Series 3 Exam

This exam is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) (previously the National Association of Securities Dealers (NASD)). The National Futures Association (NFA) requires an individual to successfully complete the Series 3 in order to become qualified to sell commodities or futures contracts.

Series 3 Online Study Guide

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Exam Details

Time Limit: 2 hours and 30 minutes
Cost: $115 US as of April 2012. Note that this is the examination enrollment fee ONLY--other fees may also apply. Please visit the FINRA Registration/Exam Fee Schedule for more information.
Number of Questions: 120, plus 5 "pre-test" questions
Passing Score: 70% on both parts of the exam
Format: Multiple Choice
Prerequisites: N/A
Exam Date(s): Any weekday
Exam Locations: Find your U.S. or international exam center here
Offical Exam Website: http://www.nfa.futures.org


Exam Topic Weights

The Series 3 exam is broken into two parts:
  • 85 questions on market knowledge
  • 35 questions on regulations

For an in-depth breakdown of the topics tested, refer to the PDF study outline provided by the National Futures Association here.



Question of the Week

Committing acts against the Commodity Exchange Act can result in fines up to:


Professionals FAQs
  1. Where can I look for a financial planner?

    References from trusted friends or family members can help you find a financial planner; however, keep in mind that your friends' financial situations and goals may differ from yours and, therefore, their planners won't necessarily be the best fit for you.The Certified Financial Planner (CFP) Board of Standards certifies financial planners and maintains an online list of certified financial planners on its CFP Board of Standards website.
  2. If I am looking to get an Investment Banking job. What education do employers prefer? MBA or CFA?

    If you are looking specifically for an investment banking position, an MBA may be marginally preferable over the CFA. The caveat here is that the MBA would most probably need to be from a Top-20 B-School.The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) is well worth considering if you (a) are aiming for an entry-level position in investment banking, and/or (b) cannot afford to shell out six figures for an MBA or have to settle for a lesser-known B-school.That's because in the investment banking field, most entry-level positions are at the analyst level.
  3. Can I still pass the CFA Level I if I do poorly in the ethics section?

    You may still pass the Chartered Financial Analysis (CFA) Level I even if you fare poorly in the ethics section, but don't count on it. The CFA Institute has long emphasized that ethics is a particular area of focus for it. The seriousness with which the CFA Institute views ethics is evident from the fact that for exam candidates with borderline total scores, performance on the ethics section can mean the difference between passing and failing the exam.
  4. Under the USA, registration as an IAR includes all of the following EXCEPT:

    Under the USA, registration as an IAR includes all of the following EXCEPT: A. Minimum net capitalB. Passing a qualification examC. Filing a consent to service of processD. Posting a surety bond The correct answer is "A", since only an IA would need to prove minimum net capital requirements.
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