What is the 'Series 24'

The Series 24 is the securities license entitling the holder to supervise and manage branch activities. Before taking the Series 24 exam, a candidate must pass a prerequisite exam, the Series 7 being one example.

The Series 24 exam is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and covers topics such as corporate securities, real estate investment trusts, trading, customer accounts and regulatory guidelines.


The Series 24 exam, also known as the General Securities Principal Qualification Examination, was designed to test the knowledge and competency of candidates aiming to become entry-level securities principals. Supervisory activities allowed after passing the exam include regulatory compliance over trading and market making activities, underwriting, and advertising. In order to be eligible to take the Series 24 exam, a candidate must have previously passed any one of the following examinations: Series 7, 17, 37, 38, 62, 79 or 82.

The examination contains 150 scored questions and 10 questions that are not scored. The 10 questions that are not scored are randomly distributed through the exam. To successfully pass the exam, a candidate must correctly answer at least 105 questions of the 150 scored questions. This equates to a score of 70%. The test administrator provides electronic calculators and dry-erase markets and whiteboards. No other calculators, reference or study materials are permitted in the examination room.

Candidates have a maximum time of three hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam. A FINRA member firm or other applicable firms can register a candidate to take the exam by filing a Form U4 and paying the $120 examination fee.

Series 24 Content Outline

The Series 24 content is grouped into the five main functions that a general securities principal engages in regularly at work. Those job functions are the supervision of the following five areas: broker-dealer registration and personnel activities, general broker-dealer activities, customer-related activities (both retail and institutional), market making and trading activities, and research and investment banking.

Series 24 Exam Content

FINRA provides updated exam information on its website, but as of May 2016, the questions on the exam are grouped as follows:

Investment Banking, Research and Underwriting Activities: 33 questions, or 22% of the exam.

Market Making and Trading Activities: 31 questions, or 21% of the exam.

Brokerage Office Operations: 29 questions, or 19% of the exam.

General Employee Actives and Sales: 43 questions, or 29% of the exam.

Financial and Compliance Responsibilities: 14 questions, or 9% of the exam.

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