Achievable Question Difficulty vs. Actual SIE Exam

Hey everyone! I’m taking my SIE exam in under 2 weeks now. I’ve been scoring fairly well on the mock exams and review quizzes/questions through Achievable. However, for some reason I feel like these questions are much easier than what is on the actual exam.

For anyone who has experience taking the exam/or has seen a bunch of “real” SIE questions, would you agree with me? Or are the Achievable questions very similar to what would be on the actual exam? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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We get this question very often, and it’s a fair question :slight_smile:

We’ve written our practice exam questions to be worded similarly, weighted similarly, and of similar difficulty to those on the actual exam, so you can expect your real exam score to be similar to our practice exam scores. There’s no magic number that says you’re prepared - though if you’re consistently getting 80s on our practice ones then you’re likely in good shape.

Whereas we aim to make our questions like the real ones, other vendors typically write their questions to be abnormally difficult, which is probably why we’re asked this question so often. They have their reasons for doing this and I’m not here to debate… but at Achievable we think it’s best that your practice exam experience aligns closely with your real exam experience.

Now, in contrast to our practice exam questions, our separate pool of review questions are generally much easier, and that’s also intentional. The point of the review questions is to help you learn and retain the foundational concepts with a minimal time investment, and not to estimate your exam score.

After people take the exam, the majority of the feedback we get is that the exam was much more straightforward and more general than they expected, and that the Achievable practice exams were good preparation for their real exam.

And of course, FINRA is always changing their exams, and we’re changing with them. That’s the benefit of using our online course - we rapidly push updates to respond to changes and feedback. We don’t need to take a year like a big-box publisher to update their material! FINRA is rightfully protective of their real questions to ensure the integrity of the exam, so neither us nor any other vendor knows exactly what will be on there, though as we hear things through the grapevine we’re constantly making minor adjustments so our content is always up-to-date. For example, we’ve recently heard that FINRA is asking more story-based questions on suitability, so we too have been incorporating more of these.


Thanks so much! This is super helpful.

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I took the SIE exam 2 weeks ago and only used Achievable to study. I passed the exam and found the questions to be straightforward and pretty similar to what I saw on the practice exams.


Hi, I didn’t see any Achievable practice exams available to take other than the link to the FINRA practice exam and the ready view quizzes. Where can I find the practice exams?

Hi @LASHY1980, are you studying for the SIE?

If you’ve bought our full course, you can click on “Practice exams” in the navigation menu to take you to this page - Achievable

We have over 2,000 SIE exam questions, randomized with different text and numbers to ensure you’re being tested on the underlying concepts rather than just remembering the answer choices.

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You can start them by clicking that “Take exam” button, and the system will generate a new randomized exam for you right then. It has a timer so you can benchmark yourself, but if you go over the time that’s ok. Once you’ve answered all the questions you’ll get your score, as well as the ability to go back and review each question along with its correct answer and explanation.

Hi…thank you! For some reason, I recalled it taking me to the actual FINRA site so I didn’t know it was an “Achievable” practice exam.
I took it and have a clarity question on one of the exam question.

I selected ETC due to understanding of this being explained:

Soooo…are ETC’s not exempt?

The devil is in the details for this one. Generally speaking, ETCs are NOT exempt. However “common carriers” ARE exempt, and railroads are common carriers, so railroad ETCs ARE exempt.

That’s all you need to know for the SIE. For more context, keep reading :slight_smile:

What exactly qualifies as a “common carrier” is a topic that is often under debate. Railroads have been included since the term was coined a hundred or so years ago. Gas and oil carriers typically are included, as are radio and wire telecommunications. Lately, it’s come up a lot in the context of net neutrality policy, as policymakers are trying to decide if internet service providers (ISPs) fall into this category to understand to what extent they can be regulated. If you’re interested in some of the history behind it, this article is a good read - Network Neutrality: A History of Common Carrier Laws 1884–2018 | by Tyler Elliot Bettilyon | Medium

Ok…thank you for the prompt clarification. :smile:

A post was split to a new topic: Typo in market maker question 29XJQ

A post was split to a new topic: How shares change after stock dividend

Oh ok. LOL. Thanks for the clarification. :smile: