Preliminary Requirements
If you have a mailing address, two forms of ID and $115, you can take the Series 3 exam. You do not need a brokerage firm to sponsor you, like you might if you decided to take a test to qualify for some other financial services job. You don't even need a high school diploma.

The standards for taking the exam, then, are almost non-existent. Don't assume for a moment, though, that this is an exam for people who couldn't qualify for some other, more prestigious exam.

The Series 3 may be narrower in scope and shorter in testing time than the more widely recognized Series 7 exam – the one that stockbrokers and bond traders take – but that doesn't make it any easier.

You are about to commit a significant amount of time, energy and brain power. You should know what you're about to undertake before proceeding any further

Exam Contents
The exam is broken down into eight topics:

  1. Futures theory and terminology;
  2. Market operations;
  3. Orders and price analysis;
  4. Hedging;
  5. Spreading;
  6. Speculating in futures;
  7. Option hedging, speculating and spreading; and
  8. Regulation.

Of these, regulation is the most important. Not only does it account for 35 of the 120 exam questions, it is graded as a stand-alone test. You have to score 70% correct on the regulation questions in addition to 70% on the others – collectively called "market knowledge" – in order to pass the exam. You could score 100% on the market knowledge but, if you don't get at least 25 correct answers out of the 35 questions devoted to regulation, you fail the entire exam.

The test preparers further break down hedging into two sub-topics:

  1. Basic hedging, basis calculation and hedging commodity futures; and
  2. Hedging financial and monetary futures.

Speculating is similarly divided into:

  1. Speculating in commodity futures and
  2. Speculating in financial and monetary futures.


Information

Related Articles
  1. Financial Advisor

    Series 7 Exam Prep: Options

    One of the most challenging topics in the series 7 exam is options. Find out what you need to know before you take the test.
  2. Personal Finance

    Prepare For Your CFA Exams

    Find out how to get yourself ready for these lengthy and often daunting exams.
  3. Personal Finance

    How to Ace the CFA Level I Exam

    Prepare to ace the CFA Level 1 exam by studying systematically.
  4. Financial Advisor

    Series 6 Exam Prep: What Is A Security?

    Before you take the series 6, you need to understand what a security is as defined by the exam.
  5. Financial Advisor

    Tips on Passing the CFA Level I on Your First Attempt

    Obtain valuable tips and helpful study instructions that can help you pass the Level 1 Chartered Financial Analyst exam on your first attempt.
  6. Financial Advisor

    How Hard are the CFA Exams?

    Learn about the difficulty of the CFA exams with a description of the tests, some statistics on pass rates and suggestions that can help you pass the exams.
  7. Personal Finance

    What to Expect on the CFA Level I Exam

    The Level I exam for the Chartered Financial Analyst designation can be challenging. Here's what to expect.
  8. Financial Advisor

    Series 65 Exam Prep: The Investment Advisor

    Before you take the series 65, you need to understand who is an investment advisor as defined by the exam.
  9. Financial Advisor

    Who Needs to Take the Series 65?

    Most states require individuals to pass the Series 65 exam in order to act as investment advisors.
  10. Insights

    FINRA Files Plans to Change Series 7 and Other Exams

    New details have emerged on the Securities Industry Essentials Exam required for becoming a registered representative.
Frequently Asked Questions
  1. What's the difference between Google's GOOG and GOOGL stock tickers?

    Learn the difference between Google's GOOG and GOOGL ticker symbols. Splitting shares into classes prevents management from ...
  2. What is the difference between overdraft and cash credit?

    The primary differences between overdraft and cash credit lie in how they are secured and whether the money is lent out of ...
  3. What does a Chief Financial Officer (CFO) do?

    A CFO is responsible for reporting accurate financial information of the company, investing the company's money, and identifying ...
  4. How Do Fiscal and Monetary Policies Affect Aggregate Demand?

    Learn about the impact fiscal and monetary policy have on aggregate demand, and discover how the government influences economic ...
Trading Center