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FINRA Confirms SIE Effective date: October 1, 2018

FINRA has released updates about the implementation of the SIE exam in a Regulatory Notice posted on October 5, 2017 (

Below is a quick summary of important information related to the exam restructuring:

  • The effective date of the SIE exam and related specialized knowledge exams (“top offs”) is October 1, 2018.
  • The SIE exam will consist of 75 graded questions.  Ten experimental questions will also be included randomly within each exam.  Candidates will have a total of 105 minutes to complete the 85 questions.
  • Final outlines for the SIE and all top off exams will be released prior to year-end 2017.
  • The MSRB’s Series 52 exam has been added as a top off exam, but exam length and further details have not yet been announced.
  • The passing score of the SIE has not yet been determined, but is expected in Q1 of 2018.
  • Exams fees will change, and will be announced in Q1 of 2018.
  • Persons that return after leaving the industry for two years will be required to retake top off exams, however the SIE is good for 4 years.
  • Principal exams will not change in 2018, but work will begin on aligning these exams to the SIE format.
  • Series 17/37/38 will be retired, but holders of these certifications will be grandfathered from the SIE exam.
  • All SIE and top off exams will be administered at Prometric Centers.

We will keep you apprised of other updates as they become available.  We also invite you to contact us with questions at [email protected] or at 212.626.6899, or to schedule an information session for you or your team.


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.