FINRA, an acronym for Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, is a non-governmental, independent authority that governs registered brokers and broker/dealer firms in the USA. This body writes and enforces the rules that the securities dealers must abide by.

In order to become a registered broker or establish such a firm, it is mandatory to first obtain a FINRA license. A FINRA license allows individuals or firms to demonstrate that they are capable of trading the securities they are licensed for.

FINRA exams are the way by which you can gain the FINRA license. The Series 79 exam allows you to gain the license to practice as an entry-level investment banking representative. On the other hand, the Series 82 exam gives you an advanced trading license where you can transact securities on behalf of your clients. Let’s understand the highlights of both these exams in a little more detail.

The Series 79 Exam

If you are aiming to become an investment banker, then you need to take two exams:

  • The Securities Industry Essentials Exam (SIE)
  • The Series 79 Exam

Both these exams are administered by FINRA and are required to be qualified for by the individuals aspiring to become investment bankers. Some salient features of this exam are:

  • Through this exam, FINRA gauges your capability, skills, and knowledge in the key aspects involved in investment banking, such as underwriting, new financing, data, restructuring, etc.
  • The exam carries 10 unscored and 75 scored questions
  • The duration of this exam is 2 hours and a half
  • The qualifying score for the candidates is a minimum of 73%
  • Those who clear the exam are free to participate in asset sales, debt and equity offering, and other activities that investment banking involves

The Series 79 exam doesn’t require the candidates to have any prerequisites; however, the SIE exam must be qualified as a corequisite for the Series 79 exam to be valid. This exam has a narrow scope and is for those who wish to achieve specialization.

The Series 82 Exam

If your aim is to be able to transact in financial securities on behalf of clients, then you need to take the Series 82 exam. This exam qualifies you for the license to be part of a sponsor organization and transact in private securities. This is why this exam is also known as the Private Securities Offerings Representatives Exam. Some salient features of this exam are:

  • This exam tests your aptitude in the private securities market, trading efficiency, and operational activities
  • Registered representatives can use the Series 82 license along with other licenses that they have
  • The test spans over 150 minutes and consists of 100 questions
  • To qualify, you need to score a minimum of 70%
  • It is mandatory to have the sponsorship of an SEC-registered organization in order to take this exam
  • This exam consists of four sections:
    • Characteristics of Corporate Securities
    • Regulation of the Market for Registered/Unregistered Securities
    • Analysis of Corporate Securities and Investment Planning
    • Handling Customer Accounts / Industry Regulations


The series 82 exam has a broad scope and, therefore, requires you to have knowledge of a vast amount of subjects to gain a qualifying score. For more information get in touch with Bridge Capital Associates today.