Starting Monday, the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority will begin offering its new qualification exam — the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) — for prospective candidates 18 or older seeking to enter or re-enter the securities industry.
The SIE will assess a candidate’s knowledge regarding fundamental securities-related topics, including knowledge of basic products, the structure and function of the securities industry, the regulatory agencies and their functions and regulated and prohibited practices, the broker-dealer self-regulator said Thursday.
FINRA currently administers 27 exams, 16 at the rep level and 11 at the principal level.
Nine of the 16 rep-level exams, such as Series 6 and 7, have been restructured or modified to reflect the consolidation of “general knowledge” questions into the SIE, while seven of the rep-level exams are being eliminated.
For instance, the revised Series 7 will have 125 questions instead of the previous 250.
After Oct. 1, FINRA will have 21 exams, including the new SIE.
Robert Cook, FINRA’s president and CEO, said in a Thursday statement that the new exam structure “will bring greater consistency and uniformity to the process for entering or returning to the securities industry. It will also provide more people the opportunity to explore career options in the securities industry.”
FINRA recently released FAQ guidance on its qualification and registration requirements as set forth in Rules 1210 through 1240, as they relate to the SIE and revising the rep-level exams.
Anyone 18 or older can take the SIE, which costs $60. The combined cost of the SIE and a revised “top off” (Series 6 or 7) qualification exam will, for most exams, remain the same.
As FINRA explains, the SIE is multiple choice, consists of 75 questions and test takers have 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete the exam. A passing result on the SIE is valid for four years. Candidates are not required to have any prior industry experience and they can take the SIE before they have received a job offer from a firm.