Common Sense Study Tips

I am often asked, What is the best way to study for the test? Over the years, I have found the following tips helpful in passing an exam.

First of all, get a handle on the Scope of the test. There is absolutely no need to study things that are outside the parameters of the exam when you are beginning.

In this regard, the Insurance Licensing Candidate Handbook contains an outline of the current exam content. It is available from the testing company Pearson VUE.

Next, keep your studying Focused. When you focus on the specific topics on the exam outline, then you are able to make sure you are covering all the necessary topics.

Focusing on the major points associated with each outline topic will keep you from chasing down rabbit trails that are not on the exam. Do not stray away from the actual exam material.

By all accounts, it helps to take a crash course from a reputable training center. In my seminar, we systematically go through the exam outline topic-by-topic. We learn those testing points that we know will be on the exam.

You will benefit by having the information presented to you in a formal manner where your focus is solely on the exam content.

In the classroom, there are no distractions, no family to attend to, and no employer interrupting your study time. You have the entire day to focus on one thing: learning enough to pass your exam the first time.

You are learning from someone who knows the material, knows the exam, and is an open book for any questions you may have.

Get a study buddy to help prepare. This can be someone at work who is currently studying or who has already passed the exam. Quiz each other. Try to stump the other person. You can even hand the material to a family member who is not even in the business and say, Here, quiz me!

It seems that children especially take delight in trying to stump their parents. On the other hand they can also be very encouraging.

When you make a game of it, studying is much less stressful and more enjoyable.

The need for advance preparation seems to vary among students. Some students could read all the manuals ever written before coming to class and still not feel prepared. Others just register for the crash course. They use only the classroom materials and do just fine.

Reading the actual policies on which you will be tested is of great benefit if you have access to the current version as stated on the study outline. Although they are legal contracts written by lawyers, they contain many of the phrases and terms used by the exam writers.

As the exam has become more difficult, the trend has been toward more students reading something before class to get over the initial hurdle of insurance terms and policy components.

It is easiest to read a study manual in bits-and-pieces rather than try to conquer a whole chapter or manual in a single marathon. Carry the manual with you and sneak-a-peek when you have those odd spare moments.

If you register for the classroom seminar, you will receive a study manual the day of class. Register

If you wish to self-study, the manuals are available to order online. Order

Randall M. Costello, CMA, CPA has been teaching thousands of students to pass their insurance exams since 1986.