Hello, our dear readers.

Welcome to our insightful article on SIE study guide.

This article is part of the SIE study series that has several articles to help you prepare adequately for the SIE exam.

In this article, we provide study guides for the four modules that cover eleven chapters tested in the SIE exam.

You’ll learn how you can make the most of the study guide, tips for success using the guide, and the importance of the SIE guide.

In summary, we’ll discuss:

  • Study methods to make the most of the SIE study guide
  • Tips for success using the SIE study guide
  • Importance of using the SIE study guide

Let’s jump straight into it.

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Other free SIE study materials:

  1. SIE exam prep
  2. SIE study plan
  3. SIE study guide
  4. SIE practice exams
  5. SIE flashcards
  6. SIE cheat sheet
  7. SIE Exam FAQ
  8. Best SIE study materials

Module 1: Understanding Capital Markets

Understanding how capital markets work is essential to passing the SIE exam.

After all, this is the key component on which the financial industry is built.

In this section, we cover various critical features of capital markets including:

  • Regulatory establishments
  • Who participates in the capital market and the roles they fulfill
  • How the capital market is structured
  • How economics affect the capital market
  • The offerings found in capital markets

This study guide would obviously be much too big for one page so we have broken it down into smaller chapters. Please click on the link below to study any section of your choosing.

Module 2: Comprehension of Products And Their Risks

This module offers a more in-depth look at the types of securities investors can buy as well as the risks associated with them.

Module 3: Understanding Customer Accounts, Prohibited Activities and Trading

This module looks at trading, customer accounts, and prohibited activities with topics including public communications, investment returns, corporate actions, anti-money laundering, and more.

Module 4: Regulatory Framework Overview

There are various self-regulatory (SRO) requirements when dealing with associated persons.

Study Methods to Make the Most of Your SIE Study Guide

The securities industry essentials exam study guide is instrumental in preparing for the SIE exam.

And so, it’s important to use it effectively for the best results.

How do you do that, you ask?

Here are five study strategies to help you fully use your study guide.

Employ Effective Study Techniques

Technical subjects like securities industry essential are best studied at a slow pace.

Instead of blocking long hours, break your study time into small chunks to enhance retention.

There are several reading strategies you can employ to cover the SIE exam content using the study guide.

The SQ3R strategy allows you to cover every inch of the study material.

You start with SURVEY, where you glide over the chapters just to have an overview of what each contains.

The next item is QUESTION.

Change the heading of each of the chapters to questions.

Next, READ.

Read each chapter of the guide with the aim of answering the question you created using the chapter title.

RECITE the answers you come up with verbally.

And lastly, REVIEW the chapters to ensure the information sticks.

That’s the SQ3R technique.

Another reading technique is 3R, Read, Recite and Review.

We also have OK4R.

The first step is OVERVIEW, where you scan the SIE study guide to pick the KEY IDEAS.

With a gist of each chapter, you can READ through them to understand then, RECALL.

When recalling, take notes of what you’ve learned to jog your memory.

Next, REFLECT and finally REVIEW.

The last strategy on our list is THIEVES.

THIEVES gives you a systematic way to go through the SIE study guide.

Foremost, start with the TITLE.

From there, review the HEADINGS of the individual chapters.

In the SIE exam prep courses, the headings are broken down into subheadings.

The same is replicated in the guide.

So, you’ll review both.

Next, go into the INTRODUCTION of the individual chapters to have a rough idea of the topics covered.

As you start your reading, pay special attention to EVERY FIRST SENTENCE of every paragraph.

Also, identify VOCABULARIES or VISUALS from the content.

At the end of every chapter, review the END-OF-CHAPTER test questions.

This helps you identify your strengths and weaknesses.

You can know early in your preparation what to focus on more.

Finally, read the SUMMARY at the end of the chapters.

The summaries point to the key ideas you are supposed to pick from the study materials.

These study techniques overlap.

So, it’s you to choose which one works for you and stick to it throughout your studies.

Use Memorization Techniques

Memorization is the best technique to retain as much information as possible when preparing for the FINRA SIE exam.

Spaced repetition is where you read the same concepts multiple times over time until it sticks.

Spaced repetition works best if you don’t cover every topic back to back.

Switch up topics.

The key is to continuously read the topics after a period, just when you are about to forget them.

Exposing yourself repeatedly to the SIE study guide makes it easy to recall.

Another memorization technique is to break down complex concepts into easy-to-understand bites.

Flashcards are equally excellent for memorization.

You read about one concept repeatedly until it sticks.

Highlight Important Details

As a first-time exam taker, the content of SIE material is new.

There are many things you’ll need to grasp.

Using a highlighter, you can effectively cover the study guide by highlighting the most crucial information.

With the important parts of the study guide content highlighted, you can go through them a few times a day to grasp the main idea of the different topics.

You can also have short-hand notes to reinforce your learning.

It’s proven that writing helps you understand information better.

Hence, you can retain more content in the long run.

Read Out Loud

The beauty of reading out loud is that you see the words and hear the information.

This reinforces your memory retention.

Part of reading out loud is learning with others.

When you discuss and explain the material content, it reinforces the content you’ve learned.

You can also identify gaps in your knowledge of the SIE test content.

These study techniques help you review FINRA’s SIE material and better prepare for the actual exam.

Tips for Success Using SIE Study Guide

To get the most from the securities industry essentials study guide, you need to use it with other study tools.

So, how do you go about it?

Here is an overview.

Get the Best SIE Materials

A study guide is one part of the equation when preparing for the SIE exam.

It supports your studies.

Therefore, leverage other study materials, such as practice exams, flashcards and prep courses.

Go through the content outline in the guide.

From there, review the summarized notes to reinforce the information.

You can then use question banks.

Now, if you really want to reinforce the information learned, do as much practice as possible.

Your test prep should not be below 10-20 times the number of questions in the SIE exam.

Since the exam has 75 multiple-choice questions, you should not take less than 750 practice questions.

Read the SIE Prep Course Textbook

The different prep course providers have developed individual SIE study guides and textbooks.

A study guide simply guides.

It cannot substitute for a textbook.

The textbook, however, gives you the context of the information you are learning.

It gives the bigger picture.

So, if your SIE prep course provider has a textbook, you need to spend at least 25% of your study time reading the textbook.

But since it’s bulky and prone to drag you behind, read it the first time without highlighting any information.

You can review it later when revising practice tests and highlight key areas tested repeatedly.

Choose an SIE Self-Study Course

There are many prep courses with comprehensive Financial Industry Regulatory Authority exam materials.

As a test taker, yours is to comb the web to find the best study package.

Most of the courses are self-study that comes with instructor led-videos, flashcards, practice questions, a study guide, and so on.

You can study at your own pace but ensure you split your study time accordingly to thoroughly review each of the materials.

Importance of Using SIE Study Guide

The SIE exam study guide plays a major role in preparing for and passing the FINRA securities industry essential exam.

In this section, we’ll highlight why you should get one.

Help You Understand SIE Exam Content Better

The SIE study guide comprises all the information test takers need to learn for the exam.

It outlines the important elements of the individual topics.

It makes it easy to zero in on the information that is likely to be tested in the exam rather than covering all the information in the textbook, which can be overwhelming.

That means you’ll only study relevant information and weed out non-important ones.

Helps You Retain the Information Longer

A textbook is great, but it’s not the best option when you want to focus on key concepts.

Since the SIE study guide summarizes the important information, it’s the best go-to material if you want to review specific points on a topic.

Because it’s not bulky, you can review the material several times.

Repetition is the key to retaining information over the long term.

Builds Your Confidence to Take the Exam

You’ll only be confident in an exam if you know the content.

And that’s what the SIE study guide helps you achieve.

Using the study guide helps you wrap your head around the topics, the subheadings and the key ideas.

When you understand the content of each topic, you’ll feel confident in taking the FINRA exam.


That’s all we have for you regarding the SIE study guide.

We hope you’ll find the guides helpful when covering the individual topics of securities industry essentials.

For the best result, use the guides with other study materials to comprehensively understand the exam content.

All the best in your journey to becoming an industry professional in the financial services industry.


How long should you study for SIE?

It takes around 20-50 hours to prepare for the SIE exam. That’s around two months. The study time reduces if you have experience in the field or background education in finance, accounting, or economics. So, check FINRA’s SIE content outline for a clear picture of the SIE structure and content.

Is the SIE exam difficult?

The SIE exam is moderately difficult. The exam has a passing score of 70% and an 82% pass rate. That means if you put in the effort, you will most likely pass. Use the study materials effectively and ensure you take as many practice exams as possible.

Is the SIE exam free?

The securities industry essentials cost $80. If you are a student, the cost is $60. The exam consists of 85 multiple-choice questions, where 75 questions are scored. The exam takes 1 hour and 45 minutes to complete. You can retake the exam if you fail on the first attempt.

What is the passing score for the SIE exam?

The passing score for the SIE exam is 70%. To attain 70%, you must score at least 52 out of the 75 questions. That means you must take your studies seriously from the get-go. This qualification exam will require you to study for 20-50 hours.

Is there a practice test for the SIE?

There are dozens of SIE practice exams. Some of the prep tests are free, while others are paid. Both free and paid practice exams give you an overview of the actual exam. Paid SIE practice exams give more value as they have more questions.

Who writes the SIE exam?

FINRA writes the SIE exam. The exam was developed for two reasons. One, FINRA series-specific exams had overlapping content. So, instead of testing the same material in multiple exams, they consolidated it into SIE. Two, it removed the barrier to entry. You don’t need employment to take the exam.

What are the subjects for the SIE exam? 

Chapter 1: Knowledge of Capital Markets (12 of 75 questions)
Chapter 2: Understanding Financial Products and their Risks (33 of 75 questions)
Chapter 3: Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts, and Prohibited Activities (23 of 75 questions)
Chapter 4: Overview of Regulatory Framework (7 of 75 questions)




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