What is a 'Series 11'

The Series 11 is a securities license that allows holders to provide current securities quotations and accept unsolicited customer orders for execution. Also known as the Assistant Representative - Order Processing Examination (AR), the Series 11 is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). It applies to brokerage sales assistants who take and enter unsolicited client orders from broker-dealer customers for execution. It does not permit them to accept orders for municipal securities or direct participation programs, however. There is no prerequisite for taking the exam, though a candidate must first be registered with FINRA.

Breaking Down 'Series 11'

The Series 11 covers persons associated with a FINRA member firm who accept telephone or other communications from the public for the purposes of providing current securities quotations and accepting unsolicited customer securities orders (with the notable exception of the aforementioned municipal securities and direct participation programs) for submission to the normal order execution operations of the member. According to FINRA, an Assistant Representative - Order Processing registrant "may conduct the above-mentioned tasks only on the premises of the member, must be under the direct supervision of an appropriately registered principal, and may not receive extra direct or indirect compensation for the number or size of transactions effected."

Series 11 Prohibited Activities

Assistant representative-order processing registrants are prohibited from conducting the following activities:

  • Dually registering as a representative or principal
  • Rendering investment advice or opinion
  • Making recommendations
  • Making transactions in securities markets on behalf of the firm
  • Accepting or opening new accounts
  • Prequalifying potential customers
  • Effecting transactions in municipal securities
  • Effecting transactions in direct participation programs

Series 11 Structure and Content

The Series 11 Exam consists of 50 scored multiple-choice questions. Candidates are allocated 60 minutes to complete the exam, which costs $80. A passing score is 70%. There is no penalty for guessing so exam takers should endeavor to answer every question. The test is organized into the following sections:

  • Section 1: Types of Securities (10 questions)
  • Section 2: Customer Accounts and Orders (24 questions)
  • Section 3: Securities Markets (5 questions)
  • Section 4: Securities Industry Regulations (11 questions)

After the exam is completed, candidates will receive a section by section informational breakdown of their performance, as well as their overall score. Candidates are not allowed to use any reference material during the exam, as it is a closed-book test. The exam's questions may change based on new regulations or amendments to existing regulations, so candidates should keep abreast of potential developments. For more, visit FINRA's Series 11 Exam Content Outline.

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