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When Can You Take the Series 65 Exam?


The Series 65 exam or Uniform Investment Adviser Examination is required if you plan to register with state securities agencies as an investment advisor representation. Series 65 exam dates are offered by appointment; this is also how exams for other FINRA licenses work. If you’re planning to obtain a Series 65 license, you’ll need to know when you can schedule your exam and where you’ll be able to complete the test.

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Series 65 Exam Dates 2024

The Series 65 exam does not have fixed dates. You’ll have 120 days to schedule a test date once you enroll for the exam. Enrollment is available through the FINRA website.

Here’s an overview of the rules for enrolling:

  • If you’re sponsored by a member firm, your firm will need to file a Form U4 on your behalf through FINRA’s Web CRD system. Your firm should also pay the exam fee on your behalf.
  • If you’re not sponsored, you can use Form U10 to enroll and pay the Series 65 exam fee, which is $187 for 2024.

Once your enrollment is approved, your 120-day scheduling window opens. For example, if your testing window opens on May 1, you’d have until August 29 to take the exam. There’s no penalty for waiting until the end of the period to take the exam, however, it may be to your advantage to complete testing sooner rather than later.

What happens if your Series 65 exam window expires? If that happens, you’d need to reenroll to schedule a test date. You’d have to pay the Series 65 exam fee again. There are no refunds offered if you miss your testing window.

Where Can You Take the Series 65 Exam?

FINRA exams, including the Series 65 exam, are offered through Prometric testing centers. Testing centers may be stand-alone facilities or located on university campuses. Prometric offers an online search tool that allows you to find testing centers by zip code. Once you locate a testing center near you that offers the Series 65 exam, you can filter for available exam times by date.

Testing centers may offer multiple time slots on the same day. For instance, you may have the option of scheduling your exam at 8:30, 11:30 or 1:00. Test dates are typically offered Monday through Friday only, though some locations may offer weekend testing. Series 65 exam dates are available year-round.

If you’re taking more than one FINRA exam, Prometric allows you to schedule them back-to-back at the same test center on the same day if open time slots are available. That could save time if you’re trying to pass the Series 65 exam along with another licensing test.

When to Schedule Your Series 65 Exam

A financial advisor scheduling the Series 65 exam.

Once the clock is ticking on your 120-day testing window, it’s to your advantage to schedule your exam date sooner rather than later. Doing so can allow you to secure your preferred testing date and time.

Again, you can use Prometric’s search tool to find available test dates. So, for example, say that’re based in New York City and you plan to take the exam in mid-June. A quick search shows that there are four test dates available:

  • June 14 at 8:00 am
  • June 15 at 1:15 pm
  • June 17 at 8:00 am and 1:00 pm
  • June 21 at 1:00 pm

After checking your calendar, you decide to go with the 1:00 pm test date on the 17th. You then just need to schedule the test through Prometric.

When you’re ready to schedule, you’ll need to tell the testing center:

  • Your name and CRD number
  • Which test you’re taking
  • Your employer’s phone number or your phone number if not sponsored
  • Your email address to confirm the appointment

You’ll get an email with the details of your exam date, including instructions on when to arrive, what to bring and where to go.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can You Take the Series 65 Exam Online?

Series 65 test-takers are required to take the exam in person at an approved testing center. The only exception to this rule is if you can prove that you have a medical condition that prevents you from taking the test in person. In that case, you’d be allowed to take the test online.

What Happens If You Need to Reschedule a Series Exam Date?

Prometric allows you to cancel and reschedule Series 65 exam dates online, 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. FINRA requires that you do so a minimum of 10 business days in advance to avoid a fee. The maximum cancellation fee is $187. There’s no hardship policy so if you miss your exam date, FINRA won’t reimburse you for the exam fee.

What Can I Expect on the Day of the Exam?

You should plan to arrive at the testing center 30 minutes before your exam time to check in. You won’t be allowed to take the test if you arrive later than 30 minutes after your scheduled start time unless the testing center has a seat available to accommodate you. Remember to bring a valid, government-issued ID with you. The name on your ID must exactly match the name you used to enroll and schedule your exam date.

How Long Do You Need to Study for the Series 65 Exam?

The amount of time you need to spend studying for the Series 65 exam can depend on your expertise and existing knowledge. At a minimum, you may want to allocate 45 to 60 hours or four to six weeks to studying and preparing ahead of your test date.

What Happens If You Fail the Series 65 Exam?

If you don’t achieve a passing score on the Series 65 exam the first time you take it, you can try again. There’s a 30-day waiting period you must observe before taking the test. If you fail a third time, the waiting period increases to 180 days.

Bottom Line

Series 65 exam dates can be scheduled within 120 days of enrolling, but candidates can choose when and where to test.

A lack of fixed dates for the Series 65 exam allows for flexibility, as you can choose dates and times that best align with your schedule. Keep in mind that if you’re taking other exams to obtain professional certifications those may have fixed dates. The CFP exam, for instance, is only offered three times per year across eight-day testing windows.

Tips for Growing Your Advisory Business

  • When you’re ready to start working with clients it helps to know how to attract them to your business. Word-of-mouth can be a powerful tool for driving referrals, but you may have to do some active marketing to increase your visibility. SmartAsset AMP (Advisor Marketing Platform) is our holistic marketing service financial advisors can use for client lead generation and automated marketing. Sign up for a free demo to explore how SmartAsset AMP can help you expand your practice’s marketing operation. Get started today.
  • Navigating the various securities licenses can be a little overwhelming if you’re unsure of which ones you need. Some of the most common licenses financial advisors may hold include the Series 6, Series 7 and Series 63 licenses. Understanding the difference between what each one allows you to do can help you decide which ones to obtain. Keep in mind that each license has its own testing requirements to meet.

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