Passing the Series 63 Licensing Exam for Stockbrokers

by ETF Base on May 11, 2015

Many individuals aspire to be stock brokers as the job provides probably the highest annual salary as compared to many other professions, but the conversion of aspiration into reality requires diligence and hard work. The first step to gain a foothold in the field would be clearing a few exams. The Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination i.e. the Series 63 license exam is one of them. This exam is developed by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) and administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The clearance of the exam indicates that the candidate possesses the essential knowledge of rules and regulatory of the state and is qualified to be a security agent/stock broker.

Before we dwell into the ways of cracking the exam, let’s figure out the exam’s details:

The Exam consists of 65 multiple-choice questions that need to be answered in 75 minutes. Out of the 65 questions, 60 are accounted for the final score. The remaining 5 questions are being pre-tested for possible inclusion in the operational question bank. To pass the exam, 43 answers need to be correct.

One of the important aspects of the Series 63 License Exam is to get a sponsor. The sponsor would be the firm for which the candidate works. The firm requires filling form U4 out and will be paying the cost of the exam which is $115. In case there is no sponsor, then form U10 has to be filled by the candidate and has to bear the cost as well.

Now let’s get into the preparation part for clearing the exam:

There are many sources available for the exam preparation. However, the first step would be the study guide that’s available on the NASAA website. This guide provides the general format and overview of the exam and is a must. The second step should be selecting the correct study material. With internet in our lives, we have a vast source of data available with us for any topic but materials should be chosen wisely. It should be aligned with the exam structure and requirement.

One of the key factors for gaining success in the exam is time management. With 65 questions to be answered in 75 minutes, a candidate gets roughly 1 minute 15 seconds per question. You have to be quick and at the same time comprehend the question correctly. Many questions will require a second read to be understood properly. The best way to gain time efficiency comes by practice. As the old saying goes, “Practice makes a man perfect” which is correct in this case as well. A rigorous and thorough practice is the key. And what better way to practice than Practice tests!!! Practice tests must be given on regular basis. The process is to answer a question, check whether it’s correct or not, even if the selected answer is correct, still, check the reason. That’s the way how initial mock tests should be given. Also the time taken to complete it should be noted.

Last but not the least, focus for passing the exam should be on studying the terminologies used. Often students spend much time in understanding the questions as they are unaware of the terms. Hence, thorough research is required. Also, attention should be paid to terms that frequently appear in practice tests. Since the tests are based on the actual tests, therefore, the terms would be significant. Also the Study Guide by NASAA should be referred as the final checklist so none of the topic is missed.

A well planned study routine with pre-defined time frames coupled with proper attention is sufficient to passing any exam and this one is no different. Anything can be achieved if one has the will to do so. Best of efforts and luck to all aspirants. To learn more about how to become a stock broker, visit

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