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

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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!

15 thoughts on “FAQs for the Securities Industry Essentials Exam (SIE)”

  1. 1) Which days can one take the SIE exam? Could it also be during weekends or only business days?
    2) Can one take the SIE exam outside of the US, for example in the EU?
    3) As a confirmation, one can take the SIE w/o having to be sponsored by a member firm, correct?

  2. I already have my 63. If I wait until after Oct. 1 to get my series 6 or 7, will I have to take the SIE?

  3. Hi Chris! 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. Since the 63 is not a representative-level exam you will not be credited with the SIE.

  4. Hello Rose! FINRA lists the Series 7 Top-Off and SIE as co-requisites for the Series 66 and Series 10. However, Solomon recommends taking the SIE first as it’s a foundational exam. Let us know if you have any other questions!

  5. If I already have my 6 and 63 and now I am going for my 7, do I have to take the sie too??

  6. Mary,

    I apologize for the delayed response.

    If you want to take the Series 76 exam, and you have passed the Series 6 and it hasn’t expired, then you do not need to take the SIE exam.

    If you’d like to discuss it further, please feel free to call.

    Jeremy Solomon
    503 5765 8365

  7. I took the “old” Series 6 and failed it, along with the “new” SIE a total of 8 times. I’m down to my last try and then I’ve have to wait the 180, at which I don’t know if I could even mentally get through that time. The closest I’ve scored is a 68%. I’m beaten down like you cannot believe. I’ve done everything, and mean everything, that everyone has told me and just can’t pass it. I have a bachelors and masters degree along with other certifications such as life and P and C insurance, so I’m pretty formally educated. I just started with another companies product after feeling like the old company’s product I was using wasn’t working (obviously). I started from scratch by reading the book. Taking the practice tests etc. I just took my first “greenlight exam” for the first 5 chapters and, of course, got a 65%….This was after scoring well on all my practice tests (just like the last company’s product I used). I’ve put in thousands of hours studying and well over a thousand dollars in course work, classes etc. Is there anyone, and I mean anyone, who has gone through something like this? I do so well with my P and C insurance, which is why the company has kept me, but I really need this if nothing more, than for my own conscience. I feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.

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