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A Complete FINRA Series 53 License & Exam Overview

October 05, 2023

Series 53 Exam Prep and Training Courses

Before you can become a Municipal Securities Principal, you must first pass the MSRB (Municipal Securities Rule Making Board) Series 53 exam.  


ExamFX is proud to announce that we have added the Series 53 to our growing list of industry-leading online courses. As with all ExamFX training courses, the Series 53 exam prep offers our best-in-class Pass Guarantee. 


ExamFX has been helping candidates pass challenging exams for more than 24 years. We have helped millions of people achieve their professional goals — we are here to ensure your success. 


What is the MSRB?

The MSRB is a self-regulatory organization authorized by congress in 1975 with the mandate of protecting investors in municipal securities. The organization establishes industry rules and regulations, licenses industry professionals, and distributes educational materials to member firms and the public. The MSRB is an independent organization but coordinates closely with FINRA (the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority) and the SEC (Securities and Exchange Commission). 

Series 53 Overview

The Series 53 exam is a regulatory examination administered by FINRA that is designed to determine if a candidate meets the MSRB’s qualifications for a Municipal Securities Principal. 

Once an individual has passed the exam and becomes registered principal, they will be allowed to supervise important municipal securities activities such as: 

  • Underwriting and trading municipal securities 
  • Financial advisory or consultant services to issuers of municipal securities 
  • Customer communications 
  • Record maintenance 
  • Processing, clearing, and safekeeping of municipal securities 
  • Training principals or representatives 

Series 53 Exam

The Series 53 exam consists of 100 multiple-choice questions. To pass, candidates must achieve a score of at least 70%. Candidates are allotted 3 hours to complete the exam. The exam covers six key areas of municipal securities regulation. They are as follows: 

  • Federal Regulations (4%) 
  • General Supervision (23%) 
  • Sales Supervision (25%) 
  • Origination and Syndication (23%) 
  • Trading (10%) 
  • Operations (15%) 

Exam questions test foundational knowledge of MSRB rules, rule interpretation, and how federal provisions relate to the supervision of the municipal securities activities listed above. According to the MSRB’s Series 53 Content Outline, the exam also measures a candidate’s ability to apply the rules to real-world, fact-based situations. 

Who Can Take the Series 53 Exam? 

To take the Series 53 exam you must be sponsored by a FINRA member firm and have already passed the Series 52 (Municipal Securities Representative) exam. However, candidates without a Series 52 license who have passed the Series 7 (General Securities Representative) exam before November 7, 2011 are considered “legacy candidates” and allowed to sit for the Series 53. 

How to Schedule the Series 53 Exam

In coordination with your sponsor, the Series 53 exam can be scheduled through Prometric, which hosts testing centers across the country. When you are ready, navigate to the Prometric website to find a convenient location and choose a date and time for your exam. 

Passing the Series 53 Exam

Passing the MSRB Series 53 exam is a challenging but achievable goal. The benefits of becoming a Municipal Securities Principal - obtaining valuable industry knowledge and significant career advancement opportunities - are well worth the effort. 


Preparing for this exam requires dedication and rigorous study. ExamFX offers a best-in-class, comprehensive Series 53 exam prep course that helps candidates pass on their first attempt. 


ExamFX is an established leader in licensing exam prep for the securities and insurance industries. Our dedication to client success along with our superior instruction is why Investopedia* recently rated multiple ExamFX securities courses as Best Overall,Most Comprehensive, and Best Value among competitors.  


ExamFX applies these exacting standards to all our training courses (including our Series 53 course) and provides the same exceptional customer service to all our clients. 

Ready to Pass Your Exam and Obtain Your Series 53 License? 

Our new Series 53 course can help you succeed! ExamFX’s interactive training courses feature a variety of Series 53 study tools. These training solutions for FINRA exam preparation include study materials like:

  • FINRA Series license practice exams
  • Online Series 53 readiness exams
  • Interactive learning portal
  • And, more!


Our courses are customizable to accommodate every learning preference and budget. Please contact us with any questions you may have. We will be happy to answer them for you. 


Good luck! 



*Investopedia is a financial and investor education resource website.