Getting Started - Introduction

The Series 7 exam is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (previously the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)) and provides an individual with the qualifications necessary in order to process trades with all types of corporate securities, excluding commodities and futures. The Series 7 exam must be passed in order to take many other principal exams offered by FINRA.

Because the Series 7 Examination intends to measure competence at an entry level, every effort is made to avoid including questions that can only be answered correctly by a small proportion of candidates. The measurement purpose of the Series 7 Examination is to determine whether or not a candidate has attained the level of competency required to function as a Registered Representative (RR), not to rate the candidate in relation to the candidate group. In other words, you are not competing with anyone. You are just taking an entry-level, pass-fail exam.Here is some more useful information:

Time Limit Six hours. Three in the morning, followed by a one-hour break, then three in the afternoon.
Questions 250 multiple choice questions Questions are comprised of inter-related components: functions, tasks, knowledge statements and rule knowledge
Passing Score 72%
Exam Fee $290 as of August 2012. For more see the FINRA Registration/Exam Fee Schedule.
Exam Date(s): Exams occur on any weekday. Find your US or International exam center here.
Prerequisites: You must be sponsored by a financial company who is a member of FINRA, or a Self-Regulatory Organization (SRO).

You probably already know about the Catch-22 inherent in getting a Series 7 license. To get a job in financial securities, you need a Series 7, but to get a Series 7, you need a job in financial securities.This presents a difficult, but not insurmountable, problem. There are similar hurdles to getting through any licensure or apprenticeship program for any job worth having. There is more than one way to get into the business, and within this section we will give you a few suggestions.

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