Are you thinking about beginning a career as an insurance agent? If you are, the first step is getting your Property & Casualty Insurance license. This will allow you to sell and service personal policies (auto, home, etc.) and commercial policies (business owner’s, worker’s compensation, etc.). Getting licensed requires 24 hours of education, which are earned during a 3-day class, passing a 150-question exam, and submitting an application to the state for approval. This may sound like an intimidating process (I know that I was intimidated when I received the huge textbook in the mail and realized how much information I would need to know)! However, with the right mindset and a good study plan, getting your license is a completely achievable goal. With that in mind, here are my top 5 tips for getting your Property & Casualty License:
1. Read the book before going to your class.
When you first crack open the textbook, you might feel like you’re reading a foreign language. However, reading the book is the best way to build your knowledge base for the exam. If there’s a concept you don’t understand, make a note to ask your instructor about it during class, or ask one of your licensed co-workers to review it with you. This will give you a solid foundation to build on while you’re studying.
2. Take detailed notes during class and review them when you get home each night.
Your classroom instructor is one of the most valuable resources that you have to pass your exam. Pay close attention during their lectures and take as many notes as you can throughout the 3-day course. After you get home each night, review your notes and see if there’s anything you’re still confused about. If you run into something, make sure to ask your instructor for clarification or to provide you with a real-world example of the topic so you can get a good handle on it.
3. Give yourself as much time as you need to prepare for the exam.
The most important thing to remember is that not everybody is the same when it comes to studying and test-taking. Just because your co-worker was ready to take their exam a few days after their class, doesn’t mean that you have to do the same thing. Your education credits are valid for a year after you earn them, so take your exam in a time frame that works for you.
4. Make a solid study plan.
Once you schedule your exam, build a study schedule for yourself for the time leading up to it. I took my exam about 2 weeks after completing the class. During those two weeks, I tried to study for at least an hour every night to make sure I could cover each chapter in the book. Also, take advantage of the study tools that are given to you. There are chapter review quizzes, an online portal with quizzes and practice exams, and a review packet that are provided through the class. I found all of them to be extremely helpful. Try to create some of your own study tools as well to help you retain the information according to your learning style. I used flash cards, thoroughly reviewed my notes, and asked my instructor to email me the Power Point that she used in class.
5. Take a deep breath and be confident!
It is completely understandable to be nervous for the exam. I was a wreck the night before I took it. However, once you get in there, trust in your knowledge and your studying. Read the questions carefully and keep a cool head. You have 3 hours to take the exam, so don't be afraid to mark questions to come back and review later. As long as you paid attention and reviewed the material, you will have given yourself everything that you need to pass the test.
With these tips and some hard work, you’ll have your license in no time and be on your way to an awesome career as an insurance agent!