Posted in Blog | Posted by Impact Partnership
Posted on July 20, 2023Reading Time: 4 minutes
Being a financial advisor, it’s certain that you’ve taken your fair share of tests and exams to get yourself certified. It’s the work you have to do before you can get to work. The Series 65 exam is no different.
But what is the Series 65 exam? What’s in it? What does it entail? How do I pass, and what do I win when I pass? Well, financial advisors, read on and discover all the secrets of Series 65!
Formally known as the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Examination, the Series 65 exam covers laws, regulations, ethics, and various topics important to the role of a financial adviser. On passing this exam, a candidate is officially qualified to act as an investment adviser representative, or IAR, in their home state. (Note the spelling: you can only call yourself an adviser with a Series 65 license.)
Unless you don’t charge a fee nor provide advice on securities, you’ll likely want to have a Series 65 license under your belt. Many financial firms require registered representatives to provide investment advice, and most state securities regulators have set the Series 65 as the minimum requirement to become an investment advisor representative.
According to the North American Securities Administrators Association — or NASAA — the Series 65 exam covers the following topics:
The exam is comprised of 130 questions, plus 10 pretest questions. It is done electronically, and the score is presented right after the exam with a breakdown of the scoring in each section. The exam lasts 180 minutes.
A 70% or greater is considered a passing grade, which means answering at least 92 of the 130 questions correctly. While there are no official statistics, PassPerfect estimates that between 65 and 70 percent of those taking the test pass. If you fail the exam the first time, no worries! There’s no limit to how many times you can take the exam before passing (though you must wait 30 days between exams), and once you pass, the certification never expires as long as you continue to work in financial services. The fee for the Series 65 exam is $187; you will have to pay the fee for every time you take it.
Some of you may have studied for one test or another in the recent past. Others may not have needed to take a test since you graduated college. Nonetheless, to pass this exam and get your Series 65 license, you’ll need to buckle down and hit the books.
Even if you haven’t held a proper study session in a while, it’s easy to pick these habits back up:
Several study guides exist for financial advisors looking to take the Series 65 exam for the first time. These are particularly valuable for a financial advisor since they come from sources closely affiliated with the financial services industry. If you want to compare different types of study guides, Investopedia has compiled a list of their favorite prep courses, outlining the strengths of each and which are right for your particular situation. Check the details for each and determine which works for you.
For further study tips as well as the differences between Series license exams, check out Impact’s blog post about licensing exams!
Now that you have all the facts, you’re ready for the real deal. Register for an exam through the FINRA website. Make sure you write down the date and time; no need to make the nightmare of showing up late for your high school calculus exam a reality. Arrive punctually, prepared and focused. Be confident in your knowledge of the material. Most of all — good luck!
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