FINRA announced on January 12, 2018, that the content outline for the Securities Essentials Exam (SIE) will be filed with the SEC. This means that after several years in the making, FINRA is moving forward with its exam restructuring program on October 1, 2018. FINRA’s SIE content outline is available for review at https://www.finra.org/file/securities-industry-essentials-sie-exam-content-outline.
The new content outline supersedes a draft outline that was part of the preliminary SIE exam notice from May, 2015. This new version has grown substantially in page length from the first version! Exam candidates will be accountable for demonstrating knowledge from a large body of industry rules, product and market information. Although FINRA expresses that the exam will require general knowledge only, we expect exam candidates will find the breadth of information covered in this exam of 75 questions to be challenging.
SIE Exam Facts
|Number of Items||75|
SIE Topics and Question Count
|Knowledge of Capital Markets||16%, 12 Questions|
|Understanding Products and Their Risks||44%, 33 Questions|
|Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts and Prohibited Activities||31%, 23 Questions|
|Overview of Regulatory Framework||9%, 7 Questions|
Top-off Exam Outlines – Coming Soon
To become fully licensed after October 1, 2018, individuals must pass both the SIE and a specialized top-off exam tailored to their area of practice (e.g., investment banking, securities trading, operations). Though the SIE can be taken by persons that aren’t associated with firms, the top-off exams will be available only to associated persons of FINRA member firms.
The top-off exam outlines have not yet been released by FINRA, but are expected soon. Like the SIE, these exams will be effective on October 1, 2018.
Knopman Marks will Keep You Informed
Check back regularly for updates on the SIE exam and top-offs. We are committed to delivering the best exam prep material for these new exams, and are happy to help with any question you have about this new process.