Notebook and pen on a table with a laptop in the background and a coffee mug on the right side
The first step to becoming
Passing the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam proves to prospective employers that you're capable of handling a job in finance. We'll help you pass the SIE and take that first step.
Achievable exam prep includes our online textbook, review questions, and full-length practice exams.
Buy it now - $99Peek inside
Stand out when applying for your dream job
Thousands of people succeed with Achievable and go on to amazing companies.
Blackrock logo
Edward Jones logo
Fidelity logo
Wells Fargo logo
Goldman Sachs logo
Northwestern Mutual logo
We're proud to point out that our students have landed great jobs, but we're required to note that Achievable is not affiliated with or endorsed by these firms.
Achievable SIE includes everything you need
A full year of access for only $99
No complicated package tiers to compare or worry if X months will be enough
Graph of Achievable's spaced-repetition adapative learning technique
Advanced personalization
Achievable SIE exam prep uses adaptive learning techniques to create and update a personalized model of your memory, individually tracking your retention and mastery of each FINRA SIE exam study guide objective. Our learning engine monitors your study progress and continually adjusts your quiz questions to ensure you're focusing on the topics that matter most for you, improving study effectiveness while reducing overall study time.
Full-length practice exams
With 2,000+ high-quality hand-crafted FINRA SIE practice exam questions, you can take 35+ full-length practice exams. Our SIE practice questions include all the types of questions you'll see on the exam, and they're weighted according to the official FINRA Security Industry Essentials exam rubric so you can have confidence in your scores.
Achievable practice exam shown on laptop and smartphone
Achievable review quiz shown on laptop and smartphone
Review quizzes
Continually reviewing the material you've learned while studying is essential, but you need more than simple SIE flashcards. In addition to our full-length practice exams, our SIE exam study materials include a separate quiz bank of 2,000+ review questions so you can quickly drill the key facts and regulations for any particular chapter.
Online SIE exam book
You'll see within minutes why our full online SIE exam prep book is the best SIE exam prep - it's easy to understand and written in plain English, filled with straightforward explanations and real-world examples. Our expert author has 15+ years of licensing experience, and it shows. Achievable SIE study materials are easy to read, mobile friendly, and include detailed walkthroughs of sample questions. Each of the FINRA SIE sections are covered in detail in our SIE online course.
Achievable online textbook shown on laptop and smartphone
FINRA/NASAA explainer videos
Videos on key topics
Achievable is an effective and efficient quiz-focused course - you won't have to sit through 100+ hours of boring SIE video lectures! Our courses have a reputation for being easy to understand. If you're a visual learner, we have you covered: we include bonus SIE explainer videos on key topics to ensure you can fully understand complicated concepts.
Modern platform
Whether you're studying on the web or a smartphone, the Achievable FINRA SIE exam prep platform UX is clean and responsive. Progress charts highlight your journey through the SIE course content and your current strength in each section.
Achievable dashboard shown on laptop and smartphone
Pass the first timeTry Achievable SIE
Proven success
With Achievable, you will pass. The effectiveness of our courses is empirically validated with 750,000+ hours studied and 25,000,000+ quiz questions answered.
Controlled experimental studies with our corporate customers demonstrate that using Achievable results in ~15% higher scores, translating into significantly higher pass rates and career success.
Why take the SIE?

The finance industry is known for being an exciting if challenging career path - and one that can make you a lot of money if you're good at it. In order to engage in securities business, you are first required to pass the FINRA Securities Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) Exam, sometimes incorrectly referred to as the Security Industry Essentials exam.

Applying to financial firms with your SIE credentials in hand shows your potential employers that you already know the profession, and have taken the initiative to learn about and pass this required test. Not only that, but hiring a pre-qualified applicant also saves them the time and money of training someone without the credentials.

If you were hiring and there were two similar candidates - one with the SIE and one without - which would you think is stronger?

What jobs require the SIE?

Practically every role in finance requires passing the SIE.

  • Research Analyst
  • Wealth Management Adviser
  • Investment Banker
  • Investment Adviser
  • Equity Trader
  • Bond Trader
  • Insurance Sales
  • Mutual Fund Sales
  • Compliance Officers
  • Operations Analyst
  • Financial Consultant

... just to name a few.

Not in finance? No problem.
Man with a blue tie
Woman with a blue camera
Man with a blue thermos

The hiring profile for major financial institutions is changing: as the industry is becoming more people and service oriented, employers are hiring smart and driven folks outside of people who majored in finance in college.

Our corporate clients are actively hiring former service industry personnel, liberal arts majors, and more people outside of the old profile. But their biggest concern is whether you can handle the content - and that means passing the SIE will give you a BIG advantage over other applications by showing your mastery of the material.

How hard is the SIE?

The SIE is an entry-level, medium-difficulty exam, meant to be challenging but approachable to anyone - including people that do not have a traditional finance background. Calculated from the first 16,000 individuals to take it, the SIE Exam pass rate came out to be 74%, right in line with FINRA's expectations.

It is expected that experienced students can study for about 25 hours and pass the exam, while those who are just learning the material for the first time should expect to spend 50 hours to be suitably prepared.

The SIE Exam tests three major skills:

Quiz marked with correct and incorrect
Problem solving

You will be expected to use logic and the evidence presented to deduce the correct answer from multiple choices. This isn't too different from what you've already done with the SAT or in school – the difference is the subject matter and remembering which rules or calculations apply.

Calculator with math worksheet and pencil

Finance has math - there's no way around it. Fortunately, the math in the SIE is straightforward and more a matter of how you apply it rather than doing complex calculations. It's the standard PEDMAS: parentheses, exponents, multiplication, division, addition, and subtraction.

Silhouette of a human head with a gear inside

It's maybe not everyone's favorite part of the test, but you will need to memorize some key regulations and other information to pass.

Achievable has adaptive, memory-tracked flashcards built into our course to ensure you'll remember all the material you've learned on test day.

SIE exam details

The SIE covers the fundamentals that you'll need for any role in finance, regardless of the specific field you might want to specialize in.

The SIE exam is hosted by FINRA and costs $80 to register. Participants have 1 hour 45 minutes to answer 75 multiple-choice questions. The passing score is 70% (53/75).

1 hour 45 minutes
75 questions
Passing score
70% (53/75)
Exam fee
Pass the first timeTry Achievable SIE
FINRA's SIE exam summary
Knowledge of Capital Markets
12 questions, 16%

The basics, laws, and regulations of the financial markets. You'll need to know the primary and secondary markets, the regulators (SEC and FINRA), and their rules (Act of 1933, etc).

Understanding Products and their Risks
33 questions, 44%

The products of the financial markets, which include stocks, bonds, mutual funds, ETFs, and options. You'll need to know what these products are, the risks of investing in them, and how they benefit investors.

Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts and Prohibited Activities
23 questions, 31%

How customers buy and sell securities in their accounts. You'll need to know different types of orders and accounts, how those orders are entered into the market, and the regulations that govern these activities.

Overview of Regulatory Framework
7 questions, 9%

How financial professionals operate in their jobs and the rules that govern their activities. You'll need to know FINRA and SEC rules, ethics of working with clients, and general procedures for financial professionals.

Achievable's content outline
1. Common stock

All things related to common stock, including rights of stockholders, stock markets, benefits & risks, and fundamental analysis. Various equity-related investments like ADRs, rights, warrants, and tender offers are also discussed.

2. Preferred stock

Characteristics, features, benefits, and risks of preferred stock. Interest rates, their influence on the financial markets, and how they impact preferred stock market prices are additionally covered.

3. Bond fundamentals

The foundations of debt securities, which are the most commonly traded investment in the financial markets. Topics covered include interest rates, bond characteristics, the debt markets, yields, and benefits, and risks.

4. Corporate debt

Why corporations borrow money, how they do it, and different types of debt securities they offer. The bond markets and bank products like banker's acceptances and CDs are also part of this chapter.

5. Municipal debt

The basics of municipal government products and why states, cities, and political subdivisions borrow money. Mainly focusing on general obligation (G.O.) bonds and revenue bonds, you'll learn how your local government finances its activities.

6. US government debt

The essentials of securities issued by the U.S. Treasury and federal agencies. The Federal Reserve, its monetary policy, and how it influences the economy is also examined.

7. Investment companies

What an investment company is, how they operate, and the rules and regulations of the Investment Company Act of 1940. Mutual funds, closed-end funds, exchange traded funds (ETFs), and unit investment trust (UITs) are specifically discussed in detail.

8. Alternative pooled investments

Products that work similarly to investment companies, but fall outside their definition. Primarily focusing on real estate investment trusts (REITs), hedge funds, and direct participation programs.

9. Options

The fundamental elements of options, which lock in future transaction prices. Single leg strategies, hedging strategies, income strategies, the option markets, stock options, and index options are explored.

10. Taxes

The basics of how investment returns are taxed. Taxation on dividends, interest, and capital gains are examined.

11. The primary market

Focusing on the characteristics and regulations of the primary market. The rules of the Securities Act of 1933 are covered in detail, which include IPO rules, exemptions, and the registration process.

12. The secondary market

The essentials of the secondary market, which is governed by the Securities Exchange Act of 1934. Specific stock markets, participants in the financial markets, order types, and applicable regulations are all covered.

13. Brokerage accounts

How brokerage accounts work, the process of opening one, and the different types of accounts available. Cash accounts, margin accounts, fiduciary accounts, and rules relating to firms offering brokerage accounts are covered in detail.

14. Retirement and education plans

The structures of qualified and non-qualified retirement plans. Additionally, education plans (Coverdell ESPs and 529s) and ABLE accounts are covered. Contribution limits, penalties, risks, and benefits of using retirement and education plans are further discussed.

15. Rules and ethics

The do's and don'ts of finance, specifically relating to registered representatives. Prohibited activities, market manipulation, and ethical duties are examined. You'll also learn more laws and regulations relating to business practices in finance.

SIE resources

Check out our free SIE cheat sheets / SIE dump sheets and podcasts to help you prepare for the FINRA SIE exam or for a quick refresher on the SIE fundamentals.
SIE tutoring
Want one-on-one help with your studying? Checkout Achievable's directory of FINRA SIE tutors.
Free FINRA SIE practice exam
Solve 10 free SIE practice exam questions to get a feel for what to expect on the actual SIE exam.
FINRA course author Brandon Rith and guests provide actionable tips and topic reviews to help you pass your FINRA exams.
Achievable's FINRA podcast
FINRA course author Brandon Rith and guests provide actionable tips and topic reviews to help you pass your FINRA exams.
Quick reference sheet ("cheat sheet") for the SIE covering general formulas.
Dump sheet: General formulas
Quick reference sheet ("cheat sheet") for the SIE covering general formulas.
Quick reference sheet ("cheat sheet") for the SIE covering regulators, laws and rules.
Dump sheet: Regulators, laws, rules
Quick reference sheet ("cheat sheet") for the SIE covering regulators, laws and rules.
The SIE podcast is a third-party audio resource offering more than 36 hours of course material. Try five SIE exam audio lessons for free.
The SIE podcast
The SIE podcast is a third-party audio resource offering more than 36 hours of course material. Try five SIE exam audio lessons for free.
Finance|able is an innovative finance training platform with intuitive, interactive courses that help you gain the skills you need to land the job and crush it when you hit the desk.
Finance|able is an innovative finance training platform with intuitive, interactive courses that help you gain the skills you need to land the job and crush it when you hit the desk.
Achievable SIE - $99
Pass the FINRA SIE on your first try with Achievable's online course. Includes everything you need: easy-to-read online textbook, 2,000+ review quizzes, and 35+ full-length practice exams.
Laptop displaying the Achievable exam prep dashboard and a smartphone displaying a quiz question
Achievable success spotlight - Joey Frantz
Joseph Frantz
Branch Operations Manager
LPL Financial
Success spotlight
Achievable actually made the exam material palatable and even fun to learn. With the learning science behind the study system, it was almost scary how well I could recall formulas and regulations. The interface and flashcard-style kept it easy and fun to get more studying done any chance I had free time, especially watching the test-readiness climb. The mobility of it was huge to utilize every minute of time I had to learn and review, whether I was on a train, waiting in line, or on a break at work.
You'll love studying with Achievable
Thousands of people trust Achievable to help them pass their most important exams.
I have been very impressed so far after reading through the materials and videos. The content is easy to follow and it really does make me feel like this could be "achievable."
~ Jennifer, JP Morgan Chase & Co. ~
The Achievable SIE exam study curriculum is very helpful. Each section is easy to read and take notes on, and not filled with super technical language that is hard to decipher.
~ Connor, Merrill Lynch ~
The material I have read so far is very good compared to other well known companies. It's clear, concise and seems to focus perfectly on the necessary information rather than bogging you down with too much.
~ Gregg, Independent Advisor ~
Learn from the best
Our content was written exclusively for Achievable by Basic Wisdom's acclaimed FINRA instructor Brandon Rith. With 15 years of finance-related experience and 10 years of licensing expertise, Brandon has helped thousands of learners successfully pass FINRA/NASAA exams while working for Fidelity Investments, where his programs posted pass rates that always exceeded company goals.
Brandon Rith - Achievable SIE expert
Wooden desk
Small plant in a pot
Laptop displaying the Achievable exam prep dashboard and a smartphone displaying a quiz question
Pass the FINRA SIE. Guaranteed.
Achievable is the best SIE exam prep course: effective, personalized, and convenient. With Achievable, you'll spend less time studying and pass your exam the first time, or your money back. Questions? Call/text us at 415-831-7733.
Get started for free