Taking the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam is a first step to taking a job in the securities industry. A Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) introductory test for students and those wishing to take their career into securities, passing showcases you understand the fundamentals of the wider industry: products and their associated risks, the structure of industry markets, regulations and regulatory agencies, and prohibited practices. 

It’s a lot to take in, whether you’re already working full time or are a full-time student – the exam is open to everyone age 18 or older. Whatever your status, it remains a solid addition to your resume that remains valid for four years. However, passing the SIE Exam alone isn’t enough to register with a FINRA member firm. There are additional qualification exams depending on where you want to work in the industry, and you’ll need association and sponsorship with a FINRA member firm to take the later tests. 

Who should take the SIE Exam? 

The SIE Exam is for anyone looking to pursue a career in securities, whether they work in a parallel industry or are still a student. The test is the first steppingstone, provides an entry point for the industry, and minimizes overlap with the subsequent qualification exams. While qualification exams require association with a FINRA member firm, the SIE Exam does not. 

You will eventually need a sponsor to sit for one of the qualification exams. Passing the SIE Exam alone doesn’t qualify you to join a firm and practice in the business. 

As a final note, current registered representatives don’t need to take the SIE Exam to maintain their existing registration or add a new one. 

Five easy steps to register for the SIE Exam  

It takes five quick steps to register for the SIE Exam: 

  1. Head to FINRA’s website to start registration and create a Test Enrollment Services System (TESS) account so you can pay your exam fee. 
  1. Obtain your Central Registration Depository (CRD) number, which you will receive following your account registration with FINRA. You will need this number when scheduling your exam. 
  1. Go to prometric.com, and create an account. The SIE Exam is administered by Prometric and taken at their testing centers across the United States. 
  1. Schedule your exam with Prometric. You have a 120-day window to schedule your exam on the Prometric website after registering with FINRA. 
  1. Pay the $60 exam fee. 

Study tips for passing the SIE Exam 

You’ll want to dedicate as much attention as possible to studying for the SIE Exam. Don’t rely on cramming or other ineffective study strategies. Create a system that gives you all the time you need from the first day of studying to exam day.  

Here are a few helpful study tips to consider as you prepare for the SIE Exam. 

Find the study material that fits your learning style 

Collect all the information you can on the SIE Exam, so you know as much about it as possible. FINRA’s website has a few materials you can use, like a practice exam, an FAQ and a content outline. All good on its own, but your ideal study environment offers far more. For a more comprehensive plan that caters to your particular learning needs, turn to Surgent SIE Review. It provides an adaptive study plan that caters to your knowledge gaps so you can focus where you have the most trouble, cutting study time and ensuring you’re at your best regardless of the subject matter. 

Surgent SIE Review also has thousands of multiple-choice questions, complete practice exams and adaptive learning technology that takes your learning style into account. Whether you learn best in short bursts or in fewer, longer sessions, Surgent’s software changes to suit your needs, to help maximize your study time. 

Build a study plan 

Even with Surgent SIE Review working for you, having a study plan outside the software is just as essential. Before you schedule your exam within the 120-day window, think about the time you can dedicate daily and weekly to your studies. Think about events outside of exam prep that will take up valuable time. Are there birthdays, anniversaries, holidays or other things that could take short-term precedence? Build in no less than 15 days to account for life’s unknown factors. You never know if sickness, unaccounted-for changes at your job or at home, or other events you cannot predict will get in the way of your preparation. 

Build out a schedule in whatever productivity method you’re most comfortable using. You might consider doing it twice, once online and once by hand, as writing things out with a pen and paper can help you retain information better. 

If you create a study plan outside of Surgent SIE Review, be sure to account for any knowledge gaps or deficiencies. Look back on your schooling and consider what areas gave you the most difficulty, then plan additional hours to cover those subjects.  

Surgent’s A.S.A.P.® Technology tracks these knowledge gaps for you, adapting its lessons to where you have the most difficulty and working to fill in any that appear. 

Find a comfortable study spot free of distractions 

Whether it’s your home office, a shared workspace in the city, a corner coffee shop or anywhere else, where you study matters. You need to feel comfortable enough to spend several hours working uninterrupted while still able to get up and take brief breaks to let your mind rest and refuel. Don’t be afraid to give yourself longer breaks, though these should be no more than a day or so.  

Be sure your family and friends know where to find you and that they should give you those hours to yourself. Once you set it, the SIE Exam date isn’t going to move, and passing can be a huge step in your professional development. If everyone in your life has dedicated the time and space for your success, you’re that much closer to earning that new credential. 

Keep your mind and body on task  

Put the days of cramming and pushing through your studies with caffeine and late nights behind you. If you already have, put some extra focus on getting to bed a little earlier, so when the next day comes, you’re rested and can fully focus on your studies. You should also consider adding a walk, a run, or a light workout to your daily routine, if one isn’t already.  

An active mind and a healthy body are essential during your exam preparation. It’s just as important not to overextend. If you find yourself losing focus as you study, don’t hesitate to take a few minutes outside of your regular breaks.  

You can flip that script during your non-study hours as well. Whenever you have a free minute or two during your day, look up a single piece of information that will progress your exam prep. Whether you find it on the mobile-ready Surgent SIE Review platform or elsewhere, you can add a snippet or two of new knowledge that will add up over time. 

Monitor your progress 

Once you’ve scheduled your SIE Exam, it’s time to make a study plan to get you on track to ace that exam on your scheduled test date. Plan all the time between schedule day and test day, give yourself some grace period and keep track of what you’re learning and what’s still giving your trouble. 

If you want a system that will tell you where you are in your preparation journey and how close you are to passing the exam, turn to the award-winning ReadySCORE™ exam-readiness tool that’s easily accessed in the Surgent SIE Review software. ReadySCORE gauges your answers to practice questions for a continuously updated, real-time look into how you’re performing in all topics of the SIE Exam. The higher your ReadySCORE, the better your chances of passing the exam.  

Surgent SIE Review also comes with a 100% pass guarantee and Surgent students have a 96% pass rate, meaning if you follow the program, you have overwhelming odds of success. 

Benefits of completing the SIE Exam 

Completing the SIE Exam can have an immediate positive benefit on your career. Pass it, and you can distinguish yourself from your peers as you seek internships or jobs. Should you already be in the workforce, you’ll add another credential to your portfolio, providing you with an opportunity to give your career additional momentum to achieve your goals.  

Your marketability will immediately increase, and even if you don’t pass on the first attempt, you’ll get performance feedback so you can tackle it again. Of course, with Surgent helping you prepare, there’s a high likelihood you’ll pass and be ready to move on to the qualification exams. 

Surgent provides tools to help you pass the SIE Exam 

The SIE Exam is an important first step on your journey into the securities industry, and planning for it, studying, and sitting down to take it are all part of that huge endeavor. When you choose Surgent SIE Review to help you get there, you have more than just our guarantee you’ll pass. You’ll have the tools, support, and knowledge you need to do it like 96% of our students have. 

Surgent SIE Review strategically gauges your knowledge levels when you start and adapts as you go, targeting your knowledge gaps and building your capabilities consistent with your learning style. Here are some of the highlight’s of the Surgent program: 

  • A.S.A.P.® Technology: Adaptive learning assesses what you know and need to know, so you spend your time shoring up weaknesses to help prepare you for the CPA Exam faster than other exam review providers.  
  • ReadySCORE™: No guesswork on when you’re ready to take the exam. ReadySCORE predicts your likely score if you were to sit for the test that day.  
  • Daily Surge: Your time matters. What should you study today? Daily Surge cards appear every time you log in, suggesting the topics you need to cover to stay on track.   
  • MyMCQ™: Surgent’s customized multiple-choice practice questions push you to learn more challenging concepts with each round and don’t waste your time making you study questions you have already mastered.    
  • Full access until you pass: Surgent CPA Review materials, including free content and software updates, are there for you every step of the way.  
  • Unlimited practice exams: Relieve that test anxiety by taking practice exams as often as you like — included in every package.  
  • 100% pass guarantee: Surgent’s pass guarantee means you don’t lose your prep course investment if something goes wrong.   

Ready to ace the SIE Exam? Explore Surgent SIE Review with a free trial today.