You’ve decided to get your insurance producer license, congratulations! This is a big step towards an exciting new career. Hopefully, you’ve chosen a pre-licensing or exam prep provider, like All-Lines Training, to support you on your journey. Next up? Set yourself up for success by determining how to study (and pass) your state insurance licensing exam.
All-Lines Training, and our sister company AdjusterPro, have been training people to enter the insurance industry for a long time. We’ve trained thousands of individuals as well as the workforces of some of the largest insurers in the country. We create our courses to give you the best opportunity to learn and retain information. Every online class includes study aids and PDF downloads of course materials, audio and visual course narration, our unique quiz builder, and unlimited access to your course.
But it takes more than a quality pre-licensing or exam prep course. You’ll want to make the most of your online training. We’ve compiled some tips and tricks to help you study effectively and give you the best chance of passing your exam on the first try.
Create A Study Spot
Before you begin hitting the books (or screen), make sure you have a quality spot to study. Your study spot should be free from distractions, easily accessible, and comfortable, but not too comfortable. After all, you need to stay awake and alert!
Everyone studies, learns, and retains information differently. You may find that a crowded coffee shop is mentally stimulating but free from home distractions. Or perhaps you need solitude and silence so a quiet corner of the local library works best. Your bedroom, kitchen table, or couch could also be a perfect study nook as long as it remains distraction-free.
Consider where you can best focus, and designate that location as your study spot. You may even benefit from occasionally changing your location if you find yourself drifting or getting bored. Check out Tomato Timers for a digital Pomodoro timer or Noisli if ambient study noise would help you stay focused.
Wherever you study, ensure the space is yours. Set your space when you arrive. Put out your study materials. Make sure you have a way to separate yourself from family, roommates, siblings, coffee shop customers, or library-goers. Also, ensure you can stay in that spot for the entirety of your session.
Lastly, bring everything you need from the get-go. Make sure you have chargers, a drink, snacks, noise-canceling headphones, a sweatshirt for the cold library, etc. Having to get up and down to get something breaks your concentration and will limit your retention.
Use Study Tools
Sitting down and going through the material is only half the battle. It’s equally important that you retain the information you’re studying. Unless you have an extraordinary memory, you’ll likely need some helpful study tools.
Today, most producer pre-licensing or exam prep courses are completed online. This is great for convenience; however, you may want some options for taking notes outside of the online training platform.
If you prefer to take virtual notes, consider using tools such as Evernote, Notion, Microsoft OneNote, Simplenote, Clover, Google Docs, or your Apple Notes application if you’re a Mac user. We recommend using a tool that is accessible through your computer and your mobile device. This will allow you to study on the go if you’re waiting in line, or stuck in a situation where you have a quick moment to review course materials.
For those that enjoy tactile note-taking, pick up some notebooks, post-its, and index cards. Don’t forget to grab your favorite pens, pencils, and highlighters. Using tactile note-taking tools can be a fun way to enjoy the process.
Taking notes “the old-fashioned way” is also backed by science. According to this study by researchers at the University of California and Princeton University, students that took notes by hand performed better than students that took their notes digitally. There is also evidence that transferring information to a different medium will also help you remember it. For example, reading something and then writing it down. Or hearing information and repeating it out loud. Anytime you switch information into a different format, it will help strengthen that connection so you can better remember it when you need to.
Pace Yourself and Plan
The course material for your insurance license can be detailed and involve considerable critical thinking skills. Cramming for the exam is not recommended. Nor is starting a course and then dropping off for a few weeks for a big event or busy season at your current job. We encourage you to begin your exam preparation in a season when you can devote consistent time to study.
It’s also important to pace yourself as you study. Look at your calendar and select specific days for studying. Determine how long you plan on studying on those dates, where you will be hitting the books, and then commit yourself to the plan. Let your friends, family, and/or roommates know that you aren’t available during those times. Treat the online course study as if it were a live event you can’t miss.
The best reward for exam preparation is passing the exam. But if that reward feels too distant, mini-rewards may help you push forward in the studying process.
Rewards don’t need to be extravagant or expensive. Consider setting aside the latest season of your favorite TV show. After each completed module, reward yourself with an episode, or two. If TV isn’t your thing you may want to restrict social media until after you’re done studying. Or save your favorite book for a post-study read. Perhaps an after-study walk is your preferred reward. Or maybe just creating some art? Think about something you enjoy, then save that activity as a reward for your exam preparation.
For those of you that want to purchase your reward, you can pick up your favorite latte, buy something online or even treat yourself to dinner at your favorite takeout spot once you’ve finished a few chapters. We’ve heard of some students picking up a new pair of sneakers as their reward. Do whatever works for you and fits your budget.
Review Questions and Take Quizzes
It’s important to learn as you go. Our courses are set up to help you do just that. Every module includes mini-quizzes to test your knowledge in real-time. We recommend reviewing any quiz answers you missed and re-taking quizzes until you get them all correct, consistently.
Use study aids, quiz builders, and flashcards to re-review areas where you’re struggling. The state’s insurance exam is going to be very comprehensive. You may feel that you’ll do fine if you have knowledge on most chapters. There is no known weight to topics included in the exam. For this reason, it’s vital to understand all of the chapters as much as you can, equally.
If you’re struggling with a concept or question, contact us. We’ll be happy to help you through.
Pass the Practice Exam
All-Lines Training offers a practice exam at the conclusion of your course. Passing this practice exam will give you a very clear picture of how you will do on the state exam. Not passing the practice exam is also a clear indication that you should revisit the course materials and do some additional studying. If you do not get a 90% on the practice exam we advise revisiting the material and retaking the practice exam to reach a score of at least 90%.
The higher the passing score on your practice exam the higher the likelihood you will pass your state licensing exam. Give yourself enough time between the practice exam and the actual state exam to determine your potential passing score. That said, don’t put too much time between your practice exam, course completion, and the actual state exam or you may not retain the information you just studied.
We’re Here to Help
We hope you find the tools and resources in this post helpful to your journey to becoming a licensed insurance producer. If you’re still curious if becoming an insurance producer is right for you, we encourage you to send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can connect you with one of our career consultants. We wish you the best in your education journey. At All-Lines Training, we’re with you. Every step of the way.