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Series 79 Exam: Everything You Need To Know

What Is The Series 79 Exam?

The Series 79 Exam, is the Investment Banking Representative exam. The test is administered by FINRA. It is the Top off exam for Investment Banking agents. The exam must be passed in connection with the SIE Exam.  Once both exams are  completed, candidates may provide investment banking services.

Why should I get a Series 79 license?

The majority of people who get the Series 79 license are required to pass the exam by their employer. Oftentimes, it is a condition of employment. Most individuals are required to obtain a Series 79 license to function in their job. The Series 79 is a very focused top off exam. It is designed for those who work in investment banking.


Firms will notify individuals directly or through their managers about the time frame to take the test. Many broker dealers and boutique investment banks require agents to be Series 79 licensed.

What will I be able to do with a Series 79 license?

A Series 79 license  allows you to engage in investment banking business. The Series 79 is crucial for agents who want to underwrite private and public offerings. Passing the Series 79 Exam will allow you to advise investment banking clients on:


  • How to raise capital
  • Mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
  • Financial Restructuring 
  • Asset sales 
  • Tender offers 
  • Split offs and spin offs  

Are there any prerequisites to taking The Series 79 Exam ?

No. There are no prerequisites to take the Series 79. The only requirement to take the Series 79 Exam is that you must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm.

Will I need any other license to be fully registered?

The Series 79 Exam is a top off exam. It is taken after the SIE /Securities Industry Essentials Exam. Both must be passed to offer investment banking advisory services. Some states require agents to get a Series 63 license. This is in addition to the Series 79 license. The Series 63 allows bankers to conduct business with state residents. You can think of your Series 79 license as your banking license. It is your license to represent your employing broker dealer. Your Series 63 license is your license to transact business with clients.

How hard is The Series 79 Exam?

Passing the Series 79 Exam is a significant challenge. Obtaining a Series 79 license takes focus and dedication. You must make the exam preparation process a top priority. Students should not take this test lightly.  Prepare for the exam by reading a textbook completely with a highlighter. You must read the book. There are no shortcuts and students need to understand this. Carefully watch each video class that corresponds to the chapters in the book. This will provide you with more information on the concepts covered in each chapter. You must clear your schedule, shut off your phone and focus. Besides obtaining the knowledge required, you must master the application of the information. This is accomplished  by taking practice questions. We recommend at least 80 – 100 hours of study time to ensure you pass your Series 79 Exam.

Is my Series 79 license transferable?

For registered investment bankers, it feels like your Series 79 license is transferable. In actuality, it is not. If you wish to change employers. Your Series 79 registration / license must be terminated.  Your former employer, the firm that you are leaving, will fill out and submit a Form U5 to FINRA. This will terminate your employment and your registration with that firm. When you arrive at your new firm you must fill out and submit a new Form U4. This will begin your registration with your new firm. Your Series 79 license will become active at your new firm upon receiving notice from FINRA.

How much does it cost to get a Series 79 license?

Obtaining a Series 79 license requires an investment in your professional development. Your Series 79 license will empower you to act in the role of an investment banker. Many people with a Series 79 license enjoy extremely lucrative careers. The good news is, when compared to other types of training, the costs are relatively low.  Some employers pick up or reimburse the costs and fees. Even these people purchase more resources to help them prepare.  Many students get more test questions, books or videos to ensure they pass. For those who have to pay all the expenses, it usually only costs a few hundred dollars. The fees include testing and registration fees and the training materials. FINRA’s fee to take the Series 79 Exam is $300. Our premier package for the Series 79 training materials is $349. This includes, the textbook, test bank, video training class and free shipping.  You will find that obtaining a Series 79 license opens many doors for you throughout your career.

What are the details of the Series 79 Exam?

The Series 79 Exam consists of 75 multiple-choice questions. Each question must be answered and completed. The exam has a time limit of 2 hours and 30 minutes.  Every Series 79 Exam contains experimental questions.  This is in addition to the 75 scored questions.  These questions are not identified during the test. Nor do they count towards the candidate’s final score. Each exam provides more time for test takers to answer these questions.

What topics are tested on the Series 79 Exam?

Series 79 Exam questions test candidates’ knowledge of the critical functions. These are the functions an investment banking representative must perform. The questions will cover a variety of investment banking and financial topics. The exam will contain many questions on the the following topics:


  • Mergers and acquisitions (M&A)
  • The crucial steps in the offing process 
  • Critical documents- the CIM, IOI, LOI, definitive purchase agreements, registration statements, and more 
  • Data collection – 10Ks, 10Qs, 8Ks, 13Ds, 13Gs, 13Fs and more 
  • Financial statement analysis – Balance sheets, Income statements, Cash flow statements and more
  • Financial restructuring – Chapter 7, Chapter 11, Debtor in possession, the role of the court, creditor’s committee and more     


FINRA’s Series 79 Exam outline is organized into the critical functions of a Series 79 investment banker. FINRA breaks down the Series 79 content as follows:

Series 79 Critical Job Function  Number of test questions 
Collection, Analysis, and Evaluation of Data 37
Underwriting/New Financing Transaction, Types of Offerings and Registration of Securities 20
Mergers and Acquisitions, Tender Offers and Financial Restructuring Transaction 18
Total Questions  75 

Will I have enough time to complete the exam ?

The test provides enough time for candidates to answer each question presented. Test takers who have challenges interpreting questions, may find themselves pressed for time. Rushing to answer every question has a negative impact on performance. To ensure you can complete the test in the time allotted, you must take 75-question practice tests. Taking Series 79 practice exams is a big part of any candidate’s exam preparation. The questions presented are challenging. Students must have a deep understanding of the critical information required to pass.

Which questions are the hardest ?

Every candidate has their own strengths and weaknesses. We will list several of the areas on the Series 79 Exam students find to be the hardest.


#1 Valuation


Valuation questions tend to be the area students find the hardest. These questions are also the area where many students use too much time. The math calculations and financial concepts must be committed to memory. Knowing what formulas to use is crucial to determining:


  • Weighted average cost of capital (WACC)
  • Cost of equity 
  • Enterprise value
  • Levered and unlevered beta
  • Discounted cash flow 


To answer these questions quickly, we have designed a course that makes this easy. Our course contains 11 hours of video training. It shows you exactly how to set up difficult math problems. After reading our textbook and watching the videos, most students become valuation masters.


# 2 Financial Analysis 


Changes in the balance sheet and the statement of cash flows are another area of difficulty. Working with financial statements seems to be one of the harder sections on the exam. How business transactions impact financial statements, is one of the reasons students struggle. Conversion of convertible securities is another key concept. Be sure you commit the impact of convertible securities to memory.  


# 3 M& A analysis 


Series 79 candidates must understand how to value target companies. Determining  if an acquisition is accretive or dilutive is critical in this process. Understanding the value of cash and stock transactions is also a key consideration. The impact of goodwill and building LBO models must be mastered. These are another challenging topic for many test takers. Students must develop a deep understanding of these topics to answer questions correctly.

Where can I take the Series 79 Exam ?

All candidates must appear at an approved testing center to take the Series 79 Exam. Prometric test centers are available throughout the US. In fact, Prometric has more than 3,000 test centers internationally.  Many exam centers are open 7 days a week. Students may schedule the exam at any location on any day that the center is open. To schedule an exam appointment, visit the prometric website 

What is the test center like?

Prometric test centers are strictly controlled and monitored by professional proctors. The testing room is set up much like a computer lab you would see at a college or library. Each computer in the testing area is administering a different exam to test takers. Some individuals may be taking the Series 79 or Series 7 Exam, while others may be taking an exam in a completely different industry.  No reference material of any kind may be brought into the testing area. You will be provided with a basic 4 function calculator and scratch paper or a dry erase tablet. In fact the only thing you should bring with you to the test center is your appointment confirmation, and a government issued ID such as a driver’s license, passport or Military ID. Be sure you are ready for test day and know exactly where the test center is located. You should have clear directions and  located parking if needed. Arrive at least 20 minutes before your scheduled exam appointment.

When will I be notified if I pass?

You will receive your result of the exam immediately upon completion. Your results will be displayed on the screen. You will be provided with a certified copy of the results from the exam center. The passing score for the Series 79 Exam is 73%. Candidates who pass will not receive a numerical score. The exam report states that the student achieved a passing grade. A copy of the report is provided. This is evidence that the student passed the Series 79 Exam. Students who do not achieve a passing score receive the numeric score for the exam. A range of the performance in each scored section is detailed in the report.

What are the continuing education requirements once I have a Series 79 license?

Series 79 licensed  investment baking representatives must meet certain continuing educational requirements. Every year your firm will send out a questionnaire to each of its representatives. This is a “needs analysis”.  Each representative will be assigned continuing education courses to complete. The curses assigned are based on the response received to the questionnaire.  Your firm may have you attend a seminar, webinar or take an online course. Each of these will satisfy the firm element continuing education requirements. 


You will also be required to complete annual regulatory continuing education training. These courses are administered by FINRA. All registered individuals must complete this continuing education requirement by December 31st. FINRA publishes the learning objectives for continuing education each October. This publication details the courses required for the following calendar year. All courses will be completed through FINRA’s continuing education portal. 

Prepare to Pass

Our Series 79 study material will ensure your success on exam day. Complete with a comprehensive physical textbook, Video lectures and challenging test banks. We are so confident in our Series 79 training course. that we offer you a money back greenlight pass guarantee.