What Is the Series 62 Exam?

The Series 62 exam, also known as the Corporate Securities Qualification Examination, was an examination administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). Prior to its termination by FINRA, passing the Series 62 exam was a requirement for those who wish to become professional traders of corporate securities, such as stocks and bonds.

Key Takeaways

  • The Series 62 was an important exam for financial professionals.
  • It is a prerequisite for those wishing to trade corporate securities.
  • The Series 62 has since been replaced by other FINRA-regulated exams, such as the Series 7.

How the Series 62 Exam Works

The purpose of the Series 62 exam was to protect the public by ensuring that new professionals meet a required standard of professional knowledge and competency. Specifically, the exam was focused on the roles and responsibilities involved in selling corporate securities. Although the most well-known types of corporate securities are stocks and bonds, they may also include other security types such as warrants, asset-backed securities (ABSs), closed-end funds, and exchange-traded funds (ETFs).

The Series 62 was one of the most common certifications obtained by financial professionals. Its broad scope made it relevant for various positions. Candidates would often take the Series 62 alongside the Series 6 exam, which allows successful candidates to trade securities such as open-end mutual funds, unit investment trusts (UITs), and insurance products such as variable annuities.

Today, professionals wishing to trade corporate securities must take alternative exams, such as the Series 7 examination. The Series 7, known formally as the General Securities Representative Qualification Examination, covers a broad range of securities, including the types of corporate securities discussed above.

Real World Example of the Series 62 Exam

Prior to its discontinuation, the Series 62 exam consisted of 115 multiple choice questions taken over 150 minutes. Candidates had to obtain a score of at least 70% in order to pass, and had to be sponsored by a registered broker-dealer firm in order to write the test.

The Series 62 exam was structured in four sections. In the first and second sections, its questions focused on the various types of corporate securities traded today, together with the markets in which these securities trade. This section included discussions of asset-backed securities, corporate stocks and bonds, securities issued by the U.S. government institutions and agencies, and others. In the third and fourth sections, the questions focused on the methods used to evaluate these securities, as well as the best practices used to handle customer accounts and ensure compliance with securities regulations.