This is a very common issue for our students with Real World insurance experience, as well as students who are getting input from friends with Real World insurance experience.
The Washington State insurance licensing exam (aka the Test World) is developed using a set of standard insurance forms which are not specific to any company. Often, companies in the Real World have completely different procedures, making it difficult for students with past experience. This becomes a pretty big hurdle for some students to get over. When studying for the insurance licensing exam, you must separate any Real World experience from what you are learning in the Test World.
Not that Real World students are at a disadvantage; on the contrary, students with an understanding of insurance terminology have a great advantage.
We often receive phone calls from students asking which is correct, the Real World or the Test World information? If you are trying to pass the Washington State insurance licensing exam, the Test World is correct, period. It may not be what makes sense to you, but it’s what determines whether you pass the insurance licensing exam or not. When you are taking an insurance pre-licensing course, you are in the Test World.
Do your best to stay in the Test World while preparing for the exam!
Washington Specific Insurance Licensing Exam Information
What kind of questions do they put on the Washington insurance test?
All of the Washington insurance exam questions are multiple choice. There are no fill-ins (no need to memorize) and no essay (no need to be ready to explain anything) questions.
Chance of loss is the definition of:
Under Washington insurance law, the Insurance Commissioner is elected by the voters for a:
a. 1 year term
b. 2 year term c. 4 year term
d. 10 year term
A multiple choice test will usually test heavily on definitions (terminology) and numbers (dollar amounts and number of days).
The exam is drawn from a large pool of questions – you will have a different set of questions than the person sitting next to you. If you retake the exam, expect to see very few of the questions repeated on the next exam. Students report that the exams vary greatly in terms of the number of questions on any given topic.
Students report that about 1/3 of the questions are terminology (definitional) questions, 1/3 are number/day questions, and 1/3 are questions where you have to apply the knowledge to reason through a practical situation (story problems – usually short).
What score do I need to pass the Washington insurance exam?
There are 4 basic exams given in most states – Life, Disability (Health), Property, and Casualty. In some states, the exams are combined (Property & Casualty). Some states, including Washington, have a Personal Lines exam for agents selling only homeowner or auto insurance.
In Washington, you need a score of 75% to pass each exam. But, each exam consists of two parts – the “national” insurance section and the “state rules” section. You will need a score of 75% on each section – the two scores are not averaged together.
Test takers who fail part of a combination exam (05 or 06) are required to retake only the part they failed (General section or State section). However, if one part is failed, candidates must retake the combination exam in order to receive credit for the passed section.
Are questions grouped by category?
Our students always want to know if the questions regarding indemnification (for example) are grouped together. No, questions and topics are randomly scrambled, but that never seems to be a problem for anyone.
What insurance exams are given in Washington and what do they cost?
Life & Disability Producer Combo
Property & Casualty Combo
*Personal checks and cash will not be accepted.
Where can I take the Washington insurance exam?
4th Saturday of the Month
Wednesday – Saturday
1st and 3rd Saturday of the Month
Tuesday – Saturday
Wednesday – Saturday
Thursday – Saturday
Saturday and one Friday per month
Tuesday – Saturday
*Locations and schedules are subject to change. Please call 1-800-274-8949 for up-to-date information.
**The Office of Insurance Commissioner recommends that test takers who take the examination at these test centers use the digital fingerprinting services available at the testing centers.
Where are the Washington Fingerprinting Services located?
Pearson VUE offers electronic fingerprinting ($15 Fee) to all candidates (whether or not they pass the examination) at the following test centers:
Wet fingerprinting is available at the Wenatchee test center.
To make fingerprinting reservations call 866-761-8069.
How do I sign up to take the Washington insurance exam?
We recommend that you call Pearson VUE (the testing company) at 1-800-274-8949. Be sure to call at least 3 days in advance of the date you plan to take the exam. The earlier you sign up, the better your chances of getting the test date of your choice.
What are the pre-licensing education requirements in Washington?
Each test taker must complete an approved course consisting of at least twenty (20) hours of instruction for each line of insurance (life, disability, property, personal lines or casualty) for which an examination is being taken. Make sure to take all certificates earned to the testing center when going in for examination!
Which Washington insurance test is the toughest?
Each insurance licensing exam presents its own challenge. Between Life and Disability (Health), students say that the Washington Disability (Health) insurance exam is the more difficult. Disability (Health) insurance policies are simply more complicated than life insurance policies.
The Property insurance exam is easier than the Casualty insurance exam. Property insurance deals with easy to understand issues – fire, flooding, earthquake, etc. On the other hand, Casualty insurance deals primarily with Liability insurance – protection against lawsuits. Casualty insurance is a more conceptual topic and one that is more difficult for students to grasp – particularly if you have never been sued.
The state portion of the Washington insurance exam is very detailed and presents its own challenges. The state topics tend to cover trivial details relating to complicated state regulations. None of this is easy, but that is why we work so hard to make the material both understandable and memorable.
This is a challenging exam. Put yourself on a strict schedule as you do your exam prep work. Be focused and disciplined as you do your insurance test prep.
Will I have adequate time to complete the Washington insurance test?
Yes. We have never had students say that they ran out of time to complete the exam. Most students finish in about half of the allotted time (up to 2 hours). The only students who ever report that they ran out of time were those who were trying to memorize questions in the event they had to repeat the exam.
Is the Washington insurance exam still given by the “paper and pencil” method?
No, this is a computerized exam. Virtually all of the students say the proctors were helpful, the room was quiet, and the computer worked well. The proctors will give you the opportunity to complete a practice exam to learn how to use the system. When you are done, you will NOT be given a copy of the exam, nor will you be given the opportunity to review particular questions and their answers. The exam will be scored immediately and you will know your results when you leave.
What is the best test prep method for the Washington insurance exam?
There is no alternative to knowing the material. There are no shortcuts to learning but there are more effective and less frustrating ways to learn. We recommend that you follow a 4-step process: