The Series 63 securities license is an essential qualification for anyone who wants to work as a securities agent.
In this article, you will find out all the details about the Series 63 exam, including who should take it, what you can do with it and why it’s so important for your career.
We’ve gathered plenty of resources to help you get the most out of your exams, including course outlines and online study materials. Read on & find out how to get your Series 63 certification on the first attempt!
- What is the FINRA Series 63 License?
- What is a Series 63 License Required For?
- What Does the Series 63 Exam Cover?
- How to Pass the Series 63 Test
- Series 63 Online Classes
- Why Take the Series 63 Exam
What is the FINRA Series 63 License?
Also known as the Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination, the Series 63 is a mandatory examination for anyone soliciting the sale or purchase of any type of securities products in a particular state.
The Series 63 securities license attests your knowledge and understanding of state law and regulations, ethical practices and fiduciary obligations. It was developed by NASAA in cooperation with representatives of the securities industry and it is administered by FINRA.
Series 63 Prerequisites
The Series 63 by itself does not allow licensees to act as securities agents.
Although there are no continuing education requirements for the Series 63 exam, some employers may decide to impose other conditions that exceed state standards.
What is a Series 63 License Required For?
The Series 63 certification, when obtained in addition to the Series 7, Series 6 or other limited representative licenses, qualifies you to buy and sell securities products such as stocks, mutual funds, and variable annuities, within a particular state.
This exam tests your knowledge of the Uniform Securities Act of 1956 and the Statements of Policy and Model Rules adopted by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).
The Uniform Securities Act deals with securities fraud at the state level, prohibiting fraudulent practices associated with securities sales and solicitation.
Each state has its own securities regulations, called blue-sky laws, and most states require this examination.
States Where the Series 63 Is Not Mandatory:
- District of Columbia
- New Jersey
- Puerto Rico
Can I Take the Series 63 Without a Sponsor?
Yes, you can take the Series 63 exam without being sponsored. If you are not Form U4 registered or affiliated with a firm through FINRA’s Web CRD system, you should use the form U10 to request and pay for this exam.
Series 63 License Expiration
Your Series 63 license remains valid for as long as you are employed with the firm that sponsored your initial registration. If you decide to leave or your contract is terminated, you then have two years to find another employer before your score expires.
What Does the Series 63 Exam Cover?
The exam covers the rules prohibiting fraudulent and unethical practices, as well as the principles of state securities regulations.
Series 63 Overview
A breakdown of the topics covered in the Series 63 exam shows that 40% of the questions deal with ethical practices and business obligations and 60% are about state and federal securities acts and rules.
Here is an approximate distribution of the Series 63 exam questions:
- Registration of persons 18
- Registration of securities 15
- Business practices 21
- Administrative provisions and other remedies 4
- Additional test questions 5
How Long is the Series 63 Exam?
You will have 75 minutes to answer 65 multiple choice questions, out of which only 60 are scored. Unlike the Series 7 examination, where the unscored questions are at the beginning of the test, in the Series 63 exam, they are not identified and may appear anywhere in the exam.
Series 63 Passing Grade
To obtain your Series 63 license, you must give the correct answer to at least 43 questions out of the total 60. This is equivalent to a passing score of about 72% (C- grade).
How Hard is the Series 63 Exam?
The Series 63 is a difficult exam, but you can pass in the first attempt if you have the right preparation. Over the years, the examination has become significantly more challenging. The Series 63 test is based on your reading comprehension skills rather than your quantitative skills.
Even if you’ve passed other examinations such as the Series 7, you shouldn’t get overconfident, as they are very different. In your practice tests, you should score consistently over 80-85% to make sure you are well prepared.
Series 63 pass rate
Since Series 63 is a state exam, there is no official pass rate available for this exam.
However, a study by the Wall Street Journal reveals that at least 14% of examinees have failed the exam in their first attempt.
TIP: FIRE has the highest series exams pass rates in the industry. Over 90% of the students who enroll in the FIRE Green Light Plan pass their exams successfully.
Series 63 Cost, Cancellation & Retakes
As of 2017, it costs $125 to sit the FINRA Series 63 exam. If you need to retake the exam after a failed attempt, you need to wait at least 30 days before you can schedule a second or third attempt. For every attempt thereafter, you must wait at least 180 days before rescheduling.
In the event that you need to cancel a booked exam, you must inform the testing center at least 10 business days in advance.
If you cancel or reschedule 3-10 business days in advance, a fee equivalent to 50% of the exam cost applies. Cancelling later than 3 business days before the exam date incurs a fee equal to the exam fee. Check the FINRA website for more details about this.
Series 66 vs 63
The Series 66, the Uniform Combined State Law Examination gives you the same qualifications as the Series 63 and 65 exams combined. However, you must still take the Series 7 license exam in addition to the Series 66 if you want to register as an investment adviser representative.
How to Pass the Series 63 Test
The Uniform Securities Act of 1956 is the most important document that you need to become familiar with before sitting your exam. You must be prepared to answer questions regarding ethics and fiduciary obligations (40%), as well as State Securities Acts and related rules and regulations (60%).
Series 63 Study Time
If you want to pass the Series 63 on your first attempt, it’s recommended that you dedicate at least 25-30 study hours. To improve your chances of success, enroll on a Series 63 study course and get professional advice from top trainers.
Series 63 Exam Preparation
The best Series 63 exam prep is a combination of reading the study materials, watching online tutorials, reviewing key points and taking as many practice tests as possible.
FIRE has designed a comprehensive Series 63 syllabus that will get you prepared for the exam in just two weeks.
It’s important to discuss difficult topics with a qualified professional to make sure that you actually understand the material and not simply memorize it. Sign up for a certified course to gain access to the best Series 63 study guides and materials. With FIRE, you will also get unlimited toll-free telephone and email support from our expert trainers.
Series 63 Exam Tips
A lot of the things you know about taking exams in school will still apply here. Remember to review the key material regularly and study at a steady pace, instead of cramming the night before.
To maximise your efforts, consider these simple tips for taking your Series 63 exam:
- Don’t try to memorize the answers. The exam questions are picked at random from a huge question bank and there is very little chance that you will actually find the same questions as in your practice tests.
- Take as many Series 63 practice exams as you can before the actual exam. Time yourself and see how well you do – many candidates find it pretty challenging to answer 65 questions in 75 minutes.
- When answering Series 63 sample questions, identify the areas that you need to improve. Revisit those topics which take you the longest to answer.
- During the exam, read the questions thoroughly and be wary of double negatives. Make sure you understand what it is asking before attempting to answer.
- Avoid changing your test answers last minute. Statistically, there’s a greater chance that you’ll actually get it wrong, so stick with your gut unless you have sufficient reasons to modify your answer.
*Bonus TIP: Get instant access to thousands of Series 63 practice exam questions and test yourself for free with our FIRE Drill mobile quiz app!
Series 63 Study Guide
Before you start planning your study time, have a look at this Series 63 pdf study guide from the NASAA website.
Starting from this outline, the FIRE Series 63 training course breaks down the material into 5 manageable segments:
- The Uniform Securities Act
- Registration of Persons
- Registration of Securities
- Investment Advisors
- The State Administrator and Federal Acts
Once you become a FIRE student, you get access to a detailed course syllabus, that describes exactly what to study and the corresponding number of test questions that you will see on the exam.
Series 63 Online Classes
The flexibility of a Series 63 online course means that you can study anytime, anywhere and you are free to plan your learning around your own schedule.
When you enroll in a course with FIRE, besides the recorded tutorials, you will also gain access to Series 63 live classes. This way, you can speak to expert trainers who provide invaluable test-taking tips and memory tricks, to give you an edge that self-study alone just can’t provide.
To give you a taste of what FIRE classes are like, here is a preview of a Series 63 video class, delivered by expert tutor Andrew Meehan.
Why Take the Series 63 Exam
If you wish to start a career in financial planning, the Series 63 is one of the many exams you will likely take along the years.
Unlike the product-focused Series 6 and 7 exams, which test your knowledge of financial products and the skills needed to answer client needs, the Series 63 assesses your understanding of state-regulated practices and fiduciary obligations.
As stated before, to become a fully licensed securities agent, you must obtain the Series 63 in conjunction with either the Series 6 or Series 7 exam. On its own, the Series 63 does not entitle you to perform securities transactions.
Series 63 Job Prospects
Depending on which additional license you decide to get, your Series 63 can help you move forward in your career in a variety of positions. Typical jobs for those who have the Series 6 and 63 licenses include wealth management roles such as Financial Advisor, Investment Advisor or Retirement Plan Specialist.
If you have the Series 7 and Series 63 licenses, you can build a career as a Certified Financial Planner(CFP), Client Service Associate or Compliance officer.
Are you ready to start your career in finance and investment?