The Securities Industry Essentials exam, or SIE exam prep, is a FINRA assessment for prospective securities industry professionals. It is a beginner’s exam that covers products and their risks, regulatory agencies, prohibited practices, and the market structure of the securities industry.
The SIE exam is given to students and prospective candidates to demonstrate their industry knowledge to potential employers and firms. It is available to anyone over 18, and the results are valid for four years. You do not need to be affiliated with a broker-dealer to take the exam.
While the SIE exam can demonstrate basic industry knowledge, it does not qualify the examinee to engage in securities industry business or even register with a FINRA member firm. To do so, you must pass the SIE exam and a qualification exam relevant to your business type. To become a registered representative, you must pass both the SIE and the Series 7 exams.
These qualification exams are only available to those who work for or are affiliated with a FINRA member firm.
What Exactly Is an SIE Exam Preparation Course?
An SIE exam prep course is a focused financial industry course designed to help students pass the SIE exam on the first try. Courses may include study materials, lectures, practice exams, and question banks, among other things. Students become more prepared for specific exam sections as they progress through the material.
How Long Should You Study for the SIE Exam?
The SIE exam has 75 questions and takes an hour and 45 minutes to complete. A passing grade is one with a score of 70 or higher.
To pass the SIE exam, you will most likely need to devote many hours studying the material over several weeks (or months). While everyone retains information differently, it is recommended that you devote a significant amount of time to studying before your exam. If you don’t already have a solid financial foundation, you should probably devote even more time to your preparation.
The current overall pass rate for the SIE exam is around 82%.
What Is the Price of an SIE Exam Prep Course?
There are numerous SIE exam prep courses to choose from, depending on how much assistance you believe you require and how you learn best.
For example, a generic online review course can be purchased for as little as $40, though it will be mostly self-guided. If you want an in-person prep course, you can expect to pay between $200 and $300 or more.
Some prep courses have a better reputation (and pass rate) than others, so pick the one that fits your schedule, learning style, and level of comfort with the SIE exam. Also, remember that while a prep course can be an excellent investment, it will not replace the hours of independent study you must still devote to the exam.
Is it Worth It to Take an SIE Exam Prep Course?
While it is possible to pass the SIE exam without taking a prep course, students can become more efficient in their exam preparation. Courses focus on topics known to be covered on the exam, and students can take practice exams to determine their strengths and weaknesses. Students save time by not studying concepts they are already strong in and can instead focus on improving weak areas.
How We Selected the Best SIE Exam Preparation Courses
We considered cost, published pass rate, and availability to help determine the best SIE exam prep courses. Because different examinees respond differently to different class structures, it’s critical to pick the best model for you—online, in-person, or in a book.
We also looked at what each course provided, such as review books, flashcards, practice exams, and access to instructors for questions. In addition, we considered course policies such as money-back guarantees. Finally, you will find the right program to help you pass your exam and advance your career using our roundup of the best SIE exam prep courses.