5 Steps to Passing the Personal Lines Insurance License Exam

By WebCE
Jul 3, 2024

5 Steps to Passing the Personal Lines Insurance Licensing Exam

Passing the personal lines insurance exam the first time is key to starting an insurance career on the right foot. The key to passing the exam is insurance exam prep.

In this blog, we break down how to earn a personal lines insurance license in five steps. From understanding the exam format to effectively using study tools, we cover all you need to know.

Step 1: Get to Know the Exam & Any Other Licensing Requirements

Does Your State Have an Insurance Prelicensing Requirement?

Some states require insurance prelicensing courses before taking the licensing exam. An important first step in earning an insurance license should be to check your state’s insurance pre-licensing requirements.

The biggest difference between insurance prelicensing and insurance exam prep is prelicensing is a state requirement. Prelicensing is not meant as a replacement for exam prep, but an additional state requirement.

We breakdown all the differences in our blog Insurance Exam Prep vs. Prelicensing: What’s the Difference?

Exam Content

Most states offer outlines for their insurance license exams that list the number of questions on each topic along with a time limit. These outlines are listed on each state’s Department of Insurance website. You can find links to these outlines on our catalog by clicking the green requirements button once you’ve selected your state and license type.

The personal lines insurance license exam covers key products, concepts, and responsibilities of a personal lines insurance professional. These exams are established by the state to instill and uphold industry standards, which gives consumers confidence in the industry and its professionals.

Exam Format

But the content is not the only challenge. Most insurance licensing exams are timed. Alabama, for example, has a two-hour time limit on its 100-question personal lines insurance exam. These times can vary by state and license type.

Many looking to earn an insurance license may not have taken a timed exam in a long time—or ever—and may be out of practice. Or they do not properly prepare and find themselves on exam day constantly checking the clock, worrying about their pace, and struggling to focus.

Developing a strategic study plan is the best place to start preparing for a confident and successful exam day.

Step 2: Plan Your Path to Success: Develop a Strategic Study Plan

Most states recommend scheduling your exam date 4-6 weeks in advance. This date can offer structure to a study plan. The test day is clear. Now what can you do in that time to prepare?

Many of the tips and steps to achieving career goals we previously wrote about in our blog How to Create a Successful Professional Development Plan are very helpful here. These include things like setting SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound) goals, prioritizing knowledge gaps, and tips to stay motivated and overcome challenges.

Reviewing the content outline is a great first step. But do you need to study everything equally? How much do you already know? What do you need to study most? Maybe everything is new, in which case an insurance exam prep course can offer expert insights into everything on the state exam. Maybe you know more than you think.

A major part of creating a successful study plan is knowing what you need to study. While knowing everything is the goal, what do you need the most help with? Taking a practice exam is the best way to identify these knowledge gaps and make the most out of your exam prep efforts. 


Step 3: Prep with Study Tools: Practice Exams & More

From practice exams to flash cards, there are many ways to target knowledge gaps to match your learning style.

The most effective way to address knowledge gaps is through an insurance exam prep course. The best insurance exam prep courses explain underlying concepts and assumptions—the fabric of the industry—for a deeper understanding. Come exam day, that means even if you do not know the answer to a difficult question, you can rely on these industry best practices as a guide.

Practice exams are among the strongest ways to assess knowledge gaps, gauge preparedness, and get comfortable with the time limit. Flash cards are honed, targeted training that can boost exam performance and even help with memorization. The more study tools at your fingertips, the more confident you will be on exam day.

Practice tests can identify and test knowledge gaps, but they do not offer practical examples to apply that information to fully explain the answer. Practical examples that go beyond textbook definitions and show how a product or concept works can greatly improve learning and retention. WebCE’s EXCEED is a uniquely powerful way to train for a new insurance career with real world applications of textbook definitions and microlearning videos complete with knowledge checks to keep you fresh and challenged.

While exam prep is meant to offer confidence to help you focus on passing, it is also important to recognize the impact it can have on beginning an insurance career. Those that prepared with insurance exam prep are more attractive hires because they typically have a deeper grasp of core insurance concepts, practices, and products. This confidence and knowledge can lead to a strong first impression and some important early career wins.


Step 4: Review & Reflect: Find & Fix Weak Spots

With all these tools at your fingertips, how can you ensure all these study efforts are paying off? Practice exams are a great way to assess mastery of content, but what about holistic feedback on all your study efforts?

How do you know when you are ready to take the exam? For a long time, there was no clear answer. Now there is.

Our AI-powered Exam Prep Readiness Score, a feature of our insurance exam prep courses, evaluates a student’s past work and efforts in the course to calculate a score that gauges a student’s exam readiness. Plus, students also receive personalized tips on where and how to improve for a greater chance of passing the exam the first time.

The exam readiness score recognizes each student’s unique needs and provides personalized tips for improvement based on previous performance. Whether refining time management skills, focusing on specific topics, or adopting new study techniques, the exam readiness score recommendations are designed to improve study strategy and overall exam prep effectiveness.

Step 5: Stay Cool & Confident on Exam Day

It is exam day. As you wait for the timed exam to begin, think back on all the work you did to put yourself in the best position to pass and launch your insurance career. That license could be just a few hours away.

The exam begins. You know the first question. And the second. The third is tricky, but you think back on best practices discussed in your exam prep course and find out you knew it all along.

That is what exam prep offers: a cool, confident exam day. Preparing for exam day is meant to reduce surprises so you can focus on passing.

Here are a few more test-taking tips to practice and keep in mind on exam day:

  • Arriving early on exam day can help acclimate to the testing environment. Positive self-talk is also important as exam time nears. Trust in your preparation, knowledge, and capabilities. As you take the exam, avoid thinking of results or what is at stake so you can give each question your undivided attention.
  • Read every answer carefully. While one answer may seem correct, another may include language that makes it a more accurate answer. While reading each answer carefully, pay attention to the language used. Look out for double negatives or words like “not,” “except,” “unless,” or “until” that can change the meaning of the answer.
  • Do not spend too much time on a question. Use the process of elimination on difficult questions, then mark them for review and move on to avoid running out of time. If you do not know the answer to the question, think of higher-level principles or concepts that might guide you to the correct answer.


Insurance Exam Prep from WebCE

Insurance exam prep not only helps prepare you for the exam content and timed format but helps launch your career. The more a newly licensed insurance professional knows, the more confident and successful they will be.

WebCE’s insurance exam prep not only covers everything on the state exam, but offers a suite of innovative tools to target knowledge gaps for a variety of learning styles:

  • My Study Planner – Tailor your path to success
  • Personal Lines Insurance Exam Prep Course – Expert insights for greater retention
  • Exam Tutor – Unlimited customizable practice exams
  • Flash Tutor – Mobile-friendly flash cards on every exam topic
  • Exam Prep Readiness Score – AI-powered study suggestions
  • Exam Prep Plus with EXCEED – Master the material with real-world scenarios

Visit our catalog to view your requirements and get started on the path to earning your personal lines insurance license today!