Series 66: What you need to know

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA)The Uniform Combined State Law Exam, also known as the Series 66, is an exam that essentially combines the Series 65 and Series 63 state registration exams. The goal of the exam is to qualify candidates as both investment adviser representatives and securities agents.

Though the Series 66 exam content overlaps with much of the same material as the Series 65 and Series 63 exams, its ultimate qualification is different. The Series 66 is meant for financial professionals who wish to become registered securities agents and investment adviser representatives. Unlike the Series 63 or Series 65 exam, which may be taken by a variety of financial professionals, such as accountants or insurance agents, who do not wish to become full investment advisor representatives (IAR); the Series 66 certification is only offered to candidates who have, or will, successfully passed the Series 7 exam. For this reason, the Series 66 does not include any questions about products, analysis or strategy., as these topics are already covered in the Series 7 exam.

The exam is made up of 100 questions; in order to pass, a candidate must correctly answer 75 of those 100 questions. In each Series 66 exam, there are an additional 10 experimental questions given as part of the pretest that do not count toward a candidate’s final score. Test-takers have 150 minutes (2 hours and 30 minutes) to complete the exam. The Series 66 is administered by computer and is scored immediately upon completion, offering candidates instant results. Candidates will need to achieve a score of at least 75% on the Series 66 exam in order to pass and become eligible for registration as Registered Investment Adviser Representatives. The passing score was changed in 2010 from 71% to 75%.

Attaining the Series 66 license, along with the Series 7 license, qualifies a financial services professional to register with the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – the two authorities responsible for securities regulation in the United States-as a registered representative. Additionally, the Series 66 license combined with a Series 7 license qualifies financial professionals to offer financial advice, and make investment recommendations.

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