Tag Archives: series 65 exam

Series 65 Exam Opinions Requested

Seeking Opinions on How to Pass to the Series 65 Exam

I am hoping readers of this blog would be able to provide some feedback on their experiences with the Series 65 exam. As a

little background, many of our firm's clients are managers who will be state registered investment advisers and therefor these groups will need to make sure certain individuals take the Series 65 exam in order to become registered in the state of principal residence.

The North American Securities Administrators Association (NASAA) is the group in charge of creating the Series 65 and the exam is administered by FINRA at any number of locations across the U.S. and in different countries. At the beginning of 2010 NASAA changed the grading of the Series 65 exam so that it was more difficult to pass. From that time forward we have anecdotally noticed that there were in fact less people who were passing the exam on the first try.  Accordingly, we are trying to gather information on the exam to help out those people who will be taking it in the future.

If you have taken the e

xam over the last year we are asking if you can provide us with a little information on your experiences and some thoughts on how you would prepare for the exam, given what you know now. For example, we think the following information would be helpful:

  • Date you took the exam (month, year)
  • Final score
  • Series 65 Exam prep / study guide(s) you used
  • Amount of time spent studying (approximate number of hours)
  • Number of practice exams you took? Scores on those exams?
  • Areas you did well on/ could have done better on
  • Overall impressions – was it similar to the practice exams?
  • How would you study for the exam differently?

If you have other comments or information that might be helpful, please feel free to post that as well.  Responses can be posted in the comment section below or you can contact us directly.


Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP is a boutique law firm focused on the hedge fund industry.  We help fund managers with investment adviser registration and hedge fund formation matters.  Bart Mallon can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.


Series 65 and Series 66 Passing Grade Increased

IA Exams Pass Rates Expected to Plummet

The North American Securities Administrators Association (“NASAA”) recently announced that the two central investment advisor exams (the Series 65 and the Series 66) will become even more difficult.  Starting January 1, 2010 candidates will need to attain a score of 72% in order to pass the Series 65 exam and a 75% in order to pass the Series 66 exam.  NASAA did not make any statements on its website or at its Annual Conference earlier this year about the change or the reason for the change.

I had a chance to talk with Chuck Lowenstein of Kaplan Financial Education about the announcement.  “The exams have been oddities,” said Lowenstein, “everything else in the business requires a 70% to pass and the 65 had been kind of weird at 68.5% and the 66 as well at 71%. With these new numbers, NASAA has entered new territory. I suspect pass rates will plummet, unless they feel that the new exams will be so much easier (never happened in the past) that they need to bump up the minimum.”

Chuck went on to discuss the likely future performance for people taking the exams.  “Based on our students’ performance, this will have a devastating effect on the overall pass rate. A significant percentage of exam takers pass with little room to spare and bumping the requirements by 4 or 5 questions on these exams (the 68.5% on the 65 was 89 correct – 72% is 93.6 questions so they’ll either round up to 94 or down to 93, that has not yet been disclosed) is going to catch many exam takers.”

We do not recommend that exam takers study any differently for the exam, but we urge all potential exam takers make sure they are adequately prepared.  If an applicant does not pass the 65 or 66 on the first try, they will need to wait 30 days to take the exam again which will obviously have an effect on the timing of a hedge fund launch.

For more information please see NASAA’s post on the Series 65 and Series 66 exams.

Thank you to Chuck Lowenstein for bringing this issue to my attention.


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Bart Mallon, Esq. of Cole-Frieman & Mallon LLP runs the Hedge Fund Law Blog.  He can be reached directly at 415-868-5345.

Hedge Fund Comments/ Questions and Answers

Questions and discussions from Hedge Fund Law Blog readers

I get quite a few questions from readers and usually I am able to answer these questions via email within a couple of days.  If you have any questions, comments or simply want more information on starting a hedge fund, please feel free to contact us.  We also will take requests for blog posts on certain issues and we also will publish articles (with all appropriate recognition and links) by guest authors.  [Note: any grammatical errors in the original messages have not been corrected.] Continue reading