Since FINRA’s Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam was introduced a couple of years ago, FINRA has held its cards close to its chest, electing to hold on to a lot of the data pointing to enrollment numbers and/or passing ratios. However, NorthStar has received feedback from our customers, and we have seen some interesting trends based on the thousands who have enrolled in our SIE study program and taken the exam.
Who Is Taking the NorthStar SIE course?
A diversely distributed group is taking our SIE Exam Courses. Looking at who is enrolling in our courses, we are seeing a broad spectrum of the business landscape. Students are coming from small independent firms, large firms, and everything in between. We are also seeing many individuals, such as college students who are not affiliated with any company, register for and take the Essentials Exam (note: firm sponsorship is not required to take the SIE), paving the way for a career in financial services.
What Are Students Telling Us?
Test Preparation helps. It isn’t uncommon for exam prep vendors to need a bit of time to fully cover a new FINRA exam or update, but with the SIE, we feel that we’ve nailed it out of the gate. Students are reporting back to us that the questions on the SIE are more straight-forward than other industry exams, and that with the extensive information available in our program, they felt fully prepared for their exam. Additionally, our SIE materials cover the information in a comprehensive manner, which is allowing students to get a jump on the understanding they will need to have for their next exam, be it the Series 6 or Series 7.
Our 100% Pass Ratio Speaks for Itself!
We are seeing students succeed. At the time of this writing, and based on the feedback provided by our students, everyone who has studied with us, has passed the exam. What are students scoring? We can no longer provide this answer — FINRA no longer reports numerical scores for successful attempts, citing that the SIE and subsequent top-off exams (Series 6 and Series 7, for example) are minimum competency exams and should not be used for industry placement or to measure a candidate’s likelihood of success. Failing students will receive a numerical score and feedback on how to improve for their next attempt.
This all points to positive trends, and shows that the barriers are becoming easier to overcome in order to start a career in financial services.
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