Posted By: Mark Sanchirico, Senior Editor and Instructor
Updated: October 2, 2018
Noting the long history for qualifications exams beginning in 1956, FINRA announced at the 2015 ARM educational conference a proposal to amend how individuals will qualify by exam to be registered at the representative level within the securities industry. The intent of the proposal as described by FINRA is to:
IMPORTANT – If you are a current candidate studying for your representative level license (Series 6, 7, 22, 57, 79, 82, 86/87 and 99) continue your study regimen and test as planned. This posting will be updated to let students know if, when, and how the following proposal impacts current students. Principal level exams are not currently included in the proposal but may be at a later time.
Candidates will be permitted to take an industry core exam without first being sponsored by a FINRA member firm. This will be known as the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam.
After passing the SIE exam individuals would require member firm sponsorship to qualify for registration by testing at the registered representative level. These individual license specific representative level exams will be the Top Off exams:
Though details for the Top Off exams have yet to be announced, FINRA noted by example the Series 7 General Securities Representative exam. Currently testing candidates on 250 questions, the proposed new Series 7 Top Off exam would be reduced to 150 questions.
Current representative-level qualified persons would maintain registration without the need for additional testing. FINRA notes that most individuals who are currently registered would be considered to have passed the SIE and it would remain valid for 4 years upon leaving the industry. If the registrant returns to the industry:
Within 2 years, registration would be regained without the need to take the SIE or top off exam
Between 2 and 4 years later, the SIE need not be taken again, only the top off exam for the registration
More than 4 years later, both the SIE and the top off exam would need to be taken
As FINRA’s proposal moves forward, Kaplan is committed to keeping you informed of new developments and will continue to assist you with all of your securities industry licensing exam preparation.
After identifying nine series exams with common content (6, 7, 22, 57, 79, 82, 86/87, 99), FINRA has decided to restructure their licensing process next year. The common content will be tested in the new Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. Download this free guide to learn more about how the new securities licensing process will work, the rationale for the change, proposed SIE exam content, and how it could change hiring and recruiting practices.