What is the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam: Everything you Need to Know

Securities Industry Essentials (SIA) Exam

Before October 1st, 2018, you needed to be sponsored by another member of the financial service sector or pass an exam in a relevant field to transition into a securities-related career.

Without experience to know whether or not you liked the job, the likelihood of a security advisor quitting was high, but the Securities Industry Essentials exam can be the solution to uncertainty.

What is the Securities Industry Essentials Exam?

The Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam is an assessment offered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for prospective employees in the securities industry.

It’s an entry-level exam that covers topics like regulatory agencies, security products and their risks, the securities industry’s structure and market, and prohibited trading practices.

Anyone over the age of 18 can participate in the SIE exam to demonstrate their industry potential and knowledge of the security industry to potential employers. It is also recommended to check out SIE exam study materials to make sure you pass the exam. 

Once financial students pass the exam their results will stay valid for up to 4 years. Professionals don’t have a cap for how many times they can retake the SIE exam.

While you won’t need to be associated with a broker-dealer to take the exam, you will have access to more opportunities in the financial sector. Keep in mind that you need extra qualifications to conduct business in the security sector.

For example, a registered representative needs a Series 7 exam and the SIE exam to work in that field.

What is an SIE Exam Prep Course?

If you’re in the financial sector and want to maximize the amount you learn in the shortest amount of time, an SIE exam prep course may be what you need. These prep courses are designed to offer students a comprehensive look at what it means to work in securities.

You’ll be provided with lectures, study materials, question banks, and a practice exam.

Students will go through the course and become more comfortable with the material. In the end, you’ll be more prepared for the exam, which increases your likelihood of passing.

How Much Does a Prep Course Cost?

There are several prep courses to choose from, most of which range significantly in cost. Some prep courses can be as low as $30, and others can be as high as $400. However, you’re more likely to find a high-quality course in the $200-$300 range.

When searching for the right prep course, pay more attention to their pass rate, learning style, and schedule over costs.

How Long Should I Study for the Exam?

Everyone learns at different speeds, but you’ll likely have to dedicate at least 50 hours of serious studying before taking the exam. If you already have a solid financial background, this can be reduced, but if you’re fresh from school, you may need to study even longer.

The SIE exam itself contains 75 questions and typically takes about an hour and 45 minutes. To pass, you’ll need 70% or above. The current passing rate for SIE exams is 82%

Should I take a Prep Course Before the Exam?

It’s entirely possible to pass the SIE exam without a prep course. However, a prep course is designed to make you a more efficient studier as it focuses specifically on possible exam questions.

Prep courses also allow you to take practice exams, which help you find your strengths and weaknesses, making it even easier to prepare for the exam.

Although the main objective of a prep course is to help you pass, an SIE prep course can also help you confirm whether or not you want to pursue a career in securities.

What if you find that securities bores you to death, or you just can’t keep certain concepts in your head? Either of those examples could reveal that you may want to look at other financial sectors.

 

 

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