Hello, welcome to the best article on Series 66 vs Series 65.

By reading this article to the end, we guarantee you will have a clearer understanding of the Series 66 and Series 65 Exams, their significance, similarities and differences between these exams.

 At the end of this Series 66 vs Series 65 article, you’ll learn the:

Prerequisite knowledge
Exam content

We have all your questions answered with a bit more information to equip you in your pursuit of becoming a Series 66 or 65 licensed professional.

We are ready whenever you are. 

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Introduction to Series 66 vs Series 65

Have you always wondered about the appropriate exam to take?

Confused about what each exam entails and what passing either of the exams will mean to your financial career?

You landed on the right web page that provides answers to all these questions and more.

Series 66 Examination

An individual wanting to function as an investment professional must pass specified qualification exams necessary to perform in such respect.

The Series 66 examination is also called the Uniform Combined State Law Examination introduced by the North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA).

The introduction of Series 66 by NASAA was influenced by industry expert requests. 

The exam is managed by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA).

Topics covered in the Series 66 exam are relevant in the area of:

  1. Providing securities transactions
  2. Giving investment advice

Series 66 has several tutors that can prepare you well for your exam prep stage to pass the exam on your first try. 

Getting tutored is very useful as most tutors have taken the Series 66 exam before, so you are sure to get practical and relatable lessons from them.

The Uniform Combined State Law Exam covers the knowledge areas financial advisors need to get informed in the financial industry’s laws, regulations, and best practices. 

Series 66 Exam Structure

The Series 66 exam is a closed book exam that helps to evaluate and ascertain the competence of a financial professional about functioning as either investment adviser representatives (IAR) or securities agents. 

There are 100 multiple-choice questions in the Series 66 exam which covers areas necessary to function effectively in the respects mentioned above. 

The exam has 10 unscored pretest questions that are randomly distributed within the scored questions. 

The above implies that the total number of questions in a Series 66 exam is 110, where 100 questions are scored, and 10 are unscored (do not add to your overall exam score).

There are several concepts relating to finance that the Series 66 exam covers; these are:

  1. Customer Investment Recommendation
  2. Investment Vehicle Characteristics
  3. Economic Characteristics
  4. State Laws and Regulations
  5. Strategies

The time allowed for candidates to take and completed the exam is 2 hours 30 minutes (150 minutes).

Candidates get to see the score of each section of the exam and the final score of the entire exam immediately after concluding the exam.

The above serves to assure test takers that the entire examination process is fair and transparent. 

The Chauncey Group International is responsible for structuring the Series 66 exam questions, administering the exam, weighing the comprehensive exam, and the study guide for the exam. 

Chauncey Group International is affiliated with and approved by NASAA to act in the respect mentioned above. Also, they have approval from the Competency Exam Project Group.

Series 66 Passing Rate

The passing rate means the minimum score that a Series 66 exam candidate must attain to pass the Series 66 exam.

73/100 is the passing rate of the Series 66 exam.

The above implies that 73 is the minimum passing score of the exam; that is, the passing rate is 73%.

Prerequisite of Series 66 

This exam has no prerequisite for enrolling and taking it. 

It, however, has a corequisite for obtaining the Series 66 license.

More details are available in our Series 66 license write-up below.

Series 66 Exam Registration

To register for and schedule a Series 66 exam, you must first visit FINRA.org, where you can find the enrollment window for appropriate exam registration.

Unlike most FINRA qualification examinations, the Series 66 exam can be enrolled for by a candidate without mandatory sponsorship from a FINRA affiliated firm.

The above means that a candidate can directly schedule the Series 66 exam on FINRA.org by filing a Form U4 electronically.

Alternatively, candidates can get sponsorship from a FINRA member firm.  

Candidates can open the ‘Enroll for an Exam’ on the FINRA.org website to enroll in the Series 66 exam.

After the successful filing of Form U4, candidates should proceed to open an enrollment window. 

Before opening an enrollment window, candidates are mandated to make an examination fee payment of $177. 

After enrolling for the Series 66 state licensing exam, FINRA will open a 120-day window for you. 

You must schedule and take the Series 66 exam within this 120-day window. 

Compromise of Series 66 Exam

Compromise of the Series 66 exam, whether in part or whole, is not acceptable by NASAA as this can reduce the usefulness and validity of the exam.

NASAA is responsible for bringing to book an individual guilty of compromising the exam. 

Strict actions may be taken against such an individual by NASAA and state administrators.

Series 66 License

Taking and obtaining the Series 66 exam is crucial to becoming a Series 66 licensee in the securities industry.

The Series 7 examination (i.e., SIE and Series 7 Top-Off combined) is a corequisite to the Series 66 examination. 

By corequisite, we mean both Series 66 and Series 7 are required by an individual to obtain the Series 66 license in addition to meeting state regulatory laws and background checks.

Series 66 and Series 7 exams can be taken in any order; that is, anyone can be taken first to be eligible to register for and obtain the Series 66 license.

Professionals that possess the Series 66 license are mandated to get familiar with and abide by the spelled out regulations and laws of the state where they transact business, including those relating to unethical business practices. 

Passing the Series 7 FINRA exam and 66 exams is a satisfaction of a part of the requirements needed to get licensed and registered.

It has enormous benefits to both state regulators and the financial industry considering the regularity of the exam.

This regularity heightens the level of protection that the investing public has regarding the standards and transparency of uniform qualification.

The Series 66 license qualifies candidates to function as financial professionals in the following respects:

  1. Investment Adviser Representatives (IARs)
  2. Securities Agents

Let’s get a better understanding of the above professional designations.

Investment Adviser Representative (IAR)

An Investment Adviser Representative (IAR) is a professional that works for an investment advisor responsible for making recommendations and giving investment advice to clients. 

An IAR also gives relevant advice to clients in the area of securities investment in:

  • Mutual Funds
  • Stocks
  • Exchange-Traded Funds
  • Bonds

The relationship between an IAR and the investment advisor is likened to that of an agent and a broker-dealer firm. 

IAR Qualifying Exams and Registration 

Before an IAR can take appropriate qualification exams, registration requirements of such exams must be met. 

Different states have varying qualification exams that must be passed to give financial advice to clients. 

However, an IAR must pass either of the following sets of exams to qualify to function as an IAR:

  1. Series 63 exam and Series 65 exam.
  2. The Series 66 exam is in addition to the corequisite Series 7 exam. 

An IAR that works for an investment advisor duly registered with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) may not require state registration and licensing to qualify as investment advisor representatives. 

The above strongly depends on the laws and regulations of the state that exist in such a state where financial transactions will be carried out. 

Securities Agent

A Securities agent is a financial professional who represents a broker-dealer (or issuer) in the sales of securities to the public. 

Securities agents also solicit to the public to patronize broker-dealers and subscribe to their services. 

All securities agents must be duly registered irrespective of business location to legally conduct business except in exceptional cases where they are exempted from registration. 

Series 65 Exam

The Series 65 exam is also called the NASAA Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam organized by FINRA. 

NASAA developed the Series 65 exam content and study outline.

The Series 65 exam consists of topics relevant to equipping candidates looking to qualify as investment adviser representatives (IARs) and give investment advice to clients. 

The Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam is a timed exam covering essential topics necessary for professionals to transact business effectively as investment adviser representatives. 

Also, the exam covers the following:

  1. Economics
  2. Investment Vehicles
  3. Analysis
  4. Ethics

Series 65 Exam Structure

Series 65 exam consists of 130 multiple-choice questions that are scored. 

In addition to the 130 questions, we have 10 multiple-choice questions randomly placed within the scored questions. 

These 10 questions are unscored as such, do not add to the overall exam score.

Candidates are allotted 3 hours (180 minutes) to answer all questions in the exam.

Individuals taking the exam are required to correctly answer at least 94 questions of 130 multiple-choice scored questions in the exam.

The above implies that the minimum passing score for the Series 65 exam is 94, that is, 9/130.

The passing rate for the Series 65 exam is 72%, that is, (94/130)%.

The Series 65 exam has no corequisite exam, unlike the Series 66 that has Series 7 as its corequisite.

The exam is a closed book exam to ensure that candidates that pass the exam are well equipped to transact business that requires the Series 65 license. 

The exam is highly transparent in that candidates get the score of each completed section and the overall exam score immediately after completing the exam. 

Series 65 Registration

Unlike most FINRA qualifications exams, the Series 65 exam can be filed electronically either by:

  • A candidate’s sponsoring firm with FINRA membership affiliation.
  • Individually by the candidate taking the exam.

The sponsoring firm or candidate is required to file Form U4 available on FINRA.org.

On opening an enrollment window on FINRA, you must make an examination fee payment of $187.

After successfully registering for the exam, a 120-day window is opened by FINRA, within which you must schedule and take the exam in a Prometric center of your choice across the country.

Failure to schedule a Series 65 test within this 120-day window period may lead to forfeiture of the exam. 

NASAA has authorized the Chauncey Group International to structure the Series 65 exam questions, administration method, and study outline on their behalf.

All questions in the exam are analyzed statistically and individually to ensure there are reliability and uniformity of the questions and other FINRA qualification exam questions.

If you wish to enroll for any FINRA licensing exam, kindly visit the “Enroll for a Series Exam” on FINRA.org.

What is a Series 65 License

The Series 65 license is granted to individuals that have successfully passed the exam and met mandatory state laws and regulations requirements coupled with background checks.

Individuals that qualify and obtain the Series 65 license are legally permitted to act as investment adviser representatives.

Being investment adviser representatives, they can transact business by providing investment advice to clients on behalf of broker-dealers.

Besides providing investment advice to clients, the Series 65 license permits financial professionals to carry out business analyses. 

Financial professionals that have the Series 65 license and wish to transact additional business like selling securities and packaged investment products must obtain the Series 7 license to do so legally. 

Series 65 license is beneficial to professionals who provide any financial advice or render such services to clients on a non-commission basis. 

Taking and passing the Series 65 exam is an essential and significant leap towards becoming licensed and transact business. 

Before obtaining the Series 65 license, you are not authorized to conduct business as a financial professional until you have satisfied all set out conditions and have a license. 

Series 66 and 65 | Similarities 

There are a few similarities between Series 66 and 65. 

Notable among these similarities are:

  • Both Series 66 and 65 are NASAA introduced exams.
  • FINRA also administers both exams. 
  • Series 66 and 65 licenses qualify individuals as investment adviser representatives (IARs).
  • Both exams are taken in any Prometric exam center.

Series 66 vs Series 65

Series 66 and Series 65 are similar in some ways, as noted above. 

However, they have distinct differences in terms of their exam structure, businesses their licenses permit professionals to transact, professional designations, to mention a few. 

These differences are highlighted below:

  • Uniform Securities Agent State Law Examination is known as the Series 66 examination; the Uniform Investment Adviser Law Exam is also called the Series 65.
  • Series 66 exam corequisite is Series 7 exam; there is no corequisite exam for the Series 65 exam, unlike the Series 66. 
  • The duration for the Serie 66 exam is 2 hours 30 minutes (150 minutes) exam, while that for the Series 65 exam is 3 hours (180 minutes).
  • The Series 66 exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions (scored questions) with additional 10 pretest questions (unscored questions), while the Series 65 exam has 130 multiple-choice questions with 10 other unscored questions. 
  • Series 66 exam has a minimum passing score of 73 (73/100), which invariably means a passing rate of 73%; Series 65 exam has a minimum passing score of 94, which implies that the passing rate is 72%.
  • The examination fee required to take the Series 66 exam is $177, while the Series 65 examination fee is $187.
  • The above implies that the Series 65 exam fee is more expensive than the Series 66 exam fee. 

In Summary

In Conclusion!

It is valid to say both Series 65 and 66 are similar in several ways. 

These have been highlighted in the Similarities between both discussed above. 

Also, there are distinct differences that exist between both exams. 

Considering the number of questions to be answered in both exams and core areas covered in both exams, candidates must dedicate appropriate and sufficient time to study. 

Passing either of the exams is “Not a piece of cake,” and as such, exam candidates should leverage all authorized resources in preparation for either exam. 

Prospective exam candidates considering taking either exam should recall that Series 66 has a Series 7 as a corequisite, which implies that both must be satisfactorily aced to obtain the Series 66 license.

Series 65, on the other hand, does not have a corequisite exam, implying that passing the exam and meeting relevant state laws and regulations is all that is needed to get licensed. 

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