FINRA fast facts

FINRA Exams – Competence Tests

Series exams are competence tests – call them the ‘driving licence’ qualifications of the American securities and derivatives industry.

Who Needs Series Exams?

Generally speaking, if you work for an investment bank and you are advising American clients & soliciting business (and sometimes dealing in American products), you may fall under the American regulatory jurisdiction – regardless of where you are based – London, Frankfurt, Tokyo – and you may have to take an exam to prove to American regulators, that you are competent.


Watch out for this – not just anyone can take ‘Series’ exams. In most, but not all cases, you need to be ‘sponsored’ by an FINRA/NYSE member firm to be eligible to take an exam. ‘Sponsorship’ doesn’t have to mean that you work for your sponsoring firm, but in practice your sponsoring firm usually is your employer. You should check this out with your Compliance Department before you go any further – or contact us for more information

What Do We Do?

Our job at wallace cititraining is to help you pass your exam first time and quickly and efficiently. We started in 1991 and were the first company to bring ‘Series’ exam training to Europe. To help us do this we work in association with the leading American training organisation Securities Training Corporation (STC). STC is based in New York and was established in 1969. 

Taking FINRA Exams outside of America

Exams are held on computer every business day in London, Frankfurt, Paris, Australia, China, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Multiple Choice Exams

Series exams are all multiple choice – no essays, no case studies. But that doesn’t mean they’re easy. Multi-choice exams have become very clever. Of 4 choices, you might find that 2 are right. The test lies in knowing which is the most right. These multiple choice exams give you a realistic feel for the actual exam – most are online and are updated as and when necessary.

Booking Exams

Take a bit of time to plan this. It can take up to six weeks to get an exam date. FINRA requires a 30-day application period and your firm may add a couple of weeks to get the application processed internally. Consider how long you think you need to study as well. Avoid booking an exam before you are ready to take it!

4-Steps Guide to Booking an Exam

Email us at for our guide to booking your exam.

U4, U10 Applications and Fingerprints

FINRA requires detailed application forms and fingerprints before they will let you sit any exam. Applications may be downloaded and submitted on the FINRA website Both forms U-4 and U-10 can be located using the home page’s search engine. Wallace Cititraining offers a fingerprinting service. Email us at