Series 6 or Series 7, Which Test Will Be More Worth My Time?

To become a representative in the securities industry, you may have different options when it comes to registration. How do you know which exam is appropriate for your career? Below you’ll discover the details of both the Series 6 and Series 7 qualification exams to help you distinguish between the two and make the right choice for your career.

In a Nutshell

The Series 6 and Series 7 registrations are similar, but you’ll experience more limitations with the Series 6. After passing the Series 6 Exam, you’re able to sell mutual funds, variable annuities, and other variable products on behalf of a company. However, after passing the Series 7 Exam, you’re able to sell mutual funds, annuities, individual equities, bonds, options, as well as other securities.

Typically, the Series 7 is the better choice if you’re interested in selling individual securities either now or in the future. Plus, once the Series 7 is completed, no additional exam is required. However, since both exams provide different benefits, many financial advisors (FAs) may choose to take the Series 6 and then later complete the Series 7.

What the Series 6 Exam Covers

The FINRA-administered Series 6 Exam covers a variety of different topics, like mutual funds, tax regulations, securities, variable annuities, insurance products, and retirement plans. The exam consists of 50 multiple choice questions from the following four different sections:

Section Number of Questions
1. Seeking Business 12
2. Opening Client Accounts 8
3. Providing Accurate Information and Recommendations to Clients 25
4. Reviewing Purchase and Sale Instructions 5

In order to pass the exam, you’ll need to score at least 70% (35 out of 50), and it must be completed within 90 minutes. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • There are five additional questions that don’t count toward your score, making the test a total of 55 questions.
  • You must have a sponsoring firm to take the exam.
  • The Series 6 registration is not granted unless the SIE Exam has been passed as well.

What the Series 7 Exam Covers

The FINRA-administered Series 7 Exam covers a large range of topics, securities products, securities regulations, financial terms, and an emphasis on suitability. You may face questions relating to sales of corporate securities, investment company securities, municipal securities, variable annuities, and more. The real focus is on your ability to connect clients with suitable investments. The Series 7 Exam consists of 125 multiple choice questions from the following four different sections:

Section Number of Questions
1. Seeking Business 9
2. Opening Accounts 11
3. Providing Accurate Information and Recommendations to Clients 91
4. Reviewing Purchase and Sale Instructions 14

In order to pass the exam, you’ll need to score at least 72%, and it must be completed within 3 hours and 45 minutes. Here are a few other things to keep in mind:

  • There are 10 additional questions that don’t count toward your score, making the test a total of 135 questions.
  • You must have a sponsoring firm to take the exam.
  • The Series 7 registration is not granted unless the SIE Exam has been passed as well.

Why Many Financial Advisors Obtain Both

Many financial advisors choose to obtain both licenses because they use Series 6 as a stepping stone toward obtaining their Series 7 registration. In other words, many FAs pass the Series 6 Exam and begin selling packaged securities, such as variable annuities and mutual funds, to gain some hands-on experience in the field while they study and prepare for the Series 7 Exam. Then, once they’re ready, they take the Series 7 Exam to qualify for more services, such as selling individual stocks and bonds.

How Series 6 and Series 7 Allows FAs to Offer Clients More Extensive Services

As a financial advisor, after you pass the Series 6 and Series 7 Exams, you can offer more well-rounded and beneficial services to your clients. This will not only make you a one-stop-shop, but it can also take your career to the next level. Listed below is a more complete list of products you can offer with each license.

After passing the Series 6 and becoming a representative of a firm, you can sell:

  • Mutual funds
  • Variable annuities
  • Variable life insurance
  • Municipal fund securities (i.e., 529 plans)
  • Unit investment trusts

After passing the Series 7 and becoming a representative of a firm, you can sell any type of individual security, including:

  • Common and preferred stocks
  • Stocks
  • Bonds
  • Mutual funds
  • Options
  • Municipal securities
  • Variable contracts
  • Direct participation programs (DPPs)
  • All forms of packaged products (except for life insurance, real estate, and commodities futures)

How STC Prepares Candidates for Both Exams

Securities Training Corporation is here to help you pass your qualification exam on the first attempt. Regardless of whether you decide to take the Series 6 or Series 7 Exam, STC can help you launch your career. STC’s training program gives you access to beneficial resources, such as:

  • Live virtual, recorded, or in-person lectures
  • Access to instructors
  • 24/7 tech support
  • User-friendly technology that can be used anywhere
  • Both online and printed study manuals
  • Online final exams
  • Online progress exams
  • Greenlight exams (if you pass these, you’re very likely to pass the Series 6 or 7)
  • Online flashcards
  • Crunch Time Facts (a PDF of essential facts to review just before testing)
  • Free course updates
  • And more

STC can tailor a program to your specific needs to help you increase your chances of achieving a passing score on your first attempt. For more information about the Series 6 and Series 7 Exams or to partner with Securities Training Corporation for a smooth pathway toward a successful career, contact STC today!

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