How to Get Your Series 7: General Securities Registered Representative License
Series 7 License Requirements:
What is a Series 7 license? Known as the General Securities Registered Representative license, this license allows you to sell a broad range of securities. A holder is allowed to sell corporate stocks and bonds, municipal bonds, mutual funds, variable annuities, options, direct participation program (DPP) partnerships, and packaged securities (i.e., collateralized mortgage obligations).
The Series 7 is generally preferred by banks and broker dealers for new recruits coming directly into the financial services industry. Those who get this license are officially listed as registered representatives by FINRA, but are more commonly referred to as stockbrokers.
Here are the steps to follow to earn your license.
Step 1: Take and Pass the SIE Exam
The SIE exam tests common topics such as fundamentals, regulatory agencies and their functions, product knowledge, and acceptable and unacceptable practices. You can take the SIE exam before being sponsored by a firm and even while you are still in school. You have a four-year window in which to take and pass any of the representative level top-off exams, like Series 7, after passing the SIE exam. Note that FINRA says that the SIE and Series 7 exams are “corequisites,” which does not mean you have to take them at the same time. What FINRA means is that you have to pass both to get your license, but you can take them in any order.
Step 2: Secure a Sponsorship
To take the Series 7 exam, you must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm or a self-regulatory organization (SRO). Firms apply for candidates to take the exam by filing a Uniform Application for Security Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U4). There is also an exam fee that is commonly covered by the sponsoring firm.
Step 3: Study for the Series 7 Exam
Once you secure your sponsorship, you can take the top-off exam for the Series 7 license. Most candidates also choose to take the SIE before they take the Series 7, but you can take it first if you prefer and the SIE afterwards.
The licensing exam is not exactly a walk in the park. You need to study with purpose and planning. To help you out, many retail brokerage firms have an in-house training program or, in some cases, they have an agreement with an external training provider. Series 7 study materials go a long way toward helping you pass your Series 7 exam the first time.
The exam consists of 125 multiple-choice questions, and you have 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete it.
The following table shows the major job functions covered by the exam (1 through 4) with the associated number of questions:
|Function Description||% of Exam||# of Questions|
|1 – Seeks Business for the Broker Dealer from Customers and Potential Customers||7%||9|
|2 – Opens Accounts after Obtaining and Evaluating Customers’ Financial Profile and Investment Objectives||9%||11|
|3 – Provides Customers with Information About
Investments, Makes Suitable Recommendations,
Transfers Assets and Maintains Appropriate Records
|4 – Obtains and Verifies Customers’ Purchase and Sales
Instructions and Agreements; Processes, Completes
and Confirms Transactions
Step 4: Pass the Series 7 Exam
FINRA makes it easy to enroll for your exams, because they also administer the exams for your NASAA licenses. Simply visit this page.
The passing score for the exam is 72%. For more in-depth coverage of these functions and how the exam is set up, Once you pass the exam, you have your license.
Series 7 Exam Details
The FINRA® Series revised 7, General Securities Representative Qualification Exam is required of individuals soliciting the purchase or sale of corporate, municipal and U.S. government securities, options, direct participation programs, investment company products, and variable contracts. The FINRA® Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam is a new FINRA exam for prospective securities industry professionals. This introductory-level exam assesses a candidate’s knowledge of basic securities industry information including concepts fundamental to working in the industry, such as types of products and their risks; the structure of the securities industry markets, regulatory agencies and their functions; and prohibited practices.
- The Essentials exam is open to anyone aged 18 or older, including students and prospective candidates interested in demonstrating basic industry knowledge to potential employers.
- Association with a firm is not required, and individuals are permitted to take the exam before or after associating with a firm.
- Essentials exam results are valid for four years.
Exam Format: 75 multiple-choice questions
Exam Duration: 1 hours, 45 minutes
Outline of Topics Covered:
- Knowledge of Capital Markets
- Understanding Products and their Risks
- Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts, and Prohibited Activities
- Overview of Regulatory Framework
We have prepared a Best Practices Guideline to help you pass the first time! This guide includes recommended study hours, how to use your study materials effectively, and test-taking tips.
For more exam details, including fees and passing score, please visit FINRA.
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On October 1, 2018, FINRA restructured the Series 7 exam. New candidates will be required to pass the Securities Industry Essential (SIE) exam along with a Series 7 exam to obtain the General Securities Representative Qualification registration. We have study materials available for the SIE exam as well as the Series 7 exam.
Corequisites: SIE Exam
Exam Format: 125 multiple-choice questions
Exam Duration: 3 hours, 45 minutes
Outline of Job Functions Covered:
- (F1) Seeks Business for the Broker-dealer from Customers and Potential Customers
- (F2) Opens Accounts After Obtaining and Evaluating Customers’ Financial Profile and Investment Objectives
- (F3) Provides Customers with Information About Investments, Makes Suitable Recommendations, Transfers Assets and Maintains Appropriate Records
- (F4) Obtains and Verifies Customers’ Purchase and Sales Instructions; Processes, Completes and Confirms Transactions
We have prepared a Best Practices Guideline to help you pass the first time! This guide includes recommended study hours, how to use your study
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