Need the basics to help you pass? The Series 79 Audio Essentials Study Package comes with Solomon's Audiobook and industry-leading Online Exam Simulator to facilitate learning and knowledge retention. Used successfully by thousands, this powerful combination gives you what you need to learn and retain the material by testing yourself as you go. Studies show that learning followed by practice testing is the most successful study method (“Retrieval Practice Produces More Learning than Elaborative Studying with Concept Mapping” by Jeffrey D. Karpicke and Janell R. Blunt, January 2011).
The Series 79 Audio Essentials Study Package includes 180-day access to:
This package also includes daily updates to the Online Exam Simulator question bank, up to ten (10) "Ask the Professor" e-mail questions, and a customizable study schedule with study tips. Administrative access is also available for managers to monitor their candidates' progress!
Please see individual product pages for more details.
Who needs to take the Series 79 Exam?
If you work for a FINRA member firm (are an “associated person” in the language of the regulators) and you work as an investment banker, according to FINRA rules, you must pass the Series 79 exam and register as an Investment Banking Representative. FINRA and the SEC define investment banking as being work that falls into the following two broad categories:
“Advising on or facilitating debt or equity securities offerings through a private placement or a public offering, including but not limited to origination, underwriting, marketing, structuring, syndication, and pricing of such securities and managing the allocation and stabilization activities of such offerings, or
Advising on or facilitating mergers and acquisitions, tender offers, financial restructurings, asset sales, divestitures or other corporate reorganizations or business combination transactions, including, but not limited to rendering a fairness, solvency or similar opinion.”
If you do any of the above, according to FINRA and the SEC, you need to have the Series 79 investment banking registration.
If you want more detail, read FINRA Rule 1031, Registration Requirements, and FINRA Rule 1032, Categories of Representative Registration.
What does the Series 79 qualify me to do?
A Series 79 license qualifies an individual to advise on or facilitate debt or equity offerings through a private placement or public offering or to advise or facilitate mergers or acquisitions, tender offers, financial restructurings, asset sales, divestitures or other corporate reorganizations or business combination transactions. The Series 79 proves one of the most difficult exams offered by FINRA, even for the most experienced students.
Are there any prerequisites for the Series 79?
There are no official prerequisites for the Series 79 exam. However, accounting, finance and a fairly sophisticated understanding of the capital markets are unstated prerequisites for the Series 79. They are unstated because the industry, as represented by the FINRA Series 79 exam-writing committee, assumes that if you want to be an investment banker you need to know your stuff. Quoting FINRA “As a qualification examination, it is intended to safeguard the investing public by seeking to measure the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge, skills and abilities needed to perform the major functions of an entry-level investment banker.”
How long should I prepare for this exam?
We recommend studying 110 hours over a six-week period.
What is on the Series 79?
The exam is divided into four functional sections.
Section one is “Collection, Analysis and Evaluation of Data.” With 75 questions (43% of the exam) this is the largest section of the Series 79, and, for many, it is the most challenging part of the exam. To answer questions in section one of the Series 79 exam, you need to have a working knowledge of accounting and finance. Section one of the exam requires the test-taker to be able to read financial statements and analyze based on the data.
Section two of the exam, “Underwriting/New Financing Transactions, Types of Offerings and Registration of Securities,” is 43 questions long (25% of the exam). It is the second largest section of the 79 exam and it focuses on the registration of securities with the SEC as well as safe harbors and exemptions from registration.
Section three, “Mergers and Acquisitions, Tender Offers and Financial Restructuring Transactions,” rings in at 34 questions (19% of the exam). Section three focuses on acquisition structures, taxes, accounting methods, bankruptcy, and the role of the sell-side and buy-side advisor during a sale. For most test-takers section three of the Series 79 is the second most challenging section of the exam, in part because much of the material is unique to the investment banking industry.
The fourth section of the exam, “General Securities Industry Regulations,” contains 23 questions (13% of the exam). The material in section four is tested in other FINRA exams and tends to be the part of the 79 exam that most test-takers have the least difficulty with.
How long is the exam?
The exam is five hours long. You can take a break but the clock is ticking while you do so don’t to dawdle. There is no penalty for wrong answers, so if you run short of time, try to answer every question, even if you have to guess.
How many questions are on the exam?
There are 175 scored questions and 10 unscored “pretest” questions, making the Series 79 exam 185 questions long. The 10 unscored ”pretest” questions are not identified and distributed randomly throughout the exam.
What score do I need to pass the exam?
A score of 73% is required for passing.
Note: Your score will be rounded down to the next lowest whole number (e.g. 72.9% would be a final score of 72%--not a passing score for the Series 79 Exam).
How much does the exam cost?
The cost of the exam is $305 at this writing.
How often is the exam updated?
The 14-member FINRA Series 79 exam committee meets regularly and they work hard to keep the questions fresh, accurate and relevant. You should assume that the 79 exam will test current laws and practices.
How hard is the Series 79 exam?
Solomon Exam Prep customers who have passed the Series 79 exam say that it is a difficult exam, particularly for test-takers who do not have education and work experience in accounting and finance. Additionally, the Series 79 exam requires a broad knowledge of the rules, regulations and industry practices that govern US capital markets and investment banking.
How does the Series 79 compare to the Series 7?
Quotes from individuals who have taken and passed both exams:
“The Series 79 is ten times harder than the Series 7.”
“Like comparing Earth (Series 7) to Jupiter (Series 79).”
“The Series 7 was easy compared to the 79, the 79 is more like the CFA.”
Test-taking strategies for the Series 79 exam
Monitor your time. Most test-takers say that time is a factor. Remember that the exam clock keeps ticking if you take a break.
When you encounter a long question, before you read the entire question, skip to the final lines to find out what is actually being asked, then go back to the beginning of the question and read the question carefully.
You are not penalized for wrong answers so make sure you answer every question.
What do they give me when I go into the exam?
You will receive an exhibits booklet, a simple calculator and a small whiteboard and pen or scratch paper and pencil. You are not allowed to bring any materials with you into the exam room. No food or water, for example. People who have taken the exam recommend being well hydrated before going into the exam.
When will I learn whether I passed?
Immediately at the testing center.
If I fail can I take the Series 79 again?
If you fail the exam, FINRA makes you wait 30 days before you can reschedule. If you fail the test three times, the waiting period is six months.
If you were within ten points of a passing score, Solomon Exam Prep recommends that you redouble your efforts, work very hard, and retake ASAP. The longer you wait, the more you will forget and have to relearn. Also, the sooner you retake the exam the more likely you will encounter questions that you saw before. But the key when you retake is to prepare and learn what you need to. Take a class if you didn't the first time. Take notes on anything you don't understand. Re-read the textbook. Make flash cards. Get a study buddy if you can. Try not to leave anything to chance. You came close the first time and you don't want to have to take the exam a third time.
Is there an alternative securities license?
If your investment banking work is limited to structuring private securities, FINRA says you can register either as an Investment Banking Representative and pass the Series 79 or as a Private Securities Offerings Representative and pass the Series 82 Exam instead. Ask your firm’s compliance officer.
Do I need to take any other securities exams?
According to FINRA the Investment Banking Registration does NOT cover sales or marketing of debt or equity securities to investors or potential investors. In order to make investor presentations an investment banker with the Series 79 registration would also need to be “registered as an General Securities Representative (Series 7), Corporate Securities Representative (Series 62) or Private Securities Offerings Representative (Series 82) depending on the type of offering being made.”
Additionally, in order to comply with state securities regulations most individuals with the 79 investment banking registration pass the NASAA Series 63 exam as well. Check with your firm’s compliance officer to determine if this registration applies to you.
Where can I get additional information about the Series 79?
Additional information can be found on the FINRA website: http://www.finra.org/industry/series79
If I stop working for my firm, how long will my Series 79 license remain active?
You will have two years between jobs before the license expires.
When you cease working for a firm, your employer will file a Form U5 to terminate your registration. Your next employer will file a Form U4, which will re-register you. As long as you do not exceed two years between employers, your Series 79 license will remain active.
Orders are processed Monday-Friday from 7:00 a.m.-4:00 p.m. Pacific Time. Same-day shipping is not guaranteed on orders placed after 12:00 p.m. Pacific Time or any order placed on Saturdays, Sundays or holidays. Orders placed during these times will be shipped the next business day.
Should you wish to return part or all of your purchase the following return policy will apply:
Merchandise is nonreturnable and nonrefundable once it has been received. The definition of received is as follows :
Shipping and Handling is nonrefundable under any circumstances. Solomon Exam Prep is not responsible for any Shipping and Handling costs required to return any merchandise.
All shipped products must be returned in original condition.
All returns will be subject to a $10 processing fee.
Once a purchase is complete all return requests must be received within the following time line:
If returned merchandise meets all of the above requirements, a credit will be added to the credit card used at the time of purchase. The refunded amount will be the amount paid for the product at the time of purchase less the $10 processing fee and will not include any shipping and handling fees.
If returned merchandise does not meet all of the above requirements, no refunds will be awarded.
All products purchased from Solomon Exam Prep either online or by phone are subject to this return policy. If you have any questions about this policy please contact us by phone at 503-601-0212 or email at email@example.com.
Extensions past the 180 day access period are granted for Online Exam Simulators only. The following extensions are available upon request:
Solomon Exam Prep study materials are legally protected under the copyright laws of the United States and other countries.
Unauthorized use or reproduction of Solomon Exam Prep materials copyrighted by Solomon Exam Prep is prohibited.
The Solomon Exam Prep materials you have purchased are to be used for your personal use. Unauthorized resale of Solomon Exam Prep materials is prohibited.
Shared use of online exam study guides, online classes, online exam simulators, streamed or downloaded audiobooks (Products & Services) is prohibited. Solomon Exam Prep will only support registered purchases of Products & Services directly from Solomon Exam Prep or from an authorized distributor. Solomon Exam Prep’s Products & Services are intended for personal use only unless specifically approved in writing by Solomon Exam Prep.
Products & Services are provided by Solomon Exam Prep, subject to your acceptance and compliance with the Terms & Conditions set forth below. Sharing or selling access to Products & Service is prohibited. All online access of Products & Services is non-transferable.
By accessing or using Products & Services, you agree to be bound by the Terms & Conditions set forth below. Solomon Exam Prep may modify these Terms & Conditions at any time and such modifications shall be effective immediately upon posting of the modified Terms & Conditions to SolomonExamPrep.com. Your continued access or use of Products & Services shall be deemed your conclusive acceptance of modified Terms & Conditions.
1. Copyright and Licenses. The entire contents of www.solomonexamprep.com Solomon Exam Prep and its Products & Services are copyrighted under the copyright laws of the United States. Products & Services are solely for non-commercial use. Copying, redistribution, retransmission or publication of any downloaded, recorded or online material, is prohibited without the written permission of Solomon Exam Prep. You agree not to change or delete any proprietary notices from materials downloaded from Solomon Exam Prep. You agree that you shall have no recourse against Solomon Exam Prep for any alleged or actual infringement or misappropriation of any proprietary right in your communications to us.
2. Use of Products & Services via www.solomonexamprep.com. You understand that Solomon Exam Prep does not warrant that Products & Services will be uninterrupted or error-free. Products & Services are provided on an as is, “as available" basis. You are responsible for your own system and agree to meet the minimum system requirements set forth by Solomon Exam Prep.
You understand that Solomon Exam Prep may revise the content of its website and Products & Services from time to time to meet business objectives. Solomon Exam Prep may add or remove materials that it considers as unnecessary or no longer relevant for its training objectives. Once content is removed, it will not be accessible and will not be available upon request.
You understand that Products & Services are intended to assist you in your study program. You accept this arrangement and understand that Products & Services will be updated and released in a manner consistent with the priorities and objectives of Solomon Exam Prep.
You understand that your purchase of Solomon Exam Prep Products & Services offers a limited license to use the content only between the time access is granted for your product and the date you pass your exam or 180 days, whichever comes first. The Products & Services are non-transferable and are to be used only by you. You agree not to share proprietary, online usernames and password with anyone, even if someone has his or her own Products & Services. Such sharing of access, usernames and passwords is a violation of this Terms & Conditions and will result in immediate suspension of your privileges to any Products & Services at www.solomonexamprep.com without refund. Solomon Exam Prep monitors its website and including the use of Products & Services, and enforces its one subscriber policy diligently.
Solomon Exam Prep may offer customized information about your study performance utilizing the Products & Services. This information may be offered to assist you in your preparation for an exam and is not intended to be an estimate or prediction of your actual exam score. Custom feedback from Solomon is intended only as a diagnostic tool of your knowledge as you prepare for the exam, and your practice scores may be affected by factors beyond Solomon Exam Prep’s control.
In no event will Solomon Exam Prep be liable for (I) any incidental, consequential, or indirect damages (including, but not limited to, damages for loss of profits, business interruption, loss of programs or information, and the like) arising out of the use of or inability to use Products & Services provided by Solomon Exam Prep, or any information, or transactions provided on www.solomonexamprep.com or downloaded or hyperlinked from www.solomonexamprep.com even if Solomon Exam Prep or its authorized representatives have been advised of the possibility of such damages; or (II) any claim attributable to errors, omissions, or other inaccuracies in Solomon Exam Prep's electronic content, Products & Services or information downloaded through, or hyperlinked from, www.solomonexamprep.com. Because some states do not allow the exclusion or limitation of liability for consequential or incidental damages, the above limitation may not apply to you. In such states, Solomon Exam Prep’s liability is limited to the greatest extent permitted by law.
3. Indemnification. You agree to indemnify, defend, and hold harmless Solomon Exam Prep; Firstbooks.com, Inc. and their respective subsidiaries, officers, directors, employees, authors, agents, licensors, suppliers, and any third party information providers to Solomon Exam Prep’s Products & Services from and against all losses, expenses, damages, and costs, including attorneys' fees, resulting from any violation of these Terms & Conditions by you.
4. Miscellaneous. This Terms & Conditions shall be governed and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Oregon applicable to Terms & Conditions made and to be performed in Oregon. You agree that any legal action or proceeding between Solomon Exam Prep and you for any purpose concerning this Terms & Conditions or the parties' obligations hereunder shall be brought exclusively in a federal or state court of competent jurisdiction sitting in Oregon. Any cause of action or claim you may have with respect to Solomon Exam Prep’s Products & Services must be commenced within six months (6 months) after the claim or cause of action arises or such claim or cause of action is barred. Solomon Exam Prep’s failure to insist upon or enforce strict performance of any provision of this Terms & Conditions shall not be construed as a waiver of any provision or right. Neither the course of conduct between the parties nor trade practice shall act to modify any provision of this Terms & Conditions. Solomon Exam Prep may assign its rights and duties under this Terms & Conditions to any party at any time without notice to you.
Terms & Conditions are subject to change without notice, please review periodically.
"Solomon Exam Prep" and its products are trademarks of Solomon Exam Prep® and are owned by the Solomon Exam Prep® division of Firstbooks, Inc.®
I passed. Your Series 99 exam prep class was spot-on. Thanks!
I would definitely recommend Solomon study materials. "Ask the Professor" was a great tool, and Karen answered my questions faster than I could keep up! I was easily able to pass the Series 79 sticking to Solomon's 6 week study program.