Series 22 Exam

Written by: Nik Ventouris

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Series 22 Exam

Navigating the investment world can require specialized knowledge and credentials. 

The Series 22 exam, also known as the Direct Participation Programs Representative Examination, is a prerequisite to obtaining a Series 22 license and engaging in the unique field of non-traded investments.

In this article, we’ve put together some handy tips and insights to make sure you’re prepped and ready to tackle your exam with confidence.

Let’s get started!

What is the Series 22

The Series 22 license, which is overseen by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA), is a specialized qualification that is tailored for professionals interested in direct participation programs, such as non-traded real estate investment trusts and limited partnerships.

This means that the Series 22 license is likely to be beneficial to your work if you want to:

  • Manage and sell direct participation investments: This includes handling unique, non-traded financial products that require specialized knowledge and understanding
  • Comply with specific regulations: The Series 22 ensures adherence to industry rules pertaining to these investment types, reinforcing the importance of legal and ethical considerations
  • Seek a niche in the financial field: The license opens doors to specialized roles in investment management, offering a distinctive career path for financial experts

Note: In order to obtain your Series 22 license, you will need to also pass the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) exam.

Recommended Course

StateRequirement recommends The Securities Institute of America’s (SIA) Series 22 exam prep materials because of their 90% pass rate, free shipping, a money-back guarantee, and a hard copy of the Series 22 exam textbook.

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Exam Structure

The Series 22 exam comprises a total of 50 questions, but you should also expect to encounter a total of five pretest questions throughout the exam.

Keep in mind that these pretest questions do not actually affect your exam score, but are used to collect data for future exams.

Interested in finding out more about the Series 22 designation? We recommend looking at our in-depth Series 22 article for more information.

Topics Covered

The Series 22 exam is divided into four separate functions. We’ve made a summarized content outline in order to illustrate each subtopic that you will be tested on during your exam.

Function 1: Seeks Business for the Broker-Dealer From Customers and Potential Customers

Percentage of Exam Items: 34%

Number of Items: 17

1.1 Contacts current and potential customers; develops promotional materials

1.2 Describes investment product offerings to solicit business

Function 2: Opens Accounts After Obtaining and Evaluating Customers’ Financial Profile and Investment Objectives

Percentage of Exam Items: 8%

Number of Items: 4

2.1 Informs customers of account types and provides disclosures

2.2 Obtains and updates customer information and identifies suspicious activity

2.3 Obtains customer investment profile information

2.4 Obtains supervisory approvals to open accounts

Function 3: Provides Customers With Information About Investments, Makes Recommendations, Transfers Assets, and Maintains Appropriate Records

Percentage of Exam Items: 54%

Number of Items: 27

3.1 Provides information about investment strategies, risks, and rewards

3.2 Reviews and analyzes customers’ investment profiles and product options

3.3 Provides required disclosures regarding investment products

3.4 Communicates with customers about account information, processes requests

Function 4: Obtains and Verifies Customers’ Purchase Instructions and Agreements; Processes, Completes, and Confirms Transactions

Percentage of Exam Items: 4%

Number of Items: 2

4.1 Provides subscription information and offering prices

4.2 Processes and confirms customers’ transactions, informs of obligations, and procedures

Note: This is a summarized version of the official Series 22 exam content outline. For more information on the major functions of a direct participation program representative, we recommend having a look at FINRA’s Series 22 Exam Content Outline document.

Duration and Timing

You’ll have 1 hour and 30 minutes for the Series 22 exam.

To make the most of it, we recommend pacing yourself so you can answer all questions and also have a few minutes to spare at the end in order to check over your answers.

This can go a long way in ensuring you do not miss a question or make a mistake that could have been easily avoided.

StateRequirement recommends The Securities Institute of America’s (SIA) Series 22 exam prep materials because of their 90% pass rate, free shipping, a money-back guarantee, and a hard copy of the Series 22 exam textbook.

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Series 22 Exam Prep

Whether you pass your exam or not will inevitably come down to how well you prepare. Even though the ideal studying experience will be different depending on the individual, we’ve provided a few general tips and guidelines that you should keep in mind when preparing for your exam(s).

Recommended Study Materials

The right study materials will not only help you grasp the content more deeply but will also keep you informed about the latest industry trends that relate to your exam.

Here’s an example of the types of resources you can use when preparing:

  • Regulatory documents: These can help you familiarize yourself with the latest regulations and updates that you will need to know for your exam
  • Content outlines: You can use FINRA’s detailed content outline to ensure you do not miss a topic during your preparation
  • Professional online courses: You will also likely want to purchase a third-party course, such as one provided by The Securities Institute of America or Kaplan — as this can go a long way in helping you pass on your first attempt

Think of it this way: Just as selecting the right tools for a project ensures success, choosing the best study materials will set the foundation for acing the exam.

Mock Exams and Sample Questions

Incorporating mock exams into your study plan is essential.

This is because mock exams allow you to “have a feel” for the real exam, get familiarized with the types of questions you will need to know, and check that you are capable of finishing the exam in the required timeframe.

Regularly taking mock exams can also go a long way in improving your confidence during the exam, which can prevent you from making unnecessary mistakes.

Exam Day Tips

Finally, we’ve provided a few tips that you should keep in mind during your exam in order to optimize your performance, manage your time efficiently, and navigate complex questions with confidence:

  • Strategize for Ambiguous Questions: If you encounter a question that stumps you, don’t dwell on it. Bookmark or flag it and move on to questions you can answer more readily. Return to those flagged questions once you’ve gone through the rest of the exam
  • Keep Time Management in Focus: Time can slip away quickly during an exam. Practice pacing yourself so that you can attempt every question without feeling rushed. Consider wearing a simple wristwatch to keep track of the time, if permitted
  • Review Key Concepts and Formulas: In the days leading up to the exam, review key concepts, rules, and formulas that are essential for the Series 22. Consider creating flashcards or a summary sheet for quick reference
  • Arrive Early and Relaxed: On exam day, plan to arrive early to allow for any unexpected delays. Bring the necessary identification and materials and take a few moments to breathe and center yourself before starting

Remember that exam-taking can be a skill in itself, so it’s important that you do the best you can to get as comfortable as possible in advance.

StateRequirement recommends The Securities Institute of America’s (SIA) Series 22 exam prep materials because of their 90% pass rate, free shipping, a money-back guarantee, and a hard copy of the Series 22 exam textbook.

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Series 22 Exam FAQ

What does a Series 22 allow you to do?

The Series 22 license allows you to become a Direct Participation Programs Representative, which is required in order to sell and manage non-traded real estate investment trusts and limited partnerships. Note: You will need to be associated with or sponsored by a FINRA member firm to be eligible for the Series 22 exam.

How hard is the Series 22?

The Series 22 exam can be a bit tricky, but it’s manageable with the right preparation. We recommend spending some time in order to find the right study materials, as these can end up saving you a significant amount of time and hassle. For more information, have a look at our Series 22 Exam article.

How long does it take to study for Series 22?

Generally speaking, most people spend between four and six weeks preparing for their exam. Having said that, you should keep in mind that there is no “one-size-fits-all” answer, and so you might find that you need significantly less or significantly more time. We recommend going at your own pace to ensure that you feel comfortable on the day of your exam.

What is the toughest series exam?

This will depend on your experience and/or current knowledge. Having said that, the toughest series exam is often considered to be the Series 7 (General Securities Representative) exam. This is because it covers a broad range of topics in finance and as such requires an extensive understanding of investment products and securities regulations.

What’s the Series 22 exam for?

The Series 22 exam — also known as the Direct Participation Limited Representative Exam — is a prerequisite to obtaining the Series 22 license, and is meant to test the knowledge of an entry-level registered representative in relation to direct participation programs (DDP).

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