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.
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