How To Pass The Life Insurance Exam? Step-by-Step Tutorial

Helen Skeates
Helen Skeates
12 min read

There are a few different routes you can take to become a life insurance salesperson, but they all require you to pass at least one exam. Earning a life insurance license is possible; such a license must be held either in conjunction with or independently of a health insurance license, depending on the state in which one wishes to engage in insurance business. If you wish to offer life insurance as part of your securities business, you’ll need to take and pass exams administered by FINRA and NASAA that cover a wide range of financial products.

Thinking about a career in insurance? Download our free eBook, Launching Your Insurance Career with Confidence, for advice and tips from 100+ insurance professionals.

Steps To Pass The Life Insurance Exam

Step 1: Learn Your State’s Requirements and Get the Exam Outline

Different states use various examination formats and have their own set of standards. Your initial step should be to contact the insurance department in your state (or the area in where you will be working) to learn about the necessary paperwork and licensing. Some states, for instance, mandate that prospective licensees first finish a course of study before being allowed to sit for the exam. Make sure you’ve met that prerequisite before registering for the test. Check with your state’s licensing board to see if you need a sponsor in order to take the exam. Finally, make sure you print out the state-specific exam blueprint.

How to Pass the Life Insurance Exam | StateRequirement

Step 2: Schedule Your Exam

In the majority of states, you can schedule your exam whenever you like. The websites of most states’ insurance departments have information on how to make appointments. To ensure adequate preparation time, plan your exam at least two weeks in advance. Exam registration fees can cost anywhere from $40 to $150, depending on the state.

Step 3: Have a Study Plan to Pass the Life Insurance Exam

You should plan on spending 35-40 hours studying for the exam. Studying at the last minute is not a good idea. Plan on devoting a significant amount of time over a period of weeks to your exam preparation. Create a study schedule that you can actually keep, and break it up into chunks that will give you adequate time to digest the content. Making a study schedule can keep you on track. Get ahead of the game and avoid the stress of last-minute cramming by using a certification in insurance study kit.

Step 4: Follow the State Exam Outline

The exam’s themes and their importance are detailed in the state outline. Here are the types of questions most commonly asked in life insurance exams:

  • Basic Information About Life Insurance
  • Coverage for the unexpected
  • Alternate forms of life insurance coverage, known as “riders,”
  • Expenses related to taxes and life insurance
  • Annuities
  • The tax implications of an annuity

Health insurance questions may appear on a combined test. There is a breakdown of how many questions will be on each segment of the test in the exam outline. Prioritizing your study time to cover the most ground will help you succeed in the long run, so focus on the sections with the most questions and the topics with the greatest weights. If you stick to that strategy, you should have better results.

Step 5: Prepare and Practice

You can improve your chances of passing a test by taking a study course. Learn at your own pace with your choice of books, audiobooks, or online courses. Furthermore, you should participate in mock examinations. These will show you where you stand in terms of comprehension and where more work is needed. If you take a practice test under timed conditions similar to the real exam, you can see if you’re on track to finish in the allocated time.

Step 6: Know the Exam Center Process

Even well-prepared students can be caught off guard by the unknown circumstances of exam day. See how long it will take you to get there and get a sense of the testing environment by paying a visit to the testing facility in advance. Each state has its own set of regulations for acceptable forms of identification to be used throughout the testing process, so it’s important to find out what those are ahead of time. Be there at least 30 minutes before your scheduled exam time. Expect to store your personal items in a locker before being shown to a testing cubicle. When you arrive at your designated testing area, a staff member will brief you on proper test-taking procedure.

Step 7: Stay Calm and Take the Exam

Listed below are some suggestions for answering exam questions:

  • Take your time reading the questions and getting the answers right. For the most part, queries will require specifics and qualifications. Avoid making guesses to fill in the holes and instead concentrate on what is actually being asked.
  • Find the questions you know the answer to and answer them first. If you find yourself stuck, move on and come back to it later.
  • Look for the inquiries you already know the answers to, and start there. Don’t get trapped; if you do, just move on.

After finishing the test, you will be given your score. If you do well, the state will provide you with application instructions. In some cases, you may need to wait a few days after taking a test before finding out whether or not you passed it at the testing location. If you do not succeed, do not worry; you will receive a detailed analysis of your weaknesses.

How To Pass The Life Insurance Exam: A Go-To Study Guide | EverQuote

How Do I Register for the Life Insurance Exam?

After finishing your required pre-licensing coursework, you will typically have 90 days to take the exam. Timelines for completing various requirements to earn a life insurance license vary by state and should be double checked.

Up to the last day before an exam, you can sign up for any day. If you want to take the test on a specific date, you should register as early as possible to increase the likelihood that that date will be accessible. You may have to repeat the course if you don’t take the exam within the first 90 days.

You will need the following in order to register for the examination:

  • Legal name in full
  • Location, contact info (telephone and email)
  • Birth Date
  • Examination Title
  • Date of examination and testing site requested
  • The National Producer Number (NPN) is included in the application confirmation email you will get after submitting your first application.

Special Testing Accommodations

If you need to request a quiet area, more time, or a break because you’re a nursing mother, you can do so by contacting the test administrator before you register for the exam. These modifications cannot be added to an already-completed registration, so please submit your request in advance. In addition to your request, please submit any relevant documents in support of your claim, such as a doctor’s note outlining your condition or a record of any prior accommodations you may have received.

What Should I Expect from the Life Insurance Exam?

The exam for life insurance is an online exam that must be taken in a proctored environment. We guarantee a calm, proctored testing environment with timely result reporting. Before your timed exam begins, you’ll have the chance to go through a testing instruction at your assigned station. In order to complete your application, your score is submitted directly to the relevant state office.

Day of the Test – Life Insurance Exam Requirements

Be sure to give yourself at least 30 minutes to go to the testing center and settle in before your exam begins. You can expect the exam proctor to go over the policies and procedures with you and conduct a visual inspection of any materials you bring into the testing room.

Bring the following items with you to the testing center:

  • There are two types of identification.
  • Admission Ticket for the Exam (if applicable in your state)
  • Certification that you have completed the required coursework for your license.

Each form of ID must bear a legible signature, but only one must feature a photograph. A driver’s license, passport, or military ID are examples of common types of identification. Your identity documents must be current and not expired.


Get together all of your exam supplies a few days ahead of time. The name on your identity card must exactly match the name on your test registration.

  • Course Notes
  • Paper and pencils
  • Sturdy outerwear
  • Cell phone
  • Talking on the phone
  • Headwear, such as hats and scarves

Lockers will be supplied for you to store personal belongings such as car keys. Turn off cell phones and other electronics before putting them away. If at all possible, you should not bring any forbidden objects or valuables inside the testing facility.

You will have the opportunity to complete a computer lesson at your testing station before your exam begins. Breaks during the test may require you to scan your hand with the testing center’s security equipment before and after the break. This will guarantee that you are the only one taking the exam. You will not be permitted to access your belongings during breaks without prior authorization from your supervisor.

A formal score report will be given to you when you have finished your exam. Your success or failure will be noted. The state licensing board will also be informed of your score.

What Happens When You Pass the Life Insurance Exam?

If you’ve completed a test and been given the passing grade of PASS, you did well! Your final score will be sent to the state together with your application for a life insurance license. If you do well on the exam, you can move on to the next phase of applying for your life insurance license. Fingerprinting, a background check, and submitting an application are some of the most common steps, however they may differ by state.

Your application will be reviewed after you submit it. If your license is authorized, you’ll receive an email and a digital copy shortly afterward. Don’t forget to print this out and keep a copy on hand as you begin your life insurance agent profession.

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Other Required Licensing for a Life Insurance Agent

Additional tests from FINRA and NASAA are required if you want to market and sell securities as part of a life insurance plan. Series 6, Series 63, and Series 7 are examples. As a corollary, you will need to take and succeed on the Securities Industry Essentials (SIE) test. If you used our study guides to pass the life insurance exam, you should have no trouble acing the other licensure exams as well.

What Happens If You Fail the Life Insurance Exam?

Your score report will detail the areas in which you performed poorly on the life insurance exam if you do not pass. This can help you concentrate on what you need to learn before you retake the test. One option to help you focus on your weaknesses and have your questions answered is to enroll in a live online study course.

The life insurance exam is one that can be retaken. Each state has its own rules for how often an applicant can retake an exam before being required to repeat the prerequisite course. If you wait too long to arrange your first test try, you will have fewer retake options before having to retake your pre-licensing education course, which is typically 90 days after you complete the course.

It’s A Wrap!

Following these guidelines, you should have no trouble acing the life insurance exam. When you donate, they’ll let you know and send along processing information. After a few days, your insurance will be cancelled. If you want my advice, read up on the reasons why insurance is such a good idea.

Helen Skeates

Helen Skeates

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