By: Doug Vincens
Updated: August 21, 2018
You may have heard that FINRA is introducing a new Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam in October 2018. The SIE exam will be a game changer for universities and students hoping to jumpstart a career in financial services before they graduate. Kaplan has been following the news ever since FINRA first began talking about it. Along the way, our university partners have relied on us for the latest information on the SIE exam, and how it will impact their school and students. We developed this article to provide answers to the questions we hear most often—and to keep you and the rest of your faculty informed.
The SIE exam is FINRA's new general industry knowledge exam. It tests basic information such as products, risks, the structure and function of the securities industry and its regulatory agencies, and knowledge of regulated and prohibited practices. The SIE exam will be the first step for anyone earning a Series 6, 7, 22, 57, 79, 82, 86/87, or 99 license, if they do not already possess one of those licenses prior to the implementation date of October 1, 2018. Passing the SIE exam alone will not qualify an individual for registration with FINRA. They will also need to pass a revised, specialized knowledge qualification exam (or "top-off") applicable to the desired job function with a firm, and meet other registration requirements.
With an October 1, 2018, implementation date, this exam is ideal for universities to implement as part of their curriculum or as a professional development program. Doing so could increase job placement opportunities for students, add a new revenue stream, and enhance relationships with financial services employers.
With a low exam fee ($60) and no firm sponsorship requirement, the SIE is ideal for university students looking to get a headstart on a financial services career. It will help them stand out to potential employers by proving mastery of basic industry knowledge and demonstrating the ability to pass a high-stakes examination. We’ve created a FAQ for candidates as well, designed to answer all of the questions your students might have about the new exam.
Individuals who are able to add the SIE to their resume and, more importantly, demonstrate general industry knowledge, will stand out to potential employers during job interviews and within post-hire training programs.
The SIE exam is open to anyone aged 18 and older, including students and prospective candidates interested in demonstrating basic industry knowledge to potential employers. Because you are not required to be sponsored to take this exam, students do not need to be hired by a firm in order to sit for this entry level exam.
The range of topics covered on the SIE exam include:
The revised representative-level qualification exams will test knowledge relevant to day-to-day activities, responsibilities, and job functions of representatives. In February 2018, FINRA released the content outlines for the top-off exams. In additional articles, we have outlined the breakdown of each major exam and explained the differences between current and future exams for Series 7, as well as the Series 6, 79, and 99 Exams.
Yes! In fact, Kaplan partners with universities to offer Securities Licensing Exam Prep to students, alumni, and their local community. Through these partnerships, schools enter into a Marketing Service Agreement and receive payment in exchange for promoting the courses. Kaplan builds co-branded custom portals for students to enroll. In addition to SIE Exam Prep, partners are also able to offer additional Kaplan exam prep packages for other licensing exams, such as Series 65.
A career opportunity is the ultimate goal for most undergraduate business students. Building a curriculum around the topics covered in the SIE exam can fast-track your students’ path to earning a series license and starting a career in finance. Kaplan has taken these topics and has incorporated them into a simple path to teaching securities industry essentials in your financial course. These topics include:
Kaplan will work with your university to offer SIE Exam Prep and receive the course curriculum. We build co-branded custom portals for university partners' students to purchase materials, and allow you to manage the program. To learn more about the SIE Exam, access our SIE Information Center.
Hopefully this article has helped clear up confusion and answer any questions you have about the SIE Exam, and how it will affect your university. If you're looking for more information, we've also created FAQs for candidates and businesses to answer SIE-specific questions.
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.