Welcome to an insightful read on how to pass the SIE exam.
If you are hell-bent on acing the SIE exam, this article is dedicated to you.
We’ve put together an SIE exam prep hub with dozens of articles to help you prepare adequately for the exam.
We’ll guide you on how to use the SIE study hub and give you an overview of the different articles in this hub.
We’ll also walk you through SIE exam preparation tips and tricks.
In a nutshell, we’ll cover:
Post 1 of 8 in the SIE Study Series
How to Navigate the SIE Study Hub
You can quickly navigate the content in this hub using different functions.
The navigation on the top allows you to go to the individual SIE study article, while the post content navigation takes you to a specific topic in this article.
You can skip straight into the topic you are interested in.
The sidebar navigation gives you a quick overview of the content outline.
You can also use it to navigate to the specific topic you want.
If you are using a mobile, the sidebar navigation will be on the bottom right.
This SIE study hub has everything you need to know when preparing for the SIE exam.
You’ll get excellent content on how to pass the SIE exam, plus study tools to help you ace the exam.
In the SIE study series navigation, click the drop-down menu for a full list of the articles in the series.
Before you do that, let’s give you an overview of what each of the articles in the series contains.
SIE Study Plan
The SIE study plan has a downloadable calendar for different study times.
You can download study calendars for one, three, six, and twelve months.
Apart from the downloads, we’ll also give you pro tips to help make the most of the study schedule.
We’ll further discuss how long it takes to study for the SIE exam and how to create a good study plan just in case you decide to make one yourself.
SIE Study Guide
The study guide is broken down into the four sections of the FINRA securities industry essentials exam.
The four sections have links to the individual chapters within the four sections.
This study guide will direct you on how to get started with the securities industry essentials exam preparation.
Apart from the SIE study guide, you’ll also learn about the study methods that can help you make the most of the SIE study guide.
Further, you’ll learn about the importance of using the SIE study guide and tips for success using the guide.
SIE Practice Exam
Here you’ll have access to four full-length timed SIE practice tests.
We’ve also put together SIE practice questions for each of the four sections.
The goal here is to take the four tests to find out your area of weakness.
From there, you can take the SIE practice questions from the section you are weak in.
The SIE practice exam article also covers the SIE exam and why you should take it.
It also talks about the SIE exam domains and how the SIE practice exam and quizzes work.
In this article, you’ll have SIE digital flashcards categorized into the four sections of the SIE exam.
You can shuffle the cards, star the ones you want to review later and switch them from front to back.
Apart from the digital flashcards, we’ve given you strategies for getting the most out of the cards, how to use the cards with other materials, and the benefits of using spaced repetition flashcards.
Find a downloadable cheat sheet for the SIE test prep.
Also, learn how to make the most of the SIE cheat sheet and, finally, the importance of using the cheat sheet when preparing for the SIE exam.
SIE Study Material
In this article, we’ll walk you through the top organizations offering the SIE study materials.
Our top choices are Knopmanmarks, Exam FX, Securities Institute of America, Securities Training Corporation, and Kaplan.
We’ll tell you what makes these organizations stand out and what they need to improve.
You’ll also learn about the costs of their study material, the materials they provide, and how long you have access to them once you purchase them.
SIE Exam FAQs
The last item in the study hub is the SIE exam frequently asked questions.
We respond to all your concerns about the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority SIE exam.
The goal is to ensure you know everything about the exam as you start your journey to becoming an industry professional.
How to Pass the SIE Exam: Essential Preparation Tips
If you want to pass any exam, preparation is mandatory.
The same goes for the securities industry essentials exam.
This entry-level security industry exam is moderately difficult.
One in every four first-time takers fails.
Preparation is the only thing that sets apart those who pass from those who fail.
So, what exactly should you do to ensure you are well prepared before the SIE exam?
Here are five tips to set you up for a pass on the first attempt.
Start Preparation for the Exam in Good Time
How soon you start to prepare for the SIE exam depends on your level of knowledge.
For instance, finance graduates may use a shorter time to prepare compared to candidates with no background knowledge in finance.
Despite such disparities, SIE candidates should start preparation 4-6 weeks before the exam.
Those with no knowledge of security should probably start reading two months earlier.
Starting too early may be disadvantageous as there are high chances of forgetting the topics covered earlier.
On the other hand, if you start your preparation too late, there are high chances that you may skip important topics.
Further, anxiety may build up as you rush to cover the SIE study materials.
The key is striking a balance when you start and maintain the same momentum throughout your preparation.
Draw a Study Plan and Stick to It
Most SIE candidates juggle a job, family, and education, making it difficult to focus solely on studying for the SIE exam.
That’s why a study plan is mandatory.
You need to draw a study calendar with a specific number of hours that you dedicate to studying every day.
The more the details, the better.
The SIE exam comprises 85 multiple-choice questions, and you’ll need around 120 hours to cover the study materials comprehensively.
Consequently, we offer a downloadable study calendar for different study durations to help you manage your study schedule effectively.
Depending on whether you are studying for a month, three, six, or a whole year, you can download a customized calendar with the study schedule that best suits your availability.
Choose the Best Study Materials
There are several SIE study materials you can leverage in the market.
The materials you settle for depend on your learning style.
You can opt for online courses that offer a wide range of study materials, including study guides, interactive training sessions, video lectures, and quizzes.
You can also resort to in-person programs where you have instructor support from the beginning of your training.
Another option is to buy an SIE prep course textbook and study on your own.
The route you choose determines the study materials you’ll have access to, ultimately determining how well you prepare for the exam and your performance in the actual exam.
Don’t Cram, Read to Understand
First things first, before you delve into the content of the SIE material, review the content outline to have an overview of how much you are required to cover.
Apart from the outline, it would help if you also found out how each topic is weighted in the exam.
These two elements will guide you on how to study for the SIE exam.
The key is to understand the concepts and not memorize them.
Even if you were to memorize, you risk failing flat on your face, as there’s a lot of information.
Honestly, you can’t cram it all!
So, do yourself a favor and read to understand.
It will go a long way in the exam and your career.
Use Practice Exam to Test Your Knowledge
Once you’ve covered every inch of the content outline, it’s time to test your understanding.
Practice questions will help you do just that.
Practice exams give you a heads-up on how prepared you are for the actual exam.
They act as an exam simulation.
The practice exam shows you the areas you are weak in so that you can put in more effort.
Therefore, your goal is to do as many practice tests as possible until you score 85.
That’s an indicator that you are ready for the SIE exam.
To get the most from practice exams, settle for SIE prep courses with many question banks.
This way, you can do several practice questions without repeating the same questions.
Our SIE practice exam will help you see the type of questions you are likely to encounter in the exam.
Pro tip: you’ll get the most from our test preps if you set a timer and do them diligently without using study materials.
Tips for Taking the SIE Exam
Now that we’ve covered preparation tips, it’s time to delve into the SIE exam tips.
You’ve studied for the examination and are now on the final stretch.
FINRA SIE exam is just as important as the studying you’ve been committed to.
Thus, what strategies can you implement during the exam to ensure you pass it on the first try?
That’s the fundamental question that we want to answer in this section.
Read the Exam Questions Carefully
Passing the SIE exam requires you to be extra careful with the questions.
The first thing is to read the exam instructions.
When it comes to the questions, take your time, but not too much.
Read questions completely before you rush to answer them.
Usually, there are trick questions intended to taste candidates’ understanding.
If you scan through the questions, you may end up answering what you are not asked.
On that note, be weary of hedge clauses such as except, not, all, none, and so on.
Keenly check key phrases to help you understand the questions better.
Once you’ve understood what you are tested on, go through all the answer choices before choosing the most correct answer.
Don’t fail the exam because of carelessness, yet you know the material.
Take your time.
The passing score for SIE is 70, and you’ll get your results immediately after you’ve submitted them.
Since we don’t want you to leave the exam room with a downcast face, our advice would be to pace yourself accordingly.
Don’t spend too much time on one question.
Otherwise, you risk getting cut off by time.
If a question is too challenging, go for your best guess and mark it.
You’ll review that question once you are down with all the questions in the SIE test.
As you go along, keep checking the timer, which is usually displayed on the computer screen.
You’ll need to balance the remaining time versus the number of questions you have left.
Don’t scramble for time at the last minute.
The best strategy is to answer the questions you know and then proceed to the challenging ones.
You’ll also want to spare time to review your answers once you are done.
Avoid Changing Your Answers for the Wrong Reasons
Exams usually come with anxiety.
But don’t let it get the best of you.
Don’t be tempted to change an answer because you selected the same letter in the preceding questions.
Go with the answer that you know is correct.
And if you are not sure, settle for your first hunch.
You can change your answer if you’ve found new information in another question that guides you to another answer.
Another reason to change an answer would be if you missed a hedge clause and caught it later.
That would definitely change what the question is testing.
Hence your answer.
Take Your Time to Interpret Unfamiliar Questions
Sometimes you may read a question, and it throws you off immediately.
Don’t let that discourage you.
Examiners test your understanding through different angles.
So, break down the question and try to find the meaning of the different elements.
You can put the pieces together from there to have a bigger picture of what the question is asking.
Meticulously go through all the answer choices and settle for your best bet.
Don’t be Distracted by Others.
You’ve paced yourself, and everything is going well until you see the gentlemen seated next to you stand up with a warm smile and head for the door.
That’s when panic kicks in, and in no time, your palm is so sweaty you can’t focus.
Breathe in and out.
It’s an exam, not a competition.
Remember, testing centers offer several security exams besides the securities industry essentials.
Apart from that, there are those taking the exam for the fourth time.
So, don’t be distracted.
Focus on taking the exam at your own pace.
Your only concern should be whether you are within time or not.
It’s a wrap!
Given that the pass rate for the SIE exam is 74% for first-timers, you need to prepare thoroughly to have any chance of passing the exam.
Your performance in the SIE exam is the foundation for pursuing other FINRA series exams and growing your career in the security industry.
So, take your studies seriously from the very beginning.
We hope the SIE exam preparation tips and study tools we’ve shared will set you up for success.
All the best as you prepare for this entry-level exam!