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NASD Flunks on Series 7

The regulator admits it misgraded some broker exams, causing more than 1,800 people to wrongly get failing grades.
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just flunked its own test.

The Washington-based securities industry self-regulator said 1,882 people wrongly got failing grades on the Series 7 broker qualification exam over a 15-month period.

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NASD said a software error caused those test takers to get failing grades when they had actually passed. The regulator said the screwup affected only exams on the cusp of the pass/fail line. People who took the test between Oct. 1, 2004, and Dec. 20, 2005, were affected.

The error caused some test takers to score just below the minimum passing grade, the NASD said, adding that no one got a passing grade in error. NASD said 60,500 people took the exam during the period.

The NASD said more than 1,000 people who got the wrong score have already retaken the exam and passed. More than 600 have not as yet rescheduled an exam date, and just over 200 are scheduled to retake the exam.

"NASD will immediately notify the affected individuals and firms," said CEO Robert R. Glauber. "In addition, because the integrity of our testing program is fundamental, we have undertaken a full review of this issue and are putting in place enhanced quality control measures designed to prevent a future reoccurrence. As appropriate, we will communicate any corrective measures."

The NASD describes Series 7 as "an exam covering critical areas of securities markets, and the laws, regulations and responsibilities of registered representatives." Passing is a requirement for an individual to conduct securities business with the public.