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Series 3


Series 3 refers to the National Commodities Futures Examination, a licensing exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in the United States. It tests an individual’s knowledge of regulations, market operations, and trading strategies related to futures, commodities, and financial derivatives. Passing the Series 3 exam is a requirement for professionals who wish to become registered commodity futures brokers or traders.


The phonetic pronunciation of the keyword “Series 3” is:/ˈsɪriːz θriː/

Key Takeaways

  1. First main takeaway about Series 3
  2. Second main takeaway about Series 3
  3. Third main takeaway about Series 3


The Series 3 term is important in the business/finance field because it refers to the “National Commodities Futures Examination,” a licensing exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) for professionals aiming to become a commodities and futures broker. Passing the Series 3 exam demonstrates a thorough understanding of key concepts including trading strategies, futures market theory, market regulations, and portfolio management, enabling an individual to operate within the financial services industry ethically and effectively. Obtaining the Series 3 license is a crucial step for professionals seeking to work as brokers in commodities and futures trading, ensuring their competency and paving the way for career growth and success.


The Series 3 examination serves a crucial purpose in the financial industry, primarily aimed at individuals who aspire to become commodities and futures professionals. The primary goal of the Series 3 exam is to ensure that these professionals possess a strong fundamental understanding of the products, markets, and regulatory framework that govern the trading of commodities and futures. As a result, candidates who pass the exam demonstrate their competence and commitment to adhering to the ethical standards, policies, and practices which protect the integrity of these financial markets. One of the key utilities of the Series 3 examination is its role in granting individuals the necessary qualifications to be registered as Commodity Trading Advisors (CTAs), Commodity Pool Operators (CPOs), or Associated Persons (APs) who deal with futures, managed futures, or options on futures with the National Futures Association (NFA). Considering that the commodities and futures markets are characterized by complex financial instruments, possessing a qualified workforce becomes essential in ensuring that clients are well-informed about their investments and that the market participants abide by the pertinent regulations. Hence, the Series 3 exam plays a vital part in maintaining the credibility and stability of the commodities and futures markets by certifying the expertise of professionals in this field.


1. Commodity Trading Advisors: In many countries, before a person can give advice to others about trading commodity futures contracts, they must pass the Series 3 Examination. So, for example, if a professional trader in the United States decides to start her own advisory firm to guide others on trading commodities, she would first need to pass the Series 3 test to become a licensed commodity trading advisor. 2. Brokerage Firms: Brokerage firms often require their brokers to pass the Series 3 exam if they are dealing with futures contracts for their clients. For instance, a broker in a large investment firm like Goldman Sachs, who handles futures trading, would likely need to hold a Series 3 license, as this test covers topics related to futures trading, including trading strategies, regulations, and market analysis. 3. Hedge Fund Managers: Hedge funds often involve sophisticated trading strategies and investment products, including futures and options. Therefore, a hedge fund manager might be required to have a Series 3 license. If a potential investor is considering investing a large sum of money into a hedge fund, they might feel more assured knowing that the manager of the fund has a Series 3 license, indicating a level of knowledge and credibility in the futures market.

Frequently Asked Questions(FAQ)

What is the Series 3 examination?
The Series 3 is an exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) in the U.S. It’s designed to assess a candidate’s knowledge of derivatives markets, futures contracts, and commodities trading to ensure competence in these financial sectors.
Who should take the Series 3 examination?
Candidates seeking to sell commodity futures contracts or options on commodity futures contracts should take the Series 3 examination. These can include commodity pool operators, commodity trading advisors, and associated persons of futures commission merchants.
How do I study for the Series 3 exam?
There are numerous study guides and training manuals available for people interested in taking the Series 3 exam. Study materials typically cover the topics to be tested, including futures trading theories, margin requirements, and types of orders.
What subjects does the Series 3 examination cover?
The Series 3 exam covers topics related to futures contracts, commodities trading, and derivatives markets. This includes trading theories, margin requirements, types of orders, hedging, price analysis, and regulatory guidelines.
How long is the Series 3 examination?
The Series 3 examination consists of 120 multiple-choice questions. The candidate is given 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the exam.
What score do I need to pass the Series 3 exam?
To pass the Series 3 exam, you need to achieve a score of 70% on both parts, Market Knowledge and Rules/Regulations.
When will I find out if I passed the Series 3?
Test takers will find out their results immediately after the conclusion of the exam.
How often can I take the Series 3 exam?
If you fail the Series 3 exam, you can retake it after a 30-day waiting period for the first two attempts. After the second attempt, you must wait for 180 days before taking it again.
How can I register for the Series 3 exam?
The registration for the Series 3 exam is done through the FINRA’s website. You will need to be sponsored by a FINRA member firm, exchange, or a self-regulatory organization to register.
How much does it cost to take the Series 3 exam?
As of 2022, the cost to take the Series 3 exam is $130. However, this cost is subject to change and it is advised to check with FINRA for the current exam fee.

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