Posted By: Chuck Lowenstein, Senior Editor
Updated: November 1, 2018
On February 4, 2016, the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) announced changes to all three exams under their control: the Series 63, the Series 65, and the Series 66. These changes will take effect on July 1, 2016.
The changes are the result of a year-long review process involving over 1,000 industry participants, as well as representatives from the regulatory side of the business. The general consensus is that the exams will more accurately reflect the functions performed by the examinee and will include current topics that were not covered previously. Each of the exams will contain the same number of questions as the current versions. Passing scores will remain at 72%, with the exception of the passing score on the Series 66 being reduced from 75% to 73%.
Specifically, the Series 63 finally recognizes that is the agent’s exam, not the test for investment advisers. As a result, questions relating to advisers and their representatives will only deal with identifying those activities that require registration, and the weighting of questions on agents and broker-dealers will be the same (the current exam contains twice as many broker-dealers questions as those on agents).
Changes to the Series 65 exam will include the addition of new content, such as private equity funds, exchange traded notes, leverage and inverse funds, and structured products, among others. In addition, the regulations portion of the test will include questions on social media and cyber-security.
Other than the change in passing score, the Series 66 changes seem to basically parallel those of the Series 65. One significant change is that the number of questions on investment vehicle characteristics will increase from 15 to 20, while those on the regulations will have a corresponding decrease from 50 to 45. That increase will allow for the new questions on the ETNs, leveraged and inverse funds, and so on.
If you are taking one of these exams, the changes will be in effect on the testing date (not when you registered). This means if you are taking an exam after July 1, 2016, the changes will be in effect at the time of your exam. As the 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 63, Series 65, and Series 66 licensing exam preparation.