So CPA Exam or Series 7? Do you want to be a Certified Public Accountant? Or do you want to be able to buy and sell different securities? For some of you who are the adventurous type the answer may be both. Read on to find out the major differences between the CPA Exam and the Series 7 exam.
CPA Exam vs Series 7: CPA Exam
The Uniform CPA Exam is a computerized set of exams that test the same content areas to ensure aspiring CPA candidates have the necessary educational competencies to protect the public through the practice of public accounting. The Uniform CPA Exam is not one exam but instead is a compilation of four unique exams: Auditing and Attestation (AUD), Business Environment and Concepts (BEC), Financial Accounting and Regulation (FAR), and Regulation (REG). Each section of the exam is then composed of a certain number of multiple choice questions and task-based simulations or written communication tasks. Moreover, the CPA Exam, unlike the ACT, SAT, LSAT, GMAT, GRE, etc., is a competency exam and not an entrance exam. The table below outlines the timing of each section, the number of questions in each section, and the grading evaluation of each section.
|Section||Timing||Multiple Choice Questions||Task-Based Simulations or Written Communication Tasks|
|AUD||4 hours||90 MC (60%)||7 TBS (40%)|
|BEC||3 hours||72 MC (85%)||3 WCT (15%)|
|FAR||4 hours||90 MC (60%)||7 TBS (40%)|
|REG||3 hours||72 MC (60%)||6 TBS (40%)|
For more information about the CPA Exam, check out AICPA’s Uniform CPA Examination FAQs.
CPA Exam vs Series 7: Series 7
Are you ready to channel your inner Gordon Gekko? Ok, probably not the best idea for aspiring securities traders. However, let’s discuss some of the important aspects of the Series 7 exam. Like the CPA Exam, the Series 7 exam is a test of competency; however, the Series 7 exam tests your competency related to general securities representation. Specifically, the Series 7 exam covers five major job functions including the following:
- Seeks business for the broker-dealer through customers and potential customers
- Evaluates customers’ other security holdings, financial situation and needs, financial status, tax status, and investment objective
- Opens accounts, transfers assets and maintains appropriate account records
- Provides customers with information on investments and makes suitable recommendations
- Obtains and verifies customers’ purchases and sales instructions, enters orders, and follows up
These five functions are evaluated on a 260 question multiple choice exam in which 250 questions are scored and 10 questions are not scored. You have six hours to take the entire exam, which is broken out into two three hour sessions. For more information about the Series 7 exam, check out FINRA’s Series 7 Exam – General Securities Representative Examination (GS).