Insurance License Exam

A State-Specific Guide to Passing Your Insurance License Exam.

Cartoon woman holding Insurance License State Exam document

Insurance License Exam

Regardless of your state, you will need to pass an insurance license exam in each line that you want to get licensed in.

Even though all insurance license exams are made up of multiple-choice questions and entail both state and federal content, they are not all formatted, reported, priced, or even scored in the same way.

In this guide, we break down everything you need to know in order to take and pass your insurance exam on your first attempt.


Insurance Licensing Exam Breakdown

An insurance license exam is a proctored test that can be taken online or in person.

Insurance License Exam Cost

The price of your insurance exam can depend on the type of exam that you take, as well as on your state.

Generally speaking, the cost of each exam can be anywhere between $40 and $150.

You can check out the specific cost of each exam you are interested in by visiting your state’s testing service’s website (e.g., Prometric, PSI, Pearson VUE, etc.), or by visiting your state’s Department of Insurance.

Where to Take the Insurance License Exam

If you choose to sit your exam in person, you will need to do it in one of your state’s testing service centers. Depending on your state, this can be:

  • Pearson VUE: 24 states and Washington D.C.
  • Prometric: 11 states
  • PSI: 13 states

When you navigate to your state’s administrative website, you will be able to find a candidate handbook that will run you through how to register for your exam.

Note: Alabama (University of Alabama) and Kentucky (Department of Insurance) are the only states that do not rely on Pearson VUE, Prometric, or PSI.

Insurance License Exam Score Explanation

Insurance examinations are not all scored in the same way.

Depending on your state and examination licensing board, your score may be reported to you as a:

  • Pass or fail
  • Percentage score
  • Scaled score

Some states have more than one potential way of reporting a score. For example, some states offer numerical scores to candidates that fail, whereas passing candidates receive a “pass” mark as well as information on how to apply for an insurance license.

How Hard is the Insurance License Exam

The insurance license exam can be quite difficult depending on both: which exam you sit, and on how much time you give yourself to prepare.

All of the exams are fact-based multiple-choice questions, so make sure that you tailor your studying towards memorizing content, rather than diving into it analytically.

Completing a pre-license course can also go a long way in making the overall process easier for you, as it will ensure that you do not end up missing out on any content when you are revising. This may be a legal requirement depending on your state.

You can also have a look at our summarized content outlines — which are meant to be used as exam checklists — by selecting your state in the drop-down menu above.

For a more in-depth overview, we recommend having a look at our How Hard is the Insurance Exam article.


How to Pass the Insurance License Exam

Passing your insurance license exam comes down to:

  • Completing a pre-license course
  • Studying effectively
  • Controlling your exam anxiety

Complete a Pre-License Course

Completing a pre-license course can actually be a legal prerequisite to sitting your insurance license exam depending on your state, but this is not always the case.

Regardless of whether it is a requirement in your state or not, we highly recommend completing a pre-license course because we believe that it is the most efficient way of learning the large quantity of material that you will be expected to know during your exam.

Note: Some states will need to see an original Certificate of Completion from an approved course provider at the time of your exam.

Recommended Pre-License Course:

StateRequirement recommends Kaplan’s pre-license course. It offers a variety of useful features, including printable study guides, practice tests, and live training.
4.7 out of 5 starsKaplan Education Company

Study Effectively

Remember, the questions in your insurance license exam are all going to be factual, multiple-choice questions.

Since there will therefore be no questions that can be answered through logic or “common sense,” you need to ensure that you tailor your studying towards memorizing content.

Generally, we recommend preparing for your exam for around one to two weeks. This should allow you to go through all of your material at least twice.

Of course, you should feel free to adjust this depending on how comfortable you are with learning large amounts of information and taking proctored exams.

Reduce Exam Anxiety

Reducing your exam anxiety is definitely easier said than done.

Nonetheless, there are a few steps that you can take in order to get accustomed to your exam setting and make sure that you feel as comfortable as possible on your exam day:

  • Get plenty of sleep — Lack of sleep can exacerbate your anxiety and increase your self-doubt. Make sure you are consistently getting a good night’s sleep in the week leading to your exam.
  • Arrive early — If you are planning to sit your exam in person, we recommend you arrive at least 30 minutes before it’s due to start. This can help you get used to your surroundings and check in with your center’s administrator without rushing.
  • Establish a consistent pre-test routine — You should acclimate yourself to exam conditions by following a specific routine when taking each practice exam.

For a more in-depth overview of how you can prepare for your insurance exam, we recommend reading our How to Pass the Insurance Exam article.


Steps After Completing Your Insurance License Exam

After you have taken — and hopefully passed — your insurance license exam, you will need to file a licensing application with your state’s Department of Insurance.

Depending on your state, you may be able to wait anywhere between 90 days and three years before needing to file your application. This means that you can actually go back and pass an additional insurance line examination before you apply for your license, if that is something that you are interested in.

Some states also require applicants to complete background and/or fingerprinting checks, although this is not always the case, and exceptions can apply.

After you have submitted your exam results and background checks — if applicable — you will need to wait for your application to be reviewed.

There are different approval and notification procedures for each state. We recommend having a look at our state-specific Insurance Producer Licensing overview for more information on your state’s licensing procedures.

Insurance License Exam FAQ

How long will my insurance exam be?

How long your insurance exam will be will depend on what exam you are taking, as well as on what state you are taking your exam in.

You can find this out by going to your state’s testing service’s website, or by clicking on your state in the drop-down menu above.


Do I need to complete a course in order to take an insurance exam?

This will depend on your state. Some states require candidates to complete a pre-licensing course from an approved provider in order to sit an exam, but not all do.

Having said that, completing a pre-licensing course is generally recommended because it is extremely helpful when it comes to helping you memorize the large amounts of information that you will need to know.

For more information, we recommend reading our Kaplan Insurance Pre-License Course Review.


How much does an insurance exam cost?

This will depend on the type of insurance exam that you take (e.g., Life and Health, Property and Casualty, Limited Lines, etc.), as well as on the state in question.


How long do I need to study for my exam?

We recommend studying for around one to two weeks, as this should allow you to go over all of your content at least twice.

Of course, you should feel free to adjust this depending on how comfortable you feel with taking proctored tests and how much time you can allocate each day to prepare for your insurance exam(s).

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Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated on October 2022.

Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. StateRequirement is not affiliated with any state, government, or licensing body. For more information, please contact your state’s authority on insurance.

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