licensing exams, visit or give us a call at 503-601-0212.

FAQs for the Securities Industry Essentials Exam (SIE)

Do you know what is going to be on the SIE exam? What about if you’re already registered, will you have to take the SIE? Here are the most up-to-date answers for all your SIE questions. Continue reading

View PDF / Printer-Friendly Version

When will the SIE exam begin?
October 1, 2018

What is the SIE exam going to test?
FINRA states that the SIE will test fundamental securities-related knowledge, including knowledge of basic products, such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. It will also test securities industry rules and regulations.

Will I need to be employed by a broker-dealer in order to take the SIE?
No, unlike current FINRA licensing exams, you will not need to have a job with a broker-dealer in order to take the SIE exam.

Will a minor be permitted to take the SIE?
No, you will have to be at least 18 years old to take the SIE.

For how long will a passing score on the SIE be valid?
Four years from the date you pass the SIE.

How many questions will there be on the SIE exam?

How much time will I have to take the exam?
105 minutes

If I fail the SIE, will I be permitted to retake the exam?
Yes, if you fail the SIE, you will be permitted to retake it, but you will have to wait 30 days. FINRA is maintaining its 30/30/180 day rule with respect to the SIE. This means that if you fail the SIE you must wait 30 days to retest. However, if you’re unlucky enough to fail it three times, as with other securities exams, you will have to wait 180 days to take it again. This same 30/30/180 day rule will apply to the specialized representative-level exams (the so-called “top-off” exams).

If I pass the SIE, will I be permitted to take the SIE exam again, just for fun?
FINRA says no. Killjoys.

Will SIE test-takers receive their scores?
Unlike current licensing exams, FINRA has indicated that it will provide SIE test-takers with pass/fail information only. However, there has been discussion about providing those who fail the SIE with additional information about their results.

If I am already registered, will I have to take the SIE?
If you are a registered representative before October 1, 2018, and you maintain your registration on or after October 1, 2018, FINRA will credit you with the SIE.

What if I was once a registered representative but my registration lapsed, will I have to take the SIE if I want to get back in the securities industry?
If your registration terminated between October 1, 2014, and September 30, 2018, provided you re-register as a representative within four years from the date of your last registration, then you will not have to take the SIE. In other words, after two years outside the securities industry if you want to become registered again you will have to retake a representative-level qualification exam (the so-called top-off exams) such as the Series 6 or the Series 7.

What if my registration lapsed or terminated before October 1, 2014?
In order to get re-registered, you will have to pass the SIE and any relevant top-off exam, such as the Series 6 or Series 7.

If I am registered in an exam license that is being retired by FINRA — such as the Series 11, Series 62, Series 42 or Series 72 – will I have to take the SIE exam if I leave the industry?
Not if you leave the industry and return within two years.

What if I want to become a municipal securities representative? Is the SIE relevant?
The MSRB has indicated that it plans to coordinate its licensing exams with the new SIE, so after October 2018 it’s likely that in order to become a Municipal Securities Representative you will need to first take the SIE and then a revised “top-off” version of the Series 52 exam.

If I pass the SIE, will I become a “registered representative?”
No, in order to be registered for a particular function, you must pass the SIE and then get hired by a broker-dealer and then pass a representative-level qualifying exam, such as the Series 6 or Series 7.

Will it be possible to take the SIE and a representative-level exam on the same day?
Yes, as long as you reserve time at a testing center for both exams on the same day.

Will it be easier to pass the SIE and the revised representative level (top-off) qualification exam than it will be to pass the current representative-level exam?
Unclear. A lot depends on whether you’d rather take one longer test or two shorter ones. If you’d prefer to take one longer test, you should take your exams before October 1, 2018. After October 1, 2018, in terms of number of questions, some representative-level qualification categories will require more testing and some will require less testing. See the table in the PDF for detail.

Who offers the best SIE study materials and where can I get them?
Go to Solomon Exam Prep or call 503-601-0212.

Where should I go to schedule my exam?

Will the 120-day “exam window” still apply to the SIE?
Yes, FINRA will continue its system of giving test-takers a 120-day exam window during which you will be able to take the SIE.

How much will it cost to take the SIE?
FINRA has not published a price yet.

If I am an employer and I work for a broker-dealer, will I be able to find out whether a job candidate or any individual passed the SIE?
Yes, according to FINRA, broker-dealers will be able to confirm via Web CRD whether someone passed the SIE.

Have more questions? Visit our SIE page!

November Study Question of the Month

Submit your answer to to be entered to win a $10 Starbucks gift card. Continue reading

Submit your answer to to be entered to win a $10 Starbucks gift card.

Congratulations to Elizabeth S., this month’s Study Question of the Month winner!


Relevant to the SIESeries 7, Series 24, Series 79, and Series 82.






Which of the following would not necessarily be restricted shares when you purchase them?:

A. Shares sold by the CEO of the issuing company

B. Shares sold by the CEO’s wife of the issuing company

C. Shares sold by the assistant to the CEO of the issuing company

D. Shares sold by a major shareholder (more than 10% ownership) of the issuing company

Answer: C.

Securities that are held by control persons are called control securities. A control person, or affiliated person, is an individual in a position to exert direct influence on the actions of an issuer. For example, officers, directors, policy-making executives, major shareholders (generally own 10% or more of outstanding shares), and other people who are in a position to directly or indirectly control the management of the company are considered control persons. This includes spouses, family members who live with them, and other entities such as trusts or corporations affiliated with control persons, as defined in Rule 144. When control securities are sold, they become restricted securities even if they were not restricted securities previously.

Solomon’s SIE Study Materials—Now Available

Looking to kick start your career? You’ve come to the right place! Continue reading

Looking to kick start your career? You’ve come to the right place!

Many people are aware that FINRA is giving the securities industry a face-lift. Hoping to attract more securities professionals, FINRA is going to release a new exam in 2018. The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam will give the industry a chance to attract some new prospects.

In the past, FINRA’s exams were only available to those employed by a broker-dealer and working in the industry. The SIE exam is going to change that. This exam will be available to anyone who wants to take it.

While the exam won’t be available until 2018, Solomon Exam Prep remains in front of the competition and released SIE study materials earlier this week. Known for our high pass rates, no-nonsense study guides, and industry-leading exam simulators, we’re excited to unveil our SIE study materials to the public. Check out our SIE exam study guide and online exam simulator here!

President and founder of Solomon Exam Prep, Jeremy Solomon, articulates the importance of the SIE exam:

“The SIE exam is going to change the entire structure of the securities industry. Our goal is to provide students with the tools and resources they need to pass the exam and land a job in this dynamic profession.”

Don’t wait! Get a head start on your studying and impress your future employers by acing the SIE exam. You’ll thank us later!

Our SIE study materials are available in the popular Essentials Package or for individual purchase.

Interested in learning more? For a free consult about implementing an SIE program at your institution, call Jeremy Solomon at 503-601-0212 or email him at Jeremy@SolomonExamPrep.Com

SEC Approves the SIE

On July 7, 2017, the SEC approved FINRA’s proposed restructure of securities licensing exams. Continue reading

On July 7, 2017, the SEC approved FINRA’s proposed restructure of securities licensing exams.

To reduce testing overlap, individuals wishing to enter the securities industry will need to pass the Securities Essentials Exam (SIE) exam and a “top-off” specialized knowledge exam. The SIE will test basic securities knowledge; the top-off exams will test more advanced and specialized knowledge. The top-off exams will keep the names of the current representative level exams: Series 6, Series 7, Series 22, Series 57, Series 82, Series 79, and Series 99.

Here are some important details regarding the new licensing exams:

  • Final SIE and specialized knowledge exam content outlines will be released in the fourth quarter of 2017.
  • The intended implementation date for the SIE and the top-off exams has been pushed to the fourth quarter of 2018.
  • FINRA will retire the Series 11, 17, 37, 42, 62, and 72 exams upon the implementation of the SIE.
  • Some questions for the SIE and specialized knowledge exams will come from the current FINRA question database and some will be entirely new.
  • Specialized knowledge exam registrations will have a two-year expiration period.
  • The SIE exam will have a four-year expiration period.
  • Individuals who pass the SIE but do not hold a registered position will not be subject to continuing education requirements.
  • A 30-day waiting period will apply if an individual fails the SIE or a specialized knowledge exam. Three failures in succession will require a 6-month waiting period from the date of the last attempt.
  • FINRA says it will not provide scores to individuals who pass the SIE exam. FINRA is considering providing feedback to individuals who fail the exam.

Solomon Exam Prep has created a study program for the SIE exam. If your organization is interested in learning about the Solomon SIE program, please email JeremyATSolomonExamPrep.Com

An Essential Change: FINRA’s SIE Exam

UPDATE: The SIE has been approved and October 1st, 2018 is it’s official launch date. Continue reading

UPDATE: The SIE has been approved and October 1st, 2018 is it’s official launch date.

Beginning October 2018, according to a FINRA proposal, anyone seeking to enter the securities industry must take FINRA’s Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam, which will test applicants’ general knowledge of the securities industry. Applicants will also be required to pass a specialized knowledge exam that is tailored to the applicant’s desired job, if that job is at the representative level. For instance, the specialized Series 79 will allow an applicant to work as an investment banker. These specialized knowledge exams are also known as top-off tests.

Unlike with current securities licensing exams, test-takers will not be required to be sponsored by a firm in order to sign up for the Securities Industry Essentials exam. This will mean that even if you don’t have a job at a FINRA member firm, you will be able to take the SIE exam. However, before signing up for a specialized exam, the applicant will need to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm. This new system will allow people with little or no experience in the securities industry to demonstrate their knowledge before applying for securities jobs, and then to pursue a specialized exam after being hired.

Once an individual has passed the SIE exam, his scores will remain valid for four years. If an individual does not register with a firm within four years of passing the SIE exam, that individual will be required to retake the exam. The same will be true of an individual who leaves the industry and returns. If he returns within four years, he will not have to retake the SIE exam. However, according to the FINRA proposal, this will only be true of the SIE exam, not any of the specialized exams. Specialized exam results will expire two years after an individual leaves the industry.

The SIE exam is part of a larger set of changes that FINRA has proposed that will affect all of the FINRA securities licensing exams. For instance, under the current system, if you are registered with a firm and you transfer to a financial services affiliate (that is, an affiliate that is not regulated by FINRA) and you stay with the affiliate for two years or more, then you must retake all of your securities licensing exams before returning to the FINRA-regulated firm. FINRA’s proposed changes will allow an individual to return to a firm within seven years without having to retake his exams.

Once an individual has taken the SIE exam and a specialized exam, if his job changes and he needs to take another specialized exam, he will not need to repeat the SIE exam. This is yet another way in which the new proposal will avoid individuals being tested on the same concepts repeatedly.

FINRA has divided the content that the SIE exam covers into four sections:

  • Knowledge of Capital Markets

» Types of markets and offerings

» Broker-dealers and depositories

» Regulated and prohibited practices

  • Understanding Products and Their Risks

» Securities products

» Associated investment risks

  • Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts and Prohibited Activities

» Accounts

» Orders

» Settlement

» Prohibited Activities

  • Overview of the Regulatory Framework

» Self-regulatory organizations (SROs)

» Registration requirements

» Specified conduct rules

According to the FINRA proposal, the SIE exam will consist of 75 questions, with an additional 10 questions that will not be scored. That means you can expect to see 85 questions on the actual exam. The 10 unscored questions help FINRA to test out new questions before they are permanently added to the exam database.

Because the SIE exam will cover much of the material that is covered in the existing exams, the specialized exams will be considerably shorter than the existing exams. Here is FINRA’s proposed number of questions for each exam:

Currently Required Test Proposed Tests
Series 6—100 questions SIE (75 questions) + Specialized Series 6 (50 questions)
Series 7—250 questions SIE (75 questions) + Specialized Series 7 (125 questions)
Series 79—175 questions SIE (75 questions) + Specialized Series 79 (75 questions)
Series 82—100 questions SIE (75 questions) + Specialized Series 82 (50 questions)
Series 99—100 questions SIE (75 questions) + Specialized Series 99 (50 questions)


For more information about the Essentials or any other exam, visit or give us a call at 503-601-0212!