License Requirements

How to Get a Series 7 License

How to Get a Series-7 License

Prospective securities industry professionals looking to solicit, purchase, and sell all securities products must become registered with a firm at the representative level and must pass the Series 7 General Securities Representative Qualification Examination. The Series 7 exam is developed, maintained, and administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

What Are the Requirements to Get a Series 7 License?

1. Pass the Series 7 Exam and the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam

In order to obtain your General Securities Representative license, you must pass both the Series 7 exam and the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam. These exams are considered corequisites

The SIE exam is structured to assess general securities industry knowledge, and the Series 7 exam is a qualification exam. We recommend that you take the SIE exam first as it is an introductory-level exam covering broad topics. It will help prepare for the Series 7, which covers the same topics in more detail. 

2. Be Sponsored by a Firm

You are required to have a sponsoring firm to be eligible to take the Series 7 exam. If you don’t have a sponsor, or want additional help to determine the registration that you need, you can consult the Permitted Activities of Registered Representative’s page.

1. Complete a Series 7 Exam Prep Course

To prepare for the Series 7 exam, we recommend you take a Series 7 exam prep course. A.D. Banker offers an online course that will prepare you to successfully pass your licensing exam on your first attempt. The course includes videos, practice exams, audio, activities, key facts, and can be supplemented with flashcards, study manuals, and web classes.

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Series 7 Testable Topics

The Series 7 exam measures entry-level knowledge needed to perform the critical job functions of a general securities representative, including evaluating customer financial information and investment objectives, suitability of recommendations, types of investment returns, taxation rules and considerations, corporate, municipal, and government securities, options, direct participation programs, investment company products, federal and industry rules and regulations, and investigations, sanctions, and penalties. 

The A.D. Banker Series 7 online course covers all testable information you need to study to pass the exam, and is based upon FINRA’s Series 7 Content Outline, which provides a comprehensive list of testable topics.

2. Schedule Your Licensing Exam

In order to enroll for the Series 7 exam, your firm must file a Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer, also known as the U4, via FINRA’s Central Registration Depository (CRD) system. You will also be required to provide your Social Security number and submit fingerprints.

Once you are enrolled and eligible to take the exam, FINRA will issue a CRD number and open a 120-day window in which to schedule an appointment with Prometric to take and pass your exam.

You will schedule an appointment to take the Series 7 exam through Prometric. You have the option of taking the exam either at a Prometric test center or online. Starting June 9th, you may only take this exam in person at a Prometric testing center.

To take the Series 7 exam online, you will first need to make sure you can meet the technical and procedural requirements for online testing. This includes downloading and installing the ProProctor application from the Prometric website and performing a system check. 

To schedule your exam, you will need to provide:

  • Your name and FINRA ID # or assigned unique ID number
  • The exam name or identifying series ID (Series 7)
  • A telephone number for you or your employer
  • An email address where they can send the appointment confirmation

Once you have scheduled your exam, you will receive an email from Prometric with the scheduled date and time, the test center location (if applicable), and the test-day procedures.  

3. Pass a Licensing Exam

The Series 7 exam consists of 135 multiple-choice questions, of which 125 questions are scorable. These 10 additional questions are “pretest” questions that are randomly distributed throughout the exam and do not count for or against your score. Once these questions have sufficient statistics to be considered valid questions, they will be added to the testing provider’s pool of scored questions. As a test taker, you will never know which questions are pretest and must answer all questions to complete the exam, so you should treat every question as if it counts. 

Candidates will be given 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam and must correctly answer 72% (90 questions) of the 125 scorable questions to pass

Testing Procedures

On the day of the exam, you will be required to provide an unexpired government-issued photo ID to be admitted to the exam.

If you are taking your exam online: 

  • Check in to your online appointment 30 minutes before your scheduled time to complete the check-in process
  • Use a wired internet connection and make sure your computer is plugged into a power source
  • Show a 360-degree view of your workstation and surrounding environment using a movable or embedded computer camera
  • Agree and abide by Prometric’s Security Guideline provided in the ProProctor User Guide
  • Agree and sign the FINRA Qualification Examination Rules of Conduct 
  • Access Prometric’s ProProctor site to launch your exam
  • You will have access to an onscreen calculator and a virtual notepad

If you are taking your exam at a test center: 

  • Arrive 30 minutes before your appointment
  • You will be required to sign in and agree to the FINRA Qualifications Examinations Rules of Conduct  
  • The center takes a photo of you and/or collects your biometric info (thumb/palm print)
  • At the beginning of your appointment, you will have an additional 30-minutes to take a tutorial to familiarize yourself with the exam format
  • No personal items will be allowed in the testing area. All personal items must be placed in the center-provided storage prior to entrance.
  • The testing center will provide a calculator and a white board or scratch paper for you to use

Exam Results

For online exams, you will receive your unofficial pass or fail notification on screen once you are done. Within 3 business days, your official test results will be posted to FINRA’s systems. 

For exams taken at the test center, you will see your results on the computer and receive a printed copy of your pass/fail report immediately after you finish the exam.

Candidates must wait 30 days after a first failed exam attempt and 30 days after a second failed attempt before retaking the exam. After a third failed attempt, as well as any attempts after that, the waiting period is 180 days.

What Other Exams May Be Required for a General Securities Representative? 

Most states require a general securities representative to have passed the Series 63 Exam.

If you are also planning on becoming a registered investment adviser representative, we recommend you take the Series 66 Exam. The Series 66 will qualify you as if you have passed both the Series 63 and the Series 65 Exam. Once you pass the Series 7 exam, the Series 66 exam is generally easier to pass than taking the Series 63 and Series 65 separately. 

The Series 63, Series 65, and Series 66 are national exams developed and maintained by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and administered by FINRA. For more information, visit our comprehensive guide to the difference between the Series 63, 65, and 66

We're Here to Help

Our goal is to prepare you for your licensing exam, and then guide you through your career as a financial services professional. After you become a registered representative in the securities industry, you may decide to further your career by obtaining one or more insurance or securities licenses.

Once you begin the process of becoming a licensed financial services professional, we’re here to help you every step of the way. Get started today by reviewing our prelicensing course catalog.

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