Four Takeaways to Tackle the California Insurance Licensing Exam

Since November 2012 the California Department of Insurance (CDI) has required that California residents looking to applying for licensing must first pass the license examination before submitting an application. PSI Services is the testing vendor that the CDI uses to administer state-based regulatory licensure exams.

For anyone looking to obtain their California insurance license, you will have to take the California Insurance Exam. The number of questions and time given for the exam depend on the type of insurance that you want to specialize in. However, there are many resources available to ensure that you are at your peak performance when your test day arrives. Below are four tips to use in order to prepare yourself.

1. Talk to Licensed Agents

Before sitting for your exam, talk to licensed agents who have already taken the test. Talk to them about what to expect, and what the atmosphere is like in the room. Simply just knowing what your surroundings will be like once you’re in the test center can keep you from being nervous or distracted.

2. Study the Materials

Each test relies on a variety of different source materials. Knowing what these are, and reviewing them, is a vital key to success. PSI offers candidate information bulletins for every area. In the section you are looking to specialize in you can find a list of study materials. Many of the questions used on the examination are sourced from these reference materials, but will also contain questions that deal with trade knowledge or general industry practices. So knowing some terms in general is important, but using the reference materials will further prepare you for what you’ll see on your individual test.

3. Take Practice Tests

PSI also provides practice tests for whatever test you’ll be taking. The great thing about this is that you get to apply your studies and get real results before taking the actual examination. Practice tests are taken online, and you are given your score at the end. PSI also offers feedback on the strengths and weaknesses you presented during the practice examination. Practice tests average about $20.

4. Know the Structure of the Test

On the day of the test show up 30 minutes early. There will be some preliminary paperwork to fill out and you will need to provide proof of identification. It’s also mentioned that you can’t bring anything into the testing area, except your ID. Typically the test center will seat 10 people at individual computers. Before you take the actual test you will be shown the exam tutorial. This tutorial is also available on the PSI website. Study the tutorial, and then go over it again when you take your examination so that it will be completely locked in your brain. It’s important to realize that there’s no penalty for a wrong answer. Instead of just leaving questions unanswered, it’s recommended to give an answer for each question no matter what. However, you can mark the questions you don’t know, and come back to them after you’ve answered everything else. Furthermore, before the real test begins you will be given a few practice questions to ensure that you understand the structure of the test and the testing system itself. These aren’t timed, and the clock won’t start until you land on the first question.

As referenced earlier, knowing all of this before hand, and committing it to memory will make you familiar with your surroundings. Coming into a situation that you are only seeing for the first time will only slow you down, and can make you anxious and forgetful. By knowing what you have to do, and then coming into the situation that you’ve prepared for, you’re more likely to stay composed and steadily work through all the problems.

For additional tips on what to expect on your state insurance exam, feel free to visit Top Insurance License Exam Tips.

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