FINRA recently released statistics on the Securities industry Essentials (SIE) Exam. After 11 months (as of August 31, 2019), total SIE enrollment was 90,516. This compares to total enrollment of 44,626 after six months (as of March 31, 2019) and 29,612 after four months (as of January 31, 2019). The monthly numbers have shown some increase since the exam’s October 1, 2018 inception, but it’s too early to draw any conclusions. One factor that could partially account for the increase is that some financial service firms have recommended for their summer trainees to take the SIE Exam prior to beginning full-time employment.
As of August 31, 2019, enrollment was evenly split between the filing of Form U4 and utilizing FINRA’s Test Enrollment Services System (TESS). The March 31, 2019 numbers showed slightly different results with 56% of the enrollments through filing Form U4 and 44% utilizing TESS. A FINRA member firm files a Form U4 on behalf of a person who’s requesting a representative level license, such as the Series 7 Top-Off. On the other hand, FINRA’s TESS program allows a person who’s not associated with a FINRA member firm to enroll and schedule the SIE Exam. Member firms are also permitted to purchase vouchers and provide them to both existing and potential employees.
As of August 31, 2019, there were 67,445 candidates who took the SIE exam and 58,264 of them were first-time candidates. The discrepancy between the total SIE enrollment (90,516) and number of test takers (67,445) reflects the fact some candidates have enrolled but have not yet taken the exam. After enrolling, FINRA provides candidates with 120 days to schedule and take the exam.
The SIE Exam’s current pass rate is 74% for first-timers and 82% overall. These numbers are largely unchanged from the pass rates that FINRA previously released in January 2019.