Series 9/10 Exam Prep With Sample Questions

Written by True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

Reviewed by Subject Matter Experts

Updated on January 27, 2024

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The Series 9/10 exam is a test that securities industry professionals must pass in order to sell and trade securities.

The exam is administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), and is sometimes referred to as the General Securities Registered Representative Examination or simply the Series 9.

The exams measure the degree to which test-takers have the knowledge and understanding necessary to work in the securities industry, including the approval of customer transactions, understanding of investment products and the ability to assess a customer's financial needs.

Have questions about the Series 9/10 Exam? Click here.

Who Must Take the Series 9/10?

The Series 9/10 is mandatory for all individuals who are interested in working with securities.

In general, this includes individuals working in a variety of positions such as financial advisors, registered representatives, investment bankers and more.

  • The Series 9 is for individuals who want to work with equity and option products.
  • The Series 10 is for individuals who want to work with debt products.


Individuals who want to become registered representatives must first take and pass the Series 9. Then, they must meet state-specific requirements – such as taking a pre-licensing course – before they can take and pass the Series 10 to sell or trade in debt securities.

After passing both exams, candidates must also complete a registration process, which includes passing a criminal background check.

However, not everyone is eligible to take the exam or work with securities. In order to be eligible for either of these, an individual must meet certain state and federal requirements such as:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Currently not subject to FINRA revocation proceedings (bankruptcy, criminal convictions, etc.)
  • Successfully complete the appropriate FINRA registration application
  • Unless exempt, have earned a bachelor's degree or higher from an accredited college or university that included 24 semester hours in content areas specified by FINRA

Some individuals who hold certain positions in the securities industry may be exempt from taking the Series 9/10. For example, FINRA Rule 2111(a)(3) exempts certain registered representatives who are also licensed insurance agents.

Content of the Exam

The Series 9/10 Exam consists of 215 questions in four major areas; 60 questions for the Series 9 and 155 questions for the Series 10. The candidates have 90 minutes to finish the Series 9 and 4 hours to finish the Series 10.

The topics covered in the Series 10 are:

  • Supervise Associated Persons and Personnel Management Activities (28 questions)
  • Supervise the Opening and Maintenance of Customer Accounts (49 questions)
  • Supervise Sales Practices and General Trading Activities (52 questions)
  • Supervise Communications with the Public (16 questions)

The topics covered in the Series 9 are:

  • Supervise the Opening and Maintenance of Customer Options Accounts (18 questions)
  • Supervise Sales Practices and General Options Trading Activities (19 questions)
  • Supervise Options Communications (5 questions)
  • Supervise Associated Persons and Personnel Management Activities (13 questions)

Sample Questions on the Series 9/10

Here are a few examples of questions that could appear on the Series 9/10 Exam:

  • You are approached by a client who is interested in purchasing a particular security. Which of the following is an important factor to consider before recommending the security to your client?
  • The client's age
  • The company issuing the security
  • The market conditions at the time of purchase
  • You are recommending a mutual fund to a customer. Which of the following is an important consideration when making this recommendation?
  • How long the customer has been investing with your firm
  • The nature of the mutual fund's fees and expenses
  • Whether the recommended security is suitable for the customer's investment objectives
  • How much income is generated by income-producing securities
  • You are deciding to purchase shares in a new IPO for your client, which represents only the third time the company has issued public securities. Which of the following is an important consideration when making this decision?
  • The track record of the issuing company
  • Whether there are any restrictions on selling shares
  • To what extent trading in the stock is limited to certain investors
  • The condition of the market

Cost of Taking the Exam

In 2024, the cost of taking the Series 9/10 Exam is $405. This price includes a $295 fee for the Series 10 and a $110 fee for the Series 9.

Passing Score

To pass the Series 9/10, candidates must correctly answer at least 70 percent of the questions. Candidates are required to correctly answer at least 42 of 60 questions of the Series 9.

To pass the Series 10, candidates must correctly answer at least 108 of 155 questions.

How Long Does It Take To Receive Results?

FINRA reports that most results are available online within 24 hours. To be sure results are posted in a timely manner, FINRA recommends that candidates take advantage of the test taker portal as soon as they finish the exam.

Permitted Activities

The Series 9 and 10 exams are meant to assess the competency of General Securities Sales Supervisors in the following fields:

  • Equity Securities
  • Debt Securities
  • Sale of Corporate Securities
  • Broker Dealer Variable Contracts
  • Mutual Funds
  • Government Securities
  • Investment Banking
  • Rights and Warrants
  • Unit Investment Trusts
  • Money Market Funds

Final Thoughts

The Series 9/10 is an important exam for individuals who work in the securities industry. The content of the exam is designed to test the knowledge and skills necessary to supervise various activities related to customer accounts and sales practices.

If you are planning to take either the Series 9 or 10, it is important to do so as soon as possible. Both exams have a mandatory exam expiry policy.

For example, candidates must complete all four exams within five years of passing the first one and every second year thereafter – otherwise an exam retake fee must be paid.

Series 9/10 FAQs

About the Author

True Tamplin, BSc, CEPF®

True Tamplin is a published author, public speaker, CEO of UpDigital, and founder of Finance Strategists.

True is a Certified Educator in Personal Finance (CEPF®), author of The Handy Financial Ratios Guide, a member of the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing, contributes to his financial education site, Finance Strategists, and has spoken to various financial communities such as the CFA Institute, as well as university students like his Alma mater, Biola University, where he received a bachelor of science in business and data analytics.

To learn more about True, visit his personal website or view his author profiles on Amazon, Nasdaq and Forbes.

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