A:

Unfortunately, the answer is "No." The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA, (formerly the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)), requires an individual to be sponsored by a member firm, a self-regulatory organization (SRO), or an exchange in order to write the Series 7 exam.

However, the Essentials exam or Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam which is the pre-requisite for the Series 7 exam, does not require sponsorship.

The Series 7 exam allows a finance professional to demonstrate his or her competence in all areas of trading, except for commodities and futures. In order to schedule an exam, the member firm that sponsors you must file the Uniform Application for Securities Industry Registration or Transfer (Form U-4) with FINRA. Click here for the most recent PDF version of Form U-4, and here for instructions on how to complete the form.

For Form U-4 to be completed to the liking of FINRA, the sponsoring firm must act as an Appropriate Signatory. Therefore, if an individual attempted to file this form without the signature of a sponsoring firm, the application would be rejected and monies paid toward registration might not be refunded.

This may lead you to wonder, how do you get sponsored? Click here for more information on obtaining sponsorship for an exam.

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