Taking the Series 7

In this article we are going to cover off all the basics for the Series7. We'll go over the exam details, how to prepare, review topics, pre-requisites, test center logistics and finish up with some exam tips as well as other resources to help you pass.

Exam Details

Organization FINRA
Official Website www.finra.org (PDF)
Cost $290 (includes a $110 enrollment fee and $90 NYSE development fee)
Exam Length 250 Questions
Time Limit 6 hours (split over two parts of 3 hours each)
Passing Score 72%
Format Computer-based

How to prepare for the Series 7 Exam

For most candidates the combination of self-studying and classroom instruction proves to be enough to successfully complete the exam. It is recommended that the individual spend at least 60 to 70 hours preparing for the exam by reading the text book, underlining key points and by taking as many practice questions as possible. If taking a classroom based course, we recommend that a student schedule their exam no more than 3 weeks after attending a Series 7 course.

Topics Covered

A series 7 Registered Representative may conduct business in all general securities products including:
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Options
  • Rights
  • Warrants
  • American Depository Receipts
  • Mutual Funds
  • Investment company products
  • Direct participation programs
  • Real estate investment trusts
  • US Governments Securities
  • Municipal securities
  • CMOs
Seeks Business for the Broker-Dealer through Customers and Potential Customers 68 questions 27%
Evaluates Customers’ Other Security Holdings, Financial Situation and Needs, Financial Status, Tax Status, and Investment Objectives 27 questions 11%
blah 27 questions 11%
Provides Customers with Information on Investments and Makes Suitable Recommendations 70 questions 28%
Obtains and Verifies Customer’s Purchase and Sales Instructions, Enters Orders, and Follows Up 58 questions 23%
Total 250 questions 100%

Are there any prerequisites for the Series 7?

There are no prerequisites for the Series 7 exam. A candidate is not required to have any other professional qualifications prior to taking the Series 7 exam.

How do I schedule an exam?

Ask your firm’s principal to schedule the exam for you or provide a list of test centers in your area. You must be sponsored by an FINRA member firm prior to making an appointment. The Series 7 exam may be taken any day that the exam center is open.

What must I take to the exam center?

You should only take a picture ID with you. Everything else will be provided, including a calculator and scratch paper.

How long will it take to get the results of the exam?

The exam will be graded as soon as you finish your final question and hit the "submit for grading" button. It will take only a few minutes to get your results. Your grade will appear on the computer screen and you will be given a paper copy from the exam center.

Test Taking Tips

• Read the full question
• Identify what the question is asking
• Identify key words and phrases
• Watch out for hedge clauses, i.e. except and not
• Eliminate wrong roman numeral answers
• Identify synonymous terms
• Be wary of changing answers

Key Tip! The Series 7 exam may use FINRA, NASD or both to describe itself or its rules. Test takers are advised to be aware of this and to treat the two terms as interchangeable. This text in most instances uses the most up to date term FINRA.

Other Resources

Series 7 exam questions - Our partner, SecuritiesCE.com has provided Testopedia users with sample free practice questions.