Passing the Series 63 Exam in the United States certifies individuals as Uniform Securities Agents.
This allows them to trade securities as per state law.
According to a survey conducted by Wall Street Journal (WSJ), at least 14% of roughly 370,000 brokers surveyed failed the exam in their first attempt.
There is no limit on the number of times candidates can write the Series 63.
However, there’s a 30 day waiting period after the first two attempts and 180 days after the third attempt, and each time thereafter.
Test Prep Companies that Boast Higher Pass Rates
The Series 63 Exam isn’t considered an entirely difficult exam. However, to increase your chances of passing the exam the first time, there are companies that offer products to assist with performing well. Here are two:
- Knopman Financial Training: They boast their Series 63 pass rate for first-time exam takers is 95% from students graduating their training courses. They’ve also recorded pass rates for the Series 7 Exam at 96% and 98% for the Series 79.
- Solomon Test Prep: This exam prep firm reported 93.6% pass rate for the Series 63 Exam. Other pass rates for the Series 7, Series 82 and the Series 55 are 95%, 97.4% and 96.9% respectively. All these are first time pass rates.
What is the Series 63 Exam?
The Series 63 test is a NASAA (North American Securities Administrators Association) exam which is administered by FINRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority).
The exam is based on the Uniform Securities Act. It is a set of state laws that govern the securities laws within the states.
The administrators at NASAA are responsible for enforcing the Uniform Securities Act (not a federal law) in the states.
They are also referred to Director, Commissioner or Secretary of State for securities.
Concerning the Series 63 Pass Rate
The WSJ survey clearly points out that brokers who have failed the exam more times are more likely to have black marks on their records, such as being accused of a felony or getting fired.
The survey shows that when brokers have failed the exam twice, they are 77% more likely to report a criminal charge and have a 55% chance of being terminated. Despite the Series 63 Pass rate being relatively high (86%), it’s a good idea to diligently study and prepare so as to not be disappointed when taking the exam.
The series 63 is a state based exam rather than a federal one, unlike the series 7. These states do not require the Series 63 Exam:
- District of Columbia
- Puerto Rico
Questions that appear in the exam are taken from a question bank that’s based on the Uniform Securities Act, NASAA policies, and other state regulations.
Exam portions change every year with exams starting in January. The waiting period is in place to ensure that candidates don’t memorize answers and the test results are accurate and reflect a candidate’s financial competence.
The test contains 65 questions in which 60 contribute directly to the score and 5 are new questions set by NASAA. The exam is 75 minutes long and candidates are required to fill a survey and provide suggestions for exam developers after finishing the test.