Series 7 Exam Issues

What Is the Series 7 Exam?

The General Securities Representative Exam (GSRE), better known as the Series 7 exam, qualifies a registered representative or stockbroker to buy and sell securities for customers of a FINRA member firm. The Series 7 exam is, in short, the entry-level exam for stockbrokers. Stockbrokers working for FINRA member firms must have taken and passed the Series 7 exam, confirming their basic knowledge of securities industry essentials and the essentials of dealing in securities.

Who Must Take the Series 7 Exam?

A securities professional wishing to buy or sell securities for a FINRA member firm must take and pass the Series 7 exam to register with the firm as a representative. Securities include investment products like corporate stock shares, municipal bonds, stock options, direct participation programs, investment company products, and variable annuities. Thus, securities professionals who wish to work for FINRA member firms buying and selling securities for customers of the firm must pass the Series 7 exam. FINRA member firms may not simply hire persons off the street to sell securities. FINRA member firms may only permit registered representatives to buy and sell securities. To become a registered representative, a securities professional must take and pass the Series 7 exam.

Who Need Not Take the Series 7 Exam?

While the Series 7 exam is the entry-level exam for registered representatives to buy and sell securities for FINRA member firms, some securities professionals do not make those securities transactions and thus do not need to take and pass the Series 7 exam. The securities industry offers other credentials, like the Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) credential earned by taking and passing the CFA exam. The CFA credential, though, is not an entry-level credential. The CFA Institute offers the CFA credential only after a securities professional takes and passes three levels of exam, generally requiring hundr