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How do you obtain a Series 7 license?

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Quick Answer

A Series 7 license is obtained by taking an exam that tests a person's knowledge of general financial concepts relative to the processing of securities, commodities and futures. Federal and state law requires that to become eligible to offer these financial instruments all financial advisers must pass this exam.

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The Series 7 exam, also known as the General Securities Representative Exam, is given by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority. The basic format of the test is 260 multiple-choice questions given over six hours in two separate three-hour sessions. Test takers must achieve a score of 72 percent to pass. A prerequisite to take the exam is that a member of the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority or a Self-Regulatory Organization must sponsor the financial adviser sitting for the exam. The exam can be taken any weekday and is widely available throughout the United States.

The exam seeks to test knowledge in five core major job-function areas. According to Financial Industry Regulatory Authority rules and regulations the areas are: advisers that seek business through customers and potential customers; evaluate security holdings, the financial and tax situation and needs and objectives of customers; open and maintain accounts and records for customers; advise customers on investments and recommendations; and obtain and verify sales and purchase orders.

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