Series 52

What Is Series 52?

The Series 52 is a professional license and certification that qualifies a financial professional to transact municipal securities. It is known as the Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Examination.

The exam consists of 75 scored questions. Candidates are given two hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam. The passing score is 70%.

Key Takeaways

  • The Series 52 is a licensing exam required to transact in municipal securities such as muni bonds.
  • The exam is known as the Municipal Securities Representative Qualification Examination (MR), and was developed by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB) and administered by FINRA.
  • The 150-minute, 75 multiple choice question exam covers topics ranging from municipal bond basics to monetary and macroeconomic policy. 

Series 52 Explained

The Series 52 exam is developed and offered by the Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB). The Series 52 qualifies a financial professional to become a licensed municipal securities representative. People who obtain this certification can sell municipal securities such as municipal bonds. They can also perform underwriting analysis for municipal securities. The Series 52 certification is broadly utilized across the financial industry and is endorsed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board

The Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board is an agency that sets standards for the municipal securities industry. It manages the professional qualifications for municipal securities principals, representatives, advisor principals, and advisor representatives. Qualifications for municipal securities professionals are outlined in MSRB Rule G-3. In addition to the Series 52 exam, MSRB also manages the following exams:

  • Series 50 — Municipal Advisor Representative Examination
  • Series 51 — Municipal Fund Securities Limited Principal Qualification Examination
  • Series 53 — Municipal Securities Principal Qualification Examination

Series 52 Exam

The Series 52 exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions. It must be completed within 210 minutes. A score of 70% or better is required for passing. The cost of the test is $260.

The following material is covered on the exam:

Part 1: Municipal Securities

  • Types of municipal securities
  • Characteristics of municipal securities
  • The market for municipal securities
  • Analyzing municipal credit
  • Mathematical calculations and methods

Part 2: U.S. Government, Federal Agency and Other Financial Instruments

  • Types
  • Characteristics of various U.S. government, federal agency and other financial instruments
  • The market for U.S. government, federal agency and other financial instruments — impact and relationship to other fixed income markets
  • Credit features

Part 3: Economic Activity, Government Policy and the Behavior of Interest Rates

Part 4: Securities Laws and Regulations

  • Regulation of municipal market professionals
  • Securities Investor Protection Act of 1970
  • MSRB rules

Additional Information

  • Contents of a typical notice of bond sale
  • Outline of a typical official statement

Municipal Securities Representatives

Municipal securities representatives that have passed the Series 52 exam and obtained their Municipal Securities Representative Certification can transact or underwrite municipal securities for a sponsoring organization. A municipal securities representative must work for a sponsoring company. As a municipal securities representative, professionals can transact and underwrite municipal securities, provide professional financial advice or consultation in regard to municipals issuance, and generally provide communication to pubic investors on municipal securities.

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