The Series 7 exam is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or FINRA, which was formerly known as the National Association of Securities Dealers, or NASD. The Series 7 exam covers information included in several independent exams required to trade annuities, mutual funds and other securities. The Series 7 encompasses the Series 6, 22, 42, 52 and 62 exams. It is a requirement for any stock broker employee who will be responsible for placing trades on a variety of corporate securities.
Exam preparation can be a significant expense in obtaining a Series 7 license. Enrolling in an official preparatory course can help prepare a student for successful examination, but it can cost anywhere from $900 to more than $3,000. Some candidates choose a more cost effective self-study option by purchasing books or software to complete an independent course of study. Books and other materials can range in price from $50 for review flashcards to upward of $300 for a complete course text. Buying used study materials or finding course texts in a library can help significantly cut down on study material costs.
The Series 7 exam is officially known as the General Securities Representative Exam. It is a highly regulated exam and must be taken at an official testing center. The fee to sit for the test is a minimum of $265, with some areas charging a little higher. Although the national testing average for the Series 7 exam is a total score of 67%, a minimum score of 70% is required for a passing grade. For those individuals who do not pass the initial exam, an additional $200 registration fee is charged for each attempt to retake the test.
Additional Testing Fees
The Series 7 testing fee may include total fees for the required background check and fingerprinting, which must be done before examination. In some cases however, the necessary background check and fingerprinting will incur additional fees that start from around $30.
Obtaining a Series 7 license will also require sponsorship by a registered broker company. Most employers will typically sponsor employees, but some individuals might seek outside sponsorship if not currently employed by a registered brokerage. Certain companies will offer sponsorship to candidates at an established fee ranging anywhere from $300 to $2,000 or more.
Registration and Renewal
Once the exam has been passed, the candidate will be granted a Series 7 General Securities License. Depending on the state, license registration and renewal fees of $50 to $450 may also apply. Should the license expire due to inactivity, the candidate will be required to re-test and pay all associated fees.