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.
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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.

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.

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. The first 16,000 individuals to take the SIE Exam had a pass rate of 74%, which was 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:

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.


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.


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.

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.
Achievable success spotlight - Joseph Frantz
Joseph Frantz
Branch Operations Manager
LPL Financial
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Thousands of students 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
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