An exam administered by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority and otherwise known as the Research Analyst Qualification Exam. Professionals who pass the exam can function as research analysts for FINRA-member broker/dealers. Research analysts are primarily responsible for producing the content in research reports, and their names will appear on the reports.
The exam is actually two-in-one. The Series 86 tests research analysis knowledge, while the Series 87 tests knowledge of industry rules and best practices. A total of four hours is given to complete the Series 86 and 90 minutes is provided for the Series 87; a score of 70% or better is required for passing.
Taobiz explains Series 86/87
People who have already passed both Part I and Part II of the Chartered Financial Analyst Exam may request an exemption from the Series 86 portion only. For those without a CFA, the Series 7 is a prerequisite for the combined exam.
The exam requires a thorough knowledge of not only company analysis, but also industry analysis, management study and knowledge of broad supply and demand parameters for a given industry or sector. Financial metrics should be well-understood at this point, as well as earnings modeling methods and industry dynamics for the purposes of creating useful and accurate financial reports that will be used to educate and assist sales staff.