How Hard is the Series 63 License Exam?

After getting through the 79 I'm required to get this. Anyone taken it before? How difficult?

Is Knopman the best prep for this as well or is STC better?

What is the Series 63 Exam?

The Series 63 is a securities license entitling the holder to solicit orders for any type of security in a particular state. The applicant must pass an exam which also requires a display of ethical practices and fiduciary duties. This is the exam that is needed to facilitate and soliciate securities orders.

Series 63 Difficulty & Pass Rate

While some users emphasized that the Series 63 exam was not difficult, many stressed the need to study and work through a few practice exams. While there is a no official pass / fail rate released, a previous study suggested that around 14% of candidates fail the exam on their first attempt.

Series 63 Study Method

With that in mind - our users shared their studying experiences:

goingbustbanking - Investment Banking Analyst:
Studied approx 30 hrs for 79, hit 80%, studied approx 8 hours for 63, and got like a 79%. 63 is much more memorization, and the ethical questions really are that easy on the test. I used Knopman online to prepare. I would also suggest not taking it as lightly as some people say. The test is notorious for tripping up people that just took the 79.

User @ai215", an asset management associate, shared their study method:

ai215 - Asset Management Associate:
Knopman online practice questions. Keep practicing until you are scoring in the high 70s/low 80s, by then you should have a lot of the rules/regs memorized. You'll be fine.

Tri_Optimum:
The test is straight memorization with some common sense added. It's very easy if you study, but if you just flip through the book quickly and expect to roll in and pass, you'll likely fail. I've heard fail rates are higher on the 63 than the 7 for this very reason (underestimating the test), but I could be totally wrong here as I have no supporting stats.

User @SuccessfulEfforts", a private equity associate, noted that they:

SuccessfulEfforts - Private Equity Assoicate:
Probably spent 8-10 hours studying and got an 82%.

An anonymous user shared:

The question are very tricky and you HAVE TO study the material and take practice test or You will FAIL. The questions and answer choices are structured makes it difficult. Also, the question on the exam are more obscure than material in my opinion which makes the exam harder. Time is definitely a factor as well. However, I had 17 minutes to spare so I went through all 65 questions and quickly looked at my answers and the question and just thought about it fresh but very quickly. I changed some of my answers but very few and actually felt better about my answers after I reviewed them again. Leave some time to breath and just think.

Series 63 Common Problems and Practice Tips

  1. Time - when doing practice exams make sure to time yourself
  2. Vocabulary - while practicing it is important to look up any words you don't know
  3. Complex question structure - when practicing watch out for the double negative structures

Need to Take the Series 7 Exam Too?

The WSO Series 7 is the only thing you need to study for and pass the FINRA Series 7. Our content is backed by award-winning content experts.

WSO Series 7 Exam Prep

Comments (67)

 
Jan 15, 2014 - 5:32pm

Hahaha the 63 is laughable. if you know anything about the markets you will be fine. use the same method as the 79 and you'll pass with flying colors. for a brief intro, check out investopedia's practice questions and study section...it's actually pretty good.

If the glove don't fit, you must acquit!
 
Aug 7, 2017 - 11:11pm

Walmart shopper, even though you wrote this review in 2014 you must have taken the Series 63 many years ago. The test has changed greatly. The first time I passed this test was in 1996 and I only studied the night before 4 hrs and passed w/ 84%.
I needed to retake it recently and I passed but it's a whole different ball game with double negatives and lawyer speak throughout the exam. As the proctor was signing me in he said this exam is "short and sweet and tricky too."
The old saying taking the Series 63 is like taking a blood test", No Longer Applies.

 
Jan 15, 2014 - 5:53pm

I also did these two back to back. Studied approx 30 hrs for 79, hit 80%, studied approx 8 hours for 63, and got like a 79%. 63 is much more memorization, and the ethical questions really are that easy on the test.

I used Knopman online

"We're not lawyers, we're investment bankers. We call you for the paperwork. We didn't go to Harvard, we went to Wharton, and we saw you coming a mile away."
 
Jan 15, 2014 - 5:54pm

I would also suggest not taking it as lightly as some people say. The test is notorious for tripping up people that just took the 79.

"We're not lawyers, we're investment bankers. We call you for the paperwork. We didn't go to Harvard, we went to Wharton, and we saw you coming a mile away."
  • 1
 
Jan 15, 2014 - 6:16pm

Knopman online practice questions. Keep practicing until you are scoring in the high 70s/low 80s, by then you should have a lot of the rules/regs memorized. You'll be fine.

Array
 
Jan 15, 2014 - 6:32pm

You don't even have to know shit about markets to pass the 63. It's a common sense test. Just pick the answer that is the most 'right' from a regulators perspective. I think I studied all of 4 hours for the test the night before

I would agree with you, but then we'd both be wrong.
 
Jan 16, 2014 - 9:09am

The test is straight memorization with some common sense added. It's very easy if you study, but if you just flip through the book quickly and expect to roll in and pass, you'll likely fail. I've heard fail rates are higher on the 63 than the 7 for this very reason (underestimating the test), but I could be totally wrong here as I have no supporting stats.

 
Oct 3, 2014 - 1:52pm

So yeah, I think they made it a bit more difficult or something happened. I have my s.24/s.7/s.65 was making high 80s on the practice exams from STC and on the investopedia site. FAILED with a 62!

 
Oct 3, 2014 - 2:22pm

EDIT: mixed up the 66 and the 63. My below response is in regards to the 66. Just do the 66 as the above guy recommended. 2 birds with 1 stone.

I have my 7 and will be taking my 63 either end of the year or early next year. Check out Training Consultants. I used Kaplan for the 7 but heard they are no good for the 63. Apparently TC covers exactly what is on the test (sometimes you see even the same questions). Because the 63 is memorization, it really comes down to what study package you use. My only caution is the TC reviews are from 2012 and before so I don't know if it's still as good as it was in the past with the test changes, etc. I will most likely be using them when it comes time to take the test. GL

 
  • Anonymous Monkey's picture
  • Anonymous Monkey
  • Rank: Chimp
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:00am

DO NOT Listen to these comments about the 63, the question are very tricky and you HAVE TO study the material and take practice test or You will FAIL. I passed with a 90% and to be honest as I was taken the exam i was feeling discouraged as the way the questions and answer choices are structured makes it difficult. Also, the question on the exam are more obscure than material in my opinion which makes the exam harder. Time is definitely a factor as well. However, I had 17 minutes to spare so I went through all 65 questions and quickly looked at my answers and the question and just thought about it fresh but very quickly. I changed some of my answers but very few and actually felt better about my answers after I reviewed them again. So leave some time to breath and just think.

 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:01am

Series 63 (Originally Posted: 09/12/2011)

Roughly how many hours do you need for study time for the 63? Passed the 79. Using STC as prep material. Any other tips would be great.

Thx

-- "Those who say don't know, and those who know don't say."
 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:02am

Give yourself a full weekend plus a few nights during the week (20 hours or so). I started on a Tuesday night and took the test the following Monday morning. As with all of these tests, read through the material once, take as many practice tests as possible, then go back and re-read the chapters/sections that give you the most trouble. Overall, it won't be nearly as bad as the 79.

 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:06am

I would spend a whole day. Everyone told me that if you passed the 7 that the 63 was easy so I put all my focus on the 7. I scored an 88 on the 7 and a 68 on the 63. It was embarrassing that I had to take it again. Good luck

Peace Out
 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:09am

I took the 66 which is a combination of the 63 & 65. The 63 is honestly a joke. I believe it's about 100 questions and is much much easier than the 7. The 65 is easily the most boring exam I have ever taken. It mainly covers the USA, uniform securities act, blue sky laws, and several other forms of intrastate securities law.

My company gave me prep materials from Kaplan. I hardly touched any of the reading material and spent most of my time going through the computer qbank. Honestly, I am not trying to sound boastful, but I only spent two nights studying for the exam. Just load up the qbank and do about 1000 questions and you'll be good to go.

A 98 and 80 are the same exact thing. Don't spend a month studying for this thing when you can do it in a single weekend.

 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:12am

Take the 66.

The Series 66 exam is relatively new. It was created by NASAA in response to requests from broker-dealers and other financial services firms. It is essentially a combination of Series 63 and Series 65, but since a prerequisite for taking the exam is successful completion of the Series 7 exam, it does not include the product, analysis and strategy questions that are a large part of the Series 65. The Series 66 test is 100 questions that count toward the candidate's score and 10 experimental questions. The time limit for the exam is 150 minutes. To pass the exam, a candidate must correctly answer 71 (71%) of the questions.

To avoid overlap with the Series 7, NASAA assembled a committee of securities industry experts to eliminate questions in the Series 66 that would be duplicative of those in the Series 7. As a result, the Series 66 exam is considered by most to be an "easier" test. It will, like the Series 65, qualify the individual to act as an IAR, and it fulfills the requirements of the Uniform Securities Act for state registration.

Wall Street Utopia http://www.wallstreetutopia.com
 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:19am

I plan on one, maybe 2 nights of studying for the 63. Taking it on Saturday so I'll let you know how it goes.

"For I am a sinner in the hands of an angry God. Bloody Mary full of vodka, blessed are you among cocktails. Pray for me now and at the hour of my death, which I hope is soon. Amen."
 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:21am

Series 63 Difficult? (Originally Posted: 01/15/2013)

I've been study for a few days, read a book, taken practice exams ect. Feel pretty good about it and have heard people say it's not that bad so I didn't stress to much about it and focused more on interviewing this break. I'm taking it for shits and gigs and because I need something to do being that all my friends are back at college already.

As I was reading the study guide on Investopedia, I got to the section where they interviewed people that had taken it. Some of those people studied for several months and took classes? I didn't even know they offered classes for this. Even worse, they only got 80s. Are these people just dumb and need that much studying? Or is the test harder than most people think?

Taking it later today so I'm cramming as much as I can.

 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:22am

You don't need to score well on the 63 because no one cares about your score as long as you pass... Only 80s? 80s on SEC licensing exams are solid scores... Why are you even taking the 63 and who is sponsoring you to take it? Are you interning with a firm concurrently or something? This is a huge waste of money on your part if someone else is not paying for it because this designation is not going to help you get a job.

 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:24am

rufiolove:
You don't need to score well on the 63 because no one cares about your score as long as you pass... Only 80s? 80s on SEC licensing exams are solid scores... Why are you even taking the 63 and who is sponsoring you to take it? Are you interning with a firm concurrently or something? This is a huge waste of money on your part if someone else is not paying for it because this designation is not going to help you get a job.

Huge waste of money?? It costs like 200 bucks and is an important designation for any sales job. You need to be licensed to even take unsolicited securities orders over the phone. Can't hurt.

OP, study and you'll do fine. If you are routinely scoring in the 80s on practice exams you are good. A class WOULD be a huge waste of money.

 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:26am

ResidentPatient:
rufiolove:
You don't need to score well on the 63 because no one cares about your score as long as you pass... Only 80s? 80s on SEC licensing exams are solid scores... Why are you even taking the 63 and who is sponsoring you to take it? Are you interning with a firm concurrently or something? This is a huge waste of money on your part if someone else is not paying for it because this designation is not going to help you get a job.

Huge waste of money?? It costs like 200 bucks and is an important designation for any sales job. You need to be licensed to even take unsolicited securities orders over the phone. Can't hurt.

OP, study and you'll do fine. If you are routinely scoring in the 80s on practice exams you are good. A class WOULD be a huge waste of money.

Yeah, it's a waste of money because any firm requiring you to do that as part of your job will pay for the test, the class, and any necessary materials.

 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:27am

ResidentPatient:
rufiolove:
You don't need to score well on the 63 because no one cares about your score as long as you pass... Only 80s? 80s on SEC licensing exams are solid scores... Why are you even taking the 63 and who is sponsoring you to take it? Are you interning with a firm concurrently or something? This is a huge waste of money on your part if someone else is not paying for it because this designation is not going to help you get a job.

Huge waste of money?? It costs like 200 bucks and is an important designation for any sales job. You need to be licensed to even take unsolicited securities orders over the phone. Can't hurt.

OP, study and you'll do fine. If you are routinely scoring in the 80s on practice exams you are good. A class WOULD be a huge waste of money.

Why would you pay $200 for a test that you'll be able to take for free after a 6-week training course paid for by the bank at which you're employed?

Like everyone else here, I would report that the test is fairly straightforward and an easy pass. Still don't understand why you'd run the risk of failing something that won't benefit you at all in your recruitment process and costs $200+.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."
 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:30am

The exam was only $90, not a big deal. I figured if I could spend $90 dollars, learn a little, and add something else to my resume while I have a free week, why not? It will expire by the time I'm out of college, but I only did it for that slim chance it could help me. If they ask about it during an interview I'll just tell them I was interested in learning about securities law and took it out of pure interest, which I am.

Anyways, got a 93. It was a lot easier than I expected, mostly common sense. Only missed 4 odd ball questions.

 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:33am

JPMortgage:
The exam was only $90, not a big deal. I figured if I could spend $90 dollars, learn a little, and add something else to my resume while I have a free week, why not? It will expire by the time I'm out of college, but I only did it for that slim chance it could help me. If they ask about it during an interview I'll just tell them I was interested in learning about securities law and took it out of pure interest, which I am.

Anyways, got a 93. It was a lot easier than I expected, mostly common sense. Only missed 4 odd ball questions.

So it expires when you graduate... So it's useless. I can personally tell you that as a banker that just strikes me as odd and doesn't signal any additional value on your resume. You would have been better off spending that week networking or completing modules in an online modeling program (which coincidentally would have cost about the same amount).

Here is a prime example of kids not asking the right questions before they dive into something that they think will help them. This is all based on the assumption that you are interested in banking, which if you aren't then that's totally fine, but then the whole exercise is pointless because the 63 won't make you any better off for wealth management than if you just showed up.

 
Dec 24, 2017 - 1:37pm

JPMortgage:

The exam was only $90, not a big deal. I figured if I could spend $90 dollars, learn a little, and add something else to my resume while I have a free week, why not?

Don't listen to the naysayers, I like your attitude. I did the same thing for the Series 3 and Series 65 with no intention of ever really using them. But I did it to both challenge myself mentally and to add to my resume. Plenty of employers have noticed it on my resume in the past and they have all given me good feedback on it. If you have the time & inclination to study, I think it makes total sense to go after the exam.

 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:31am

At the risk of being "that guy", I feel that having the Series 63 on your resume without an explanation other than "I find securities law interesting" would raise some eyebrows. Most bankers dread the licensing exams, not because of difficulty, but because of how arcane the test material is.

"For all the tribulations in our lives, for all the troubles that remain in the world, the decline of violence is an accomplishment we can savor, and an impetus to cherish the forces of civilization and enlightenment that made it possible."
 
Dec 24, 2017 - 1:34pm

UFOinsider:

I was under the impression that you couldn't get securities licensed without being sponsored....

That's not entirely true. It depends on the exam - you can take things like the Series 3 and Series 65 without being sponsored. As for FINRA, once you pass the 65 (as an example) you can start the application for a new firm and then as the principal of the firm (that has now passed the exam) you can register with them. From there, you start the process with your state and become a financial advisor.

 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:40am

series 63 difficulty level !! (Originally Posted: 03/14/2013)

i have been preparing for series 63 using kaplan for the past 2 weeks and have been able to score 80+ on practice tests . However, I am still doubtful if I will pass 63 or not because I heard 63 is difficult . How hard is this series 63 exam ? IS this material enough for me to pass. I already have seres 6 under my belt. Thanks

 
Nov 24, 2015 - 1:48am
Start Discussion

Popular Content See all

Student-run private equity funds?
+36IBby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A
I wish I was an airline pilot
+21OFFby Vice President in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">VP in IB-M&A
BMO fired all of its Houston Bankers (~60 people)
+20IBby Intern in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Intern in IB-M&A
Zoom events are cringe as hell
+17OFFby Prospective Monkey in Investment Banking - Mergers and Acquisitions">Prospect in IB-M&A
Do I quit IB for YouTube
+15IBby 3rd+ Year Analyst in Investment Banking - Industry/Coverage">Analyst 3+ in IB - Ind

Total Avg Compensation

December 2020 Investment Banking

  • Director/MD (18) $713
  • Vice President (53) $337
  • Associates (275) $227
  • 3rd+ Year Analyst (39) $161
  • 2nd Year Analyst (153) $153
  • Intern/Summer Associate (141) $139
  • 1st Year Analyst (595) $130
  • Intern/Summer Analyst (568) $82

Leaderboard See all

1
LonLonMilk's picture
LonLonMilk
98.4
2
Jamoldo's picture
Jamoldo
98.3
3
Secyh62's picture
Secyh62
98.3
4
CompBanker's picture
CompBanker
97.9
5
redever's picture
redever
97.8
6
Addinator's picture
Addinator
97.6
7
bolo up's picture
bolo up
97.5
8
frgna's picture
frgna
97.5
9
NuckFuts's picture
NuckFuts
97.5
10
Edifice's picture
Edifice
97.5