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How to Pass the Series 99 Exam

Even if you know your way around your firm’s back office, don’t take the Series 99 lightly!  This advice from the exam prep experts at Knopman Marks is a reminder that even the most experienced securities professionals rarely master FINRA exams without a disciplined study strategy.

The 99 in a Nutshell

Introduced in 2011, the Series 99 is one of the more recent additions to the FINRA exam line-up.  With the objective of ensuring a fundamental level of knowledge for managers of operations departments and certain other professionals that have operational authority, this exam covers the gamut of day-to-day transactions processing, procedures and applicable regulations.  Also included on the exam are questions regarding relevant product features, and the ability to identify and report “red flag” issues.

The exam consists of 100 questions, that must be completed in 2 hours and 30 minutes and requires a passing score of 68%.

FINRA explains that candidates for this exam must demonstrate a “basic” knowledge of key terms, broad characteristics of certain products, and general concepts associated with standard business practices and rules.  Candidates are not expected to know the same level of detail about securities as a product specialist or a representative selling the securities to customers.

Series 99 Instructors Tips

To get acquainted with this exam, check out Knopman Marks’ Series 99 At A Glance Study Guide.  It features a proven study strategy, along with tips from our experienced instructors, that will help you earn a passing score the first time around.

In addition to reviewing the guide, take advantage of these three instructor tips that will give you a definite edge as you prepare:

  1. Don’t underestimate the exam. The Series 99 can be difficult — be sure that you have adequate time to properly prepare. This means you need to read the textbook, watch the on-demand lectures, and complete practice exams as laid out in the At A Glance Guide.
  2. Expect questions on securities products, such as mutual funds. FINRA wants you to demonstrate a basic knowledge of suitability and security characteristics on this exam.
  3. When in doubt, trust your instinct.  If you have years of experience, let your intuition and judgement be your guide. Your first instinct is the best choice in times of uncertainty, so don’t second guess yourself.

Series 99 Help is Here

Success on any Series exam requires your dedication.  But Knopman Marks can “de-stress” the process when you take advantage of our expert materials and study strategies. We are fully committed to your success and are available to provide help when you need it. Contact us at [email protected] for support at any time.

Marcia Larson is Vice President, Faculty, at Knopman Marks Financial Training, New York, NY. She has extensive experience in financial licensing and regulatory training, having authored, developed and presented courseware for numerous securities and insurance exam preparation and continuing education and compliance programs. Before joining Knopman Marks, Marcia was Director of Annuity Products and Business Development at CUNA Mutual Group, where she developed and marketed industry-leading annuity products and retirement solutions and implemented distribution relationships. She was previously VP, Securities Products for Kaplan Financial, managing securities training products and subsequently, international training and businesses development. Marcia has trained thousands of financial industry exam candidates throughout their careers, and also college students as an adjunct professor. Marcia was a summa cum laude graduate of Wartburg College with degrees in Business Administration and Piano Performance. Marcia also holds the designations of Chartered Financial Consultant® (ChFC®), Chartered Life Underwriter (CLU®), Certified Employee Benefit Specialist (CEBS), and Fellow Life Management Institute™ (FLMI®). She currently teaches the SIE, Series 6, 7, 24, 50, 52, 63, 65, and 66 exams.