The Series 66 exam, otherwise known as the Uniform Combined State Law Examination, is similar to the Series 65 exam in that it is criterion based. This means that the candidate is expected to meet a minimum required competency in order to perform the job sufficiently. The questions on the test are assembled by level of difficulty and content area.
There are a total of 110 questions, although only 100 questions are counted toward the final grade. The additional ten questions are pretest questions and do not count. To pass the exam, seventy-five of the one hundred questions need to be answered correctly within the two and a half hours given to take the test.
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Upon entering the testing center, each candidate is asked to provide some form of identification. The testing site provides scratch paper and calculators if needed. The FINRA has instituted a waiting period if the candidate does not pass the test; however the applicant may take another exam, such as the Series 65, immediately once the U10 form is submitted.
Many times, a security broker will take the Series 66 in addition to the Series 7 exam because he or she is interested in charging commission on the securities bought and sold for clients in addition to charging fees for services. The Series 66 license is only valid with a Series 7 designation. This means that the Series 7 is a corequisite exam for the Series 66.
The Series 66 exam contains topics covered in the Series 63 and Series 65 exams without duplication of the Series 7. Generally, for those persons with the Series 7 license, the Series 66 exam is easier to pass than the Series 65.
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Topics on the test cover federal laws and Security Exchange Commission (SEC) releases, general business practices, administrative procedures, questions on the Uniform Securities Act (blue sky laws), securities registration and exemption, investment vehicles, financial profiles, savings plans, and portfolio management and analysis.
The exam was designed with the easier questions at the beginning of the test with progressively difficult questions in the middle of the exam and test questions get easier toward the end of the exam once again.
The Series 66 exam costs $145 to take. With good study habits a candidate can study for the exam by using many free resources and self-study materials, so it may not be necessary to invest in taking a training course to prepare for the test. Nationwide Prometric testing centers provide the test, so check the Web site for the closest center.
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by Enoch Morrison | Last Updated: January 9, 2019