The FINRA Series 7 Licensing Exam, also known as the General Securities Representative Exam, is one of the most common licensing exams in the financial services industry. If you want to be an agent of a broker-dealer and sell securities, you will most likely need a Series 7 License.
To register for and take the Series 7 Exam, there are a few prerequisites you must meet. First, you will normally take the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam, as it is a co-requisite for the Series 7 and covers the foundational material.
Next, you must be sponsored by a FINRA-member firm or other SRO-member firm in order to register for the exam. When you are hired by a company in a role that requires Series 7 Licensing, you will submit a Form U4 through your firm that serves as an application to the financial services industry and to FINRA. Assuming everything is good on your U4, you will receive confirmation to register for the Series 7 through your firm.
You will be able to register for a Series 7 Exam appointment through FINRA’s website and schedule an appointment at Prometric testing center near you. Normally, your firm will want you to take the Series 7 within 30-45 days of beginning your studies. You firm will most likely pay the $300 exam registration fee and provide you study material through a test prep vendor, internal materials, or both.
The Series 7 Exam Requirements are as follows: you have 3 hours and 45 minutes to answer 135 questions, 125 of which are scored and 10 of which are un-scored, experimental test questions (you will not know what questions are un-scored, so answer all to the best of your ability).
These questions will be in a four-answer, multiple-choice format and will focus on the application of material from the content outline. This means it is not enough to simply memorize the material, as you will be asked to apply your knowledge to specific situations. To pass, you will need to score a 72% or greater on the exam. Should you miss the mark, you will have to wait 30 days before retaking the exam.
Once you meet the Series 7 Exam requirements, pass the test, and receive your License, you will become a registered General Securities Representative (as long as you also have credit for the SIE). You will then most likely take a Series 66 (or 63/65) for your state securities laws. The FINRA Series 7 License is a major step in the pipeline for becoming a registered agent of a broker-dealer and an investment advisor representative.
For even more details about this exam, please review our Ultimate Guide to Series 7 Licensing.