Becoming a licensed insurance professional means passing a mandatory state-administered licensing exam. These exams cover a lot of material – all of which you will need to read, comprehend and commit to memory in order to score well. So what can you do to ensure that you're at the top of your game on exam day? Here, we've put together some tips on how to pass an insurance exam.
Take a pre licensing course
While some states require that exam applicants complete a pre licensing course before testing, others do not. Even if it isn't mandatory in your state, taking a formal class can make a big difference in your knowledge and confidence on exam day.
Create a study plan
You will need plenty of study time to be prepared for your exam – whether or not you are taking a course. Actively scheduling study time can ensure you can cover all necessary material before exam time and help prevent procrastination that can lead to high-stress last-minute cramming sessions. If you are taking a pre licensing course, plan to spend a certain amount of time between classes on course work and review. If you are not, invest in an insurance exam study guide and work out a schedule to complete it before your exam. Of course, creating a study schedule is not enough on its own – you will need to be very committed to sticking with that schedule.
Outline an effective study strategy
Simply reading material is not the best strategy for mastering that material. Actively interacting with the information is more effective, so take notes, summarize what you read, and create study questions and answers for each topic or page of material so you can quiz yourself later.
Evaluating your understanding and retention of material throughout your study program is also important, so you can identify problem areas and review them. Practice exams are a great way to do that. Many online sources offer the chance to test your insurance knowledge with a property and casualty practice exam or life and health insurance practice exam at no cost, or for those taking pre licensing courses, they are routinely used in the classroom and available to students for study purposes.
Strategies for the big day
No matter how prepared you are, chances are you will be feeling a bit anxious on exam day, so it is important to have a few test-stress management strategies in mind. Reading comprehension suffers under stressful circumstances, so compensate by reading every question twice, then reading all answers before choosing one. If you are not sure of an answer, you can often use the process of elimination to find it. For example, in this sample exam question, test-takers are asked:
All of the following may be covered by basic builders risk insurance EXCEPT:
The word “EXCEPT” indicates that the correct answer will not be similar to the other three, so eliminate answers that are closely related. Answers B, C, and D are similar, all referring to active construction phases. Only A is an exception to that rule, making it the correct response.
Lastly, set yourself up for a smooth exam day. Make sure you know exactly where your test center is, how long it will take to get there. Plan plenty of travel time in case of traffic problems or other unforeseen events, and make sure you bring identification to ensure admittance.
Brushing up on the insurance licensing exams for Property & Casualty or Life, Accident and Health can put you in a position for success upon completion of a Bryant & Stratton College Continuing Education program.