series 79 exam difficulty

series 79 exam difficulty

The Series 79 Exam: What It Is And When You Need It

The Series 79 exam is a lighter version of the Series 7 exam, but don't be fooled, the exam is deceptively difficult.

The Series 79 exam is for those looking to work in the area of investment banking. Before 2009 the more popular exam (the Series 7) was required to be a general broker, but some representatives found they were only performing investment banking activities, which is only a small portion of the Series 7 exam. Retail securities firms provide a different set of functions and services than investment bankers, so the Series 7 testing material covered topics beyond the duties of most investment bankers. Because of these concerns, a job analysis was conducted and a committee of investment bankers agreed on the major duties, job functions and tasks associated with this investment banking. In 2009 the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) approved the more focused, Investment Banking Representative Qualification Examination (Series 79). This exam is also referred to as the "Limited Representative" Investment Bankers's exam because it was designed for entry level investment bankers.

What is investment banking and how do you know you need the Series 79 license? Besides being told by your employer, there are specific areas of finance where you will probably need this license. NASD Rule 1032 defines the different types of representative categories, and section (i) Limited Representative - Investment Banking gives a more than thorough explanation of the areas.

The series 79 satisfies the Series 24 prerequisite as a representative exam. But because the Series 79 focuses on investment banking, the Series 24 General Securities Principal will be limited to investment banking supervisory responsibilities if they only have the Series 79. The Series 7 is more general and is not a substitute for the Series 79. So those looking to move into supervising investment bankers will need the Series 79 even if they already have the Series 7. This is one of the only cases where the Series 79 can be used as a prerequisite instead of the Series 7. (Knowing how the primary and secondary markets work is key to understanding how stocks trade, read A Look At Primary And Secondary Markets.)

Generally if you deal in either of these two main areas of activities, either as a worker or a supervisor, you might need the Series 79.

1. Debt or equity offerings through public or private placement.

Other activities involved which the series 79 might be required for:

  • Pricing of securities in the debt and equity offerings
  • Origination, which deals with equity capital markets and debt capital markets
  • Underwriting
  • Marketing
  • Structuring
  • Syndication
  • Managing the allocation and stabilization activities of offerings

2. Mergers, acquisitions and financial restructuring

Some responsibilities that a series 79 will train on or might be required for.

Even if the employee participates in these investment banking activities they might not need a Series 79 if the exposure is very limited. Also in some jobs where new associated employees rotate among different business areas and departments for training purposes, there is some leeway. These workers will be given a six month grace period from when they start working in investment banking activities. Normally, working in these areas would trigger the need to register as an Investment Banking Representative, but this exception allows firms to train employees. For a complete guide to exemptions look at NASD Rule 1032 (i).

The exam is made up of 175 multiple choice questions consisting of four potential answers, but there are 10 additional questions which are added that don't count toward your score. This brings the total questions taken to 185. The 10 additional questions are potential exam questions, and examined by a committee to determine the difficulty. Candidates are given five hours to complete the exam which gives them 1 minute and 37 seconds per question. This is done on computer so the results are given right after the exam as a pass or fail, as well as a breakdown of the performance in each section.

1. Collection, analysis and evaluation of data (43%)

This section is the largest with 75 questions and includes finding the relevant data, and understanding where you will need to look to get it. For example, knowing what will be in proxy statements Form 14A or Form 4s for beneficial ownership of directors. This section also goes into communicating with different departments and clients. Using metrics and ratios, and trends to evaluate what you have found in the firm and sector data. Finally, this section wraps up with understanding due diligence activities, such as knowing the buy and sell side due diligence and regulatory requirements. (Certain transactions reveal much about a stock. We go over what to consider and where to find it, read Keeping An Eye On The Activities Of Insiders And Institutions.)

2.Underwriting/new financing transactions, types of offerings and registration of securities (25%)

This section has 43 questions and deals with regulations of filing and registering securities. This includes forms (such as the prospectus), rules and required financial statements. This section also covers the distribution of marketing materials and many associated rules.

3.Mergers and acquisitions, tender offers and financial restructuring transactions (19%)

This section has 34 questions and goes into the buy side and sell side transactions, the fairness opinion and of course the SEC rules and regulation. This section also goes into tender offer regulations and financial restructuring. (Learn more in Buy Side Vs. Sell Side Analysts.)

4. General securities industry regulations (13%)

This section has 23 questions and goes into proper business conduct including registration of individuals, continuing education, and handling customer complaints.

Requirements and Passing

Candidates must be sponsored by a FINRA member before they can even take the exam. Requirements for eligibility include taking the appropriate qualification examination. This is outlined in NASD rule 1032 (i).

Candidates need to answer a certain number of questions correctly to pass but the actual number is not known. Also, the pass score can change from one year to the next. Some think the pass rate is around 73%, which is about 128 correct answers, but this doesn't include the 10 additional questions thrown in, and is only an estimate.

Investment Banking Representative Qualification Examination

Before 2009, whether working as a representative with retail clients or just doing investment banking activities you would need the Series 7. Now, if you have decided to focus on investment banking as a career you can take the Series 79 to become a limited representative. Later, if you want to move into a retail securities firm you can take the Series 7. But don't take this test lightly; it is more focused but extremely challenging.

Hedge fund laws, starting a hedge fund, news and events…

FINRA to Announce New Investment Banking Examination

For many years now all brokers have been treated equally with regard to examination requirements. Whether a broker was working solely with retail clients or solely with institutions on a private placement basis, each such broker would need to take and pass the Series 7 examination in order to become a representative (broker) at the BD (broker firm or broker-dealer). Now, however, there will be a new exam for those brokers whose only acitivites are “investment banking” activities. In the near future these brokers will only need to take and pass a new exam called the Series 79 exam which will presumably be more focused and shorter than the all-day Series 7 exam. I will continue to update this article after the 4th of July weekend, but below I have included the full text of the new FINRA Rule 1032(i) which provides for a new Investment Banking representative registration.

FINRA Rule 1032. Categories of Representative Registration

(a) through (h) No change.

(i) Limited Representative-Investment Banking

(1) Each person associated with a member who is included within the definition of a representative as defined in NASD Rule 1031 shall be required to register with FINRA as a Limited Representative-Investment Banking and pass a qualification examination as specified by the Board of Governors if such person’s activities involve:

(A) advising on or facilitating debt or equity securities offerings through a private placement or a public offering, including but not limited to origination, underwriting, marketing, structuring, syndication, and pricing of such securities and managing the allocation and stabilization activities of such offerings, or

(B) advising on or facilitating mergers and acquisitions, tender offers, financial restructurings, asset sales, divestitures or other corporate reorganizations or business combination transactions, including but not limited to rendering a fairness, solvency or similar opinion.

(2) Notwithstanding the foregoing, an associated person shall not be required to register as a Limited Representative-Investment Banking if such person’s activities described in paragraph (i)(1) are limited to:

(A) advising on or facilitating the placement of direct participation program securities as defined in NASD Rule 1022(e)(2);

(B) effecting private securities offerings as defined in paragraph (h)(1)(A); or

(C) retail or institutional sales and trading activities.

(3) An associated person who participates in a new employee training program conducted by a member shall not be required to register as a Limited Representative-Investment Banking for a period of up to six months from the time the associated person first engages within the program in activities described in paragraphs (i)(1)(A) or (B), but in no event more than two years after commencing participation in the training program. This exception is conditioned upon the member maintaining records that:

(A) evidence the existence and details of the training program, including but not limited to its scope, length, eligible participants and administrator; and

(B) identify those participants whose activities otherwise would require registration as a Limited Representative-Investment Banking and the date on which each participant commenced such activities.

Please contact us if you have any questions or would like to learn how to start a hedge fund. Other related hedge fund law articles include:

Bart Mallon, Esq. runs hedge fund law blog and has written most all of the articles which appear on this website. Mr. Mallon’s legal practice is devoted to helping emerging and start up hedge fund managers successfully launch a hedge fund. If you are a hedge fund manager who is looking to start a hedge fund, please call Mr. Mallon directly at 415-296-8510.

Series 79: Investment Banking Representative Exam

The Series 79 Exam is required by FINRA for representatives who will engage in investment banking activities, including advising on or facilitating debt or equity offerings through private placements or public offerings, and advising on or facilitating mergers and acquisitions, tender offers, financial restructurings and asset sales.

  • Series 79 Textbook (Physical & Electronic Versions)
  • Online & Printable Practice Exams
  • 11+ hrs of Video Lectures
  • Digital Flashcards
  • Mobile App for offline training (iPhone & iPad)
  • Downloadable Class Supplements
  • Final Benchmark Exam
  • Personal Instructor Support

Number of Questions: 175 scored questions (plus 10 ungraded experimental questions).

Exam Structure: 1 session covering all topics. All questions are multiple choice.

Time to Complete: 5 hours

Recommended Study Time: 100 hours

"Knopman gave me the training and guidance I needed to pass the Series 79 exam. I was taught exactly what I needed to focus on, and through the training I was able to figure out my strengths and weaknesses I needed to work on in order to stay on track to pass."

"The preparation for the Series 79 by Knopman financial was outstanding, the test covered a wide variety of material that I would not have been able to conquer on my own. The practice tests and material were all highly beneficial to my success on the exam."

"I thought the program was set up well especially in regards to having the FINRA and IPO/Regulation stuff early on in the week. Everybody I know had no experience with most of the material coming in and passed with flying colors."

There is no break during the exam. You are permitted to use the bathroom, but the clock will not stop.

You must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm in order to take the actual examination.

If you come to class having read the material you should give yourself about one week to complete practice exams after the conclusion of the program before taking the examination. If you have not read the material before coming to class you will need more time after class ends.

Time management is important on the Series 79, given that there are a number of multi-step math questions which take time to work through. Though most people are able to finish the exam, you should expect to use most of the time and might not have time to review questions marked for review.

Though it is not mandatory to read the material before coming to class, doing so will enable you to reinforce the concepts discussed in the book. If you have not read the material prior to class you will need more time after class to prepare before you take the examination.

Assuming you are working full time while preparing for the examination, you should allow yourself two to three weeks to read through the material and another two to three weeks to complete practice exams. You should attend the live class, watch the online KIT or receive private instruction one to two weeks prior to the examination. The total study time is typically four to six weeks.

The online exams are about the same level of difficulty as the actual exam, so any score in the mid-70s online is good. The diagnostic exams are the same level of difficulty as the actual exam, so you should be scoring in the mid to high 70s on those exams. The ratio of math to regulatory questions on the exam will be more similar to that of the diagnostic exams than that of the online exams.

You should plan on completing at least 1,000 practice questions, plus the four diagnostic exams and the supplemental online math questions, prior to taking the exam. If your scores are not within passing range at that point, you can work on the unit practice questions online.

There are four diagnostic exams, available online. These exams should be staggered with the Practice Exams so that for every 250 questions you complete online, you complete one diagnostic exams. The diagnostic exams are very close in difficulty to the actual exam, so they should be completed closed book in one sitting. You should not do any of the diagnostic exams until you are within two weeks or less of taking the examination. You should complete the benchmark exam 2-3 days before your scheduled exam date.

The Series 79 Exam is a test you’ll need to pass in order to qualify for a job as an investment banker. The official title of the exam is the Investment Banking Representative Qualification Examination (IB), but it’s pretty much universally referred to as the Series 79. Don’t confuse it with the Series 7 exam, which is the test for people seeking to be licensed as a broker. Series 7 is a much broader test, covering many more subject areas than the Series 79. The Series 79 is the newer exam; it was created because many people who seek to be licensed in investment banking have no interest in becoming brokers, which meant that much of the material on the Series 7 test was covering material they didn’t need to know. Now they can take the Series 79 without spending months or years studying subject matter they’ll never use.

However, this doesn’t mean that the Series 79 exam is easy. It may be less wide-ranging than the Series 7, but it’s a very difficult test to do well on, by any measure. The exam, which is taken on a computer, consists of 175 multiple-choice questions, with a five hour time limit to finish the exam. It’s not uncommon for someone to take all five hours to complete the exam, and many don’t finish all of the questions within the time limit. Questions fall into four subject areas, or functions:

  • Function 1 – Collection, Analysis and Evaluation of Data (75 questions)
  • Function 2 – Underwriting/New Financing Transactions, Types of Offerings and Registration of Securities (43 questions)
  • Function 3 – Mergers and Acquisitions, Tender Offers and Financial Restructuring Transactions (34 questions)
  • Function 4 – General Securities Industry Regulations (23 questions)

There are currently no prerequisites a person must satisfy before taking the Series 79 exam, but all prospective test-takers must be sponsored by a member of FINRA ((Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), the watchdog organization authorized by Congress to hold the brokers and dealers to high standards of fairness and honesty. The current cost to take the Series 79 exam is $305. Tests are administered nationwide by appointment at Prometric and Pearson VUE testing centers. Arriving early is recommended, as late arrivers may be turned away, or they may be allowed to take the exam, but their allotted time of five hours to complete the test may be reduced by the number of minutes they’re late.

Mometrix Academy is a completely free resource provided by Mometrix Test Preparation. If you find benefit from our efforts here, check out our premium quality Series 79 study guide to take your studying to the next level. Just click the Series 79 study guide link below. Your purchase also helps us make even more great, free content for test-takers.

From: Internet Comment Copy link January 23

[Summary] Difficulty of series 7 exam? I'm taking it this Thursday and am trying to figure out how to study these last few days. I know all the main ideas, but there are a lot of exceptions to rules and small details that are 1 sentence in the book that I some

I'm taking it this Thursday and am trying to figure out how to study these last few days. I know all the main ideas, but there are a lot of exceptions to rules and small details that are 1 sentence in the book that I sometime forget. I've gone through the questions in the STC book and score 90%+ on some sections, and my lowest score is in the 80% range. How hard is the real test compared to these practice questions? Do you think if you know the general rules and how things work you'll be able to pass it, or should I really focus on remembering every detail?

CFA Vs. Series 7: Which is Easier

Find out which is exam is easier: The Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) exam, or the Series 7 securities exam for registered representatives.

How to Pass the Series 7 Exam | Wall Street Oasis.

If you are reading this post, you are most likely preparing to sit for the series 7 exam. First and foremost, I made this post because I wish it existed when I was studying for the exam. For me, the stakes were very high - pass the series 7 exam on the first attempt or lose my new wall street job in nyc. When you are in a position where you job is contingent on passing, I highly suggest you take every precaution to pass because I have now seen multiple new guys get fired because they missed passing by a point or two. Regardless, if you are like me and need to pass this exam without any doubt on the first attempt you can do it!

Tips to pass the series 7 with minimal effort | Elite Trader

Tips to pass the series 7 with minimal effort

Discussion in 'Prop Firms' started by ProgrammerGuy, Apr 28, 2008.

Series 7 Examination

Individuals who want to enter the securities industry to sell any type of securities must take the Series 7 examination—formally known as the General Securities Representative Examination. Individuals who pass the Series 7 examination are eligible to register to trade all securities products, including corporate securities, municipal fund securities, options, direct participation programs, investment company products, and variable contracts.

I have the 7 (almost 5 years), along with the 63 and 65. To answer your question, I don’t think it’s as difficult as Level I of the CFA exam.

But, don’t be lulled into a false sense of security. Treat every securities license exam seriously. The rules and regs portion of every exam is where you can easily trip yourself. The debt and options sections represent a large portion of the exam. Level I does not cover spreads and straddles, while the 7 does. You will also learn the rules and regs of each individual SRO, from the NYSE, NASD (now FINRA), MSRB, and CBOE.

MSRB Series 50 Municipal Financial Advisor Representative Exam Material Now Available!

The new Series 50 Municipal Financial Advisor Representative Exam will start being administered on September 12th, 2016. Municipal advisory firms are now required to register with the MSRB, as are their employees who engage in municipal advisory activities. These employees are now defined as "municipal financial advisor representatives," and as part of the registration requirement, the new Series 50 exam must be passed. The exam consists of 100 multiple choice questions to be completed in 3 hours, with the passing grade set at 71%.

How hard is the series 24 exam ?

The series 24 exam is one of the most difficult exams administered by FINRA. Series 24 candidates who do not sit on trading desks find The section on supervision of trading and market making to be particularly challenging.

Series 66 Uniform Combined State Law Examination | Exam | What is a Financial Planner? | What does a Financial Planner do?

Examinee Qualification: Securities agent and investment adviser representative (IAR)

Time Allowed for Exam: 2.5 hours (150 minutes)

Number of Questions: 110, 100 of which count toward the final score

Exam Format: Multiple choice

Exam preparation time: Approximately 20-30 hrs (three weeks with between one and two hours of prep time daily)

Additional License Required: Series 66 is always taken in combination with the Series 7 General Securities Representative Exam

Testing Locations: Prometric Testing Centers throughout the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and U.S. Territories

> Any sections you recommend I read? You think I can

> get away without reading the book at all? Can I

> really score over 70 with just doing the

> questions? I understand that the answers will

> actually give me a good knowledge base… but Im

> not sure if thats the right approach.. perhaps

> part of a right approach.. but some background is

> Let me know what you think…

> THanks in advance..

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