The Series 9 and 10 are a combined exam that is called the General Securities Sales Supervisor Qualification Exam.
The Series 9 is considered the Options Group and is based on the rules of option exchanges.
The Series 10 is considered the General Group and is based upon questions by the Financial Industry Regulatory Agency (FINRA), Municipal Securities Rulemaking Board (MSRB), and Securities & Exchange Commission (SEC) regulations.
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This Series 9 and 10 have a total of two hundred multiple-choice questions with five and a half hours to complete. The Series 9 has fifty-five questions on regulations of options, which takes one and a half hours to test, and the Series 10 has 145 questions, which take four hours to complete.
A 70% is required to receive a passing score on the Series 9 and 10. Immediate results are provided at the end of the test with the overall score. Scratch paper and calculators are provided at the testing site. Severe penalties are given to people found cheating on these exams, and the questions are changed often to reflect industry trends and changes in rules and regulations.
Upon passing these exams, the designation is recorded on the applicant’s Central Registration Depository (CRD) record as a General Securities Sales Supervisor.
The purpose of the Series 9 and 10 is to gauge a person’s knowledge of sales activities in a branch office. Typically, a licensed sales manager or branch office manager will take the Series 9 and 10 because he or she is responsible for the activities of a securities-oriented branch office. Passing these exams merely provides the qualifications to supervise sales activity.
Other exams, such as the Series 4 (Registered Options Principal Exam) and the Series 53 (Municipal Securities Principal Exam) provide the qualifications that are broader than overseeing trading activities. The people who develop the test are mostly salespeople who have worked in the industry themselves working with retail securities.
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Being that the Series 9 and 10 exams cover options and municipal securities, many people are confused and think that they also cover the oversight of registered options or municipal securities.
The Series 9 and Series 10 exams are offered infrequently, so it is important to check the Web CRD system for testing dates and sites.
It is not required that both tests are taken on the same day nor taken in any particular sequence. If a candidate fails one of the two exams, he or she is able to reschedule to take the exam again. If both tests are not passed within two years of each other, the passing test must be taken again.
For more information on the Series tests, check the FINRA Web site. The components of the tests consist of hiring qualifications and continuing education, supervision of accounts and sales activities, conduct of associated persons, record keeping requirements, and municipal securities regulations in the Series 10. The Series 9 has fifty questions on options regulations.
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