About the NFA Series 3 Exam

The National Commodities Futures Exam, commonly called the Series 3 exam, was created by the National Futures Association (NFA), the self-regulatory organization for the U.S. futures industry. The exam is required of individuals whose firms operate as a sole proprietor, futures commission merchant (FCM), retail foreign exchange dealer (RFED), introducing broker (IB), commodity pool operator (CPO) or commodity trading advisor (CTA) or for registration as an associated person (AP) of these categories must satisfy proficiency requirements.

The purpose of the Series 3 Exam is to screen an applicant's fitness to engage in business as a futures professional. The exam encompasses two sections - market knowledge and regulatory requirements - and each section is scored separately.  A 70 percent minimum score on each section is required to pass the exam.

The test consists of 120 True/False and multiple-choice questions, in two sections:

  • 85 questions cover industry and technical information (market knowledge)
  • 35 questions cover regulations and compliance (regulatory requirements).


Please expect to spend approximately 3 hours at the Center as it will take time to sign in, go through the pre-test directions screens and answer any sample questions that you are given that affect neither your score nor count towards your test time. The Series 3 Exam contains five (5) additional experimental questions that do not count towards your grade. Extra time is built into the exam to accommodate these five (5) questions. You will have 2 hours and 30 minutes to complete the actual test and required 120 questions.