About the SIE credential

The SIE Exam is a required qualification exam administered by FINRA. It covers common products, risks, the structure and function of the securities industry and its regulatory agencies, and knowledge of regulated and prohibited practices.

Because the exam is more introductory than series-specific exams, and because it may be taken without sponsorship from a brokerage, the SIE Exam is often a crucial first step for university students or career changers.

About the SIE Exam

The SIE Exam consists of 75 multiple-choice questions. These questions are divided among four sections, which FINRA refers to as “Functions.” Each section is weighted differently.

The exam costs $60, and the test duration is one hour and forty-five minutes. Students must earn a cumulative score of 70 to pass.

Keep reading for information on each of the four Functions of the SIE exam.

Function 1: Knowledge of Capital Markets

This section of the SIE exam consists of twelve questions that make up 16% of the total score.


  • Regulatory Entities, Agencies and Market Participants
  • Market Structure
  • Economic Factors
  • Offerings

Function 2: Understanding Products and Their Risks

The second Function includes thirty-three questions that comprise 44% of the total score.


  • Investment Risks
  • Products

Function 3: Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts and Prohibited Activities

Function three consists of twenty-three questions that account for 31% of the total score.


  • Trading, Settlement and Corporate Actions
  • Customer Accounts and Compliance Considerations
  • Prohibited Activities

Function 4: Overview of the Regulatory Framework

The final Function includes seven questions that make up 9% of the total score.


  • SRO Regulatory Requirements for Associated Persons
  • Employee Conduct and Reportable Events

What happens after I pass?

Solely passing the SIE does not qualify you to practice in the securities business. In order to become registered to engage in the securities business, an individual must pass the SIE followed by a firm-sponsored qualification exam appropriate to the type of business in which he/she plans to work.

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