How to Pass my Series 30 Exam (Branch Manager Futures Exam)

What is the Structure of the Series 30 exam?

To pass your Series 30 exam, you will need to successfully take 50 true/false and multiple-choice questions. The test is divided into 11 sections but graded on a percentage of total correct answers.

Who is a Branch Office Manager?

A branch office manager is the person at a branch office designated to supervise the activities of that office. An individual who is a Branch Office Manager and an AP must pass the Series 30 within the two years preceding their application for Branch Manager status, unless:

  • You have already passed the Series 30 examination within two years of the date the application for Branch Manager is filed (what this means is that there is no “recency” requirement, i.e., if you’ve been an AP and have passed the Series 30 exam but don’t act in that capacity and then need to register in that capacity you don’t have to sit again for the exam if you’ve previously passed the exam within the previous 2 years);
  • You are currently approved as a Branch Office Manager;
  • You were approved as a Branch Office Manager and since the last date the applicant was withdrawn as a Branch Office Manager, there has not been a period of two consecutive years during which you were not either temporary licensed as an AP or registered as an AP; or
  • Your sponsor is a registered broker-dealer who provides proof that you are qualified to act as a branch office manager or designated supervisor under the rules of FINRA

What’s the rough break-down of Series 30 exam topics?

Although the classification of questions into just one category can be difficult (for example a farmer who wants to hedge with options, is it a theory, hedging, or options classification?). Here is an approximation:

Topic Approximate Test Questions Approximate Test Questions
     General Procedures and Rules 11
     CTA/CPO General Topics 5
     CPO/CTA Disclosure Documents 5
     Know Your Customer Rule (NFA Rule 2-30) 2
     Disclosure by CPOs/CTAs of Futures Transaction Costs 2
     Disclosure by FCMs and IBs of Futures Transaction Costs 1
     I/B General 3
     General Account Handling and Exchange Regulations 8
     Discretionary Account Regulations 5
     Promotional Material (NFA Rule 2-29) 5
     Anti-Money Laundering 3
***Total Questions*** ***50***

What is the passing score for the Series 30 exam?

You must achieve 70% of the total number of questions to pass the exam. You will have 60 minutes to take the exam. If English is not your first language you can ask for additional time. Sometimes extra questions are added to the data bank by NFA to see how the candidates score; these are just beta questions and do not count against your score.

How does the Series 30 relate to the Series 34 exam?

There are no ForEx questions on the Series 30 exam. If you are going to trade ForEx you must pass the Series 34 exam and the Series 3 exam. The Series 34 exam is a 60-minute 40 question true/false and multiple-choice test with a 70% correct to pass. If you are going to operate a branch office you must sit for the Series 30.

How do I prepare for the Series 30 exam?

Most students put in 10 – 15 hours of study time to prepare. 10 hours of study time at about 2 hours a day is about 5 days from when you begin studying to the day you take the test; that gives a rough time horizon. When taking our practice exams, the goal is to hit about 80% on the finals and then take the actual exam.

You can find our Series 30 study material here.

Are there any hints to taking the Series 30 exam?

The biggest danger is answering a question too quickly. Since most students sit for the Series 3 exam first they’re acquainted with rules and regulations. The Series 30 Branch Manager Exam quires the same rules as the Series 3 registered representative exam but from a manager’s perspective.

Because the most students are already acquainted with the topics there’s a tendency to read the question fast and answer too quickly. The other thing is that most of the questions are true/false and those questions are generally answered more quickly than multiple choice questions.

How do I schedule an exam date for the Series 30 exam?

Once you have applied for a test “ticket” with FINRA and have an ID number you contact the Prometric Test Centers and arrange a test date. Your test ticket is good for 120 days and you can sit once for the exam any time during that period if the center you choose has an open date.

Do I bring anything to the test center?

You should arrive 30 minutes before the scheduled appointment to allow time for check-in procedures. You may be allowed to start your exam early if a seat is available. Candidates arriving late may not be allowed to test or may not receive their full-allotted exam time. The test center will provide a calculator and dry-marker and work board for calculations.

What do I bring to the Testing Center?

You will need to bring one valid form of official identification bearing your name, signature and a recent photo. You must present one of the following as the primary form of identification: valid passport, driver’s license, or military ID card. All personal items must be placed in a locker that is provided for test security purposes while you take the exam.

What if I have to reschedule or cancel a test date?

FINRA has a tough policy on rescheduling. If you reschedule or cancel an appointment within 2 business days of the appointment they’ll charge you another Series 30 test fee ($ 85.00 as of 1/1/2018). If you cancel or reschedule within 3 to 10 business days there will be a fee of one-half the regular fee, or $42.50. If you cancel or reschedule on a date greater than 10 business days of the appointment there is no penalty.

When do you get your score on the test and is there a certificate?

After you finish your exam the computer will show you your results. The test administrator will give you a printout of your scores with an official seal on it. There is no certificate or diploma given. Make sure you keep extra copies of the form for future reference.