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FINRA Proposes New Series 9 Content Study Outline and Qualification Exam

Posted By: Mark Sanchirico, Senior Editor
Date: February 3, 2016


Filing on December 18 with the SEC, FINRA has asked for approval for a proposed new Series 9 General Securities Sales Supervisor (options regulations) content study outline and qualifications exam. Highlights of the proposal follow.


Pending SEC approval, FINRA proposes to implement the revised Series 9 examination program on March 7, 2016.

Content Structure of the Exam

The current Series 9 outline is contained within the Series 9/10 study outline (Section 6: Options Regulations). The new outline proposal would divide the Series 9/10 outline into two parts. Part 2 would be specific to options and have four FUNCTION areas, listed in the table below.

FunctionFINRA Major Job Function TitleQuestions
Function 1Supervise the Opening and Maintenance of Customer Options Accounts18
Function 2Supervise Sales Practices and General Options Trading Activities19
Function 3Supervise Options Communications5
Function 4Supervise Associated Persons and Personnel Management Activities13






Each function also includes specific tasks describing activities associated with performing that function. In Part 2, there are:

  • Three tasks (1.1–1.3) associated with Function 1
  • Four tasks (2.1–2.4) associated with Function 2
  • Three tasks (3.1–3.3) associated with Function 3
  • One task (4.1) associated with Function 4

Number of Questions and Time Allowed

The current exam requires a candidate to complete 55 questions scored, plus 5 additional pretest questions unscored, with 1.5 hours (90 minutes) given to complete the exam. This is unchanged in the proposal.

Pretest questions (those that are unscored and do not count toward a candidate’s final score) are unidentified and can appear anywhere throughout the exam.

Passing Score

Currently, candidates must score 70% to pass the exam. The passing score is unchanged in the proposal.

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 we will continue to assist you with all of your Series 9 licensing exam preparation.


Interested in getting your Series 9 or another major securities license? Check out Kaplan Financial Education's securities licensing study packages today, now with a new and improved learning environment!