Compliance Official Qualification Examination

What does the Series 14 qualify me to do?

The Series 14 exam allows you to carry out day-to-day compliance responsibilities at your firm.  It also allows you to supervise ten or more people engaged in compliance activities at your firm.     

What subjects does the exam test?

The Series 14 includes nine sections. Those sections, with the total number of test questions from each section, are:

  • Regulatory Agencies: 3 questions 
  • Markets and Operations: 20 questions 
  • Broker-Dealer Operations: 10 questions 
  • Credit Regulation/Capital Requirements:  7 questions 
  • General Supervision: 20 questions 
  • Investment Banking: 15 questions 
  • Registration: 9 questions
  • Sales Practice – Customer/ Employee Accounts: 16 questions 
  • Sales Practice – Solicitations: 10 questions  

Do you need to be sponsored by a FINRA-member firm to take the exam?

Yes.  To take the Series 14, and any other FINRA exam besides the SIE, you must be sponsored by a FINRA-member firm.  

Where can I take the test?

You can schedule your exam on a 24/7 basis by visiting www.prometric.com. This site can accommodate online registration, as well as give you information on the closest testing center. Rescheduling and refunds are also handled via Prometric.

How much does it cost to take the exam?

The cost of the Series 14 exam is $350 at this time.  

When can I take the exam?

Daily, excluding holidays. Note: Not all testing centers are open on Sundays. Check your preferred testing center for availability.

What can I expect at the testing center?

Testing centers can be hot, cold, loud, smelly, crowded, empty … you name it. Be mentally prepared. Also, to prevent cheating, testing centers have become like airports in their security measures. So be prepared to be wanded, poked, and scrutinized.

Basic calculators are available at testing centers. You are not allowed to bring your own. Don’t expect a financial calculator. Scratch paper is often not provided. Instead, you will likely be provided with a small erasable whiteboard to use.

If you don’t know the answer to a question, guess at the answer and “flag” it. You will not be penalized for guessing. After you have finished all the questions, you can come back to any flagged questions. Don’t spend too long on one question—this may cause you to run out of time and not get to other questions you know.

Come to the exam rested, hydrated, and nourished—no food or drinks (including water bottles) are allowed in the testing room. Watches are also not allowed—your computer screen will have a timer at the top, left-hand corner to remind you of the time.

Map out where the testing center is the night before, and don't forget to bring a valid ID!  

How should I study for the exam?

Read the Solomon Exam Prep Series 14 Study Guide.  Twice is best.  When you are done reading each chapter, take 4-6 chapter quizzes in the Solomon Online Exam Simulator before moving on to the next chapter.  Do the same thing--read and quiz--for each of the nine chapters in the book.  When you have completed reading and quizzing, then you are ready to take the full or half exams in the Solomon Online Simulator. We recommend that you take at least 6 full practice exams in the Simulator.  Work towards an average score in the 80s, and always, even when you get a question right, read the explanations. If you are having difficulty with something, research it more until you understand it. On the Series 14, ignorance is definitely not bliss.

Are there any prerequisites for the Series 14 exam?

No. The Series 14 exam does not have a prerequisite exam.  

How do I register to take the Series 14 exam?

If you want to take the Series 14 exam, your firm must file a Form U4 application and pay the required processing fees to FINRA. Prometric is the vendor that administers the Series 14 exam at its testing centers. After your firm receives your enrollment notification from FINRA for the Series 14, you can schedule your appointment to take the exam. 

What score do I need to pass the exam?

You will need a score of 70% or higher to pass the Series 14 exam.  Note that your score will be rounded down.  This means that a score of 69.7% will count as 69%, which is not a passing score.

How many questions are on the exam?

The Series 14 exam is made up of 110 multiple-choice questions.  

Are the questions put into any specific order?

No. The questions, which cover nine specific categories, are randomly distributed.  

How much time do I have to take the exam?

You are given three hours to complete the Series 14 exam.  

What are the shortcuts I can take to pass the exam?

There are no shortcuts that will help you pass the Series 14 exam.  It has a reputation for being a tough exam for a reason.  It covers a lot of material, and you should try to learn that material if you want to pass.  If someone tells you that they "know" the actual questions that will be on the exam or tells you that you can cram for the Series 14 over a weekend, do yourself a favor and don't listen to them. That said, if you work hard, you will probably do well.  The over-studiers tend to pass the first time, so take yourself and your time seriously, and put yourself in that category.  

If I need to register as a compliance officer, are there any alternatives to the Series 14 exam.

Yes. If you pass the combination of the SIE, Series 7, and Series 24 exams instead of the Series 14, you will also be qualified as a compliance officer.