The Series 3 exam is the national commodity futures test. If you ever wanted to participate in the futures market trading contracts, options or engage in hedging strategies, this may be a career for you. Adding licenses such as the Series 3 can add to your credentials in any investment career. If you do not have an impressive finance degree or other designations, this license will at least add to your credentials and give you some benefit when job hunting or going on interviews.
Preparing for the series 3 exam usually takes 6-8 weeks of 1-2 hours per day home study. The exam is a multiple choice test. The exam includes the following topics:
- Definitions and introductions to cash contracts, forward contracts and futures contracts
- Understanding strategies and calculating gain and loss
- Options, Futures and Hedging
- Calculating initial margin deposits and additional margin
- Trading floor procedures and understanding functions of traders and brokers
- NFA (National Futures Association) rules and regulations
- Reporting rules and customer accounts
You must answer 70% of the questions correct to pass the Series 3 exam. The test has 120 questions. There are no license pre-requisites before registering for this exam. Prior financial knowledge and experience is not required for you to pass the exam. There is some math, but it's not too difficult once you see how trading and calculating gains and losses are shown. Understanding how margin and commissions work is a key, as they are important factors in answering the question correctly.
The exam is given on computer administered by Prometric/Pearson testing centers. There are hundreds of these test centers across the country. You must register for the exam through the NASD prior to taking the Series 3 test. The Series 3 can be taken at most centers 5 days a week. Meaning, once you are registered to take the exam, you can reserve any of the week you want.
"What if I fail the test?"
If you fail the Series exam, you must wait 30 days before sitting for the exam again. You get your grade immediately after the test is over. A few seconds of suspense, and you are out of your misery. That may be good or bad.
Study consistently and you should pass with no problems at all.
Nick Hunter is the President of American Investment Training, Inc. (AIT) http://www.aitraining.com . He has personally taught thousands of students in the securities industry for over 15 years. AIT offers Series 3 home study training courses and other NASD license training for companies and individuals.