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SIE and Exam Restructuring Update (March 12, 2018)

On March 5 and 6, representatives from STC attended the Association of Registration Management (ARM) conference. In addition to the general sessions on the SIE and Exam Restructuring, Todd Rosenfeld, STC’s Chief Operating Officer, was a panelist of a well-attended session titled “From the Vendors Point of View.” Listed below are some new and exciting developments:

  • Member firms and vendors will be permitted to purchase vouchers which will cover the cost of the SIE Exam and allow their candidates to schedule the exam. This is the first time that vendors, such as STC, will be able to offer their clients and others the opportunity to prepay exam costs. However, this provision applies to the SIE Exam only.
    • With the voucher, STC will include the cost of sitting for the SIE Exam in the overall cost for its SIE Exam study program. Having the voucher alleviates the burden of separately paying for the study material and the SIE Exam fee.
    • For candidates who purchase the voucher through STC and sit for the SIE Exam, STC will be able to monitor their pass rates and provide this information to its clients. However, the consent of each candidate would be required.
  • Effective October 1, 2018, if the proposed $60 fee for the SIE Exam is included, FINRA has indicated that the combined exam fees (for the SIE and top-off exams) will be approximately equal to the fee that is currently being assessed. However, this is not yet finalized.
    • For example, the current fee for the Series 7 Exam is $305; therefore, the new fee would be $245 ($305 – $60).
  • Unlike the current exam grading system, candidates who take the SIE Exam or a new representative (top-off) exam will receive a pass/fail grade, not their actual score. This too becomes effective on October 1, 2018.
    • Candidates who fail the exam will receive a diagnostics report which directs them to the areas that need improvement in order to pass the exam.
  • Regarding the vendor panel, Todd Rosenfeld was a featured speaker and offered a number of valuable insights, such as:
    • How STC’s college program can assist firms in interviewing and hiring candidates who have already passed the SIE Exam which reduces the firm’s training time and costs
    • How some of the responsibility for training will be passed along to the candidate and, in the future, many professionals who seek employment in the financial services industry will have the SIE Exam as a resume builder
    • How STC will work with local higher education institutions (e.g., community colleges) to create an SIE program for career changers
    • That regardless of the challenges ahead with the SIE Exam and other exam restructuring, STC will be prepared to ensure that all candidates and trainees will be able to pass their exams
    • The fact that STC was well prepared and provided the audience with insights regarding the differences between the existing representative exams (e.g., Series 6, 7, and 79) and how to best prepare their candidates for the SIE Exam plus the new top-off exams
    • That a person who fails a legacy exam in September 2018 will be required to take the SIE Exam PLUS the new representative (top-off) exam. However, the candidate will not be required to wait 30 days since these exams are considered to be different.

STC is Excited to Share the Highly Anticipated SIE and Qualification Outlines with our Valued Clients
(February 2018)

STC is pleased to announce that FINRA filed the content outline and examination specifications for the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Examination and qualification exams. The October 12018 effective date of the SIE and representative-level qualiification exams remain unchanged.

You can find the revised outlines by using the link below and clicking on the appropriate exam. 

The SIE Exam Structure (January 2018)
The SIE Exam will consist of 75 multiple choice questions and 10 additional unidentified pretest questions which will not count towards a candidate's score. Each candidate will have one hour and 45 minutes (105 minutes) to complete the exam. The proposed examination fee is $60 and a passing score has not yet been established.
The four sections of the exam are broken down as follows:
Section 1 Knowledge of Capital Markets  - 16% - 12 Questions
Section 2 - Understanding Products and their Risks 44% - 33 Questions
Section 3 - Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts, and Prohibited Acitvities - 31% - 23 Questions
Section 4 - Overview of the Regulatory Framework - 9% - 7 Questions
75 Total Questions                                                                
This content outline is much more comprehensive than the one proposed in 2015 and requires a candidate to have basic securities industry product knowledge as well as an understanding of numerous specific rules and regulations.
One of the main goals of the SIE was to remove the duplicative testing of basic securities industry knowledge from the representative-level qualification examinations. The revised representative-level examinations exams will test a candidates knowledge of the a day-to-day  activates relevant to their job function.
After reviewing the 15-page content outline, STC expects the SIE to be a challenging examination where a candidate will need have an understanding of many different aspects of the securities industry. Regardless, STC is extremely confident its training materials will enable a candidate to pass the examination. We also believe the content in this outline contains information that any professional who is either employed at a financials services firm or who wants to become associated with such firm would benefit from studying.  
STC will have sample training content available in the near future. Please check our website often for updates. In addition, STC welcomes the opportunity to conduct a 30-45 minute presentation on the SIE and what it means for indviduals and firms going forward. Fill out the form to the left to set up your info session.