NASAA Lowers Passing Score for Series 65 Exam


The North American Securities Administrators Association is lowering the passing score for the Series 65 exam to 70% from 72% and has updated the content of the Series 63, Series 65 and Series 66 exams.

NASAA plans to implement the new test specifications — including Secure 2.0 effective dates — as well as scoring, starting June 12.

The test specifications updates for each of its exams will help better reflect “the knowledge needed by broker-dealer agents and investment adviser representatives in today’s ever-changing financial industry,” NASAA said in a statement.

The Financial Industry Regulatory Authority is NASAA’s vendor for qualification exam administration. The June enhancements to NASAA’s exams have no impact on FINRA or its exams.

After analyzing the new test specifications to determine what adjustments are needed when the new specifications go into effect, NASAA’s Exams Advisory Committee determined the following:

  • The current passing scores will remain the same for the Series 63 and Series 66 exams. ”Currently, to pass the Series 63, candidates must answer 43 of the 60 questions correctly, and at least 73 questions out of the 100 on the Series 66,” NASAA explained.

  • The passing score of the Series 65 exam “will be revised to require at least 92 out of 130 questions are answered correctly,” the group said. This change “would lower the current passing score from 94 out of 130 and allow for a passing grade of 70%, down from 72%.”

The test specifications for each exam have been updated, NASAA relayed. However, the content of the exams “has not dramatically shifted,” NASAA said.

“New topic areas were added while others were modified or deemphasized,” NASAA said.

NASAA explained that its Exams Advisory Committee, with the assistance of Prometric, “undertook a more than year-long review of each examination’s content and scoring, incorporating the feedback received by industry participants and regulators.”

Elizabeth Bowling, chair of NASAA Exams Advisory Committee and Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance’s Assistant Commissioner, Securities Division, said the “analysis was a detailed process that is extremely important to maintaining the integrity and relevancy of state securities exams. I am pleased with the outcome and look forward to the June implementation.”