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How to pass the National Section of the Insurance Licensing Exam

Here is everything you wanted to know about the
National section of the state’s insurance licensing exam!

What types of questions are on the National section of the insurance test?

All of the insurance exam questions are multiple choice. There are no fill-ins (no need to memorize) and no essay (no need to be ready to explain anything) questions.

For example:

Chance of loss is the definition of:

a. risk
b. peril
c. indemnity
d. hazard

The insurance exam tests heavily on definitions (terminology) and numbers (dollar amounts and number of days).

The insurance exam is drawn from a large pool of questions – you will have a different set of questions than the person sitting next to you. If you retake the insurance exam, expect to see very few of the questions repeated on the next exam. Students report that the exams vary greatly in terms of the number of questions on any given topic.

Students report that about 1/3 of the questions are terminology (definitional) questions, 1/3 are number/day questions, and 1/3 are questions where you have to apply the knowledge to a practical situation (story problems – usually short).

What score do I need to pass the insurance exam?

There are 4 basic exams given in most states – Life, Health, Property, and Casualty. In some states, the exams are combined (Property & Casualty). Some states have a Personal Lines exam for agents selling only homeowner or auto insurance.

In most states, you need a score of 70-75 to pass each exam. But, each exam consists of two parts – the “national” insurance section and the “state” section. This course will cover only the “national” insurance section.

Are questions grouped by category?

Our students always want to know if the questions regarding indemnification (for example) are grouped together. No, questions and topics are randomly scrambled, but that never seems to be a problem for anyone.

How do I sign up to take the insurance exam?

We recommend that you don’t go online to register for the exam but that you call PearsonVue (the testing company) 1-800-274-8906. Be sure to call at least 3 days in advance of the date you plan to take the exam. The earlier you sign up, the better your chances of getting the test date of your choice.

Which insurance test is the toughest?

Each insurance licensing exam presents its own challenge. Between Life and Health, students say that the Health insurance exam is the more difficult. Health insurance policies are simply more complicated than life insurance policies.

The Property insurance exam is easier than the Casualty insurance exam. Property insurance deals with easy to understand issues – fire, flooding, earthquake, etc. On the other hand, Casualty insurance deals primarily with Liability insurance – protection against lawsuits. Casualty insurance is a more conceptual topic and one that is more difficult for students to grasp – particularly if you have never been sued.

The state portion of the insurance exam is very detailed and presents its own challenges. The state topics tend to cover trivial details relating to complicated state regulations. None of this is easy, but that is why we work so hard to make the material both understandable and memorable.

This is a challenging exam. Put yourself on a strict schedule as you do your exam prep work. Be focused and disciplined as you do your insurance test prep.

Will I have adequate time to complete the insurance test?

Yes. We have never had students say that they ran out of time to complete the insurance exam. Most students finish in about half of the allotted time (up to 3 1/2 hours). The only students who ever report that they ran out of time were those who were trying to memorize questions in the event they had to repeat the exam – a task that we don’t recommend.

Is the insurance exam still given by the “paper and pencil” method?

No, this is a computerized exam. Virtually all of the students say the proctors were helpful, the room was quiet, and the computer worked well. The proctors will give you the opportunity to complete a practice exam to learn how to use the computer system. When you are done, you will NOT be given a copy of the insurance exam, nor will you be given the opportunity to review particular questions and their answers. The insurance exam will be scored immediately and you will know your results when you leave.

What is the best test prep method for passing the insurance exam?

There is no alternative to knowing the material. There are no shortcuts to learning but there are more effective and less frustrating ways to learn. We recommend that you follow a 4-step process:

Insurance Pre-Licensing CoursesInsurance Practice Exams


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9 months ago

How many questions are on the real exam?

Bobbi Gintis
Bobbi Gintis
2 years ago

How much is this test?

Nevada Guy
Nevada Guy
11 months ago
Reply to  Bobbi Gintis

In Nevada, the Life and Health is like 61 dollars

2 years ago

Having a hard time passing the “State” part on the property test. Already passed Casualty, any tips on where i can understand the state part for property? I have your guys book and it only covers “Crop and hail insurance” for property. I need more in depth, any advise?

6 months ago

It states that 70% is passing, my coworker just passed with a 67%…when did this change

Lisa L
Lisa L
1 month ago

How many times can you take the exam?

4 days ago

Hi does New York require a pre-licensing Provider to take the test or can I study and take the test on my own?

We make every effort to ensure that the content on our site is accurate but it’s always recommended to you contact your state’s Insurance Licensing Department or Test Provider for information. Thank you. – The AP Team