Series 7 – General Securities Representative Exam (2024)

Beginning June 9, 2023, candidates will need an approved accommodation to schedule an online appointment for an NFA or FINRA exam (other than the SIE). Online appointments scheduled to be taken after Sept. 9, 2023, will be canceled if the candidate does not have an approved accommodation.

Learn more in the How to Schedule an Appointment to Take Exams Online (Remotely) section of the Schedule an Exam page.

The Series 7 exam — the General Securities Representative Qualification Examination (GS) — assesses the competency of an entry-level registered representative to perform their job as a general securities representative.

The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of a general securities representative, including sales of corporate securities, municipal securities, investment company securities, variable annuities, direct participation programs, options and government securities.

Candidates must pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and the Series 7 exam to obtain the General Securities Representative registration. For more information about the SIE and Series 7 exams, refer to FINRA Rule 1210 and FINRA Rule 1220(b)(2).

Series 7 – General Securities Representative Exam (1)
1. Enroll for an Exam

Series 7 – General Securities Representative Exam (2)
2. Schedule an Exam

3. On the Day of Your Exam

Content Outline

The Series 7 Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of topics covered on the exam, as well as the depth of knowledge required. The outline is comprised of the four major job functions of a general securities representative. The table below lists the allocation of exam items for each major job function.

Major Job FunctionsNumber of Exam Items
(F1) Seeks Business for the Broker-Dealer from Customers and Potential Customers9
(F2) Opens Accounts after Obtaining and Evaluating Customers’ Financial Profile and Investment Objectives11
(F3) Provides Customers with Information about Investments, Makes Recommendations, Transfers Assets and Maintains Appropriate Records91
(F4) Obtains and Verifies Customers’ Purchase and Sales Instructions and Agreements; Processes, Completes, and Confirms Transactions14

Download Series 7 Content Outline


Candidates must be associated with and sponsored by a FINRA member firm or other applicable self-regulatory organization (SRO) member firm to be eligible to take FINRA representative-level qualification exams. For more information on registration requirements, refer to FINRA Rule 1210.

The SIE exam is a corequisite to the Series 7 exam. Candidates must pass both the Series 7 exam and the SIE exam to obtain the General Securities registration.

For more information on the registration process, see Register a New Candidate.

Permitted Activities

A candidate who passes the Series 7 exam is qualified for the solicitation, purchase and/or sale of all securities products, including corporate securities, municipal fund securities, options, direct participation programs, investment company products and variable contracts.

Covered activities and products include:

  • public offerings and/or private placements of corporate securities (stocks and bonds),
  • rights,
  • warrants,
  • mutual funds,
  • money market funds,
  • unit investment trusts (UITs),
  • exchange-traded funds (ETFs),
  • real estate investment trusts (REITs),
  • options on mortgage-backed securities,
  • government securities,
  • repos and certificates of accrual on government securities,
  • direct participation programs,
  • venture capital,
  • sale of municipal securities and
  • hedge funds.

Key Questions

1. If I obtain a Series 7 registration, will I be able to trade municipal securities?

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration prior to November 7, 2011, you will be able to trade municipal securities, structure municipal securities underwritings and perform certain other activities involving municipal securities.

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration on or after November 7, 2011, you will be qualified to engage only in municipal securities sales to and purchases from customers. If you want to be qualified to structure municipal securities underwritings or perform activities involving municipal securities that are beyond the scope of selling municipal securities to and purchasing municipal securities from customers, you will have to take and pass the Municipal Securities Representative (Series 52) Exam.

2. Does a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration serve as a corequisite to the Municipal Securities Principal (Series 53) Exam?

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration prior to November 7, 2011, you are qualified to sit for the Series 53 exam.

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration on or after November 7, 2011, you will have to pass the Municipal Securities Representative (Series 52) Exam as a corequisite to taking the Series 53 exam.

Series 7 – General Securities Representative Exam (2024)


How many correct answers to pass Series 7? ›

You will have 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the exam and must correctly answer 72% (90 questions) of the 125 scorable questions to pass. The Series 7 exam, like other FINRA exams, is presented in a bell curve.

Can you pass the Series 7 without reading the book? ›

While everyone learns in a different way, there are certain steps you must take to pass the Series 7 exam. First, read the Series 7 textbook book completely and fully. Take notes and highlight the key points. Once you have completed the textbook, take as many Series 7 practice questions as you can.

How hard is it to pass the Series 7? ›

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) does not report on a Series 7 exam pass rate, but the Series 7 pass rate is estimated to be around 65%. With 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete 125 questions at a required score of 72%, the Series 7 exam doesn't offer a large margin for error.

What is the failure rate of the Series 7 exam? ›

The Series 7 license pass rate is around 65%. How hard is it to pass Series 7? Yes. The test is difficult, so you need to make sure you are fully prepared before you take it.

How many questions can I miss on the Series 7? ›

Therefore, each candidate will see a total of 135 questions (125 scored and 10 unscored). Allowed Time to Complete Exam—Candidates are allowed 3 hours and 45 minutes to complete the Series 7 exam. (The exam used to be 6 hours.) Scoring—The passing score is 72%.

Do most people pass the Series 7? ›

The Series 7 is one of the more lengthy and intensive exams administered by FINRA. The average passing ratio of students taking the Series 7 exam is approximately 65%.

Can you study for the Series 7 in a week? ›

Most financial institutions will provide new hires with Series 7 study materials and will encourage them to allocate about 1 week of dedicated study time. In reality, test takers should spend close to 100 hours, of which at least 20-30 hours should be dedicated to practice exams and questions.

What happens if you fail the Series 7 three times? ›

After the first and second failed attempts, there is a 30-day waiting period. After the third failed attempt, there is a 180-day waiting period. For any attempts after the third attempt, there is also a 180-day waiting period between each exam attempt. 3.

Is there math on the Series 7? ›

On the FINRA Series 7 Exam, you can expect addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. For almost everyone that we encounter, it's not the math that is the problem. Ultimately it's deciphering what formulas to use, and what math to apply given the wording of the question.

How many pass the Series 7 on the first try? ›

It is said that roughly 3 out of 10 applicants will fail the Series 7 exam on their first attempt. This would put the Series 7 pass rate at around 70% first time.

How long should I study for Series 7? ›

How Long To Study For Series 7 Licensing: Recommended Study Time To Pass Your Series 7 Exam: You should plan to spend between 100-150 hours in preparing for both the SIE and Top-Off exams.

How much money can I make with a Series 7? ›

According to latest data, Series 7 license holders earn around $69,000 per year on average. This typically ranges between $50,000 to $70,000 per year for those just starting their careers with this license, though the salaries of entry-level professionals may fluctuate based on their location and specific role.

Why is Series 7 so hard? ›

According to most students, the Series 7 is quite challenging, and is more difficult than the SIE. This might be because the Series 7 has significantly more depth in options. Also, the product questions are more application/suitability-based, whereas the SIE focuses more on the definitional treatment of products.

Why do people fail the Series 7? ›

Some test takers fail the Series 7 exam because they spend too much time on reading and memorizing calculations and concepts. In this article that lists 7 strategies for passing the Series 7 exam, it says to balance studying between manuals and practice questions, which is sound advice for first-time exam takers.

Is the Series 7 test difficult? ›

Is the Series 7 Exam Difficult? Clocking in at 125 questions to be answered in three hours and 45 minutes, the Series 7 exam is considered the most difficult of all the securities licensing exams. The minimum passing score is 72, which may not seem that difficult.

Is the Series 7 or 65 harder? ›

For students who have recently completed the Series 7, this is a moderately difficult exam. The Series 65 is more challenging for students who have not completed the Series 7. It's recommended that students learn through a variety of methods, such as reading, as well as continuous practice exams.

Which exam is harder Series 7 or 66? ›

Overall, the Series 66 is quite a challenging exam. The Series 7 difficulty level is not to be understated however. Both can be conquered with the right amount of studying. Consequently, we recommend Kaplan as the top resource for both exams.

What percentage of the Series 7 exam is options? ›

Understanding Series 7 Options Questions. The Series 7 top-off exam typically includes 10-15 options questions. That's about 10% of the 125 questions that comprise the exam. While most options questions are straightforward, you can expect a handful to demand a higher level of options skill.

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