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The Best SIE Exam Prep Courses of 2021 & 2022

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The Security Industry Essentials exam, also known as the SIE Exam, is a medium-difficulty standardized test that you’ll need to take if you want to work in the securities industry. It’s a prerequisite for a number of other specialized Series exams. Thus, it’s one of the first exams you’ll take, so you need to be prepared. Here are our recommendations for the best SIE Exam prep courses online.

About the FINRA SIE Exam

If you want to work as a registered representative in the securities industry, you’ll need to take the SIE Exam. Although passing this test doesn’t qualify you for registration, it’s an important first step. It’s also a fairly new test, created in 2015 by the U.S. Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA). The more specialized Series exams used to contain some repetitive questions about industry fundamentals. Now, FINRA has consolidated these questions into a preliminary test call the SIE. The Series exams are now shorter and the process is more streamlined

SIE Exam Content

The SIE Exam takes an hour and 45 minutes to complete and contains 75 questions. Specifically, you’ll be tested on four main topics:

  • Knowledge of Capital Markets – 12 questions (16%)
  • Understanding Products and their Risks – 33 questions (44%)
  • Understanding Trading, Customer Accounts, and Prohibited Activities – 23 questions (31%)
  • Overview of Regulatory Framework – 7 questions (9%)

FINRA helps potential test takers by providing an updated SIE Exam PDF that breaks down what you’ll need to know. The company also provides a single, untimed FINRA SIE practice exam to help you determine your level of readiness. However, for most test takers, these free materials aren’t quite enough.

How to Prepare for the SIE Exam

If you don’t mind gathering the information mentioned in FINRA’s content outline, you could potentially prepare on your own. However, with a prep course, someone has already compiled the information for you and is presenting it in a succinct, clear manner. While all courses contain some kind of SIE Exam book or SIE Exam study guide, the best SIE Exam prep courses online also include videos, practice questions, and simulated exams, as well. Thus, there are prep courses for all different types of learners, from those who prefer listening to lectures to those who require help from a live instructor.

Fortunately, most of these courses are relatively inexpensive compared to other professional exams. You can expect to pay between $50 and $250 for a course. Naturally, the more features a course has, the more expensive it is. In addition to having all the material in one place, a good SIE prep course will help you create a study plan. FINRA recommends studying for 30-40 hours for this exam, but you might need more or less, depending on how familiar you are with the material. The best SIE Exam prep courses online are those that make studying efficient and effective.

Best SIE Study Materials

Securities Institute of America

Surgent SIE Achievable ExamFX Knopman Marks Kaplan

Wiley

Price

$50-$99

$149 $74 $100-$210 $250-$475 $99-$229

$175-$195

Textbook

Print and digital

Online study manual Digital only Digital (print extra) Digital only Print and digital

Print or digital

Videos

15 hours

No No Yes 23+ hours Short reviews

Short lessons

Live classes

No

No No Yes Yes Yes

No

Support

Live chat

Unknown None Instructor support Live Q&A Instructor Link

Unknown

Q bank

1,100

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

Guarantee

Money-back

Money-back Unclear Money-back None None

Pay once

Best feature

Budget-friendly

ReadySCORE performance indicator Adaptive learning Guarantee Live classes Q bank Unlimited access

Best SIE Exam Prep Courses Online

Whether you just need an SIE study guide PDF or a full review package with SIE practice exams, our list has you covered. Here are the seven best SIE prep courses available in 2021 and what they contain.

Securities Institute of America

First on our list of best SIE Exam prep courses online is the Securities Institute of America (SIA). As the name suggests, this company puts out review courses for many Securities Series exams, and it now produces SIE Exam material, as well.

Securities Institute of America Courses

Although SIA only offers one full review course package, it also offers many of its study tools a la carte. If you already have a different SIE Exam textbook, you can purchase just the review software, which comes with practice exams, as well. Similarly, you can purchase the video classes by themselves or bundle them with the test bank of multiple-choice questions.

Review Course

Software Package Video Classes Videos + QBank

Study Guide

Price

$99.00

$49.95 $59.00 $79.00

$59.95

Printed textbook (free shipping)

SIE Exam prep book PDF

15 hours of video lectures

1,100+ MCQ test bank

Live chat/phone support

Unlimited randomized exams

Two checkpoint exams

GreenLight exam and guarantee

6 months access

 

Use Code PASS10

If you take and pass the GreenLight Exam, you’re guaranteed to pass the actual SIE Exam. If you don’t, you can receive your money back from SIA. Additionally, if you’re taking the securities essentials exam in combination with other Series exams, SIA allows you to bundle test prep packages for Series 6, 7, 22, 57, or 99.

What We Like

SIA’s SIE Exam Review course is well-priced at less than $100. Furthermore, you can purchase the company’s securities industry essentials exam study guide and other study materials separately. This means SIA’s SIE Exam prep course is useful on its own or as a supplement to other materials. The video lecture content is substantial, and both the full review course and the software package come with plenty of practice questions. Finally, the GreenLight Exam and its accompanying guarantee are excellent providers of peace of mind as you get ready to actually take the exam.

What We Don’t

Unfortunately, SIA doesn’t offer a free trial of its software or SIE Exam prep PDF to allow you to see if the material will suit your study style. Additionally, there’s no option for live classes, as the video lectures are pre-recorded, and it’s unclear how extensive the chat and phone support are. If you like to have concepts explained to you personally, you may need to pick another review course. Finally, SIA’s 90% SIE pass rate is actually lower than that of some of these other courses.

Surgent SIE Review

Surgent just recently released its first SIE review course, though the company has a long history in the financial exam review industry. More course options may be added in the future.

Surgent SIE Review Essentials

Price

$149

Customized study plan

ReadySCORE readiness indicator

Adaptive learning software

Surgent Pass Guarantee

Test bank with 2,400+ questions

2 full-length practice exams

4 months of access

Use Code IPASS25

What We Like

You get quite a lot for a reasonable price tag, including the largest SIE question bank currently available. Additionally, while other courses have adaptive learning platforms, Surgent’s is the only one with the ReadySCORE progress indicator. This takes some of the guesswork out of studying, giving you updated information on your likely exam score and how much you have left to study. Surgent’s Pass Guarantee is generous, offering your money back if you complete the course and your ReadySCORE indicates that you’re ready to pass.

What We Don’t

If you learn best from video lectures or live classroom experiences, you’re out of luck here. Surgent’s SIE review requires you to have a good bit of self-motivation and a high tolerance for studying text on a computer or mobile screen. Despite the large test bank, you only get two full-length practice exams, and your study time is limited to four months. Finally, this review course is brand new, and though Surgent has a great reputation as a test prep provider (the Surgent CPA course is a favorite of candidates), the SIE product doesn’t have a track record yet.

Achievable Test Prep

While there’s only one package for the Achievable SIE Exam course, it’s extremely affordable and comprehensive. The website is clear about what the package contains, and it’s all proprietary content created by FINRA instructor Brandon Rich.

Achievable Test Prep

Price

$74

Online textbook

Flashcard quizzes

Adaptive learning platform

Progress tracking

Test bank with 2,000+ questions

20+ full-length practice exams

12 months of access

Start with Achievable!

What We Like

In addition to the excellent price, Achievable SIE offers a complimentary preview of its content and software, giving you some SIE Exam study materials free. This software actually adapts to your strengths and weaknesses as you go along, making for a more efficient studying process. You’ll not only receive more full-length exams and practice questions than with most other courses, but you’ll also have access to them longer. The Achievable SIE review offers a generous 12-month period of full access and updates.

What We Don’t

The website states, “Pass the FINRA SIE. Guaranteed.” However, there’s no information about an actual money-back guarantee or even a greenlight exam that acts as a readiness indicator. While the price can’t be beaten, you also don’t receive any live support or even video lectures, making this course far more suited to text-only self-studiers. And, unfortunately, Achievable doesn’t sell its large Q bank separately.

ExamFX Review

Unlike Achievable, the ExamFX SIE review has options for audiovisual and classroom learners as well as self-studiers.

Live Online Package Video Study Package Self-Study Package
Price

$209.95

$139.95

$99.95

Interactive learning portal

Online exam simulations

Readiness exam

Guarantee Exam

Instructor support

On-demand video lectures

Digital flashcards

Live virtual training courses

Money-back guarantee

90 days of access

 

Additionally, you can purchase the printed versions of the study guide, flashcards, and tip sheet, but only as add-ons to the existing packages.

What We Like

The Live Online Package is the least expensive SIE Exam prep class on our list that offers live instruction, though not by much. Even if you choose the Self-Study Package, you’ll have access to live support. Although you can’t purchase the print versions of the materials without buying a package, at least you have access to them if you prefer physical study aides. Finally, ExamFX’s money-back guarantee is very clear based on your completion of the Guarantee Exam

What We Don’t

Ninety days of access is substantially shorter than most courses, and it’s a mere half of the industry average of six months. This isn’t entirely a deal-breaker, since the SIE Exam doesn’t tend to require as much studying as some of the more comprehensive professional exams. However, it’s something to take into careful consideration. Moreover, ExamFX’s website provides plenty of information on the content of the SIE Exam, but less on the actual courses it offers.

Knopman Marks

An established provider of prep courses for a number of securities exams, Knopman Marks offers a single comprehensive course for the SIE Exam plus an add-on for live classes. However, you can also purchase the live courses separately.

Comprehensive Course

All-Access Pass

Price

$250

$225

Digital textbook

Training Center digital study hub

23 hours of video lectures

Digital flashcards

Benchmark and diagnostic exams

Downloadable supplements

Online question bank

iOs mobile app

Client Success Team Support

SIE Vault Review Videos

1-hr virtual onboarding call

Ongoing hour-long Q&A sessions

Livestreamed faculty-led classes OR blended prerecorded lectures and live faculty review

What We Like

With the most video content of any provider on our list, Knopman Marks is likely the best choice for visual learners. You can even try a free demo of the company’s software platform and progress tracker. Additionally, the All-Access Pass provides an impressive amount of live support. Finally, the company boasts that “99% of candidates who pass our benchmark SIE exam on the first try pass the actual exam” – an almost unbelievable statistic.

What We Don’t

The Comprehensive Course is already the most expensive on our list, and adding the All-Access Pass nearly doubles the price. And despite the high price tag, or perhaps because of it, Knopman Marks doesn’t offer a money-back guarantee, so it’s a bit of a financial risk. Additionally, the pass rate is so high that it strains credulity a bit, or at least makes you wonder how many test-takers have actually used the Comprehensive Course.

Kaplan SIE Exam Prep

Would any list of test prep companies be complete without a Kaplan product? For the SIE exam, Kaplan offers three full packages, with a number of its SIE study materials available for individual purchase.

Premium Package Essential Package Basic Package Individual Study Tools
Price

$229

$199 $149

$99

Print and PDF textbook

$45

Interactive study calendar

Performance tracker

SecuritiesPro Qbank

$49

Unlimited randomized exams

Practice exam

SIE Exam tips and content updates

Checkpoint exams

Video library

Midterm exam

Live virtual classes

On-demand prerecorded classes

Print and PDF class notes

Mastery Exam

$29

InstructorLink support

5 months of access

 

The Mastery Exam is essentially a second practice exam with unique questions. You can also purchase an additional five months of access to your Kaplan course for $49 and a set of either digital or print flashcards for $29.

What We Like

Kaplan’s exam simulation is about as close to real test conditions as a prep course can get, and the Mastery Exam provides a second shot at this simulation. The Premium course comes with InstructorLink support, which allows you to ask questions directly to SIE experts. And the fact that Kaplan sells its Securities Industry Essentials book, as well as its Qbank and Mastery Exam, separately means you can even use these tools as supplements to another course.

What We Don’t

Unless you purchase the Premium package, the SIE book PDF or print copy will be your primary study source, since the video reviews are short. Additionally, the two less-expensive packages come with no access to live help at all. Once again, despite this course’s relatively high price tag, there’s no money-back guarantee.

Wiley SIE Exam Prep

Like most if not all of Wiley’s test prep courses, its SIE class includes its proprietary Efficient Learning platform. Wiley produces a single SIE online course, but you can choose whether you want a print or digital SIE prep book.

Wiley SIE Prep Course

Price

$195

$175

Printed SIE textbook

Digital SIE textbook

Bite-size lessons and video lectures

Performance tracker

Digital study planner

550+ SIE test bank

Two full-length exams

Access until you pass

What We Like

No other company on our list offers access until you pass. No matter how long it takes, as long as you log into Wiley’s software, you’ll keep receiving updated material. And that software is some of the best in the business, combining a performance tracker with a customized study planner for improved efficiency.

What We Don’t

Frankly, the price is too high considering the relatively small Q bank and lack of live classes. It’s not even clear whether there’s any instructor support at all, and at that point, you might as well pick a less expensive self-study course. Although the access until you pass is nice, it’s not a money-back guarantee in case you feel like this prep course fails to prepare you.

Frequently Asked Questions about the Best SIE Exam Prep Courses Online

Can I get SIE Exam study materials free?

FINRA provides an outline of the content you’ll need to know for the exam, as well as a full-length practice test. However, you’ll have to do your own legwork to gather the information you’ll need to study. Fortunately, many of the best SIE Exam prep courses online offer some kind of free trial to preview their materials. Although you won’t get a full course for free, you can at least ensure that you know what you’re getting before you buy.

Where can I schedule the SIE Exam?

All SIE and Series exams must be scheduled through FINRA’s website. First, you’ll need to create an account there. Next, you can enroll as a new user with the Test Enrollment Services System and pay your exam fee. Finally, you can schedule the actual test. When you do, you can choose whether to take the test remotely or at a Prometric testing center.

How much does it cost to take the SIE Exam?

The exam fee is $60. If you need to take the test more than once, you’ll need to pay this fee each time.

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