SIE Exam by FINRA?

Hey all,

Does anyone have any info on the new FINRA SIE exam? Now that I've been a junior trader for some time, my firm is preparing to give me my own seat on the desk and have my own junior within the next couple months. Being so, I need to take a few licensing exams.

The SIE exam is now a pre-req for all series exams, consisting of 75 questions. Anyone have any advice on studying? Is this exam hard? Though I'm not necessarily worried about passing, I'm taking level I of CFA in December, so I'm hoping my firm is fine with me taking it after I take level I.

Comments (29)

series7examtutor, what's your opinion? Comment below:

The SIE is technically a co-requisite for other FINRA exams such as the series 6, series 7, etc. Most people view it as a prerequisite, though. It is a basic exam that should not be too difficult to pass but you still have to study. The exam is comprised of about 40% regulations, 40% investment products, and 20% everything else. To study, you should get some prep materials. I think that Kaplan is good for the SIE. The first level of the CFA exams would be much more difficult than the SIE exam. When I took CFA exams, the preparation consumed a large portion of my life. Good luck on level 1 of the CFA exams.

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vet124, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I took it on Friday and passed.

I also sat for the CFA Level 1 in December and felt as if studying for CFA L1 drastically reduced the time required to study for the SIE. The SIE was very top-level and nothing too tricky.

I just read the Kaplan SIE book and then did about 10 practice exams over a 2-week period. Highly recommend taking the practice exam offered on the FINRA website. I think I probably studied too much for the SIE, but it's always better to be safe than sorry!

vet124, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I bought the Kaplan QBank and completed about 300 of the 1300 questions in it.

My strategy was: read the entire Kaplan book cover-to-cover (it's not that long... like 180 pages?), crank out some Qbank questions to see if there were concepts that I had no idea on (I set the QBank to show me the answer/explanation immediately for each question I answered), then I did 7 practice tests (go on amazon and search "SIE Exam Practice Question Workbook" for the book I used), then I did the practice exam on the FINRA website.

Don't go too in-depth or try to kill yourself by trying to memorize every little regulation/law. Just make sure that you understand/are somewhat familiar with the concepts on the SIE outline on the FINRA website.

IBDinspired, what's your opinion? Comment below:

just took the exam using STC material. I watched the videos and completed all the questions in the quiz bank. This may have been overkill, but you will be more than prepared.

tyleryork, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hey guys,

I am one of the founders of Achievable, the new WSO-endorsed test prep partner for the FINRA SIE exam. You can read all about the course here: :)

I think that honestly, you can probably pass using anyone's material (Kaplan, STC, etc) as long as you study. We think our course is a bit easier for students than theirs', and is built to be a bit faster and easier to read. We made this free to try: visit and click Try Achievable to get the first two chapters for free.

I hope you guys give us a shot. Good luck on the exam!

Founder, Achievable - smart, modern FINRA prep for the FINRA SIE. Chapter 1 is free to try: [](
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a5hleybmw, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi I bought your course. Can I prepare exclusively from it and pass? And if so, how many hours of study would you recommend?

tyleryork, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Hi A5hleybmw,

Sorry for the delayed reply. Yes, you can prepare for the SIE exclusively with our course and pass.

As for time spent, we aren't sure yet at the SIE is a new test, but we are recommending people allocate about 50-100 hours to study, which is roughly half of what we recommended for the old Series 7.

Let us know if you have any other questions, and thanks for using us :)


Founder, Achievable - smart, modern FINRA prep for the FINRA SIE. Chapter 1 is free to try: [](
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a5hleybmw, what's your opinion? Comment below:

hi out of interest, what kind of responsibilities do you have as junior trader and how long did it take you to get on the desk?

Re SEI: I bought the Achievable reading pack but then bought

Anyway, it is an easy test if you understand securities and derivatives you'll be fine, just brush up on regs

Eminis, what's your opinion? Comment below:

Some input re studying, haven't taken it yet so take this with a grain of salt. I got an offer recently on an S&T desk and have some time in between so I wanted to get a jump on the SIE and 7 with my time off. I started looking at the material on Monday.

I've been studying using the Knopman series 7 (old version) materials that my friend had. This does not give me SIE access, I'm waiting to see what my firm wants me to do regarding that. I took a free Knopman SIE practice test today and failed by 2 questions. I haven't even touched a single piece of SIE prep.

This leads me to believe (captain obvious statement) that the SIE is significantly easier than the 7. The math was minimal, mostly high level regulation stuff and suitability. I'm only 1/4 through the Knopman 7 materials and only fell 2 questions short on the Knopman SIE and again haven't even studied for that. I passed the FINRA SIE practice exam on their website. I can't see the actual being that difficult provided you read a textbook and do practice exams.

ThePiker, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I'd recommend not using the STC training course. The book is worth while but the study materials lack description. I used the flash cards to study for the practice exams, while the practice exams are worth your time, I did notice some cards asked the same questions listed different answers. Additionally, the cards lacked description if you didn't understand a concept fully... You have to go digging back through the book quite frequently which adds a lot of time. Just my take. I've heard good things about Kaplan from friends also taking the test. TAKE AS MANY PRACTICE EXAMS AS POSSIBLE.

SlimTrady, what's your opinion? Comment below:

I took the SIE and passed on the first try using the STC book and practice exams. I just read the book (which is actually pretty good in my opinion) and used the practice questions, never used the flashcards or videos. A BIG NOTE on STC though: In my opinion, their practice questions were extremely simply stated compared to the questions on the actual exam, so if you're using STC, make sure that you wholly understand the content of the practice question, not just the answer. FINRA offers a free SIE practice exam on their website; the structure of the questions on that test is MUCH more representative of the real SIE test than the structure of the questions on the STC practice questions.

Most difficult material was the regulations, the rest should be pretty intuitive if you have a finance background.

John-Wellington, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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ConfusedGuru, what's your opinion? Comment below:

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