Series 54 Exam Information

Series 54 Exam Overview & FAQs

The Series 54 Exam

As of November 30, 2021, all municipal advisor professionals acting in the capacity of a municipal advisor principal must take and pass the MSRB's Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination (Series 54) to be appropriately qualified to engage in the management, direction, or supervision of the municipal advisory activities of the municipal advisor firm and that of its associated persons.

Topics include: Understanding the Municipal Advisor Regulatory Framework, Supervising Municipal Advisory Activities, Supervising Firm Operations

Series 54 Exam Difficulty Level

Any professional exam in the Financial Services industry is not easy and includes many concepts that test takers must be able to show a satisfactory level of competency. Many people pass the first time, but others need a second attempt to complete the task. The study and exam tools available through Pass Perfect have been proven to be a highly effective method to prepare for the Series 54 exam.

After the Series 54

Upon successfully passing the Series 54 exam, you are licensed as a Municipal Advisor Principal, granting you supervisory roles within the realm of municipal advisory activities. If you wish to expand your knowledge and career opportunities, additional FINRA certifications could be beneficial. For instance, the Series 24 exam qualifies you as a General Securities Principal, allowing you to supervise a wider range of securities transactions, beyond just municipal advisory activities. If you're looking to broaden your skills in the area of complex securities or have an interest in the field of investment banking, you might want to consider the Series 79 exam. On the other hand, if securities trading is where your interests lie, the Series 57 exam would be a suitable choice.  

Series 54 FAQ

What does a Series 52 license allow me to do?

Municipal Advisor Principals are required to pass the Series 54. These individuals are entrusted with the responsibility of supervising municipal advisory activities of the firm and its associated persons. The MSRB defines a Municipal Advisor Principal as an individual engaged in the management, direction or supervision of municipal advisory activities. These activities include advising a municipality regarding issuing municipal securities, such as the structure, timing, or terms of an issue. Soliciting municipal securities business from municipalities on behalf of a third party is also a form of municipal advising.

What does a Series 54 license allow me to do?

A Series 54 license qualifies individuals to manage, direct, and supervise municipal advisory activities such as:

- Providing advice about municipal financial products
- Providing advice about the issuance of municipal securities
- Soliciting municipal entities to invest in financial products
- Soliciting municipal entities to issue municipal securities

What subjects does the Series 54 exam test?

The Series 54 tests your knowledge of three main topics:

Understanding the Municipal Advisor Regulatory Framework—25 questions (25%)

Supervising Municipal Advisory Activities—35 questions (35%)

Supervising Municipal Advisor Firm Operations—40 questions (40%)

Are there any prerequisites for the Series 54?

An individual must already hold a Series 50 license as a prerequisite for sitting the Series 54 examination.

How long should I prepare for the Series 54 exam?

We recommend studying 40 hours over a 3-week period.

How should I prepare for the Series 54 exam?

Pass Perfect offers a complete Series 54 study program, which includes an online course, print or ebook, and unlimited online exams throughout the course, including unlimited final exams.

What score do I need to pass the Series 54 exam?

You must score 70% or higher to pass.

How many questions are on the Series 54 exam?

The Series 54 exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions.

How much time do I have to complete the Series 54 exam?

You have three hours to complete the test. In addition, there is a 30-minute tutorial on exam administration at the beginning of the exam.

How do I enroll to take the Series 54 exam?

If you are associated with a municipal advisor firm that is not a FINRA member, you will need to use FINRA’s Test Enrollment Services System (TESS) to enroll to take the Series 54 exam.

If you are associated with a municipal advisor firm that is also a FINRA member, you will need to have your firm enroll you to take the Series 54 exam by amending your Form U4. 

Once your exam enrollment request has been processed by FINRA, you will receive an email notification, allowing you to schedule an appointment with a Prometric testing center. You must schedule a time to take the Series 54 exam within your 120–calendar day enrollment period. 

How do I sign up to take the Series 54 exam?

After FINRA processes your exam enrollment, you'll be able to make an exam appointment with Prometric.

If you choose to call a selected testing center to schedule the exam, the call center representative will need the following information:

  • Your name and unique ID number given to you upon completing the enrollment process
  • Your phone number
  • The name of the qualifying examination or its identifying series ID (i.e., Municipal Advisor Principal Qualification Examination or Series 54)

How much does the Series 54 exam cost?

The Series 54 exam costs $265.

If I stop working for my firm, how long will my Series 54 license remain active?

You will have two years between jobs before the license expires.When you stop working for a firm, your employer will file a Form U5 to terminate your registration. Your next employer will file a Form U4, which will re-register you. As long as you do not exceed two years between employers, your Series 54 license will remain active.