Which States Will Require IAR CE in 2023?

A total of ten jurisdictions will require registered Investment Adviser Representatives to complete NASAA IAR Continuing Education in 2023. Continue reading

If you’re an investment adviser representative (IAR), you may already be acquainted with the NASAA IAR Continuing Education requirement which went into effect this year in three U.S. states. Specifically, if you’re an IAR registered in Maryland, Mississippi, or Vermont, then you’ve probably completed the 12-credit CE requirement, or you’re planning to do so by the end of 2022.

Starting on January 1, 2023, several more jurisdictions will begin implementing the IAR CE requirement. IARs registered in any of these ten jurisdictions will be subject to the rule next year:

    • Arkansas
    • Kentucky
    • Maryland
    • Michigan
    • Mississippi
    • Oklahoma
    • South Carolina
    • Vermont
    • Washington, D.C.
    • Wisconsin

Note: Nevada and Rhode Island have informed NASAA that they plan to adopt the requirement in 2022 but haven’t finalized adoption at the time of writing. To stay updated on state adoption, visit the NASAA Member Adoption webpage.

What is the NASAA IAR CE Requirement?

The NASAA model rule requires IARs registered in jurisdictions that have adopted the rule to complete 12 credits of CE each year. The requirement applies to both state-registered and federal-registered investment advisers. Six of the 12 credits must be in the Products and Practices category. The other six credits must be in the Ethics and Professional Responsibility category (at least three of these must be Ethics).

Beyond these credit requirements, IARs are free to choose courses that fit their interests and business needs. But any courses taken to fulfill the IAR CE requirement must be approved by NASAA. Solomon Exam Prep is a NASAA-approved CE provider, and all courses in the Solomon IAR CE course library offer credit toward the CE requirement. Explore Solomon’s IAR CE courses.

For more information about IAR CE, visit the Solomon IAR CE FAQs or NASAA’s IAR CE FAQs.

Disclaimer: NASAA does not endorse any particular provider of CE courses. The content of the course and any views expressed are our own and do not necessarily reflect the views of NASAA or any of its member jurisdictions.

How to Pass the FINRA Series 24 Exam

Should you take the Series 24 exam? Keep reading to learn what the Series 24 qualifies you to do, what the exam covers, and how you should prepare for it. Continue reading

What is the Series 24 exam?

The Series 24, also called the General Securities Principal Examination, is a FINRA exam that assesses how competent you are to perform the functions of an entry-level principal at a broker-dealer. A “principal” at a broker-dealer is licensed to supervise others working as securities representatives. Therefore, the Series 24 exam tests your knowledge of rules, regulations, and practices in all areas of a firm’s securities business. Passing the Series 24 qualifies you to supervise advertising, market making, trading, and underwriting.

Are there any prerequisites for the Series 24 exam?

Yes, you must also pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam and a representative-level qualification exam, or the Series 16, to obtain a principal registration. These are the principal registrations depending on which corequisites you earn:

    • General Securities Principal: SIE + Series 7 + Series 24
    • Securities Trader Principal: SIE + Series 57 + Series 24
    • Investment Banking Principal: SIE + Series 79 + Series 24
    • Private Securities Offerings Principal: SIE + Series 82 + Series 24
    • Research Principal: SIE + Series 86 and 87 + Series 24 OR Series 16 + Series 24

About the Exam

The Series 24 exam consists of 150 multiple-choice questions worth one point each. In addition, there are 10 unscored experimental questions distributed randomly throughout the exam. You have three hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam, and you must score 70% or higher to pass.

Series 24 exam details

Note: Scores are rounded down to the next lowest whole number (e.g. 69.9% would be a final score of 69%–not a passing score for the Series 24 exam).

Topics Covered on the Exam

FINRA divides the questions on the Series 24 exam into five areas representing the main job functions of a General Securities Principal.

Series 24 exam topics

FINRA updates its exam questions regularly to reflect the most current rules and regulations. Solomon recommends that you print out the current version of the FINRA Series 24 Content Outline and use it in conjunction with the Solomon Series 24 Study Guide. The Content Outline is subject to change without notice, so make sure you have the most recent version.

Series 24 Example Questions

The Series 24 exam consists of multiple-choice questions, each with four options. You may see the following question structures. However, keep in mind that these sample questions don’t necessarily represent the difficulty level or subjects covered in the exam.

Closed Stem Format:

This item type asks a question and gives four possible answers to choose from.

If a registered person leaves the securities industry and enrolls in the Maintaining Qualifications Program (MQP) how long can he remain outside of the industry before he will be required to retake his qualification exam(s)?

    1. Two years
    2. Three years
    3. Five years
    4. Seven years
Open Stem Format:

This kind of question has an incomplete sentence followed by four possible conclusions.

In order to use customers’ free credit balances in its business operations, a firm must send a written notification to customers that:

    1. Affirms that their free credit balances are segregated
    2. States the amount of money the firm owes the account
    3. Requests written permission from the customer to borrow from the account
    4. Affirms that all funds will be repaid with interest in 90 days
“Except” (or “Not”) Format:

This type requires an answer that is incorrect or is an exception among the four answer choices.

A registered principal is conducting his firm’s annual internal inspection at its OSJs. The principal must do all of the following, except:

    1. Review customer account records for irregularities and abuses
    2. Test policies and procedures for safeguarding customer accounts
    3. Evaluate supervision of customer accounts serviced by branch office managers
    4. Approve all retail communications to be used in the coming year
    1.  
  1. Answers: 1. C   2. B   3. D

For more Series 24 practice questions, try a free sample of the Solomon Series 24 Exam Simulator. You receive instant feedback on each question with a robust explanation of the correct answer.

Taking the Series 24 Exam

To take the Series 24 exam, you must be associated with and sponsored by a FINRA member firm. Your firm must enroll you to take the exam through FINRA. Once FINRA processes your enrollment, you have a 120-day window in which to schedule and take the exam.

The exam is taken at a Prometric testing center via computer. Like all securities industry exams, the Series 24 is closed-book. The testing center will provide you with any materials you need to take the exam, such as a four-function calculator, erasable note board, dry-erase markers, and noise-cancelling headphones. The inspection and sign-in requirements at testing centers are stringent, so arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment.

Test-Taking Tips

Here are some basic test-taking strategies to remember when taking your exam. Don’t spend too much time on any one question. This could cause you to run out of time and not get to other questions you know. If you’re not sure about a question, take your best guess and mark it for review. There’s no penalty for guessing, so try to answer every question.

After you’ve answered all the questions, you can go back to any questions you flagged for review. This strategy allows you to efficiently answer the ones you know. You might also learn something later in the exam that helps you answer an earlier question. Just remember to factor in some time to return to the questions you flagged. However, don’t simply skip all of the difficult questions with the plan to answer them later. Instead, make a sincere effort to answer each question before moving on to the next one because your mind is fresher earlier on during the exam.

How to Study for the Series 24 Exam

Follow Solomon Exam Prep’s proven study system:
    • Read and understand. Read the Solomon Study Guide, carefully. Many students read the Study Guide two or three times before taking the exam. To increase your ability to focus while reading, or as an alternative to reading, listen to the Series 24 Audiobook, which is a word-for-word reading of the Study Guide. 
    • Take chapter quizzes in the Exam Simulator. When you finish reading a chapter in the Study Guide, take 4–6 chapter quizzes in the Exam Simulator. Use these quizzes to give yourself practice and to find out what you need to study more. Make sure you read and understand the question rationales.
    • Take full practice exams in the Exam Simulator. When you’ve finished reading the entire Study Guide, review your handwritten notes once more. Finally, start taking full practice exams in the Exam Simulator. Aim to pass at least six full practice exams and try to get your Solomon Pass Probability™ score to at least 80%. When you reach that point, you’re probably ready to sit for the Series 24 exam.
Use these effective study strategies:
    • Take handwritten notes. As you read the Study Guide, take handwritten notes and review your notes every day for 10–15 minutes. Studies show that taking handwritten notes in your own words and then reviewing them strengthens learning and memory.
    • Make flashcards. Making your own flashcards is another proven method to reinforce memory and strengthen learning.
    • Research. Research anything you don’t understand. Curiosity = learning. Students who take responsibility for their own learning by researching anything they don’t understand get a deeper understanding of the subject matter and are much more likely to pass. 
    • Become the teacher. Studies show that explaining what you’re learning greatly increases your understanding of the material. Ask someone in your life to listen and ask questions, or explain it out loud to yourself. Studies show this helps almost as much as explaining to an actual person (see Solomon’s blog post to learn more about this strategy!). 
Take advantage of Solomon’s supplemental tools and resources:
    • Use all the resources. The Series 24 Resources folder in your Solomon student account has helpful study tools, including detailed study schedules that you can print out. Or, use the online study schedule and check off tasks as you complete them.
    • Use Ask the Professor. If you have a content-related question, click the Ask the Professor button in your account dashboard and get personalized help from a Solomon professor
  • Good practices while studying:
    • Take regular breaks. Studies show that if you’re studying for an exam, taking regular walks in a park or natural setting significantly improves scores. Walks in urban areas or among people did not improve test scores.
    • Get enough sleep. Sleep consolidates learning into memory, studies show. Be good to yourself while you’re studying for the Series 24: exercise, eat well, and avoid activities that will hurt your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

You can pass the FINRA Series 24 exam! It just takes focus and determination. Solomon Exam Prep is here to support you on your path to becoming a General Securities Principal.

Explore all Solomon Series 24 exam prep, including the Study Guide, Exam Simulator, Audiobook, and Video Lecture.

And join the Solomon email list to hear about new product releases, industry news, and more! Just click the button below:

Solomon Partners with State College of Florida to Offer SIE, Series 6, 7, 63, 65, and 66 Exam Prep Courses

In addition to offering an SIE exam prep course, State College of Florida has added courses for five more securities exams using Solomon Exam Prep study programs. Continue reading

Solomon Exam Prep and the State College of Florida (SCF) have expanded their partnership to offer exam prep courses for a total of six securities exams. Solomon study programs are being used in courses for the FINRA SIE, Series 6, and Series 7 exams, as well as the NASAA Series 63, 65, and 66 exams.

About the Courses

Offered through SCF Workforce Development, the courses are 100% online and self-paced, so students can easily fit study time into their individual schedules. Anyone 18 years or older can register for the courses. Each course includes 180-day access to the Solomon Total Study Package, which consists of these Solomon digital materials:

    • Study Guide
    • Exam Simulator
    • Audiobook
    • Video Lecture
    • Flashcards

In addition to these study materials, all courses provide free Solomon tools and resources to give students the best chance at passing their exams. These include Solomon Study Schedules in digital and pdf formats, individual instructor support via Ask the Professor, and Solomon Pass Probability™, an innovative feature that predicts a student’s readiness to take the exam.

About the Exams

Passing the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam is the foundational requirement for many careers in the securities industry. The SIE covers basic or “essential” securities industry knowledge. In addition to passing the SIE, individuals must also pass specialized representative-level exams (such as the Series 6 and Series 7) to be permitted to work in specific job roles. These exams “top-off” your knowledge of the industry with more in-depth information. Most people take the SIE first and then take one or more representative-level exams.

Partner with Solomon Exam Prep

Solomon Exam Prep partners with dozens of colleges and universities to bring securities exam prep to students across the country. The Solomon learning system works equally well for in-person, hybrid, and online courses.

Join institutions such as State College of Florida, Elon University, Florida Memorial University, Pepperdine University, the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, Claflin University, University of Delaware, Adelphi University, University of Nebraska-Omaha, Seton Hall University, Ohio Dominican University, Georgetown University, Widener University, and University of Dallas in partnering with Solomon.

To learn more about the ways colleges and universities can partner with Solomon, contact Beth Hamilton, Higher Education Sales Manager, at beth@solomonexamprep.com or 503-601-0212.

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Failed the SIE? What To Do Now.

Passing a securities exam like the SIE exam is an important step in your career. But what if you don’t pass the first time? Here are tips for restudying. Continue reading

Photo used in image by [fizkes]/stock.adobe.com

You took the SIE exam or another FINRA exam, and you didn’t pass. What should you do? The old adage, “If at first you don’t succeed…” definitely applies here. Take a few days to rest if needed, but it’s best to get back into studying as soon as possible. To help with the process of refocusing your efforts, here are some important things to know and recommendations for increasing your chances of passing the SIE exam the next time.

You’re not alone.

First, don’t be too hard on yourself. Securities exams are not designed to be easy, and many people have to take an exam more than once. It happens. Keep in mind that although the SIE exam is the foundational exam for the securities industry, it is still a challenging exam that requires around 60 hours of study time.

How many times can you take the SIE exam?

The good news is you can retake the SIE exam as many times as you need to (as long as your firm allows it if taking the exam through a firm). However, FINRA imposes a waiting period after each exam attempt. There is a 30/30/180-day rule with respect to the SIE and other FINRA exams. This means that you must wait 30 days after the first time you fail, and another 30 days if you fail again. If you fail a third time or more, you’ll have to wait 180 days to retake the exam.

What Happens When You Fail the SIE Exam?

At the end of your testing session, you will see your unofficial result on the computer screen telling you whether you passed or failed. You’ll only see a numerical score if you fail the exam. When you pass, it will just say “pass” with no score given. If you don’t pass, your score report will include a section analysis that shows your performance on each section of the exam. This is very helpful so you know which sections to focus on when you start studying again.

If you take the SIE exam in person at a testing center, you’ll get a printout of your results. If you take the exam remotely using Prometric’s ProProctor system, you’ll receive an encrypted email with your results. You can also contact the FINRA support team to request a copy of your score report at (240) 386-4040.

Where else do your exam results appear and who can see them?

You might be wondering whether current or future employers will be able to see that you failed a securities exam. The short answer is, it depends. Within three business days of taking an exam, FINRA will post your official results to their systems. There are two primary systems where your exam history might be visible to others.

Central Registration Depository (CRD)

One system is the Central Registration Depository (CRD). CRD is the securities industry online registration and licensing database. Information in CRD is obtained through forms that broker-dealers complete as part of the registration and licensing process. If you’ve never been registered in the securities industry and aren’t taking the SIE exam through a firm, then your exam result will not appear in CRD. However, if you take the SIE exam through a broker-dealer and the broker-dealer files a Form U4 for you, then your SIE exam result will be pulled into your CRD exam history. Your firm will have access to your CRD record.

But don’t worry, a non-passing exam result and score will only be displayed in CRD until you retake and pass the exam. After you pass the exam, any prior history of failing will not appear in the system. Passing results will not show scores—they will simply say “pass.”

BrokerCheck

Another FINRA system that displays information about registered individuals is the BrokerCheck website. BrokerCheck is a free tool for the public to research the professional backgrounds of brokers and brokerage firms. The information in BrokerCheck comes from CRD. If you’ve only taken the SIE exam, your result will not appear on BrokerCheck. But once you pass a representative-level exam such as the Series 6 or Series 7, then a passing SIE result will show up in BrokerCheck. Non-passing exam results do not appear in BrokerCheck.

Tips For Passing Your Next SIE Exam Attempt

Try to redouble your efforts and study hard for the next 30 days so you can retake the SIE exam as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely it is that the material you’ve learned will slip away. You also risk giving up completely if you wait too long to get back on track.

In addition, FINRA does change its exam questions. Therefore, the sooner you retake an exam, the higher chance you have of facing some of the same or similar questions. Write down everything you can remember about the exam. Then, use your experience to your advantage and focus your studying on what you know was on the exam and may well be again.

How to re-study for your securities exam

Needless to say, you should carefully consider how to approach preparing for a second attempt at the SIE or another securities exam. It shouldn’t be done in one weekend of cramming. The SIE is a knowledge test. Learning (and passing) comes from layering the knowledge and building mental connections that you can use when you take the exam—and beyond. As with any knowledge test, the more effort you put into studying, the better your chance of success. That said, your re-study strategy will depend to some extent on your score on the first exam attempt.

If you didn’t have a strong performance on the exam:

The minimum passing score for the SIE exam is 70%. If you scored below 60% on your first try, you may want to approach studying as if for the first time. If you’re using Solomon SIE study materials, use a pre-set Solomon study schedule and follow it every day. Doing this will greatly increase your chance of passing. If you don’t follow a pre-set Solomon schedule, we recommend the following plan at a minimum:

    • Read the SIE Study Guide. Not reading the Study Guide is the number one reason people fail their exam. Take notes as you read and review your notes regularly. If you don’t understand something, try to explain it to someone else or to yourself out loud. This “be the teacher” technique will help you master the material. Read Solomon’s article about this technique.
    • Quiz yourself with SIE practice questions in the Exam Simulator. After reading each chapter of the Study Guide, take up to six sub-chapter quizzes per sub-chapter in the Solomon Exam Simulator. The quizzes are for learning more than they are for assessment, so don’t be alarmed if your quiz scores are low and do not get bogged down by taking more than six sub-chapter quizzes per chapter.
    • Assess your knowledge with SIE practice exams in the Exam Simulator. Once you’ve read the entire Study Guide, at least once, then take at least six full practice exams in the Exam Simulator. Aim to get your Solomon Pass Probability™ score to at least 75% before you take the SIE exam again. If your Pass Probability™ is below 75%, review your results charts in the Exam Simulator and re-study the chapters and topics where you’re not doing well.
If you almost passed:

What if you were very close to passing the SIE exam on your first attempt, scoring close to 70%? In this case, you probably don’t need to start studying from scratch. Look at your exam score report and focus your studies on the exam sections that you didn’t perform strongly in. Also, if you’ve taken at least five full SIE practice exams in the Solomon Exam Simulator, look at your Exam Results charts to see if there are any sections that you’re scoring under 75% in. Focusing on these weaker sections, take the following steps:

    • Reread parts of the SIE Study Guide. Revisit your weaker sections in the Study Guide and/or review the notes you took when you read it the first time.
    • Quiz yourself with SIE practice questions in the Exam Simulator. Take three more quizzes on your weaker sub-chapters. Remember, the purpose of taking quizzes is to strengthen your learning, so try not to focus too much on your quiz scores. You can even take the sub-chapter quizzes open book!
    • Watch the SIE Video Lecture. If you have the Solomon Video Lecture, watch the lecture on these weaker chapters as well. The Video Lecture provides a helpful overview of the key concepts for each chapter. You can download the Video Lecture slides and print them out to take notes while you watch.
    • Assess your knowledge with SIE practice exams in the Exam Simulator. The Exam Simulator is a tool to help you apply the concepts you’ve learned, but it’s also a diagnostic tool for gauging your readiness to pass the exam. After you’ve done all the previous steps for the chapters you needed to revisit, you’re ready to take five more full practice exams in the Exam Simulator. When your Solomon Pass Probability™ score is 75% or above, you should be ready to sit for the SIE exam again.

You can do it.

Don’t let this temporary setback put the brakes on your career goals! Everyone can pass the SIE exam, no matter what their educational background or career experience is. You just need to follow an effective study plan with quality study materials. You can do it!

Visit the Solomon SIE page for more information about Solomon study materials for the SIE exam. And try Solomon’s free, 75-question SIE practice test to gauge your knowledge and sample the industry-leading Solomon Exam Simulator.

What FINRA CE Changes Are Coming in 2023?

Important changes to the Regulatory Element and Firm Element components of FINRA CE are set to go into effect on January 1, 2023. Continue reading

Solomon Exam Prep previously reported FINRA’s announcement that its continuing education (CE) rules would be undergoing significant changes. One of the changes is the creation of the Maintaining Qualification Program (MQP), which went into effect on March 15, 2022. Other important changes to the Regulatory Element and Firm Element components of FINRA CE are set to go into effect on January 1, 2023.

Regulatory Element CE Changes

Regulatory Element CE is intended to keep registered persons up to date on regulatory requirements and industry standards. Currently, registered individuals must complete Regulatory Element CE every three years. Beginning in 2023, this will become an annual requirement to be completed by December 31 of each year. Additionally, individuals will have to complete CE content that is related to each registration category they hold.

If an individual does not complete Regulatory Element CE by Dec. 31, their status will show as “CE inactive.” However, FINRA reserves the right to extend the deadline if “good cause” is shown for not completing CE.

The initial annual Regulatory Element completion date will depend on an individual’s registration status. See FINRA’s Regulatory Notice 21-41 for more details.

Firm Element CE Changes

Every FINRA member firm is responsible for providing annual Firm Element CE to its registered persons. This CE is related to the firm’s securities products, services and strategies, and policies. Starting on January 1, 2023, this annual requirement will include all registered individuals, not just “covered registered persons.” Covered registered persons are registered persons who work with customers, who are registered as research analysts, and individuals who supervise such persons.

In addition, training related to the anti-money laundering compliance program under Rule 3310(e) and annual compliance meeting under Rule 3110(a)(7) will now be able to count towards an individual’s Firm Element CE requirement.

For additional reporting on FINRA’s new CE rules and to learn what Solomon Exam Prep President & Co-founder, Jeremy Solomon, has to say on the topic, check out this ThinkAdvisor article.

For more information about FINRA CE changes, see Regulatory Notice 21-41.

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New Edition of Solomon Study Guide for Series 24 Exam Now Available

The 5th edition of the Solomon Series 24 Study Guide covers everything you need to know to pass the Series 24 exam and become a General Securities Principal. Continue reading

Do you already have the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam and a representative-level qualification exam such as the Series 7 or Series 79 under your belt? If you’re thinking about pursuing a principal-level role at a broker-dealer, then you’ll likely need to pass the Series 24 exam. Also known as the General Securities Principal Qualification Exam (GP), the Series 24 exam assesses how competent you are to perform the job functions of an entry-level principal dependent on your rep-level registration(s).

What does the Series 24 qualify me to do?

When you are a “principal” at a securities firm, it means you’re licensed to supervise others. Therefore, the Series 24 exam tests your knowledge of rules, regulations, and practices in all areas of a firm’s investment banking and securities business. After passing the Series 24, the permitted supervisory activities include regulatory compliance over:

    • advertising
    • market making
    • trading
    • underwriting

As you can probably guess, the Series 24 is a difficult exam that requires dedicated study time with up-to-date, comprehensive materials. To help securities professionals effectively prepare for the Series 24 exam, Solomon Exam Prep is pleased to announce the release of the 5th edition of “The Solomon Exam Prep Guide: Series 24 FINRA General Securities Principal Qualification Examination.”

What changes with this new edition?

The 5th edition of the Study Guide includes the following updates:

    • Revamped coverage of net capital to focus on the most testable facts
    • Coverage of compliance obligations when a firm outsources business functions
    • Information about a new FINRA rule that may require heightened supervision when a rep is appealing a violation
    • Expanded and updated discussion of Regulation D private placements and the SEC’s new definition of accredited investors
    • Extensive coverage of Regulation Best Interest and the new suitability requirements it imposes on broker-dealers
    • Information about the SEC’s new, higher exempt offering dollar caps
    • Expanded coverage of the taping rule for firms who hire associated persons formerly employed by a disciplined firm
    • Additional information about OTC due diligence
    • Coverage of FINRA rule changes for continuing education, permissive registration, and the Maintaining Qualifications Program
    • Revised coverage of FINRA’s updated fingerprinting rules

How do Solomon Series 24 Study Materials help you prepare?

To help prepare candidates for this challenging exam, the Solomon Series 24 Study Guide is continually kept up to date to reflect current rules and regulations, and it covers all key exam topics. Charts, graphs, and practice questions throughout the text support learners in understanding and practicing key concepts.

“If you have to take the Series 24 Exam, you’re probably already a Limited Securities Representative and have passed the SIE and at least one of the representative-level exams. This means you have an idea of what to expect, and you know that serious study and practice is required to pass an exam. Having a study guide that explains concepts in plain English and supports comprehension with helpful graphics, examples, and practice questions is crucial when it comes to retaining the knowledge you need for this exam. Solomon’s 5th edition of the Series 24 Study Guide provides exactly that and has helped thousands of students pass the Series 24 exam.”
Jeremy Solomon
Solomon Exam Prep President and Co-founder

Content updates for the 5th edition of the Solomon Series 24 Study Guide are also reflected in the Solomon Series 24 Exam Simulator. The Exam Simulator complements the Study Guide with over 3,500 practice questions for the Series 24. Hone, track, and assess your knowledge by taking unlimited chapter quizzes and full practice exams to apply the concepts you’re learning.

Series 24 Study Materials

The 5th edition of the Solomon Series 24 Study Guide is available as a digital subscription with a hardcopy upgrade option. You can purchase the Solomon Series 24 Study Guide individually or in a package with supporting Series 24 study products. Customers also have access to free tools and resources, including a study schedule in digital and pdf formats, which helps you master the exam material with maximum efficiency.

To learn more about Solomon Exam Prep’s Series 24 study materials, including Study Guide, Exam Simulator, Audiobook, and Video Lecture, visit the Solomon Series 24 product page.

“I passed the 24 with the help of the audio, book and test questions... The flow charts and extra resources section were extremely helpful in breaking down sections of this "dry" test. The audio was great to review and the book format was easy to read and concise. I felt almost every question I knew what they were asking and I was able to eliminate one or two questions. Don't waste your money with other sites. Solomon will allow you to pass on the first time. Good luck!”
Matthew D.
Orange County, CA
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How to Pass the MSRB Series 51 Exam

Considering taking the Series 51 exam? Keep reading to learn what the Series 51 qualifies you to do, what the exam covers, and how you should prepare for it. Continue reading

What is the Series 51 exam?

The Series 51, also called the Municipal Fund Securities Limited Principal Exam, is a Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) exam. The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization that establishes rules for municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors. Municipal securities dealers are required to designate principals to supervise their business and associated persons. To work as a principal in this capacity, you must pass either the Series 53 or Series 51 exam.

The Series 51 was created for principals who don’t otherwise deal in municipal securities and haven’t passed the Series 53. Passing the Series 51 exam qualifies you to oversee the municipal fund securities activities of a broker, dealer, or municipal securities dealer. Note that this is limited to municipal fund securities, whereas the Series 53 allows you oversee activities for all municipal securities. Therefore, the Series 51 is shorter than the Series 53 (60 questions vs 100) and focused on 529 college savings plans, local government investment pools, ABLE plans, and other funds created by a state or municipality.

The Series 51 permits you to manage, direct, and supervise any of the following activities:
    • Underwriting, trading, and selling municipal fund securities
    • Offering financial advice and consultant services to issuers of municipal fund securities
    • Communicating with customers about any of the activities above
    • Maintaining records related to any of the activities above
    • Training of principals and representatives
    • Processing, clearing, and safekeeping of municipal fund securities

With a Series 51 license, you may also manage individuals who work in multiple capacities relating to municipal fund securities, including underwriting, sales, trading, advising, and consulting with issuers of municipal fund securities.

Am I eligible to take the Series 51?

To take the Series 51 exam, you must be sponsored by your firm. You must also pass the corequisite Series 24 or Series 26 exam to obtain the Series 51 qualification.

About the Exam

The Series 51 exam consists of 60 multiple-choice questions that are worth one point each. You have one and a half hours to complete the exam, and you must score 70% or higher to pass.

Series 51 exam details

Note: Scores are rounded down to the next lowest whole number (e.g. 69.9% would be a final score of 69%–not a passing score for the Series 51 exam).

Topics Covered on the Exam

The Series 51 exam measures your knowledge of MSRB rules, rule interpretations, and federal statutory provisions applicable to allowed activities. It also measures your ability to apply these rules and interpretations to given situations in the context of municipal fund securities activities.

The Series 51 exam covers the seven areas of the MSRB Series 51 Content Outline:

Series 51 exam topics

The MSRB updates its exam questions regularly to reflect the most current rules and market practices. Solomon recommends that you print out the current version of the MSRB Series 51 Content Outline and use it in conjunction with the Solomon Series 51 Study Guide. The Content Outline is subject to change without notice, so make sure you have the most recent version.

Series 51 Example Questions

The Series 51 exam consists of multiple-choice questions, each with four options. You may see the following question structures. However, keep in mind that these sample questions don’t necessarily represent the difficulty level or subjects covered in the exam.

Closed Stem Format:

This item type asks a question and gives four possible answers to choose from.

For SIPC coverage purposes, which of the following people would have their multiple accounts combined?

    1. Joe, who has an individual account and a joint account with his wife
    2. Jane, who has a cash account and a margin account in her name
    3. Jack, who has an UGMA account for his daughter, a trust account for his son, and an individual account
    4. Joan, who has a partnership account for her business, an individual account, and an UTMA account for her niece
Open Stem Format:

This kind of question has an incomplete sentence followed by four possible conclusions.

Municipal fund securities are distinguished from mutual funds by their:

    1. Sellers
    2. Issuers
    3. Investors
    4. Underlying investments
“Except” (or “Not”) Format:

This type requires an answer that is incorrect or is an exception among the four answer choices.

For a 529 plan, all of the following are qualified education expenses except:

    1. Tuition
    2. Services for special needs students
    3. Books
    4. Room and board for all students
Complex Multiple-Choice (“Roman Numeral”) Format: 

For this question type, you see a question followed by two or more statements identified by Roman numerals. The four answer choices represent combinations of these statements. You must select the combination that best answers the question.

Arkansas issues a 529 plan to Firm A. Firm A is in a selling agreement with Firm B. Firm B utilizes other firms to sell the plan. Which of the following are true?

    1. Firm A is a selling dealer.
    2. Firm B is a selling dealer.
    3. Firm A is a primary distributor.
    4. Firm B is a primary distributor.
      1. I and III
      2. I and IV
      3. II and IV
      4. II and III
  1. Answers: 1. B   2. B   3. D.  4. D  

For more Series 51 practice questions, try a free sample of the Solomon Exam Prep Series 51 Exam Simulator. You’ll receive instant feedback on each question with a robust explanation of the correct answer.

Taking the Series 51 Exam

FINRA administers the Series 51 exam, and you must take it at a Prometric test center via computer. Like all securities industry exams, the Series 51 is closed-book. The testing center will provide you with any materials you need to take the exam, such as a four-function calculator, erasable note board, dry-erase markers, and noise-cancelling headphones. The inspection and sign-in requirements at testing centers are stringent, so arrive at least 30 minutes before your appointment.

Test-Taking Tips

Here are some basic test-taking strategies to remember when taking your exam. Avoid lingering too long on any one question—this could cause you to run out of time and not get to other questions you know. If you’re not sure about a question, take your best guess and mark it for review. There’s no penalty for guessing, so try to answer every question.

After you’ve answered all the questions, you can go back to any questions you flagged for review. This strategy allows you to efficiently answer the ones you know. You might also learn something later in the exam that helps you answer an earlier question. Just remember to factor in some time to return to the questions you flagged. However, don’t simply skip all of the difficult questions with the plan to answer them later. Instead, make a sincere effort to answer each question before moving on to the next one because your mind is fresher earlier on during the exam.

How to Study for the Series 51 Exam

Follow Solomon Exam Prep’s proven study system:
    • Read and understand. Read the Solomon Study Guide, carefully. Many students read the Study Guide two or three times before taking the exam. 
    • Take chapter quizzes in the Exam Simulator. When you finish reading a chapter in the Study Guide, take 4–6 chapter quizzes in the Exam Simulator. Use these quizzes to give yourself practice and to find out what you need to study more. Make sure you read and understand the question rationales.
    • Take full practice exams in the Exam Simulator. When you’ve finished reading the entire Study Guide, review your handwritten notes once more. Finally, start taking full practice exams in the Exam Simulator. Aim to pass at least six full practice exams and try to get your average score to at least 80%. When you reach that point, you’re probably ready to sit for the Series 51 exam.
Use these effective study strategies:
    • Take handwritten notes. As you read the Study Guide, take handwritten notes and review your notes every day for 10–15 minutes. Studies show that taking handwritten notes in your own words and then reviewing them strengthens learning and memory.
    • Make flashcards. Making your own flashcards is another proven method to reinforce memory and strengthen learning.
    • Research. Research anything you don’t understand. Curiosity = learning. Students who take responsibility for their own learning by researching anything they don’t understand get a deeper understanding of the subject matter and are much more likely to pass. 
    • Become the teacher. Studies show that explaining what you’re learning greatly increases your understanding of the material. Ask someone in your life to listen and ask questions, or explain it out loud to yourself. Studies show this helps almost as much as explaining to an actual person (see Solomon’s blog post to learn more about this strategy!). 
Take advantage of Solomon’s supplemental tools and resources:
    • Use all the resources. The Series 51 Resources folder in your Solomon student account has helpful study tools, including detailed study schedules that you can print out. Or, use the online study schedule and check off tasks as you complete them.
    • Use Ask the Professor. If you have a content-related question, click the Ask the Professor button in your account dashboard and get personalized help from a Solomon professor
  • Good practices while studying:
    • Take regular breaks. Studies show that if you’re studying for an exam, taking regular walks in a park or natural setting significantly improves scores. Walks in urban areas or among people did not improve test scores.
    • Get enough sleep. Sleep consolidates learning into memory, studies show. Be good to yourself while you’re studying for the Series 51: exercise, eat well, and avoid activities that will hurt your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

You can pass the MSRB Series 51 exam! It just takes focus and determination. Solomon Exam Prep is here to support you on your path to becoming a Municipal Fund Securities Limited Principal..

Explore all Solomon Series 51 exam prep, including the Study Guide, Exam Simulator, and Audiobook.

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Audiobook Study Guide for the Series 53 Exam Now Available

An audiobook version of the Solomon Exam Prep Series 53 Study Guide is now available for the first time for professionals studying for the MSRB Series 53 exam. Continue reading

Photo used in image by [Seventyfour]/stock.adobe.com

If you already have a Municipal Securities Representative (Series 52) license, you might be considering taking the Series 53 exam. The MSRB Municipal Securities Principal Qualification Exam (Series 53) qualifies you to oversee the municipal fund securities activities of a securities firm or bank dealer. You’re also permitted to supervise associates working in multiple capacities related to municipal securities. For this reason, passing the Series 53 exam requires you to know a lot about municipal securities, MSRB rules, customer accounts, municipal securities trading, recordkeeping, suitability, settlement and delivery, federal securities acts, SIPC, and more. How will you learn everything you need to know to pass this challenging exam?

Solomon Exam Prep is excited to announce the release of its first Audiobook for the Series 53 exam. A word-for-word reading of the Solomon Exam Prep Series 53 Study Guide, 4th Edition, the Solomon Series 53 Audiobook gives you increased flexibility in where and how you study for the Series 53 exam.

The Benefits of Audiobooks

If you like to learn by listening, a Solomon Audiobook offers the perfect way to study on the go. Or, play it while you read to help yourself focus and retain even more content. Read this Solomon blog post to learn more about the benefits of studying with audiobooks.

“The audio materials are a lifesaver and a great resource to utilize, especially while driving.”
Kristina Ribali
Modern Woodmen Fraternal Financial, Naples, FL

The Series 53 Audiobook is streamable from your Solomon student dashboard or the free Solomon app for Apple and Android devices and includes these helpful features:

    • Tracks divided and named by chapter so it’s easy to follow your Solomon study schedule
    • Time-stamped sub-sections to quickly jump to specific sections in a chapter
    • Simple track downloading option available for offline learning
"Your audiobook was the game changer for me. Thank you!"
S. Stephens
Merrill Lynch, Orlando, FL

Series 53 Study Materials

The 9.5-hour Series 53 Audiobook can be purchased individually or as part of the Audio Premium study package, along with the Solomon Series 53 Study Guide and Exam Simulator. To learn more about Solomon Exam Prep’s Series 53 study materials, including Study Guide, Exam Simulator, and Audiobook, visit the Solomon Series 53 product page.

Recent Posts

Expanded Series 82 Video Lecture Now Available

If you’re studying for the FINRA Series 82 exam, the updated and expanded Solomon Series 82 Video Lecture is a great addition to your study plan. Continue reading

If you’ve ever studied for a securities licensing exam like the SIE, Series 7, or Series 65, then you know how important it is to have the best study materials. Great materials that suit your learning style can mean the difference between passing your exam on the first attempt and being forced to retake the exam one or more times.

To better meet the needs of professionals preparing for the FINRA Series 82 Private Securities Offerings Representative Exam, Solomon Exam Prep is excited to announce a significantly expanded Solomon Series 82 Video Lecture. With twice as much exam-focused content, you’ll feel even more confident about your knowledge on test day.

More Content Means Better Prep

The new version of the Solomon Series 82 Video Lecture contains all the content of the original version, with additional information in several sections. The refreshed Lecture also includes four brand new sections. Here’s what to expect in the new version:

    • Added information on types of exempt offerings, including Regulation S, Regulation CF, and the Fast Act Exemption
    • New section that details the process for structuring and issuing a Regulation D offering, including disclosure information
    • New segment that deals extensively with rules on aggregation and integration
    • Added information about requirements for opening an account and making recommendations, including SEC Regulation Best Interest
    • Added information on types of accounts, including retirement accounts
    • Added information related to FINRA communications rules
    • New detailed sections on equity and debt securities
“The Series 82 exam is focused on solicitation and sale of private placement securities products as part of a primary offering. The Series 82 is not a long exam, just 50 questions, but it’s very rule-focused, and most people need at least 60 hours of study time. Having comprehensive, up-to-date study materials makes a big difference. Solomon’s upgraded Series 82 Video Lecture is designed to complement the Solomon Series 82 Study Guide and Exam Simulator with engaging lessons taught by Solomon professors. The Video Lecture is an excellent way to solidify key exam concepts, especially for visual and auditory learners. You can also download the slides and print them out if you like to take notes.”
Jeremy Solomon
President and Co-founder of Solomon Exam Prep
How To Use the Video Lecture in Your Study Plan

Solomon Video Lectures are recorded courses taught by Solomon content professionals that highlight the most crucial exam topics. We recommend watching the Video Lecture as a helpful overview of each chapter before reading the Study Guide. Alternatively, use the Video Lecture to review before taking your exam. All Solomon Video Lectures include downloadable slides for convenient note-taking. Taking notes while you watch will help you stay focused and learn better.

"The Series 82 materials were extremely helpful to passing a difficult exam. Up-to-date materials with a mix of video and reading content, as well as helpful practice tests. The best material available for the Series 82 by far."
Solomon Series 82 student
California
"Solomon has a dedicated team of professionals who prepare the written materials, present video summaries and provide practice exams in 4 different formats and are available anytime to answer questions and clarify materials. Thanks to a robust study program I felt fully prepared and confident to write the Series 82 exam and achieved a [passing] score...Thank you Solomon Exam Prep."
Karen Powell
Wren Capital LLC, NY, NY

Series 82 Study Materials

Solomon offers several learning modalities for the Series 82 exam, in addition to the Video Lecture. The 5th edition of the Series 82 Study Guide is available as a digital subscription with a hardcopy upgrade option. The Series 82 Exam Simulator complements the Study Guide with thousands of practice questions so you can hone, track, and assess your knowledge. The Series 82 Audiobook is a word-for-word reading of the Study Guide for studying on the go. And the Series 82 Flashcards are digital cards that teach you key definitions and concepts.

You can purchase Series 82 materials individually or in several package options. Customers also have access to free tools and resources, including a study schedule in digital and pdf formats, which helps you master the exam material with maximum efficiency.

Visit the Solomon Series 82 product page to learn more.

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MSRB Updates Continuing Education Requirements to Match Similar Changes by FINRA

The MSRB has proposed several changes to its continuing education requirements to harmonize with FINRA’s new CE requirements. Continue reading

Municipal securities professionals may soon see their continuing education (CE) requirements change to match FINRA’s requirements for others in the securities industry. The MSRB is awaiting final SEC approval for a package of rule changes that could become official as soon as September 30th.

The MSRB’s action was prompted by changes FINRA made to the CE requirements for other securities professionals. The MSRB rule changes will harmonize its CE requirements with the new FINRA requirements.

Both the MSRB and FINRA divide CE into two components, both of which must be completed in order to keep your registration active. The first component is a Regulatory Element provided by the MSRB or FINRA. The second component is a Firm Element, which firms are responsible for providing to their associated persons.

The most important changes to the MSRB’s CE requirements will include:
  • Annual Regulatory Element. Currently, the Regulatory Element of CE must be completed within two years of becoming registered, and every three years thereafter. Beginning in 2023, the Regulatory Element will need to be completed annually.
  • More Ways to Complete Firm Element. Beginning in 2023, other training may count toward satisfying the annual Firm Element, such as anti-money laundering training and annual compliance meetings.
  • Permissively Registered Persons Subject to Firm Element. Like FINRA, the MSRB will remove exemptions from the Firm Element. Beginning in 2023, any registered person must complete the Firm Element each year, including those taking advantage of permissive registration. (Permissive registration allows an employee of a municipal firm to earn and maintain a registration that does not correspond to their current job.)
  • Maintaining Qualifications Program. The rule changes will create an MSRB version of FINRA’s Maintaining Qualifications Program (MQP). Previously, a registered person who left the industry for more than two years would need to retake their qualification exams in order to resume their previous registration. The MQP permits registered persons to leave the industry for up to five years without losing these qualifications, provided that they complete CE.

Keep up on the latest industry developments with Solomon Exam Prep. Subscribe to Solomon News to be notified when a new post is published.

Solomon Exam Prep has helped thousands pass their MSRB exams, including the Series 50, Series 51, Series 52, Series 53, and Series 54. Explore Solomon’s innovative study materials at the link below.

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