Okay – here comes the incredibly dry bit. Read through this Series 6 exam description, come out the other side without a splitting headache and you’ll be doing well!
The FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) Investment Company Products/Variable Contracts Limited Representative Qualification Exam – otherwise known as the Series 6 exam – is used to qualify individuals who are seeking registration with FINRA under Article III, Section 2 of the NASD By-Laws and applicable Membership, Registration and Qualification Rules.
Okay – got that? Good. Got a headache yet?
At the end of the day – you’ll know which exams you need to take to get your financial qualifications, allowing you to trade and deal across the multitude of different formats and areas.
If you need the Series 6 exam – then this overview is just for you! Let’s break it down into as simple an exam overview as possible.
The Series 6 exam covers 6 areas:-
• Securities markets, Investment Securities and Economic Factors (8)
• Securities and Tax Regulation (23)
• Marketing, Prospecting and Sales Presentation (18)
• Evaluation of Customers (13)
• Product Information; Investment Company Securities and Variable Contracts (26)
• Opening and Servicing Customer Accounts (12)
The figures in brackets after each subject are the number of questions that each section has in the exam.
The exam is actually a multiple choice test with a total of 100 questions.
You have 135 minutes (2 1/4 hours) in which to answer the questions and you need to get 70% of the answers correct to pass.
So let’s work that out – 135 minutes for 105 questions, needing 70% correct. You can either approach it from the point of view of having 1.28 minutes (77 seconds) for every question in which to assess and record your answer or you can target doing 70% (70) questions and getting them all spot on!
This would give you 1.92 minutes per question (or 115 seconds).
But I wouldn’t recommend that as an approach. All that takes is for you to get confused or forgetful and miss just 1 question – and you’ve blown it.
Assume you are going to try and answer all 100 questions and you’ll allow yourself 1 minute per question.
Then, when you’ve finished, you still have 30 minutes left to review, think on some of the harder questions and check your work.
Although the exam is a closed book exam (no guides or assists allowed in other words) you will be given a calculator and plain paper for scratch work.
Not that you ever would of course but for anyone stupid or desperate enough to consider cheating in the exam – be aware that there are severe penalties for anyone caught cheating a financials exam!
Now for the eagle eyed among us who are reading this and think I’ve added up the total number of questions from each section and got 100 – and are now wondering why I said earlier that there were 105 questions!
There are an additional 5 questions added to the exam that although marked – are not scored. These questions are added because the Series 6 exam is regularly updated to cover and reflect the latest regulations and rules updates. New questions are added and brought in to test their effectiveness and usability within an actual exam structure. You won’t know which ones they are and don’t let it phase or worry you – it makes no real difference for you when sitting the test.
At the time of writing this (March 2010) the price for the Series 6 exam is $75 and you can find your local test centre via the FINRA site.