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The series 3 exam is a very unique exam and stands out from other Financial Services registration examinations. The Series 3 exam is one of the only tests administered to financial services professionals that requires the individual to successfully complete both major sections of the exam. The series 3 requires individuals to score a 70% or better on the general knowledge section and requires the individual to score 70% or better on the regulation portion of the exam. What this means, is that if a person scores well in the general section but fails to reach a score of 70% or higher in the regulatory portion of the exam, the individual will fail the test. This is drastically different from other Financial Services exams. With most exams you can do poorly in one or two sections, yet still pass the exam with an overall score equal to the passing grade.
With this in mind, more often then not, people who do not pass the series 3 exam tend to fail it because they performed poorly in one of the major sections. Some students who sit for the series 3 have an in-depth knowledge of trading futures. These are professionals who have been trading the products for long periods of time and understand how futures contracts work , how contracts are priced and can easily handle questions covering options on futures. This professional tends to do poorly in the rules and regulation section of the exam. Quite simply it’s not the area that they are familiar with and mastering the subtle application of NFA and CFTC rules and regulations is something that challenges them.
Other students who tend to be more detail oriented have an easier time with the rules and regulations, yet have substantial difficulty on the general section of the exam. Speculating and hedging, open trade equity and complex option questions present challenges and cause this type of individual to perform poorly in the general knowledge section of the series 3 exam. Another unique feature of the series 3, is the fact that the test is administered in both multiple choice and true and false style questions. While the true and false style questions provide the test taker with a 50-50 chance of choosing the correct answer, the presentation of the true and false questions is such that they are very challenging. The national first time pass rate for the series 3 exam tends to be slightly higher than 70%. There are many factors that impact the pass rate for the series 3 exam including the following:
Candidates who are younger and just out of college and candidates who have a fair amount of Industry experience in futures tend to do the best on these exams. Younger candidates remember how to study and know what type of study program works best for them and they simply revert back to what they did in college to pass exams. Candidates who have a good understanding of the futures markets including the role of the exchanges, Clearing House and how futures contracts are used also do well on the series 3 exam
Using the right material is critical to passing the series 3 exam. The internet is full of low cost low quality products produced by individuals who have no industry experience, and who have little to no understanding of how the series 3 exam is presented. We believe that our Series 3 study material is the best available and we guarantee you pass your exam. That is why almost 90% of our Series 3 students pass their exam.
The series 3 exam requires individuals to put a significant amount of time into their studying. We recommend a minimum of 70 hours consisting of:
Failing to complete each of the above steps will negatively impact your performance on exam day. Common pitfalls include only skimming the book or only taking practice questions.
Almost 90% of the students who follow our best practices above using our material pass the series 3 exam on their first attempt.
We hope that this article has helped you understand the pass rate for the series 3 exam and these steps you can follow to help ensure your success.
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Good luck on your exam!
The Securities Institute of America
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