How to Overcome Test Anxiety: Tips to Ace Your Insurance Exam
Nervousness before a test is common. Some people experience test anxiety more intensely than others, but nearly everyone gets nervous before a big exam at some point. Your heart might beat faster. Your palms might get a little sweaty. You may worry about how you’ll do.
While a little bit of anxiety can help you by keeping you focused and alert, too much can hurt your performance during the exam.
The insurance licensing exams are tough in every state. But there’s good news. All insurance exams are multiple-choice, and research shows that this test format tends to provoke the least amount of anxiety. You can rest a little easier knowing there are no fill-in or essay questions on the insurance licensing exams.
There are things you can do to make the process a little less nerve-wracking and manage your fear of failure. Keep reading for tips on how to reduce test anxiety before your insurance licensing exam.
1: Take an exam prep course.
The insurance licensing exams are designed to test your knowledge on a range of topics, from insurance fundamentals to state laws and regulations to claims handling. You must pass the exam to start working as an insurance agent, broker, adjuster, or customer service agent.
An exam prep course—also known as pre-licensing education—helps you get ready for the insurance licensing exam. It may even be required in your state. Even if it’s not, taking an exam prep course is the best way to prepare.
Reputable providers like America’s Professor will teach you everything you need to know for your exam. Look for a course with online video lectures you can watch day or night at your convenience. Also make sure the provider offers a hard-copy textbook, so you can highlight important information and take notes.
2: Review the candidate handbook.
The company that administers the insurance licensing exams in your state should provide a Candidate Handbook outlining things like how to register for the exam, where to go, and what to bring with you.
Pearson VUE and Prometric are two of the major exam administrators in the US, but the provider for your state may be different. You can find out who your exam administrator is through a simple internet search. Here are the Candidate Handbooks for Vermont and Georgia, as examples.
3: Don’t cram the night before.
Research shows that cramming is the worst way to study. Not only do you risk forgetting most of what you learned, but pulling an all-nighter before your exam means sacrificing precious sleep.
You need a fresh head for your exam. Put yourself on a strict study schedule starting at least two weeks before the day of the test—and stick to it. Plan to spend a total of 35-40 hours studying. Adopting good study habits can help you ace your exam.
4: Get to the test center early.
Being late can be very stressful—especially for an event that has a hard start time, like the insurance licensing exam. Worse, it can take a while to recover from the anxiety (and the physical symptoms that come with it), which could negatively impact your performance.
Commuting can add to the stress. If your exam is at a physical location, give yourself more than enough time to get to the testing center. This will give you plenty of time to check in, review your notes, and maybe even do some deep breathing exercises before the exam.
If you’re taking a proctored (online) exam, it’s just as important to be on time. Make sure your computer is set up and ready to go before your exam. Test your audio and camera, make sure you’re logged into the system, and place any physical materials you’ll need before or during the exam near your computer. Also make sure you have water to drink during the exam.
5: Answer easier questions first.
Test authors often try to make the exams harder to answer by writing answer choices that are designed to confuse you. Or they may turn a question into a negative to throw you off (e.g., “Which one of these is NOT…”).
Don’t get hung up on these questions. If you’re not sure of the answer right away, skip it and come back to it later. Every question you’re able to answer with conviction will boost your self-confidence. Dwelling on questions you’re not sure about for too long can lead to negative thoughts that hurt your momentum.
Get Ready for Your Exam with America’s Professor
America’s Professor has the courses you need to pass your state licensing exam. Whether you’re going for your Life & Health license, your P&C license, or you’re thinking about becoming an adjuster, we offer comprehensive exam prep courses in dozens of states.
When you sign up for a course with America’s Professor, you’ll get instant access to streaming video lectures, followed by a hard-copy textbook in the mail. And it’s all backed by our outstanding customer service.
Find your course and enroll today!