About the Series 30

Who needs the Series 30
The Branch Manager Examination, commonly called the Series 30 exam, was created by the National Futures Association (NFA), the self-regulatory organization for the U.S. futures industry.

An individual may not be required to take the Series 30 examination if he/she:

  • has passed the Series 30 examination within two years of the date the application is filed; or
  • are currently approved as a Branch Office Manager; or
  • were approved as a Branch Office Manager and since the last date the applicant was withdrawn as a Branch Office Manager, there has not been a period of two consecutive years during which they were not either temporary licensed as an AP or registered as an AP; or if you,
  • are sponsored by a firm that is dually registered as a broker-dealer, NFA will accept the Series 8, 9, 10 or 24. Otherwise, you must pass the Series 30 exam. Designated security futures principals for notice-registered broker-dealers also must pass the Series 30 exam.

For more information about who needs to take the exam and other requirements for Series 30 registration visit the National Futures Association's web site and review the section titled Proficiency Requirements.

Series 30 Study Materials
The IFM does not provide exam study materials for the Series 30 exam.

Series 30 Registration Process
The NFA Series 30 Exam is administered by FINRA. There is a two-step process that a candidate must complete to be able to take the Series 30 Exam.

Step 1: The individual must apply with FINRA to take the NFA exam by completing and submitting an application form (Form U10, the Uniform Examination Request for non-FINRA candidates) online. The U10 form is designed for use by individuals not employed or associated with FINRA member firms who, as part of a registration process, have been specifically required by another regulatory authority to qualify by examination. Examination scheduling for a person associated with FINRA member firms must be made by the firm on a Form U4.) The testing application form is located on the FINRA's web site at www.finra.org. The fee for an individual to take the Series 30 exam is $80. The online process on the FINRA website provides convenient credit card and electronic (ACH) payment options. Please note, new users to the FINRA site will need to click the "Register Now" hyperlink located in the upper right hand side of the login screen to receive a User ID and Password.

A candidate DOES NOT need to be sponsored by a firm to apply or sit for the NFA Series 30 Exam. (Note this is not the case for other FINRA administered exams.)

Step 2: Once the U10 registration has been approved and processed by FINRA, a Notice of Enrollment will be emailed to the candidate. FINRA will assign a 120-day window during which the exam can be scheduled and taken. The candidate may then contact their local test center to schedule an appointment to sit for the exam. Due to the many sessions administered at testing centers, the candidate should schedule test-taking as far in advance as possible to secure an appointment on the desired date.

Testing Locations
The exam is delivered via a computer system specifically designed for the administration and delivery of computer-based testing and training. Exams are given at conveniently located test centers worldwide and an appointment to take your exam can be scheduled online or by calling your local center. For a list of test centers in your area (U.S. and Non U.S.) click here.

Candidates requiring special accommodations should consult the FINRA web site and complete and submit the appropriate forms. Candidates with transitory or temporary conditions that are not impairments or disabilities, such as pregnancy, sprains and fractures, are not eligible for testing accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Individuals with Limited English Proficiency (LEP) can make advance arrangements and request an additional 60 minutes. For more information regarding the process please see the FINRA web site.

FINRA Authorized Testing Locations
You may schedule an appointment at either a Pearson VUE Professional Center or Prometric Exam Center at the FINRA website:

  • Pearson VUE at 866.396.6273 or go online for scheduling.
  • Thomson Prometric at 800.578.6273 or go online for scheduling.
For questions regarding the application forms, exam enrollment, policy and procedures, please contact the FINRA Call Center at 301.590.6500 or visit www.finra.org.

Series 30 Exam Structure
The exam consists of 50 questions.
Current Time Limit: 60 minutes.

Re-Taking the Exam
If a candidate does not pass the exam, he/she will need to repeat the application process and make payment again. An exam may not be scheduled until re-application process has been completed. Also a candidate will be subject to the following waiting periods between exams if he/she has failed the exam within the past two years:

  • A minimum of 30 days after failing the first exam before the second taking or third taking of the exam can be scheduled.
  • A minimum of 180 days after failing the exam for the third time before the fourth taking of the exam (and each subsequent taking) can be scheduled.