Should I take the series 65 or series 66 exam ?

There are several key differences between the series 65 and series 66 exams. Determining which exam you should take will depend on your particular circumstances. 

The Series 65 is the Uniform investment adviser exam and qualifies a candidate to act as an investment adviser representative. Upon passing the series 65 the agent may represent an investment adviser and receive fee based compensation. The fee based compensation may be based on a percentage of the assets under management or as an hourly or flat fee for providing a personalized financial plan. There are no pre requisites for taking the series 65 exam and the candidate does not need to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm to take the test. 

The series 65 is a 130 question test with a time limit of 180 minutes and a passing score is a 72%. The questions on the series 65 exam focus on the following areas:

  • Ethics and Legal Guidelines – 40 Questions
  • Economics and Analysis – 19 Questions
  • Investment Vehicles – 31 Questions
  • Investment Recommendations and Strategies – 40 Questions


TOTAL 130 Questions 

The series 66 is the uniform combined state law exam and qualifies a candidate to represent both an investment adviser and a broker dealer. After passing the series 66 an agent may receive both fee based compensation for representing an investment adviser and transition based compensation for executing customer orders. The series 66 is a combination of the series 63 exam and the series 65 exam. The series 66 exam is 100 questions with a time limit of 150 minutes and a passing score of 73%. The questions on the series 66 exam focus on the following areas:

  • Economic Factors and Business Information – 5 Questions
  • Investment Vehicle Characteristics – 15 Questions
  • Client Investment Recommendations and Strategies – 30 Questions
  • Laws, Regulations, and Guidelines, including Prohibition on Unethical Business Practices – 50 Questions

TOTAL – 100 Questions 

Candidates do not have to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm to take the series 66 exam. However, the series 7 exam is the co-requisite for the series 66 exam and a candidate who has passed the series 66 exam may not conduct any business until they have passed the series 7 exam. All candidates must be sponsored to take the series 7 exam. 

So which exam is right for you?

If you have passed the series 7 exam and have not taken the series 63 exam, the series 66 may be the right exam to take. Keep in mind that while the series 66 has fewer questions than the series 65 the passing score is slightly higher. 

If you have not passed the series 7 or will not be taking the series 7 exam you must take the series 65 exam. While the series 65 is a larger test the passing score is only 72%. Additionally, many candidates find the material tested on the series 65 exam to be a bit more interesting and straight forward than some of the topics tested on the series 66 exam. 

So is the series 65 or 66 exam right for you? Only you can decide No matter which exam you decide to take, our series 65 and 66 exam training materials offer a money back pass guarantee

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