DEFINITION of 'Series 42'

An exam offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for financial professionals seeking to become licensed options representatives for a FINRA-member broker/dealer or principal.

The test consists of 50 questions taken over 1.5 hours, and a score of 70% or better is required for passing. Test questions cover the taker's knowledge of options terminology, trading strategies, handling of customer accounts, settlement practices, record-keeping, and overall broker conduct. The Series 42 has a corequisite of either the Series 62 or the Series 72 license.

BREAKING DOWN 'Series 42'

Unlike some of the other exams that test broader sets of knowledge, the Series 42 is all about options, specifically listed options that trade on national exchanges like the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE). Derivative contracts like stock options come with their own lexicon, which is completely different than that found in stock or bond trading. People seeking to become licensed options principals and supervise other registered representatives or a branch office must take and pass the Series 4, which has the Series 7 exam as a prerequisite.

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