Friday, January 06, 2006

The NASD flunks its exam

Imagine that you always dreamed of being a stockbroker. So you interview with a few firms and one of them agrees to take you into their training program. You decide to take the big plunge, you quit your job and embark on an exciting new career.

Your first order of business, pass the NASD Series 7, the exam everyone who does securities business with the public must pass. Your new employer will pay you a modest salary while you're in training, but one stipulation is that you must pass the Series 7 exam on your first try or they send you packin'.

For ten weeks you study hard and learn the material. You feel well-prepared for the day-long exam and confidently arrive at the testing center for your big test.

At the end of the day you press the button that says you're finished with your exam. "Are you certain?" it asks. You press "Yes". Your score appears.

Uh oh. A 68. You failed. Now you must return to your office the next day, gather your personal belongings and say goodbye to your new friends and the business you love. The dream is over.

Now imagine that months have passed, you're bagging groceries at the Piggly Wiggly and you come home to find a letter from the NASD saying that you actually passed the exam but a computer glitch caused your score to be miscalculated.

That's exactly what happened to nearly 2,000 people who took the exam between October 1, 2004 and December 20, 2005.

Now what?

The news story here.


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