How to Pass the MSRB Series 54 Exam

Thinking about taking the Series 54 exam? Keep reading to learn what the Series 54 qualifies you to do, what the exam covers, and how you should prepare for it. Continue reading

What is the Series 54 exam?

The Series 54, also called the Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification 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. As of November 30, 2021, all municipal advisor professionals working in the capacity of a municipal advisor principal must pass the Series 54 to be appropriately qualified.

Passing the Series 54 exam qualifies you to manage, direct, and supervise municipal advisory activities. These activities include advising a municipality regarding issuing municipal securities, such as the structure, timing, or terms of an issue. Soliciting municipal securities business from municipalities on behalf of a third party is also a form of municipal advising.

Are there other exams I need to take to become a municipal advisor principal?

Yes. To become properly qualified as a municipal advisor principal, you must also pass the Series 50, Municipal Advisor Representative Qualification Exam.

About the Exam

The Series 54 exam consists of 100 scored and ten unscored multiple-choice questions. You have three hours to complete the exam, and you must score a 70% or higher to pass.

Series 54 exam details in a table

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 54 exam).

Topics Covered on the Exam

The Series 54 exam is designed to make sure that municipal advisor principals are competent in the supervisory application of rules and regulations. This means that the exam measures your ability to apply regulatory requirements to the municipal advisor’s activities, rather than just a general knowledge of what those regulations are.

The Series 54 exam covers the three main topic areas of the MSRB Series 54 Content Outline:

Series 54 exam topics in a table

The MSRB updates its exam questions regularly to reflect the most current rules and regulations. Solomon recommends that you print out the current version of the MSRB Series 54 Content Outline and use it in conjunction with the Solomon Series 54 Study Guide. The Content Outline is subject to change without notice, so make sure you have the most recent version.

Question Types on the Exam

The Series 54 exam consists of multiple-choice questions, each with four options. You may see the following four 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.

Which of the following would be most likely to require registration as a municipal advisor?

    1. Providing a municipality with a price quote for an investment product within the municipality’s investment criteria
    2. Offering the municipality a possible price range for a new issue
    3. Displaying a comparison of debt financing structures
    4. Providing advice on issuing securities to the municipality through its municipal advisor
Open Stem Format:

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

When dealing with municipal entity clients, the two primary duties that a non-solicitor municipal advisor must fulfill with reference to standards of conduct are:

    1. The duties of care and loyalty
    2. The duties of care and suitability
    3. The duties of loyalty and prudence
    4. The duties of fairness and consistency
“Except” (or “Not”) Format:

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

Documentation that defines a municipal advisory relationship with a client must include all of the following except:

    1. A description of the advisor’s compensation arrangement
    2. Educational background information about the municipal advisor’s associates
    3. The termination date of the relationship between the advisor and the client
    4. A description of all activities to be performed for the client
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.

Which two of the following actions are required for a municipal advisor to comply with MSRB rules on supervision?

    1. Designation of a single chief compliance officer
    2. Annual certification of supervisory policies
    3. Providing clients with an annual update of supervisory practices
    4. Designation of a principal at each of the firm’s offices to oversee the system
    1. I and II
    2. I and IV
    3. II and III
    4. III and IV
  1.  

Answers: 1. D   2. A   3. B   4. A  

Try a free sample of Solomon Exam Prep’s Series 54 Exam Simulator. You’ll receive instant feedback on each question with a robust explanation of the correct answer.

Taking the Series 54 Exam

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) administers the Series 54 exam, and you must take it at a Prometric test center. Like all qualifying exams in the securities industry, the Series 54 is closed-book, and you’re not allowed to bring anything into the exam. The test center will provide you with any materials you need to complete the exam. For instance, the test center may provide a whiteboard with markers or scratch paper and a pencil, as well as a basic electronic calculator. The inspection and sign-in requirements at test centers are stringent, so plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test appointment.

Before the exam starts, you’ll take a 30-minute tutorial on exam administration. After you finish the tutorial, the exam will begin and you’ll have three hours to complete it.

Test-Taking Tips

When taking the exam, it helps to keep some test-taking strategies in mind. Try not to spend too long on one question—this may cause you to run out of time and not get to other questions you know. If you don’t know the answer to a question, guess at the answer and “flag” it. There’s no penalty for guessing, so it’s beneficial to answer every question.

After you’ve finished all the questions, you can come back to any flagged questions. 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 save enough time to return to the questions you didn’t answer. However, it’s not a good idea to simply skip all of the difficult questions with the plan to answer them later. You should make a serious effort to answer each question before moving on to the next one since your thoughts are often clearer earlier on during the exam.

How to Study for the Series 54 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 Solomon Series 54 Audiobook. The Audiobook 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 average score to at least 80%. When you reach that point, you’re probably ready to sit for the Series 54 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 54 Resources folder in your Solomon student account has helpful study tools, including documents that summarize important exam concepts. There’s also a detailed study schedule that you can print out – or use the online study schedule and check off tasks as you complete them.
    • Watch the Video Lecture. This provides a helpful review of the key concepts in each chapter after reading the Solomon Study Guide. Take notes to help yourself stay focused.
    • 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 54: exercise, eat well, and avoid activities that will hurt your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

You can pass the MSRB Series 54 exam! It just takes focus and determination. Solomon Exam Prep is here to support you on your path to becoming a Municipal Advisor Principal.

Explore all Solomon Series 54 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 Series 82 Study Guide, 5th Edition, Now Available

The updated 5th edition of the Solomon Series 82 Study Guide covers everything you need to know to pass the FINRA Series 82 exam. Continue reading

If you work at a FINRA member firm and want to become a registered representative, you’ll need to pass a job-specific FINRA licensing exam. One such exam is the Private Securities Offerings Representative Exam, also known as the Series 82. The Series 82 exam is half the length it once was (50 questions instead of 100), but it hasn’t become much easier. How should you prepare for the exam?

Solomon Exam Prep is delighted to release the 5th edition of “The Solomon Exam Prep Guide: Series 82 FINRA Private Securities Offerings Representative Exam.” With this updated version of the Study Guide, professionals who want to become a registered Private Securities Offerings Representative can learn the content they need to know to pass the Series 82 exam. Passing the Series 82, along with the co-requisite Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam, qualifies an individual for the sale of private placement securities as part of a primary offering.

About the Series 82 Exam

The Series 82 is a fairly difficult exam that requires candidates to study a wide range of securities, regulations, and market information. Exam topics are divided into four sections:

    • Section 1: Seeks Business for the Broker-Dealer from Customers and Potential Customers
    • Section 2: Opens Accounts After Obtaining and Evaluating Customers’ Financial Profile and Investment Objectives
    • Section 3: Provides Customers with Information About Investments, Makes Suitable Recommendations, Transfers Assets and Maintains Appropriate Records
    • Section 4: Obtains and Verifies Customers’ Purchase Instructions and Agreements; Processes, Completes and Confirms Transactions

To help prepare candidates for this challenging exam, the Solomon Series 82 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 applying important concepts.

“The rules are a big part of the Series 82, but becoming registered as a Private Securities Offerings Representative is about more than learning to play by the rules – it means you are expected to be competent. That’s why passing the Series 82 requires mastering a wide range of knowledge. The Series 82 is a high bar, but once you’ve hurdled it, you’ll be a knowledgeable private securities industry professional.”
Jeremy Solomon
Solomon Exam Prep President and Co-founder

What changes with this new edition?

The core content of the Series 82 Study Guide remains the same, but some important changes include:

    • Expanded and updated discussion of Regulation D private placements, including the SEC’s new definition of accredited investors
    • A new section with extensive coverage of Regulation Best Interest and the new suitability requirements it imposes on BDs
    • Information about the SEC’s new, higher exempt offering dollar caps
    • Added discussion of the SEC’s new Rule 152, which has a major impact on how exempt offerings retain their exempt status
    • Updated and expanded explanation of crowdfunding
    • Updated and expanded coverage of using finders to identify potential investors
    • Revamped discussion of member private offerings rules
    • Additional coverage of gifts and charitable donations
    • Information about the SEC’s fair disclosure rules

Content updates for this new edition are also reflected in the Solomon Series 82 Exam Simulator. The online Exam Simulator complements the Study Guide with over 1,700 practice questions for the Series 82. Hone, track, and assess your knowledge by taking unlimited chapter quizzes and full exams to practice what you’ve learned.

“I took the Series 82 just four weeks after passing the SIE. I followed the study plan, took tons of the great practice tests, got great advice from Karen [Solomon Co-founder & Content Director], and everything worked out well. It was literally the perfect test prep experience... 100% rating. Thank you, Solomon!”
Jonathan Roth
DAK Capital / DAK Group, Rochelle Park, NJ

Series 82 Study Materials

The Series 82 Study Guide is available as a digital subscription with a hardcopy upgrade option. You can purchase the Study Guide individually or in a package with supporting Series 82 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 82 study materials, including Study Guide, Exam Simulator, Audiobook, Video Lecture, and Flashcards, visit the Solomon Series 82 product page.

Series 82 Exam Practice Questions

Test your Series 82 knowledge! The questions below come from Solomon’s industry-leading Exam Simulator:

1. A Regulation A (also called Regulation A+) offering is for a maximum amount of securities of:

    1. $75 million or less during a 6-month period
    2. $75 million or less during a 12-month period
    3. $10 million or less during a 12-month period
    4. $10 million or less during a 6-month period

2. What is the equivalent taxable yield of a 6.5% municipal bond if the investor’s tax bracket is 25%?

    1. 18.5%
    2. 8.67%
    3. 6.5%
    4. 4.88%

3. According to Regulation D, which of the following are NOT considered “accredited investors?”

    1. A married couple with an annual joint earned income of $250,000 for two years
    2. An individual with an annual earned income of $250,000 for each of the last two years
    3. An individual with a net worth of $1,500,000, not counting his or her home
    4. All are considered

Answers: 1) B.   2) B.   3) A.

For more Series 82 practice questions and to try out the Solomon Exam Simulator, take Solomon’s free Series 82 Sample Quiz!

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How to Pass the NFA Series 3 Exam

What is the Series 3 exam? Learn what passing the Series 3 exam allows you to do, what the exam covers, and how you should prepare for it. Continue reading

What is the Series 3 exam?

The Series 3, also called the National Commodities Futures Examination, is an NFA (National Futures Association) exam. NFA is the self-regulatory organization for the U.S. derivatives industry and is designated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) as a registered futures association. The goals of the NFA are to ensure the integrity of the derivatives markets, protect investors, and enforce regulations.

Individuals and entities that do business as futures professionals must register with the CFTC and meet certain proficiency requirements. This usually means passing the Series 3 exam.

You may need to take the Series 3 exam in order to work as an associated person at one of the following:

    • Futures commission merchant (FCM)—a brokerage firm that solicits orders from customers and executes trades. It may also provide credit to its customers to enable trading.
    • Introducing broker (IB)—a brokerage firm that solicits orders from customers but is not permitted to execute them. It must send its orders to an FCM to execute and clear the trades.
    • Commodity trading advisor (CTA)—an individual or firm that analyzes futures markets, issues reports, offers advice, and makes recommendations.
    • Commodity pool operator (CPO)—an individual or firm that solicits funds from the public and pools them into a single account to invest in futures contracts.
    • Retail foreign exchange dealer (RFED)—an individual or entity that acts as a counterparty to an over-the-counter foreign currency transaction.
What does the Series 3 qualify me to do?

Passing the Series 3 exam qualifies you sell commodities, futures contracts, or commodity pools. The term “sell” includes soliciting customers, customer orders, customer funds, or customer accounts on behalf of the entities listed above. It also qualifies those who work for a CTA to analyze, issue reports, and offer advice on futures markets. You’ll also be qualified to manage other individuals who sell commodities or futures contracts.

Note that simply passing the Series 3 exam does not allow you to act as a registered commodity broker. You’ll also need to complete a lengthy online registration application with the NFA, which includes submitting a fingerprint card and other required filings.

Are there any prerequisites for the Series 3?

There are no prerequisites for the Series 3 exam, and you can enroll to take the exam without firm sponsorship. You must sign up for the exam and pay the exam fee to the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), which administers the Series 3 exam.

About the Exam

The Series 3 exam consists of 120 scored and five unscored multiple-choice or true/false questions. The five unscored questions are experimental questions and appear randomly.

Series 3 exam details in a table

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 3 exam).

Topics Covered on the Exam

The NFA divides the questions on the Series 3 exam into two parts. The first part, covering market knowledge, includes several topics. The second part covers U.S. regulations and includes only one topic. The NFA updates its exam questions regularly to reflect the most current rules and regulations. You must receive a score of 70% on both parts of the exam to pass.

Series 3 topics in a table

Question Types on the Exam

The Series 3 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 actual exam.

Closed Stem Format:

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

Which of the following is not classified as a commodity?

    1. Livestock
    2. Automobiles
    3. Corn
    4. Oil
Incomplete Sentence Format:

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

All foreign exchange futures contracts are quoted in:

    1. American terms
    2. European terms
    3. The same terms in which the foreign currency is quoted in the spot market
    4. American and European terms side by side
“EXCEPT” Format:

This type requires you to recognize the one choice that is an exception among the four answer choices.

All of the following are characteristics of a Treasury bill except:

    1. They are sold at discount to the par value.
    2. They pay low periodic interest payments.
    3. They are considered the safest of Treasury securities.
    4. They have a maximum 52-week maturity.
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.

A forward conversion combines which two of the following?

    1. A long futures contract
    2. A short futures contract
    3. A short call and a long put on the futures contract
    4. A long call and a short put on the futures contract
    1. I and III
    2. I and IV
    3. II and III
    4. II and IV

This format is also used in items that ask you to rank or order a set of items from highest to lowest (or vice versa), or to place a series of events in the proper sequence.

Put these futures contract events in the proper sequence:

    1. Last delivery date
    2. First delivery date
    3. First notice date
    4. Last trade date
    1. IV, II, III, I
    2. III, II, IV, I
    3. III, IV, II, I
    4. II, III, I, IV

 

Answers: 1. B   2. A   3. B   4. A   5. B

Try a free sample of the Solomon Series 3 Exam Simulator. You receive instant feedback on each question with a robust explanation of the correct answer.

Taking the Series 3 Exam

You can take the Series 3 exam at a Prometric test center or remotely online using Prometric’s ProProctor system. If taking the exam at a test center, you will receive any materials you need to complete the exam. These may include a whiteboard with markers or scratch paper and a pencil, as well as a basic electronic calculator. The inspection and sign-in requirements at test centers are stringent, so plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test appointment.

If you decide to take the test online with ProProctor, you should learn about the strict procedures you must follow. See this ProProcter user guide or the FINRA online testing page for complete details. And for a first-hand account of the remote testing experience, read this Solomon blog post.

Test-Taking Tips

Whether you take the exam at a test center or online, it helps to keep some test-taking strategies in mind. Try not to spend too long on one question—this may cause you to run out of time and not get to other questions you know. If you don’t know the answer to a question, take your best guess and flag it. There’s no penalty for guessing, so it’s beneficial to answer every question.

After you’ve finished all the questions, you can return to any flagged questions. 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 save enough time to return to the questions you didn’t answer. However, it’s not a good idea to simply skip all of the difficult questions with the plan to answer them later. You should make a serious effort to answer each question before moving on to the next one since your thoughts are often clearer earlier on during the exam.

How to Study for the Series 3 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 3 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. This helps almost as much as explaining to an actual person (see Solomon’s previous blog post to learn more about this strategy!).
Take advantage of Solomon’s supplemental tools and resources:
    • Use all the resources. The Series 3 Resources folder in your Solomon student account has helpful study tools, including a detailed study schedule 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 during the period when you are studying. Sleep consolidates learning into memory, studies show. Be good to yourself while you’re studying for the Series 3: exercise, eat well, and avoid activities that will hurt your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

You can pass the NFA Series 3 Exam! It just takes focus and determination. Solomon Exam Prep is here to support you on your path to becoming a Futures Professional!

Explore all Solomon Exam Prep Series 3 study materials, including the Study Guide and Exam Simulator.

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

Series 54 Solomon Study Guide, 3rd Edition, Now Available

The new 3rd edition of the Solomon Series 54 Study Guide covers everything you need to know to pass the exam and become a Municipal Advisor Principal. Continue reading

If you’ve already passed the Series 50 exam and are working as a Municipal Advisor Representative, then you’re well-positioned to consider taking the Series 54 exam. The MSRB Series 54, or Municipal Advisor Principal Exam, qualifies you to supervise associates who conduct municipal advisory business. But how should you prepare for the exam?

Solomon Exam Prep is excited to release the 3rd edition of “The Solomon Exam Prep Guide: Series 54 MSRB Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination.” With this updated version of the Study Guide, professionals who want to become registered Municipal Advisor Principals can learn the content they need to know to pass the Series 54 exam.

About the Series 54 Exam

The Series 54 exam is 110 questions long and tests your knowledge of three main topic areas:

    1. Understanding the Municipal Advisor Regulatory Framework
    2. Supervising Municipal Advisory Activities
    3. Supervising Municipal Advisor Firm Operations

Passing the Series 54 requires you to study and master a wide range of municipal advisory knowledge. This is because, as Solomon Exam Prep President and Co-founder, Jeremy Solomon, explains, “Municipal advisors have a crucial responsibility to establish and enforce compliance procedures at their firm, which is why the Series 54 exam is so challenging. To pass the Series 54, high-quality study materials are a must, and Solomon delivers just that with a consistently high pass rate to prove it.”

“Municipal advisors have a crucial responsibility to establish and enforce compliance procedures at their firm, which is why the Series 54 exam is so challenging. To pass the Series 54, high-quality study materials are a must, and Solomon delivers just that with a consistently high pass rate to prove it.”
Jeremy Solomon
Solomon Exam Prep President and Co-founder

What changes with this new edition?

The core content of the Series 54 Study Guide remains the same, but some key changes in the 3rd edition include:

    • Expanded and updated coverage of the MSRB’s pay to play rule


    • Expanded coverage of the MSRB’s advertising rules

    • Expanded and updated discussion of the MSRB’s rules about giving and receiving items of value

    • Supplemental information on continuing disclosure agreements

    • Expanded coverage of mandatory recordkeeping for municipal securities transactions


    • More detail on mandatory recordkeeping of customer complaints

Content updates for this new edition are also reflected in the Solomon Exam Simulator. The online Exam Simulator complements the Study Guide with hundreds of practice questions for the Series 54. Hone, track, and assess your knowledge by taking unlimited chapter quizzes and full exams to practice what you’ve learned.

Series 54 Study Materials

The Series 54 Study Guide is available as a digital subscription with a hardcopy upgrade option. You can purchase the Study Guide individually or in a package with supporting Series 54 study products. Customers also have access to free tools and resources. These include a study schedule in digital and pdf formats, which helps students master the exam material with maximum efficiency.

To learn more about Solomon Exam Prep’s Series 54 study materials, including Study Guide, Exam Simulator, Audiobook, and Video Lecture, visit the Solomon Series 54 product page.

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Series 6 Solomon Study Guide, 3rd Edition, Now Available

If you need to take the FINRA Series 6 exam, the new 3rd edition of the Solomon Series 6 Study Guide covers everything you need to know to pass the exam. Continue reading

Are you thinking about a fulfilling career in the securities industry? There are many attractive roles to choose from, like investment adviser, financial adviser, insurance agent, or retirement plan specialist. Regardless of the path you choose, you’ll likely need to pass one or more licensing exams to qualify, such as the FINRA Series 6 exam. So how should you prepare for exam day?

Solomon Exam Prep has just released its 3rd edition of The Solomon Exam Prep Guide to the Series 6 Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative Examination. To help professionals pass the exam, the Solomon Series 6 Study Guide is comprehensive and covers exam topics in easy-to-understand language. In addition, charts, graphs, and practice questions throughout the text support learners in understanding and applying key concepts.

What is the Series 6 exam?

The Series 6 is also known as the Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative Examination. It is a representative-level exam for securities professionals who want to buy and sell certain investment products. Passing the Series 6 (plus the co-requisite Securities Industry Essentials, or SIE, exam) qualifies you to solicit, purchase, and/or sell:

    • Mutual funds (closed-end funds on the initial offering only)
    • Variable annuities
    • Variable life insurance
    • Unit investment trusts (UITs)
    • Municipal fund securities [e.g., 529 savings plans, local government investment pools (LGIPs)]

The Series 6 is only 50 questions long, but don’t let its humble length fool you. You’ll need to learn about many topics relating to the four main job functions of a Series 6 registered representative.

“The Series 6 exam is short, but it covers a lot of ground. Reading the Solomon Study Guide is the most crucial part of an effective study plan and will result in real learning. By mastering the concepts, test takers can handle any question the exam throws at them.”
Jeremy Solomon
Solomon Exam Prep President and Co-founder

What changes with this new edition?

The core content of the Series 6 Study Guide remains the same, but some key changes in the 3rd edition include:

    • Expanded and updated discussion of Regulation D private placements, including the SEC’s new definition of accredited investors

    • Additional, extensive coverage of Regulation Best Interest and the new suitability requirements it imposes on BDs

    • Expanded coverage of several aspects of mutual funds

    • Revised coverage of 529 college savings and prepaid tuition plans

    • Expanded coverage of FINRA’s taping rule with additional examples

Content updates for this new edition are also present in the Solomon Exam Simulator. The online Exam Simulator complements the Study Guide with over 3,000 practice questions for the Series 6. Take unlimited chapter quizzes and full exams to practice what you’ve learned and assess your growing knowledge.

Series 6 Study Materials

The Series 6 Study Guide is available as a digital subscription with a hardcopy upgrade option. It can be purchased individually or in a package with supporting Series 6 study products. Customers also have access to free tools and resources, including detailed study schedules in digital and pdf formats.

Learn more about Solomon Exam Prep’s Series 6 study materials, including Study Guide, Exam Simulator, Audiobook, Video Lecture, and Flashcards, by visiting the Solomon Series 6 product page.

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Series 52 Solomon Study Guide, 5th Edition, Now Available

The Solomon Series 52 Study Guide, 5th edition, covers everything you need to know to pass the Series 52 Exam and become a Municipal Securities Representative. Continue reading

For those interested in becoming Municipal Securities Representatives, passing the Series 52 exam (plus the co-requisite Securities Industry Essentials, or SIE, exam) is necessary. The MSRB Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Exam, also known as the Series 52, qualifies you to work in many capacities related to municipal securities. These include selling, underwriting, trading, advising, conducting research, and communicating with public investors.

Passing the Series 52 exam requires you to learn about many topics within the three main subject areas of the exam:

    • Municipal Securities
    • Economic Activity, Government Policy, and the Behavior of Interest Rates
    • Securities Laws and Regulations

At 75 questions, the Series 52 might not be the longest securities licensing exam. However, you’ll need to master a lot of knowledge, and Solomon recommends 60 hours of study time. A good study plan is a must. How should you prepare for the Series 52?

Solomon Exam Prep has just released the 5th edition of “The Solomon Exam Prep Guide: Series 52 MSRB Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Examination.” With this updated version of the Study Guide, professionals seeking their Series 52 license can learn the content they need to know to pass the Series 52 exam.

The Series 52 Study Guide is comprehensive and presents exam topics in easy-to-understand language. Charts, graphs, and practice questions throughout the text support learners in understanding and applying key concepts.

“Passing the Series 52 can be challenging because of the vast amount of material it covers. It helps to have study materials written in plain English and guided by research-based teaching methods, like the Solomon system.”
Jeremy Solomon
Solomon Exam Prep President and Co-founder
What changes with this new edition?

The core content of the Series 52 Study Guide remains the same, but the 5th edition of the Series 52 Study Guide includes the following content updates:

    • Expanded and updated coverage of 529 college savings plans
    • Additional information about the order period for new issues
    • Expanded and revised coverage of inflation and interest rates
    • Expansion and update of the process for close-outs
    • Expansion and update of material on limitations on gifts, gratuities, and non-cash compensation
    • A new appendix summarizing the most important and relevant MSRB rules

Updates are also reflected in the Solomon Series 52 Exam Simulator, which complements the Study Guide with over a thousand practice questions.

Series 52 Study Materials

The Series 52 Study Guide is available as a digital subscription with a hardcopy upgrade option. You can purchase the guide individually or in a package with accompanying Series 52 study products. You also benefit from free tools and resources, including Study Schedules in digital and pdf format, which guide you every step of the way.

To learn more about Solomon Exam Prep’s Series 52 study materials, including Study Guide and Exam Simulator, visit the Solomon Series 52 product page.

Also coming soon is the Solomon Series 52 Audiobook! The Audiobook is a word-for-word recording of the Solomon Series 52 Study Guide, giving you greater flexibility in where and how you study for the Series 52 exam.

Related Posts

How to Pass the MSRB Series 53 Exam

What is the Series 53 exam? Learn what a Series 53 license qualifies you to do, what the exam covers, and how you should prepare for it. Continue reading

What is the Series 53 exam?

The Series 53, also called the Municipal Securities Principal Qualification 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.

Passing the Series 53 exam qualifies you to oversee the municipal fund securities activities of a securities firm or bank dealer. You’ll also be qualified to supervise associates who engage in various municipal securities activities. In this capacity, a Municipal Securities Principal manages, directs, or supervises one or more of the following activities:

    • underwriting of municipal securities
    • trading of municipal securities
    • buying or selling municipal securities from or to customers
    • rendering of financial advisory or consultant services to issuers of municipal securities
    • communications with customers about any of the above activities
    • maintaining records of the above activities
    • processing, clearing, and safekeeping of municipal securities
    • training of principals or representatives
Are there any prerequisites for the Series 53?

Yes. To take the Series 53 exam, you must have already passed the Series 52, Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Exam, and the FINRA Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam. However, if you had passed the FINRA Series 7 exam before November 7, 2011, then that qualifies you to take the Series 53.

Like the Series 52, you must be employed and sponsored by a broker-dealer to take the Series 53 exam.

About the Exam

The Series 53 exam consists of 100 scored multiple-choice questions covering the six topic areas of the MSRB Series 53 Content Outline.

Series 53 exam details in a table

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 53 exam).

Topics Covered on the Exam

The MSRB divides the questions on the Series 53 exam into six main areas:

Series 53 exam topics

The MSRB updates its exam questions regularly to reflect the most current rules and regulations. Solomon recommends that you print out the current version of the MSRB Series 53 Content Outline and use it together with the Solomon Series 53 Study Guide. The Content Outline is subject to change without notice, so make sure you have the most recent version.

Question Types on the Exam

The Series 53 exam consists of multiple-choice questions, each with four options. You will see these question structures:

Closed Stem Format:

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

Which agencies enforce MSRB rules for broker-dealers?

    1. FDIC and FINRA
    2. SEC and FINRA
    3. Federal Reserve Board and MSRB
    4. SEC and MSRB
Incomplete Sentence Format:

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

Municipal securities dealers are required to maintain records of customer complaints for:

    1. Six years
    2. Three years
    3. Two years
    4. Four years
“EXCEPT” Format:

This type requires you to recognize the one choice that is an exception among the four answer choices.

A person must be registered as a Municipal Securities Representative to engage in all of the following except:

    1. Communicating with public investors in municipal securities
    2. Underwriting municipal securities
    3. Providing investment advice about municipal securities
    4. Trading municipal bond funds
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.

Which of the following must the underwriter give to a customer who purchases a municipal bond subject to a negotiated offering within the first 25 days following the end of the underwriting period?

    1. The final official statement
    2. The investor brochure
    3. The amount of the underwriting spread
    4. The percentage of orders that were filled in the presale period
    1. I and III
    2. I and II
    3. III and IV
    4. II and IV

This format is also used in items that ask you to rank or order a set of items from highest to lowest (or vice versa), or to place a series of events in the proper sequence.

Arrange the following order types from highest priority to lowest priority:

    1. Designated orders
    2. Group net orders
    3. Member takedown orders
    4. Presale orders
    1. I, II, III, IV
    2. IV, I, II, III
    3. IV, II, I, III
    4. I, IV, III, II

 

Answers: 1. B   2. A   3. B   4. A   5. C

For an even better idea of the possible question types you might encounter on the Series 53 exam, try Solomon Exam Prep’s free Series 53 Sample Quiz.

Taking the Series 53 Exam

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) administers the Series 53 exam, and you must take it at a Prometric test center. Like all qualifying exams in the securities industry, the Series 53 is closed-book, and you’re not allowed to bring anything into the exam. The test center will provide you with any materials you need to complete the exam. For instance, the test center will likely provide a whiteboard with markers or scratch paper and a pencil, as well as a basic electronic calculator. The inspection and sign-in requirements at test centers are stringent, so plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test appointment.

Test-Taking Tips

When taking the exam, it helps to keep some test-taking strategies in mind. Try not to spend too long on one question—this may cause you to run out of time and not get to other questions you know. If you don’t know the answer to a question, guess at the answer and “flag” it. There’s no penalty for guessing, so it’s beneficial to answer every question.

After you’ve finished all the questions, you can come back to any flagged questions. 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 save enough time to return to the questions you didn’t answer. However, it’s not a good idea to simply skip all of the difficult questions with the plan to answer them later. You should make a serious effort to answer each question before moving on to the next one since your thoughts are often clearer earlier on during the exam.

How to Study for the Series 53 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, the Solomon Series 53 Audiobook will be launching soon! The Audiobook 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 average score to at least 80%. When you reach that point, you’re probably ready to sit for the Series 53 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. This helps almost as much as explaining to an actual person (see Solomon’s previous blog post to learn more about this strategy!).
Take advantage of Solomon’s supplemental tools and resources:
    • Use all the resources. The Series 53 Resources folder in your Solomon student account has helpful study tools, including documents that summarize important exam concepts. There’s also a detailed study schedule 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 during the period when you are studying. Sleep consolidates learning into memory, studies show. Be good to yourself while you’re studying for the Series 53: exercise, eat well, and avoid activities that will hurt your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

You can pass the MSRB Series 53 Exam! It just takes focus and determination. Solomon Exam Prep is here to support you on your path to becoming a Municipal Securities Principal!

Explore all Solomon Exam Prep Series 53 study materials, including the Study Guide and Exam Simulator.

And join the Solomon email list to find out when the Series 53 Audiobook is released! Just click the button below:

Series 53 Solomon Study Guide, 4th Edition, Now Available

The 4th edition of the Solomon Series 53 Study Guide covers everything you need to know to pass the Series 53 Exam and become a Municipal Securities Principal. Continue reading

If you’re already working as a Municipal Securities Representative (Series 52), then you may be considering taking the Series 53 exam as a next step. Passing the MSRB Series 53, or Municipal Securities Principal Qualification Exam, qualifies you to oversee the municipal fund securities activities of a securities firm or bank dealer. You’re also qualified to supervise others working in several capacities related to municipal securities.

The Series 53 exam is 100 questions long and tests your knowledge of six main topics:

    • Federal regulations
    • General supervision
    • Sales supervision
    • Origination and syndication
    • Trading
    • Operations

Given this broad scope, you shouldn’t take the Series 53 exam lightly. How can you prepare for exam day?

Solomon Exam Prep has just released the 4th edition of “The Solomon Exam Prep Guide: Series 53 MSRB Municipal Securities Principal Qualification Examination.” With this updated version of the Study Guide, professionals seeking their Series 53 license can learn the content they need to know to pass the Series 53 exam. Solomon Study Guides are continuously kept up-to-date and cover all key exam topics.

“Preparing for the Series 53 requires significant study time with high-quality materials. Solomon's innovative study system ensures you learn the information you need to know as efficiently as possible.”
Jeremy Solomon
Solomon Exam Prep President and Co-founder
What changes with this new edition?

While the core content of the study guide remains the same, some key changes include:

    • More detailed coverage of the MSRB’s advertising rules
    • Expansion and update of the process for close-outs
    • Revised coverage of 529 plans
    • Greater detail about how to handle customer complaints
    • Expansion of the taping rule section
    • Additions to the free-to-trade wires section
    • Expansion and update of material on limitations on gifts, gratuities, and non-cash compensation
    • A new appendix summarizing the most important and relevant MSRB rules

Content updates for these new editions are also reflected in the Solomon Exam Simulator. The online Exam Simulator complements the Study Guide with over a thousand practice questions for the Series 53. Hone, track, and assess your knowledge by taking unlimited chapter quizzes and full exams to practice what you’ve learned.

Series 53 Study Materials

The Series 53 Study Guide is available as a digital subscription with a hardcopy upgrade option. It can be purchased individually or in a package with accompanying Series 53 study products. Customers also have access to free tools and resources, including a study schedule in digital and pdf formats, which helps students master the exam material with maximum efficiency.

To learn more about Solomon Exam Prep’s Series 53 study materials, including Study Guide and Exam Simulator, visit the Solomon Series 53 product page.

Also coming soon is the Solomon Series 53 Audiobook! The Audiobook is a word-for-word recording of the Solomon Series 53 Study Guide, giving you greater flexibility in where and how you study for the Series 53 exam.

Related Posts

New Editions of the Solomon Series 63, 65, & 66 Study Guides

If you plan to take the NASAA Series 63, Series 65, or Series 66 exams, the new editions of these Solomon Study Guides are now available. Continue reading

Are you thinking about pursuing a career as an investment adviser representative? Do you need to register in a state as a broker-dealer representative? Or perhaps you’d like to qualify as both a securities agent and an investment adviser representative? If you said “yes” to any of these questions, then you likely need to take either the Series 63, Series 65, or Series 66 exam.

Solomon Exam Prep is excited to announce the release of new editions of Solomon’s Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 Study Guides! Solomon Study Guides present the information you need to know in easy-to-understand language, helpful charts and graphs, and practice questions. You’ll be well-prepared for these exams with Solomon’s updated editions:

    • Series 63 Study Guide, 6th Edition
    • Series 65 Study Guide, 4th Edition
    • Series 66 Study Guide, 5th Edition
What changes with these new editions?

While the core content of the study guides remains the same, some key changes include:

    • New sections on the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) Marketing Rule
    • New sections on private foundations versus donor-advised funds
    • Updated 2022 tax information

Content updates for these new editions are also reflected in the Solomon Exam Simulator. The online Exam Simulator complements the study guides with thousands of practice questions for the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams. Hone, track, and assess your knowledge by taking unlimited chapter quizzes and full exams to practice what you’ve learned.

What are the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams?

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) created the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams. NASAA represents state securities regulators in North America, with the goal of protecting and educating investors.

The Series 63, Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, is the state law test for broker-dealer representatives. Of the three exams, the Series 63 is the shortest at 65 questions.

The Series 65, Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, qualifies individuals to become investment adviser representatives. The Series 65 exam consists of 130 questions.

Passing the Series 66, the Uniform Combined State Law Examination, qualifies an individual as both a securities agent and an investment advisor representative. However, to register as an investment adviser representative based on the Series 66, an individual must also pass the FINRA Series 7 exam. The Series 66 exam is 100 questions.

Solomon Exam Prep President and Co-founder, Jeremy Solomon, points out that there has been a rise in the number of investment adviser representatives, along with a shift towards firms registered as both broker-dealers and investment-advisers.

“At Solomon, our data show that more and more individuals are taking NASAA exams, especially the Series 65 and Series 66. With new editions of Solomon Study Guides for these exams, we continue our strong track record of helping thousands of financial professionals achieve their career goals by passing these important NASAA qualification exams.”
Jeremy Solomon
Solomon Exam Prep President and Co-founder

The Solomon Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 Study Guides are available as digital subscriptions, with a hardcopy upgrade option. The guides can be purchased individually or in a package with accompanying study products. Customers also have access to free tools and resources, including Solomon Study Schedules in digital and pdf format, which help students master the exam material with maximum efficiency.

Additional study products for the Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 exams include Audiobooks, Video Lectures, Flashcards, and Live Web Classes. To learn more about Solomon Exam Prep’s study materials for these exams, visit the Solomon website.

How to Pass the MSRB Series 52 Exam

What is the Series 52 exam? Learn what a Series 52 license qualifies you to do, what the exam covers, and how you should prepare for it. Continue reading

What is the Series 52 exam?

If you work for a municipal securities dealer and want to underwrite, trade, and sell municipal securities, then you’ll need to pass the Series 52 exam. You’ll also need to pass the Series 52 exam if you work for a municipal dealer and want to do the following activities:

    • Offer financial advice and consultant services to issuers of municipal securities
    • Conduct research and give investment advice on municipal securities
    • Communicate directly or indirectly with public investors about municipal securities

Also known as the Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Examination, the Series 52 was created by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). The MSRB is the principal regulator of the municipal securities market. It establishes rules and professional qualification standards for municipal securities dealers and municipal advisors. Those standards include qualification exams for professionals who work in the municipal securities industry. Passing the Series 52 qualifies you to work as a Municipal Securities Representative.

What are municipal securities?

Governments need to finance their activities by raising money, but they can’t sell stocks like businesses. Instead, governments issue municipal bonds (munis) to fund day-to-day operations and special projects.

Are there any prerequisites for the Series 52?

Yes. To become a Municipal Securities Representative, you must also pass the FINRA Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. The SIE is an entry-level securities qualification exam. Unlike the Series 52, you don’t need to be employed and sponsored by a broker-dealer to take the SIE. It’s “co-requisite” with the Series 52, so you can take the exams in any order, but Solomon recommends you take the SIE first. The SIE is a foundational exam, and the knowledge you learn studying for the SIE will help you when you study for the Series 52.

About the Exam

The Series 52 exam consists of 75 scored and five unscored multiple-choice questions covering the three topic areas of the MSRB Series 52 Content Outline. The five additional unscored questions are ones that the exam committee is trying out. These are unidentified and are distributed randomly throughout the exam.

About the Series 52 exam

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 52 exam).

Topics Covered on the Exam

The MSRB divides the questions on the Series 52 exam into three main areas:

Topics on the Series 52 exam

Within these three main parts, you’ll need to learn about many topics, including:

    • Municipal bonds
    • Municipal fund securities
    • MSRB rules
    • Customer accounts
    • Municipal securities trading
    • Recordkeeping
    • Suitability
    • Settlement and delivery
    • Taxation
    • Federal securities acts
    • The SEC
    • Municipal securities underwriting
    • Marketability
    • Political contribution rules
    • Supervisory obligations
    • Market indicators
    • Economic theory
    • Fiscal and monetary policy
    • Interest rates
    • Business cycles
    • The Federal Reserve Board

The MSRB updates its exam questions regularly to reflect the most current rules and regulations. Solomon recommends that you print out the current version of the MSRB Series 52 Content Outline and use it in conjunction with the Solomon Series 52 Study Guide. The Content Outline is subject to change without notice, so make sure you have the most recent version.

Question Types on the Exam

The Series 52 exam consists of multiple-choice questions, each with four options. You will see these question structures:

Closed Stem Format:

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

Which of the following is a reason that a municipal government might issue a revenue bond instead of a general obligation bond?

    1. The issuer wishes to pay less interest to the bondholders.
    2. The issuer has met its statutory debt limit and does not want to seek voter approval for the issue.
    3. The issuer wants the bond to have a higher credit rating.
    4. The issuer has the ability to impose taxes.
Incomplete Sentence Format:

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

A make whole call provision is a provision in a bond that allows the issuer to:

    1. Call the bond and pay the bondholder a lump sum payment that includes not just the principal but also the net present value of all future coupon payments that the bondholder would have received if not for the call.
    2. Call the bond and pay the bondholder a lump sum payment that includes the call price of the bond.
    3. Redeem the entire issue early to issue a new set of bonds at a lower interest rate.
    4. Call the bond when the total amount of the interest payments is equivalent to the amount of the principal.
“EXCEPT” Format:

This type requires you to recognize the one choice that is an exception among the four answer choices.

A financial advisor may buy securities from an underwriter for its own or its customers’ accounts if all of the following are true except:

    1. The advisor must not receive any additional underwriting compensation when buying securities for their own account.
    2. The advisor must not receive any additional underwriting compensation when buying securities for customer accounts.
    3. The advisor must disclose the conflict of interest to their customers at or before confirmation of the sale.
    4. The advisor must disclose the conflict of interest to the issuer.
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.

_________ risk is a concern for bondholders when interest rates _________.

    1. Interest rate; rise
    2. Call; rise
    3. Interest rate; fall
    4. Call; fall
    1. II and IV
    2. II and III
    3. I and IV
    4. I and III
  1.  

Answers: 1. B   2. A   3. D   4. C

For an even better idea of the possible question types you might encounter on the Series 52 exam, try Solomon Exam Prep’s free Series 52 Sample Quiz.

Taking the Series 52 Exam

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) administers the Series 52 exam, and you must take it at a Prometric test center. Like all qualifying exams in the securities industry, the Series 52 is closed-book, and you’re not allowed to bring anything into the exam. The test center will provide you with any materials you need to complete the exam. For instance, the test center will likely provide a whiteboard with markers or scratch paper and a pencil, as well as a basic electronic calculator. The inspection and sign-in requirements at test centers are stringent, so plan to arrive at least 30 minutes before your scheduled test appointment.

Test-Taking Tips

When taking the exam, it helps to keep some test-taking strategies in mind. Try not to spend too long on one question—this may cause you to run out of time and not get to other questions you know. If you don’t know the answer to a question, guess at the answer and “flag” it. There’s no penalty for guessing, so it’s beneficial to answer every question.

After you’ve finished all the questions, you can come back to any flagged questions. 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 save enough time to return to the questions you didn’t answer. However, it’s not a good idea to simply skip all of the difficult questions with the plan to answer them later. You should make a serious effort to answer each question before moving on to the next one since your thoughts are often clearer earlier on during the exam.

How to Study for the Series 52 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, the Solomon Series 52 Audiobook will be launching soon! The Audiobook is a word-for-word reading of the Study Guide.
    • Answer practice questions 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. When you’re 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 52 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 previous blog post to learn more about this strategy!).
Take advantage of Solomon’s supplemental tools and resources:
    • Use all the resources. The Series 52 Resources folder in your Solomon student account has helpful study tools, including documents that summarize important exam concepts. There’s also a detailed study schedule 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 during the period when you are studying. Sleep consolidates learning into memory, studies show. Be good to yourself while you’re studying for the Series 52: exercise, eat well, and avoid activities that will hurt your ability to get a good night’s sleep.

You can pass the MSRB Series 52 Exam! It just takes focus and determination. Solomon Exam Prep is here to support you on your path to becoming a municipal securities representative!

Explore all Solomon Exam Prep Series 52 study materials, including the Study Guide and Exam Simulator.

And join the Solomon email list to find out when the Series 52 Audiobook is released! Just click the button below: