Time allowed to pass SIE/Series 63/79

cmbsdude's picture
Rank: Monkey | 61

Fellow monkies... recently received a lateral FT offer from a BB IB group. I'm excited... except for the part of my offer letter that states I have 90 days to pass the SIE, Series 63 and 79 or my employment ends. You get one chance to re-take an exam if you fail. The 90 day hard deadline seems a little draconian, but maybe it's pretty standard? This was an off-cycle offer obviously so not part of a formal analyst program. How long do other people get to pass these?

Comments (11)

Mar 17, 2019

You have to wait 30 days between test attempts anyways, so I think this is basically them telling you that you have two tries (2-3 is usually standard for people who start with a class). Start studying now, because it's a lot easier now than when you're on the job. If you actually put in the work to study, it'll be easy, but it can be a bit of work.

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Mar 17, 2019

Thanks - the letter actually says you get two tries, and your employment ends if you fail the second so makes sense. I'm going to get started now as I wait on BG check, notice, etc. Any recommendations on Knopman vs. Pass the SIE (Examzone)? Heard exam zone is a little bit more plain-spoken (I do not have a finance degree).

Mar 18, 2019

Use Solomon Exam Prep. I cannot advocate for them enough. I passed the 63 with very little effort (Started studying Wednesday night and took it Saturday morning) and I needed the 52 for my spot. I failed the 52 with one of the bigger ones and felt like I didn't even study half the exam with their practice exams and easily got a 90%+ using Solomon.

May 14, 2019

How did you find out your score on the exam? I thought they stopped publishing them in Oct

Mar 17, 2019

Related, how does this work if coming through the traditional pipeline (internship -> return offer)? Do you study this material in your off time or does the EB/BB bring in people to teach the course?

Mar 18, 2019

Traditionally you have 6-10 weeks of training before your full time employment starts, in which you also prepare for the 79/63. Some banks take it earlier in the training period and some almost at the very end. The EB/BB bring in a trainer such as Knopman Marks to prep you for a full week (that is, 8 hours a day for 5 days) before you take the exam but it helps a lot if you have read the material beforehand. Some people get away with not doing that, but I think that's a risky move. You do NOT want to be that guy/gal who did not pass the exam and can't work on real stuff once everyone hits the desk.

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Mar 18, 2019

Cheers, thanks. I will try and pass the SIE prior to graduation so I can focus on the other material. Appreciate the answer.

Most Helpful
Mar 18, 2019

I will provide my 2 cents as I just took the SIE and Series 63 (working on the 79 at the moment) and what I recommend how you approach the exams and studying. Like one of the posters said up top, the key is to do as much studying before you start as your bandwidth on time significantly shrinks the moment you walk into the office. If you have already started your position you just need to devote any spare moment you have to studying as the quicker you get the exams out of the way the faster you can actually be a value to your team.

The SIE exam is a comprehensive overview of finance, meaning that its not a mile deep and an inch wide but an inch deep and a mile wide. The information you learn will not require deep understanding but there are a lot of details that you need to cover. Whatever study guide you use, do not base your studying on just doing the Q&A found in the online resource ( I used Kaplan for this). You actually need to read the book and take notes on the details as I mentioned before as this will make up roughly 60% of your exam. I spent 10 days studying for the exam, but quite literally writing notes on anything that was not bolded or italicized as there are questions on the exam that come from areas that are not heavily emphasized in the book. Once you feel you have a good grasp on the concepts you can actually go to the FINRA website and they have a mock SIE exam. I HIGHLY recommend doing so as this is actually a fair gauge on your understanding of the concepts that you will find on exam day. I only got 45/75 right when I did it, which meant I had to go over everything again until I could recite some of the most asinine concepts that will never be applied again. But if you follow that you should be good to go.

Series 63 - this has to be the most boring exam of all time. But it is crucial if you actually want to be paid a bonus or commission on your job. My approach was a bit more thought out on this one as 3 of the 5 sections carry a significant weight so I focused my attention on Section 1, 4 & 5 which constitutes about 85% of the total exam. Make sure you still read the other parts as the questions from those sections are not that difficult and you don't want to lose easy points. Once again you should read each chapter answer the questions at the back of the sections and go over the 3 sections with the highest weight the most. If you have an online resource even better as this exam is based completely on situational scenarios. The majority of questions you find on exam day will go like "Tim works at a BD, and has a client in State X but is only registered in State Y, customer does..." you get the drill. Be sure to understand what happens in each type of scenario for BDs, Agents, IAs, and IARs. This will make your exam day so much easier.

As for the 79 I am going to follow my approach as to not spend more than 10 days studying for it as I have actually devoted a lot of time studying IB concepts so unless something goes awry I don't anticipate this requiring a different study schedule.

Good luck!

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Mar 19, 2019

Not sure what they've provided you for training materials, but I would try and steer clear of STC training materials if possible. Wasn't a fan... While STC did get the job done, I've heard that Kaplan is a lot more comprehensive and relevant for 63/79. Can't speak to SIE since I'm grandfathered in.

EDIT: In regards to the 90-day policy... That's pretty standard across the board. Smaller firms have a more relaxed view, but generally the 90-day up or out rule is widely adopted at larger firms. I was jammed when taking both 79/63 and only studied over the weekend, but I highly recommend hunkering down and spending more time to ensure that you feel comfortable at the testing center. Quizlet cards helped to memorize the mundane BS that makes up the 63... 79 should be a lot more intuitive.

May 15, 2019