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Series 7 – General Securities Representative Exam

The Series 7 exam — the General Securities Representative Qualification Examination (GS) — assesses the competency of an entry-level registered representative to perform their job as a general securities representative.

The exam measures the degree to which each candidate possesses the knowledge needed to perform the critical functions of a general securities representative, including sales of corporate securities, municipal securities, investment company securities, variable annuities, direct participation programs, options and government securities.

Candidates must pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam and the Series 7 exam to obtain the General Securities Representative registration. For more information about the SIE and Series 7 exams, refer to FINRA Rule 1210 and FINRA Rule 1220(b)(2).


Content Outline

The Series 7 Content Outline provides a comprehensive guide to the range of topics covered on the exam, as well as the depth of knowledge required. The outline is comprised of the four major job functions of a general securities representative. The table below lists the allocation of exam items for each major job function.

Major Job Functions Number of Exam Items
(F1) Seeks Business for the Broker-Dealer from Customers and Potential Customers 9
(F2) Opens Accounts after Obtaining and Evaluating Customers’ Financial Profile and Investment Objectives 11
(F3) Provides Customers with Information about Investments, Makes Suitable Recommendations, Transfers Assets and Maintains Appropriate Records 91
(F4) Obtains and Verifies Customers’ Purchase and Sales Instructions and Agreements; Processes, Completes, and Confirms Transactions 14
TOTAL 125

Eligibility

Candidates must be associated with and sponsored by a FINRA member firm or other applicable self-regulatory organization (SRO) member firm to be eligible to take FINRA representative-level qualification exams. For more information on registration requirements, refer to FINRA Rule 1210.

The SIE exam is a corequisite to the Series 7 exam. Candidates must pass both the Series 7 exam and the SIE exam to obtain the General Securities registration.

For more information on the registration process, see Register a New Candidate.  


Permitted Activities

A candidate who passes the Series 7 exam is qualified for the solicitation, purchase and/or sale of all securities products, including corporate securities, municipal fund securities, options, direct participation programs, investment company products and variable contracts.

Covered activities and products include:

  • Public offerings and/or private placements of corporate securities (stocks and bonds)
  • Rights
  • Warrants
  • Mutual funds
  • Money market funds
  • Unit investment trusts (UITs)
  • Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
  • Real estate investment trusts (REITs)
  • Options on mortgage-backed securities
  • Government securities
  • Repos and certificates of accrual on government securities
  • Direct participation programs
  • Securities traders
  • Venture capital
  • Sale of municipal securities
  • Hedge funds

Key Questions

1. If I obtain a Series 7 registration, will I be able to trade municipal securities?

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration prior to November 7, 2011, you will be able to trade municipal securities, structure municipal securities underwritings and perform certain other activities involving municipal securities.

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration on or after November 7, 2011, you will be qualified to engage only in municipal securities sales to and purchases from customers. If you want to be qualified to structure municipal securities underwritings or perform activities involving municipal securities that are beyond the scope of selling municipal securities to and purchasing municipal securities from customers, you will have to take and pass the Municipal Securities Representative (Series 52) Exam.

2. Does a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration serve as a corequisite to the Municipal Securities Principal (Series 53) Exam?

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration prior to November 7, 2011, you are qualified to sit for the Series 53 exam.

If you obtained a General Securities Representative (Series 7) registration on or after November 7, 2011, you will have to pass the Municipal Securities Representative (Series 52) Exam as a corequisite to taking the Series 53 exam.