Hi all- just started as an analyst, need to pass 7, 63 and 79 within 90 days. Any advice on the order in which I should take the tests and how much time I should allow myself to study? I'm working 60-80 hours/week. Also, testing material company suggestions a plus. Thanks a lot!
How to Pass the Series Exams?
Our users share their advice on testing order and offer details about the different exams below. Please check out Licensing for Dummies for more detail on different Series exams.
User @mperit01, an equity research associate, shared advice on testing order and materials:
STC provides testing materials, haven't heard of anyone that is better than that - my firm registered me and those were the books I got, make sure you get the cd with all the practice questions on it.
Do the 7 first, then the 63, those should require a little less than two months to complete successfully if you push and make it happen, AKA you might have to throw some weekends in there unfortunately, (I would think 30 days for the 7, 15 for the 63). I have no experience with the 79, but I would take it after the 7 and 63, those two tests are very doable and it will get you used to the study regiment and working (which is difficult). That will leave you 45 days to prepare for the 79.
User @slotmouth also suggested taking the Series 7 exam first.
Take the 7 first it is very broad and general and will give you a good base for everything else.
The Series 7 serves as a prerequisite for both the Series 63 and the Series 66.
FINRA Series 7 Exam
The Series 7 was the de rigueur standard of the day up until the introduction of the Investment Banking exam a few years ago, because almost everyone on the sell side had the Series 7 if they were on the sell-side. This exam is the "General Securities Rep" exam, meaning that once you pass it, you are able to sell all types of financial products. Unless you are required to have the Series 79 or work in an area that does not require the Series 7, you will have to take it. If you pass, it serves as your general registration with FINRA and as a General Securities Rep on the federal level. It effectively allows you to actually interact with clients and sell any security except for life insurance, real estate, commodities and futures. It is important to note that you cannot trade with the Series 7 alone, as you need to have your state registrations as well. The state registrations will be discussed in detail a little further on.
In order to take the Series 7, your firm needs to sponsor you. Traditionally, it's taken within the first three months of employment, as that is the period, as defined by FINRA, of apprenticeship where you are supposed to learn and take your exams. The exam itself is a 6 hour long exam, comprising of two sections, each 3 hours in length and a break of between 30 minutes and an hour between the two halves. The exam has 250 questions. The two largest portions, Municipal Securities and Options, comprise about 100 questions on the exam. Knowing and acing those questions will only get you so far though. The Series 7 also covers basic regulation, analysis, the markets, KYC/Account and Ops related information and a few other topics. You need a score of 70% or higher to pass this exam. - Excerpt from User @Frieds in post Licensing for Dummies
Taking the Series 63 Exam
The Series 63 is the Blue Sky Laws exam. Passing this exam allows you to be registered at the state level per Blue Sky regulation and enables you to sell securities in whichever state you or your firm, as the case may be, choose to register in. The name of the law comes from the following quote:
The name that is given to the law indicates the evil at which it is aimed, that is, to use the language of a cited case, "speculative schemes which have no more basis than so many feet of 'blue sky'"; or, as stated by counsel in another case, "to stop the sale of stock in fly-by-night concerns, visionary oil wells, distant gold mines and other like fraudulent exploitations." Even if the descriptions be regarded as rhetorical, the existence of evil is indicated, and a belief of its detriment; and we shall not pause to do more than state that the prevention of deception is within the competency of government and that the appreciation of the consequences of it is not open for our review.
As to the exam itself, this exam covers state securities regulation, laws and ethics. It has 60 questions and is 75 minutes long. You need a score of 72% or higher to pass. - Excerpt from User @Frieds in post Licensing for Dummies
What is the Series 63 Test?
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.
Read more about taking the Series 63 Exam on WSO.
Series 63 Study Time and Method
With that in mind - our users shared their studying experiences:
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.
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.
What to Know about Series 79 Exam?
The Series 79 covers just about every IBD and ECM/DCM function there is. Basically, this exam covers two key areas:
- Capital Markets Advisory for Debt or Equity securities
- Traditional IBD Functions from Advisory Work to Restructuring and everything in between. And yes, your product group under IBD falls under traditional functions. It doesn't matter whether you're in FIG, TMT or SSG, you're still just a sucker who will need to get his Series 79 if you work at a sell-side shop.
This exam, while new, was created as a result of the problems that arose from the latter part of the last decade and is now required if you plan to do IBD. This exam serves as the IBD equivalent of having the Series 7/66 combo. The exam is 175 questions and is five hours long. - Excerpt from User @Frieds in post Licensing for Dummies
Taking the Series 7 Exam?
Be sure to pass your exam by using the Wall Street Oasis prep guide!