SIE Exam Information

Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam Overview & FAQs

The Securities Industry
Essentials (SIE) Exam

Created in 2018, the SIE exam was designed to provide a head start into a financial services career — showing job seekers’ interest and aptitude in the field, as well as helping them stand out to potential employers. This introductory-level exam covers fundamental concepts for working in the industry and is required and administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Topics include: types of products and their risks; structure of securities markets; regulatory agencies and their functions; prohibited practices.

SIE Exam Difficulty Level

While the SIE is considered an introduction to the financial industry, the exam is not easy. Many testers pass on their first attempt, but some may need two tries. It’s recommended that students learn through a variety of methods, such as reading, listening, watching, and — the most crucial component of the process — continuous testing.

After the SIE

For current and potential Registered Representatives, Financial Advisors, Wealth Advisors, and Financial Consultants, the SIE exam is a great way to further your career. Depending on the path you choose, you’ll also be required to pass a co-requisite exam, such as Series 6, 7, 22, 52, 57, 79, 82, 86/87, and/or 99.


How long do I need to study for the SIE Exam?

When preparing to take the SIE exam, you should plan to study for 55-65 hours. Typically, candidates study over the course of 4-6 weeks, averaging 2 hours of daily study time. The time you need to spend preparing for the exam varies depending on your familiarity with the material. Our adaptive preparation provides extra help where needed to make sure you spend your study time wisely and the test with confidence.

How much time do I have on the SIE exam?

You will have 1 Hour and 45 Minutes to complete the SIE exam.

How many SIE questions are on the exam?

The SIE exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions.

What is the passing score for the SIE exam?

The minimum passing score for the SIE exam is 70%.

What is the SIE pass rate?

The SIE exam has approximately a 73% pass rate.

How do I register for the SIE exam?

Visit to enroll for the SIE exam. The exam fee is $60.

What happens if I fail the SIE?

After the first or second time a candidate fails the SIE, there is a mandatory 30 day waiting period before they can take the exam again. After the third (and subsequent) fails, the waiting period increases to 180 days. The $60 exam fee applies each time they take the exam.

How many times can I take the SIE exam?

You may take the SIE exam as many times as it takes to pass. Note there is a 30 day waiting period after your first and second failed attempt, and a 180 day waiting period after the third failed attempt and beyond.

What do I bring to take the SIE exam?

You cannot bring in anything with you to take the SIE exam. No pen, pencil, calculator, cell phone, smart watch, or paper. Everything is prohibited.

Can I use a calculator on the SIE exam?

Yes, you are able to use a calculator on the SIE exam. Although this exam is “math light” — primarily reading comprehension — the testing center will provide students with a 4-function calculator.

Who can take the SIE?

All students and professionals 18 years or older are eligible to take the SIE exam. Unlike other securities licensure exams, there is no association with a FINRA member firm required for the SIE.

What can I do after passing the SIE exam?

After passing the SIE exam, you can take either the Series 6 or the Series 7 exam to pursue licensure.

How long is the SIE exam good for?

The SIE is valid for four years from the date that you pass the exam. This means you need to become employed by a broker-dealer during this 4-year window or the credential lapses. Once associated with a broker-dealer there is no requirement to retake the SIE or any co-requisite exams. Your registration remains valid indefinitely (as long as you stay affiliated with a member firm). Registrations remain valid for 2 years if a candidate leaves the employ of a member firm.