SIE Exam

When did the SIE exam begin?

October 1, 2018

What does the SIE exam test?

The SIE exam tests fundamental securities-related knowledge, including knowledge of basic products, such as stocks, bonds and mutual funds. It will also test securities industry rules and regulations.

Will I need to be employed by a broker-dealer in order to take the SIE?

No, unlike other FINRA licensing exams, you will not need to have a job with a broker-dealer in order to take the SIE exam.

If I work at a FINRA broker-dealer, how do I register an individual to take the SIE exam?

FINRA member firms will have two options to register an employee:

1.  File Form U4 requesting a registration position. When a person takes the SIE this way, the result will be visible in CRD just like any other exam.

2.  Request the SIE through CRD via a non-Form U4 enrollment process.This method is not yet available in CRD. However, when it is on Oct 1, the firm will be able to view the SIE result as part of this process. If the firm subsequently files a Form U4 requesting a registration position for this person, the SIE will become viewable in the Exam History section in CRD.

Will a minor be permitted to take the SIE?

No, you will have to be at least 18 years old to take the SIE.

For how long will a passing score on the SIE be valid?

Four years from the date you pass the SIE.

How many questions will there be on the SIE exam?

75 plus 10 additional unscored questions that FINRA is trying out for a total of 85.

How much time will I have to take the exam?

105 minutes

What is the passing score of the SIE?


If I fail the SIE, will I be permitted to retake the exam?

Yes, if you fail the SIE, you will be permitted to retake it, but you will have to wait 30 days. FINRA is maintaining its 30/30/180 day rule with respect to the SIE. This means that if you fail the SIE you must wait 30 days to retest. However, if you’re unlucky enough to fail it three times, as with other securities exams, you will have to wait 180 days to take it again. This same 30/30/180 day rule will apply to the specialized representative-level exams (the so-called “top-off” exams).

If I pass the SIE, will I be permitted to take the SIE exam again, just for fun?

FINRA says no. Killjoys.

SIE and Top-off basics

On October 1st, 2018 FINRA introduced the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. The SIE covers basic securities industry knowledge. “Top-Off” is the term FINRA uses for the new, shorter registered representative level exams that launched at the same time.   The Series 6, 7, 22, 57, 82, 79, and 99 Top-Offs will test the more specific information required for the specific registration categories.

Will SIE test-takers receive their scores?

FINRA will provide SIE test-takers with pass/fail information.  Those who fail the SIE will be provided additional information about their results.

If I am already registered, will I have to take the SIE?

If you were registered representative before October 1, 2018, and you maintain your registration on or after October 1, 2018, FINRA will credit you with the SIE.

What if I was once a registered representative but my registration lapsed, will I have to take the SIE if I want to reenter the securities industry?

If your registration terminated between October 1, 2014, and September 30, 2018, provided you re-register as a representative within four years from the date of your last registration, then you will not have to take the SIE. In other words, after two years outside the securities industry if you want to become registered again you will have to retake a representative-level qualification exam (the so-called top-off exams) such as the Series 6 or the Series 7.

What if my registration lapsed or terminated before October 1, 2014?

In order to get re-registered, you will have to pass the SIE and any relevant top-off exam, such as the Series 6 or Series 7.

What if I am registered in an exam license that is being retired by FINRA, will I have to take the SIE exam?

If you are registered in an exam license that FINRA is retiring, such as the Series 11, Series 62, Series 42 or Series 72, you will not have to take the SIE. You will only have to take the SIE if you left the industry and your license expired. 

If you return to the industry within two years, you will not have to take the SIE. 

If an individual has a representative level securities license (a Series 6 or Series 7, for example) and wants to get another representative level securities license (the Series 79 or Series 82, for example), will that individual have to take the SIE and the new

No, these individuals have been grandfathered into the SIE. They will only have to take the top-off exam.

What if I want to become a municipal securities representative? Is the SIE relevant?

The MSRB has coordinate its licensing exams with the new SIE.  After October 2018, to become a Municipal Securities Representative you will need to first take the SIE and then a revised “top-off” version of the Series 52 exam.

If I pass the SIE, will I become a “registered representative?”

No, in order to be registered for a particular function, you must pass the SIE and then get hired by a broker-dealer and then pass a representative-level qualifying exam, such as the Series 6 or Series 7.

Will it be possible to take the SIE and a representative-level exam on the same day?

Yes, as long as you reserve time at a testing center for both exams on the same day.

Will it be easier to pass the SIE and the

Unclear. A lot depends on whether you’d rather take one longer test or two shorter ones.  After October 1, 2018, in terms of number of questions, some representative-level qualification categories will require more testing and some will require less testing. See the table on page 3 here for detail.

Who offers the best SIE study materials and where can I get them?

Go to here or call 503-601-0212.

How do I enroll to take the SIE?


Where should I go to schedule my exam?


Will the 120-day “exam window” still apply to the SIE?

Yes, FINRA will continue its system of giving test-takers a 120-day exam window during which you will be able to take the SIE.

How much will it cost to take the SIE?

FINRA has chosen a fee of $60 for the exam. 

If I am an employer and I work for a broker-dealer, will I be able to find out whether a job candidate or any individual passed the SIE?

Yes, FINRA allows broker-dealers will be able to confirm via Web CRD whether someone passed the SIE.