All FINRA Exams

Exam Title Free Files
Exam
Series 6
Title
Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative Qualification Examination (IR)
Free Files
2
Exam
Series 63
Title
Uniform Securities State Law Examination
Free Files
2
Exam
Series 7
Title
General Securities Representative Qualification Examination (GS)
Free Files
2

About FINRA Certifications

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FINRA is a non-profit organization that is committed to maintaining the security of investors and promoting integrity in the capital markets. It is a self-regulatory professional body that supervises broker deals in the US market. Aside from its popular machine learning and AI technologies, FINRA offers professional certifications to ensure that its members are familiar with its products to guarantee integrity in the modern business market.

FINRA Professional Certifications Overview

The FINRA certificates are designed to validate the skills of individuals across all career levels with the Security Industry Essentials (SIE) accreditation as the starting point. Then, one can choose to go further towards higher-level options. These include the FINRA Representative, Principal, Municipal Securities Rulemaking body (MSRB), National Features Association (NFA), and North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) exams.

Previewing the Most Popular FINRA Exams

1. Series 6

The Series 6 exam is also known as Investment Company and Variable Contracts Products Representative. It is a Representative qualification test that verifies the candidate’s entry-level proficiency in performing their role as a representative of an investment company or variable contracts products. This exam attempts to measure how well an applicant understands the core elements of an investment company. With that in mind, students must pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) together with the above-mentioned Series 6 exam to complete their accreditation path.

The Series 6 exam brings a maximum of 50 multiple-choice items within a test duration of 1 hour 30 minutes. The passing score is 70% and the test costs $40. The exam content focuses on the main job functions such as seeking business for the broker-dealers, performing the tasks related to transactions, making recommendations for customers, evaluating financial profiles, and more.

2. Series 63

The Uniform Securities Agent State Law Exam, or simply Series 63, is part of North American Securities Administrators Association tests. It contains 60 multiple-choice questions to be completed in 75 minutes. Every candidate must pay at least $147 to schedule this test and only those who score 43 correct answers out of 60 will obtain the certificate.

3. Series 7

The Series 7 exam or General Securities Representative, focuses on one’s ability as a general securities representative to perform their role as part of a broader IT department. The test assesses if the applicants understand the key roles of a general securities representative right, including the concepts like municipal securities, variable annuities, and government securities, among the rest. Primarily, candidates must pass this exam together with the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) to obtain the General Securities Representative certificate.

A sneak preview of the Series 7 exam reveals a 125-question test with a seat time of 3 hours 45 minutes. The test is purely multiple-choice based and costs $245. Normally, the candidates must get a score of at least 72 to obtain the corresponding certification.

Career Opportunities

Getting the FINRA license or certificate will help you to assume one of the following job roles:

  • Financial Consultant

    A financial consultant assesses an organization’s financial status, analyzes the results of an investment plan, and evaluates the available options to expand capital, including external funding and loans. Also, these individuals may be involved in forecasting or predicting the revenue costs depending on the available reports, analyzing the current market trends to detect possible risks and opportunities, and monitoring the financial procedures besides ascertaining compliance with the existing laws. For modern organizations, financial consultants are some of their most valuable employees with an expansive job scope that may also cover a review of everyday transactions and the provision of solutions to ensure profitability. In that regard, these individuals are compensated with an average pay of $70k per year. This is in line with the latest salary estimates by PayScale.com.

  • Financial Advisor

    A financial advisor works with a clear goal in mind, which is to help his/her clients to plan effectively for the long-term or short-term realization of their financial goals. This could be anything from paying school fees to buying land, buying a new home, or even retirement. Primarily, these individuals research and analyze the existing opportunities either alone or with their clients to design the most suitable investment strategies. With that being said, the typical duties of a financial advisor will involve performing market analysis, recruiting clients, assessing the client’s needs, recommending and executing strategies, and monitoring accounts. As a reliable financial advisor, the biggest objective will be to present an ideal strategy that covers all aspects of the client’s needs. And on that note, you can be sure to earn an average salary of $60k per year as stated by PayScale.

  • Portfolio Manager

    A portfolio manager creates and manages the investment allocations for their clients. Even though they almost certainly work with corporate investors and institutions, these specialists may also work with families and individuals in an attempt to predetermine the investment strategies to fulfill the client’s needs. They use their expertise and years of experience to determine the level of risk after analyzing the organization’s investment needs. To thrive in this role, portfolio managers must demonstrate their knowledge of the current market trends, the existing conditions, and the general fiscal outlook. A large percentage of a portfolio manager’s time will go into creating and maintaining effective relationships with their clients, which will ultimately help them create sustainable success. In conclusion, these individuals earn an average of $88k per year according to PayScale.com.

Aside from the above-mentioned roles, the FINRA professional certifications are also associated with these jobs:

  • Sales Manager
  • Sales Assistant
  • Financial Planner

Certification Path

FINRA offers a comprehensive certification track and it takes time and commitment to reach the very top of the professional career ladder. For starters, there is no better option than Security Industry Essentials (SIE), which addresses the fundamentals of security operations. In general, most of these certifications are restricted to specific areas of security business and investment banking. But, if you can’t find a suitable option after completing the current exam, you will want to register for alternative options from recognized vendors such as Cisco, EC-Council, ISACA, and ISC2 among the rest.

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