Looking for the best SIE Exam prep courses online? After all, to work in the field of securities, you’ll probably need to pass the Security Industry Essentials Exam (or SIE Exam). And you’ll have a better chance of passing with the right SIE exam prep. To help you, we’ve made a list of the top SIE test prep courses available online. So in this post, you’ll find an ExamFX review plus assessments of companies like Surgent, Wiley SIE, the Securities Institute of America, and Achievable SIE Exam Review. You’ll also find exclusive discount codes for your SIE Exam study materials.
|Securities Institute of America||Surgent SIE
|Textbook||Print and digital||Only Digital||Digital only||Digital (print extra)||Digital only||Print and digital||Print or digital|
|Videos||12 hours||No||No||Yes||23+ hours||Short reviews||Short lessons|
|Support||Live chat||Unknown||None||Instructor support||Live Q&A||Instructor Link||Unknown|
|Q bank||1,000||2,400+||2,000+||Exams only||Yes||Yes||550+|
|Practice exams||Unlimited||2||20+||At least 2||4||Unlimited||2|
|Length of access||6 months||4 months||12 months||90 days||Unknown||5 months||Unlimited|
|Best feature||Budget-friendly||ReadySCORE performance indicator||Adaptive learning||Guarantee||Live classes||QBank||Unlimited access|
Simply put, the SIE (Securities Industry Essentials) exam tests your basic knowledge of the securities industry. The exam was created by FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority), the organization authorized by the U.S. government to oversee broker-dealers. These professionals can become certified by FINRA after passing the SIE Exam and several Qualification Exams, including the Series 9/10 exam, the Series 99 exam, and several others.
Although passing the SIE Exam alone doesn’t qualify you as a registered representative, it is a vital part of the process. The SIE Exam was introduced in 2015 to help consolidate and streamline the testing process for securities professionals. The test covers some fundamental topics that were previously covered on a number of so-called “Series” exams. Now, once you’ve passed the FINRA SIE Exam, you can choose from a number of more specialized exams to earn particular qualifications. These specialized Series exams are now quite a bit shorter, thanks to the SIE.
The SIE Exam is a multiple-choice test featuring 75 questions over an hour and 45 minutes. Fortunately, FINRA provides a specific breakdown of the topics in the four sections of the test.
In theory, you could download FINRA’s content outline and pass the SIE Exam without investing in a prep course. However, this path takes a significant amount of self-study motivation. Using an SIE Exam review course, on the other hand, has a lot of advantages. First of all, a course includes all of your study materials, so you don’t have to search for them yourself. And second, these courses are designed by experienced education professionals who know how to clearly present the concepts.
Most of the best SIE Exam prep courses online also have video lectures, flashcards, and practice quizzes to help you monitor your progress. Fortunately, prep courses for the SIE Exam cost much less than those for other standardized professional exams. The range is about $50-$250 and up, whereas CPA Exam review courses can easily top $1,000 or more.
Likewise, the SIE Exam covers much less material than the CPA Exam and thus doesn’t require as much study time. Most experts recommend 30 to 40 total hours of studying spread out over a few weeks. However, some experts recommend as few as 20 study hours and up to as many as 60 hours.
Regardless, the SIE Exam isn’t considered an incredibly tough exam if you prepare. But still, you don’t want to try to cram all your studying into the week before your SIE Exam date. Most importantly, create a study plan. (Many prep courses will help you with this step.) If you have a good plan—and stick to it—you’re more likely to be prepared on exam day.
To help with your search for the best study guides, we’ve prepared a list of the best SIE Exam prep courses online. All of these courses come with some kind of SIE Exam textbook or SIE study guide PDF as well as SIE practice exams. Otherwise, the contents vary after. Therefore, look for a course that offers study materials that match your learning style.
The Securities Institute of America, Inc. (SIA) is one of the best SIE Exam prep courses online. Although this SIE prep course is relatively new compared to other Series exam courses, the company has developed some of the best FINRA prep materials. For instance, SIA has some of the best Series 9/10 study guides and best Series 99 courses, too.
The Securities Institute of America offers a complete review course that contains the following:
If you pass a GreenLight exam, the Securities Institute of America guarantees you’ll pass the actual test or get your money back.
Instead of the full SIE Exam prep course, you can purchase just the practice test software package. This bundle comes with the following
Additionally, the video lectures and the SIE Exam study guide are both available to buy individually. Finally, if you want to combine studying for the SIE Exam with the Series 6, 7, 22, 57, or 99 exams, Securities Institute of America offers study bundles that can save you money.
Here are the purchase prices for SIA’s products and packages:
Furthermore, you can save 10% with the discount code PASS10.
SIA offers a frankly astonishing amount of securities essentials exam study materials for less than $100. You not only get the SIE Exam prep PDF and print textbook (with free shipping, no less), but you also get substantial video lecture content and unlimited randomized exams from a large question bank. Additionally, the GreenLight exam offers a clear standard for SIA’s money-back guarantee. What’s more, SIA claims that 90% of its students pass the actual exam.
Although the SIA website provides a few free SIE practice questions, the company does not offer a free trial. As a result, you can’t try out the materials before you purchase them. And despite the live phone and chat support, SIE doesn’t have an option for live classes. The “SIE Video Class” is all pre-recorded, too. Finally, while a 90% SIE pass rate sounds impressive, other courses on our list claim even higher rates.
Surgent is a financial and accounting education provider with test prep products for several professional exams, including the SIE. Most importantly, Surgent’s SIE course comes with adaptive learning technology that helps you focus on your weaknesses to increase your studying efficiency.
The company’s single offering is called the Surgent SIE Review Essentials Pass. Here’s what it contains:
The Surgent SIE Review Essentials Pass costs $149.
Although the price is relatively low, Surgent offers the largest question bank currently available in an SIE prep program. However, Surgent’s biggest strength is the combination of its adaptive learning software and the ReadySCORE progress report. When you first begin your online course, you’ll take an initial assessment quiz. Basically, this result estimates your SIE score if you took the exam today. Plus, the quiz also helps the Surgent platform approximate how many hours you need to study to pass the SIE exam.
As you make your way through the course and answer more practice questions, your ReadySCORE will continually update. If you complete the course and your ReadySCORE indicates you’ll pass the real SIE Exam, you’ll qualify for Surgent’s money-back guarantee.
Unfortunately, Surgent only gives you a limited online access window of four months. And the Surgent SIE course doesn’t have video lectures, live classes, or a print SIE Exam book. The “textbook” is actually the course content itself, so there’s not really a separate digital resource for reference if that’s important to you. Finally, the course is brand new, so we don’t have much feedback from real-world students to see how they fared on the actual exam.
Achievable offers affordable SIE Exam study material online. FINRA instructor Brandon Rich wrote all of the Achievable SIE Exam curricula, and it’s all exclusive content to this company. Furthermore, you can preview this content and get a look at the software dashboard without providing personal information. However, if you do create an account, you can have access to even more SIE Exam study materials for free.
There’s only one Achievable SIE review package, and it comes with the following:
Achievable’s adaptive learning software uses your quiz answers to target your areas of strength and weakness for more efficient learning. Therefore, future quizzes will adapt to give you more practice where you’re weakest.
The Achievable package costs $74. Unfortunately, the test bank and other products can’t be purchased separately.
Despite the shockingly low price tag, Achievable offers a number of things that most other test prep companies don’t. The single course package comes with double the access length of most, along with more practice questions and full-length exams than nearly anyone else.
However, perhaps the biggest selling point is adaptive learning software. It makes for far more efficient studying, which may account for Achievable’s claimed 98.2% success rate among its users.
On the other hand, SIE doesn’t make it entirely clear if the 98.2% pass rate applies specifically to SIE Exam students or to all of Achievable’s finance exam prep courses. It’s still impressive, but I wonder how it’s calculated. Additionally, Achievable offers only one package, and there’s no live SIE class component or even live academic support. That means you’ll have to be a self-studier to benefit from the low price here. Finally, while the website says, “Pass the FINRA SIE. Guaranteed,” there’s no information about an actual money-back guarantee.
The ExamFX SIE review is an online platform that offers three levels of study materials. For instance, you can choose your level based on whether you prefer self-study reading material, online video lectures, or live virtual SIE classes.
ExamFX offers three course packages. The first and most basic is the Self-Study Package, which contains the following:
The Video Study Package, as the name implies, adds an unspecified number of on-demand video lectures, plus digital flashcards. Finally, the Live Online Package adds a virtual training course consisting of two days of training with seven hours of instruction per day.
With all three packages, if you take and pass the Guarantee Exam with a score of at least 80%, you’re guaranteed to pass the real test or receive your money back.
Here are the prices for ExamFX’s three packages and add-ons to those bundles:
However, you can save money using the ExamFX discount code firstname.lastname@example.org.
ExamFX is one of the best overall SIE Exam prep classes. However, the margin isn’t a large one. While it’s not entirely clear how many “online exam simulations” are included, ExamFX’s money-back guarantee is very clear. All packages, even the Self-Study Package, come with access to instructors for support. Finally, if you prefer printed materials to digital, you’ll have the option to purchase a print study guide, pack of flashcards, and tip sheet.
The most obvious drawback of ExamFX is the extremely short access length of only 90 days. Other courses provide you with six months to a year of access. Of course, most courses recommend 20-50 total studying hours for the SIE Exam. Thus, you could easily complete this amount of studying in three months with some planning and motivation. Additionally, ExamFX doesn’t provide much detail about its courses in advance. You can watch a video lecture sample, but the company doesn’t offer a free trial or other glimpses of the question bank.
As a test prep company, Knopman Marks only offers courses for securities tests, including the SIE Exam and other top-off exams. The company has been offering financial training courses since 1991. Moreover, it offers an impressive amount of live, expert help to its students.
Knopman Marks offers one SIE test prep course that includes the following:
However, if you purchase this course, you can add on an All-Access Pass, which will get you the following:
You can also purchase the All-Access Pass without the prep course.
Here are the prices for the Knopman Marks course and the add-on.
Knopman Marks boasts an almost unbelievable 98% pass rate. The company also claims that “99% of candidates who pass our benchmark SIE exam on the first try pass the actual exam.” Users report that the Knopman Marks practice questions were often harder than the actual exam questions. If you’re interested, you can try a free demo of the Training Center software. This will also let you get a sneak peek at the Action Plan progress tracker. Plus, between the live classes, the weekly onboarding calls, and the Q&A sessions, the All-Access Pass provides the most live expert support of any course on our list.
Not only is Knopman Marks the most expensive course on our list, but it also offers no guarantees. Once again, the pass rate is so high that we wish we could see the data that led them to calculate it. Of particular interest would be the number of students who have actually used this course. You’ll be taking a bit of financial risk on Knopman Marks. However, the company is certainly proud of its results.
Kaplan is a big name in the field of standardized test prep. Now, it has published the second edition of its Securities Industry Essentials book. In addition to its full courses, Kaplan also makes its QBank, flashcards, textbook, and QuickSheet study tool available for purchase a la carte.
Similar to ExamFX, Kaplan offers three SIE courses. The first, called the Basic package, is geared toward self-studiers and contains the following:
The Essential package is the next step up and adds the following to the Basic package. Note that the additional exams feature unique questions not found in the QBank.
Finally, the Premium package adds a few more study tools, including classes:
Note that all courses provide five months of access. However, if you need an extension, you can purchase an additional five months.
In addition to its packaged courses, Kaplan also sells almost all of its study tools individually:
Kaplan’s best feature might be its exam simulation called the Practice Exam, which mimics real test conditions as closely as possible. Although you can only take the Practice Exam once, you do have the opportunity to take many other randomized practice quizzes. Additionally, the Premium course also includes a Mastery Exam that acts as a secondary Practice Exam.
Kaplan doesn’t publicize how many questions are in its SecuritiesPro QBank. However, it does assert that the bank gets updated regularly with new questions. And because Kaplan sells it separately, you can use this QBank as a supplement to another course.
While Kaplan isn’t the most expensive course on our list, it is on the pricier side, especially for the Premium Course. You’ll also need to purchase the premium course if you want any kind of interaction with a live person. The Kaplan video library consists of short reviews, not full lectures. Thus, your main study source will be the SIE book PDF or the printed version if you purchase it separately. Also, Kaplan offers no guarantee of any kind on its SIE study materials.
Wiley is another well-known test prep company that puts out an SIE online course. Unfortunately, this class doesn’t have much in the way of live instruction or support. However, it uses Wiley’s signature Efficient Learning platform, which has proven valuable across many of its other test prep courses.
Wiley offers a single SIE prep course. Here’s what comes with it:
The Wiley course costs $175 if you get the digital SIE textbook and $195 if you get the print textbook.
Right off the bat, it’s clear that Wiley provides the longest access to up-to-date course materials. Moreover, you’re guaranteed to receive free updates and upgrades as long as you keep logging in to use the software. Speaking of which, Wiley’s Efficient Learning dashboard is a personalized study planner and performance tracker all in one. It helps you identify areas of weakness and shore them up with extra studying.
Unfortunately, that access-until-you-pass guarantee is the only guarantee you’re going to get. Therefore, you won’t get your money back if you don’t pass the SIE exam; you just won’t have to purchase this test prep software again to keep studying. Additionally, the price is fairly high, considering you don’t have access to live classes. Finally, it’s not even clear what kind of instructor support you’ll get.
The best SIE prep course for you will depend on your budget and your studying habits. Surgent SIE is a great option. If budget and value for money are primary concerns, Securities Industry of America and Achievable Test Prep are inexpensive options that nevertheless provide a comprehensive review. Conversely, if you learn best from video lectures, ExamFX and Wiley both provide excellent video content. But if you’re looking for live instruction, Knopman Marks provides particularly good live support. For a large, frequently updated question bank, Kaplan is your best bet. Finally, if you need or want more than about six months to prepare, Wiley provides unlimited access to its review course.
Since FINRA rearranged the testing process for its securities exams as of October 2018, a few of its policies have changed. Specifically, you don’t need to be associated with a firm or be a US citizen in order to take the SIE Exam. Anyone 18 or older, including those looking to stand out to future employers, may sit for the SIE Exam. Although a passing score alone won’t qualify you to register to engage in the industry, it does show a basic level of knowledge of securities. It is also the prerequisite for a number of other, more specialized qualification exams.
To schedule to take the exam, you’ll first need to create an online FINRA account. Then you’ll enroll as a new user in TESS, FINRA’s Test Enrollment Services System. Next, you’ll pay your exam fees ($60) and follow the directions to schedule the actual test. Finally, you’ll choose whether you want to take the Exam in a Prometric Testing Center or online at a location of your choice.