FINRA Series Examination Tips

Tackle the FINRA Series exam strategically.

With years of experience, we formulate this examination guide for you to prepare the FINRA exams efficiently.


Even if you are a finance newbie or not, for your career, it is very important for you to pass the FINRA examinations. Taking FINRA examination needs strong stamina. For example, the examination duration of series 7 is 3 hours and 45 minutes with 125 questions. For series 3, there are 120 questions to be answered in 2 and a half hour. Therefore, not only you need to be able to focus for a long period of time, you have to be quick in answering the questions.

Below are the tips to excel in FINRA examination:



Beware of outdated study materials

FINRA issues new regulations and updates frequently. This also impacts the FINRA examination content. If you use your friends’ study material a few years ago, it is highly possible that you will mark the wrong answers in the examination as the information provided by your friends is outdated. Therefore, you have to be very conscious while picking study materials by looking at their last update date.



This is an examination on ethics

The answers to the Multiple Choice Questions could be quite confusing for you to choose. There is a tip to guide you to choose the correct answer. As FINRA is an examination aims to test the ethics of the practitioners in the field who looks for the best interest of clients, the most ethical answer is the most likely the correct answer.



Their question could be misleading

FINRA examinations tend to use double negation in their question setting. For example, “not excluded” and “all statement is false except”. You need to be very alert while picking the correct answer.



How long should I take to prepare for the FINRA examination

It is advisable to spend around 100 hours to prepare for the examination. With around 60 hours on study materials, 40 hours should be spent on the practice tests. Especially for series 7 which focuses much on memorization, more study time is expected.



Practical but not technical

In the last generation of FINRA examination, technical knowledge was highly focused. However, it is not the case for the current FINRA examination. Current examination puts more focus on the practical issue. It is because FINRA finds it more important to train up candidates in dealing with daily client’s financial needs than loading candidates with impractical technical knowledge.



Train up yourself mentally and physically

It is not an easy task to handle both your full-time job and FINRA examination at the same time. To prepare yourself for this examination, you need to have a good sleeping cycle and regular exercises. Both of them can reduce stress and anxiety which you will encounter during the whole examination preparation period.



Be familiar with the Examination format

As mention, different series examinations have different examination format, duration, and the number of questions. You should be familiar with all this information so that you can arrange your time effectively in answering all the questions.



Special accommodations service

Do you know that FINRA can provide a candidate with special accommodation service? This service once approved, will offer you additional examination administration time and separated testing rooms. Application details can be referred to the FINRA accommodations page and the approval process normally takes 3 business days.



The credibility of the information in the study group and forum

We know that most candidates rely on the information of the online study group and forum for seeking answers to their questions related to FINRA examination. As you may know, FINRA does not issue official study material but just study guide. If you are asking about details of certain FINRA examination syllabuses, the answers from these online study groups and forums could be doubtful as their source of information is unknown. Worse still, you cannot cross-check this information with the official documents. Therefore, we do not recommend candidates to rely on information from an online study group and forum.



I am running out of time to prepare for the examination. Should I choose the study guide or the practice quizzes?

If you are asking whether to practice quizzes or study guide to be more important, it will be a very difficult question as both are very significant to your success in the examination. As we advised in the previous paragraphs, candidates are recommended to spend 100 hours to prepare for the examination. If you are really running out of time, we would recommend you to spend more time on practice quizzes than a study guide. It is because reading study guide is comparatively more time consuming compared with doing practice quizzes.


FINRA series exam is an old exam, the majority of the exam format and questions has been covered in the past. Study smart and efficiently by leveraging the right study materials. If you enjoyed reading this free guide, share it to your colleagues and friends so that they know you are thinking about them!

Next article: 3 Learning Strategies To Learn Faster and Remember More Without Giving Up Your Leisure And Party Time For FINRA Exam

About the writer

Deborah H. Watson
Exam Content Reviewer
Deborah used to works in a global financial institutions. She is now a team leader in FINRATestBank exam content review team, constantly reviewing test bank and study materials content.

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