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June 14, 2024


Last updated: June 29, 2024

How To Pass The Series 63 Securities Exam

By: Jeffrey Van Blarcom

How To Pass the Series 63 Exam and become a Uniform Securities Agent

What is the best way to prepare for the Series 63 exam ? We get asked this question all the time. The answers is that, while everyone learns in a different way, there are certain steps that everyone must take to pass the Series 63 exam. Reading the Series 63 textbook is absolutely essential to passing the exam. You must read the book completely and fully. Read the book, take notes and highlight the key points. Once you have completed the textbook, take as many Series 63 practice questions as you can. The Series 63 exam prep software is designed to help you master the application of the knowledge. The article that follows will provide you with additional insight on how to pass the Series 63 exam.

Passing the Series 63 Exam

By Trace Fasano, Director of Education, The Securities Institute of America

Have you ever heard someone say “I’m just a really good test taker” and wondered “What do they know that I don’t?” Well as it turns out, there are certain things you can do to improve your test taking. And the best part is you don’t have to know any more of the technical information in order to do this. All standardized, multiple choice tests have certain things in common; here’s how to out-test the test, and help you become a better test taker and ace your Series 63 exam prep!

Read the full question. Sounds really simple right? But most people don’t. Most of us are conditioned to skim through information to find the one little nugget we are looking for. If you’re approaching Series 63 exam questions this way you’re sabotaging yourself. So let’s be clear. When you are answering Series 63 exam questions, read the entire question and read all the answer choices. Then read the last sentence of the question again. That last line is the punch line in all Series 63 exam questions, “what do they want from me?”

Use “process of elimination”. Always get rid of the answer choices you know can’t be correct.

If you have used process of elimination, have two choices left, and you’re still not sure answer is right; go with the statistics. If one of the choices you haven’t eliminated is “all of the above”, choose it! This is one of the keys to outsmarting the Series 63 exam. Statistically it’s probably the correct choice. On the other hand, if you’ve used process of elimination and one of the choices you have left is “none of the above”, don’t pick it. Odds are it’s not the correct answer. The test writers for the Series 63 exam like include a correct answer.

If a question gives you an answer choice that reads “not enough information to determine”, do not choose that answer. There is always enough information to answer a Series 63 exam question. Chances are there is more information than you need to answer any question on the Series 63 exam. Consider it a gift, now you have a one in three chance of getting the question correct!

The cardinal rule in taking the Series 63 exam is Don’t Change Your Answers. If you have taken your time, read the full question, used process of elimination, and made a decision; do not second guess yourself. Statistically, when you change an answer, you change it to the wrong answer more often than not, so stick with your gut! The Series 63 exam will not give you a lot of information that you can go back and use to answer a question better the second time.

Keep your head in the game. That means you should do the questions you are sure of first. Leave the ones that cause you grief for last. Makes sense right? But here’s the rub: you need to answer each question in order for the computer to generate the next one; there is no “skip” button. So here’s how we skip questions in on the Series 63 exam: First, read the full question. If the question is confusing or asking about an area that you are unfamiliar with (really, whatever the reason, its ok) pick an answer, and click on “record and review”. The computer will then bring up the next question on your Series 63 exam. When you are done with all the questions, the computer will show you the questions you clicked record and review on. These are the ones you skipped. Now you can answer those questions. Since you didn’t answer them earlier, you chose a random answer, you don’t have to worry about the statistics of changing your answers, and you’ll have plenty of time to work on the difficult questions. The Series 63 exam is not a speeded test. A speeded test is one that is designed so that only the brightest students will have enough time to finish. The Series 63 exam is designed to provide enough time for all students to complete each question on the exam.

Taking is the Series 63 exam is stressful, even if you are a good test taker. By following this simple advice you will be able to tip the scales a bit more in your favor. Coupled with diligent test prep, you are well on your way to passing the Series 63 exam!

A Series 63 Registered Representative is licensed to conduct securities business in all states that require the Series 63. The Series 63 exam will be presented in a 60-question multiple-choice format. Each candidate will have one hour and 15 minutes to complete the exam. A score of 70% or higher is required to pass. The Series 63 is as much a knowledge test as it is a reading test. The writers and instructors at The Securities Institute have developed the Series 63 textbook, exam prep software and videos to ensure that you have the knowledge required to pass the test, and to make sure that you are confident in the application of the knowledge during the exam. The writers and instructors at The Securities Institute are subject matter experts as well as a Series 63 test experts. We understand how the test is written and our proven test-taking techniques can dramatically improve your results.

Taking the Series 63 Exam

The Series 63 exam is presented in multiple-choice format on a touch-screen computer known as the PROCTOR system. No computer skills are required and candidates will find that the test screen works in the same way as an ordinary ATM machine. Each test is made up of 60 questions that are randomly chosen from a test bank of several thousand questions. The test has a time limit of one hour and 15 minutes and is designed to provide enough time for all candidates to complete the exam. Each Series 63 exam will have five additional questions that do not count towards the final score. The Series 63 comprises questions that focus on the following areas:


# Questions

State Securities Act s an Related Rules


Ethical Practices and Fiduciary Obligations




How to Prepare for the Series 63 Exam

For most candidates, the combination of reading the textbook, underlining key points, watching the Series 63 video and answering as many practice questions as possible proves to be enough to successfully complete the Series 63 exam.. We recommend that a student schedule their exam no more than one week after completing their Series 63 exam prep.

How much has the Series 63 exam changed?

Over the years, the Series 63 exam has been made significantly more challenging. The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) has increased the percentage of the exam that concentrates on the National Securities Market Improvement Act of 1996. On April 1, 2002, NASAA increased the number of total questions on the exam by 20%, from 50 to 60.There will be an additional five trial questions, which do not count towards your final score. In January of 2010 the make up of the exam was changed and the passing score was increased to from 70% to 72%.

Why do I need to take the Series 63 exam?

In order to conduct securities business, most states require that an agent successfully complete the Series 63, in addition to obtaining a Series 6, 7, or 63 registration.

What score is needed to pass the Series 63 exam?

A score of 72% or higher is needed to pass the Series 63 exam.

Are there any prerequisites for the Series 63 exam?

A candidate is not required to have any other professional qualifications prior to taking the Series 63 exam.

How do I schedule my Series 63 exam?

Ask your firm’s principal to schedule the exam for you, or for a list of test centers in your area. If you are not with a member firm you may obtain a U 10 Form from The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) to make an appointment. The Series 63 exam may be taken any day that the exam center is open.

What must I bring to the exam center?

A picture ID is required. All other materials will be provided, including a calculator and scratch paper.

How long will it take to get the results of my Series 63 exam?

The exam will be graded as soon as you answer your final question and hit the Submit for grading button. It will take only a few minutes to get your results. Your grade will appear on the computer screen and you will be given a paper copy from the exam center.

Series 63 test-taking tips!

  • Read the full question before answering
  • Identify what the question is asking
  • Identify key words and phrases
  • Watch out for hedge clauses, for example, except and not
  • Eliminate wrong answers
  • Identify synonymous terms
  • Be wary of changing answers

Important Series 63 Exam Notes

Written by Jeffrey Van Blarcom

Experienced Managing Director with a demonstrated history of working in the professional securities training industry. Published author of more than 20 textbooks. Strong business development professional with a focus on content development and distribution.