What are the Differences Between the Series 65 & the Series 66 Licenses?

Testing financial advice

The Series 65 and Series 66 are qualification examinations for people who want to pursue careers as investment professionals. Candidates demonstrate that they have a baseline of knowledge required to provide financial advice. In most cases, prospective investment professionals initially pass one of the core Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) exams, the Series 6 or Series 7, and then pursue the North American Securities Administrator's Association (NASAA) Series 63, 65 or 66 examinations.

1 Exam Length

The Series 65 consists of 140 questions while the Series 66 has110. Both exams include 10 pre-test questions, that could appear in any position within the exam; these questions do not count toward the final score.

2 Exam Content

The Series 65 tests candidates in economics and analysis, investment vehicles, investment recommendations and strategies, and legal and regulatory guidelines, including unethical business practices.The Series 66 contains many of the topics included on the Series 65, but it does not include the product, analysis and strategy questions that are a large part of the Series 65.

3 Passing Score

A passing score on the Series 65 Exam is 94 correct answers, or 72 percent. The Series 66 requires a score of 75 percent.

4 Exam Duration

The Series 65 allows applicants 180 minutes to complete the exam. The Series 66 permits applicants to take 150 minutes.

5 Exam Scope

The Series 66 is essentially a combination of Series 63 and Series 65 exams that excludes the product, analysis and strategy questions. These sections are excluded because they are tested as part of the Series 7, which is a prerequisite for taking the Series 66.

6 Prerequisites

The Series 66 requires that candidates first past the Series 7 while the Series 65 does not.

Jay Rigsby began writing professionally in 2000, focusing exclusively on technical content for Fortune 1000 companies. She has published many technical articles and has actively blogged for the last year about adventure travel. Rigsby holds a Bachelor of Arts in interdisciplinary studies with a focus on computer science and economics from the University of Texas at Dallas.