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Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education Kaplan University School of Professional and Continuing Education

FINRA Proposes New Series 4 Registered Options Principal Content Study Outline and Qualifications Exam

By Mark Sanchirico, Senior Editor and Instructor
Date: June 18, 2015

Filing on June 12 with the SEC, FINRA has asked for approval for a proposed new Series 4 Registered Options Principal content study outline and qualifications exam. Highlights of the proposal follow.

Pending SEC approval FINRA proposes to implement the revised Series 4 examination program on September 28, 2015.

Content Structure of the Exam
The current exam outline is broken into three distinct sections. The new outline proposal specifies six major job function areas listed in the table below.

 Function 1 Supervise the Opening of  New Options Accounts 21
 Function 2 Supervise Options Account Activities 25
 Function 3 Supervise General Options Trading 30
 Function 4 Supervise Options Communications 9
 Function 5 Implement Practices & Adhere to Regulatory Requirements 12
 Function 6 Supervise Associated Persons and Personnel Management Activities 28


Number of Questions and Time Allowed
The current exam requires a candidate to complete 125 questions scored, plus 5 additional pretest questions unscored, with 3 hours (180 minutes) given to complete the exam.

In the new format a candidate will still be given 125 questions scored, but 10 additional pretest questions unscored, with 3 hours, 15 minutes (195 minutes) given to complete the exam.

Pretest questions, those that are unscored and do not count toward a candidates final score, are unidentified and can appear anywhere throughout the exam.

Passing Score
Currently candidates must score 70% to pass the exam. Once the new exam is implemented candidates will need to score 72% in order to pass the exam.

Administration of the Exam
The exam is administered via computer. A tutorial on how to take the exam via computer will be provided prior to the exam. The test administrator will provide scratch paper and basic electronic calculators to candidates, who will be required to return these materials to the test center administrator at the end of the testing session. Only calculators provided by the test center administrators are allowed for use during the exam.

As the proposal process moves forward, Kaplan is committed to keeping you informed of new developments and details and will continue to assist you with all of your Series 4 licensing exam preparation.