About the Series 6 Exam

By Dawn Marcotte , last updated January 24, 2012

The Series 6 exam is a test used to qualify individuals who wish to sell specific financial instruments. The test is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and is a vital credential for financial planners and securities brokers. The Series 6 exam is only one of many different exams administered by this organization and all exams are given only to employees of member firms. Preparation for this exam is usually done as self-study, and there are many different study guides available.

What is the Series 6 Exam

The Series 6 exam is only one type of exam required for brokers and other financial employees. The Series 6 exam allows them to perform transactions involving a specific type of financial instrument. Once the applicant has successfully passed it, they can buy and sell mutual funds, variable annuities and other packaged investment products. This employee is not permitted to transact any business with corporate securities, municipal securities or options products. There are other exams that allow an employee to work with these and other financial instruments and to act as a financial advisor.

How to Study for the Series 6 Exam

The FIRA website has a study guide available online with sample questions. The study guide also has some recommended resources for additional information. Additional study guides are available through bookstores and online. Individual firms may also offer study groups or personal help in preparing for this exam. Exam preparation is largely self-study and it is a good idea to work with individuals who have already passed the exam to learn more about the style of questions and what to expect. New questions are added to the test as the industry changes and it is important to keep informed about changes in the industry. Review only the most current information.

How to Take the Series 6 Exam

Applicants for the exam must be sponsored by their firm and the firm must be a member of FIRA (Financial Industry Regulatory Authority). There are no prerequisites to take this test but there is a fee of $85 for the exam. Tests are given at a variety of locations throughout the United States and internationally. The FIRA website has a search option to locate local test centers and register for specific exams given at those test centers. Many of these locations allow applicants to register online. Applicants will need to provide their first and last name and the FINRA ID of their firm. An additional fee may be charged if the applicant does not take the test as scheduled or needs to reschedule less than 10 days before the exam.

The exam has 100 questions and is timed. No notes or other study aids are allowed. Each testing center will provide a calculator and some scratch paper.

The Series 6 exam is a first step towards a career as a financial advisor or other financial expert. It is important for applicants to keep their credentials current and they may need to take exams annually or bi-annually to keep their certification.

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