How to Pass a Life Insurance Exam (with Pictures)

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Step 4: Follow the State Exam Outline

The state outline for the exam has a list of the topics that will be covered and how they are weighted. These are the life insurance topics you are most likely to be tested on:

  • Life insurance general knowledge
  • Life insurance policies
  • Policy riders and options in life insurance coverage
  • Life insurance tax issues
  • Annuities
  • Annuity policy tax issues

If you are taking a combined exam, there will be health insurance topics as well. The exam outline also tells you the number of questions included in each section of the exam. You should concentrate on the sections with the most questions and the topics with the most weights so that you master what’s most important first. You have a better chance of success if you follow that plan.

Once I pass, how do I go about getting my Texas Life and Health insurance license?

The TDI will issue an insurance license to individuals who:

• Are at least eighteen (18) years old• Have passed the proper licensing examination (if required) and submit a completed application within twelve (12) months after the exam is passed• Submit a completed application with fee, and fingerprint receipt• Met all applicable license requirements• Have not committed an act for which a license may be denied, as defined under §4005.101 of the Texas Insurance Code and §1.502 of 28 Texas Administrative Code

You can apply electronically for your license as directed at after you have passed the exam. As mentioned above, your exam score report is only valid for 12 months from the date of issuance. If you don’t apply for your license within 12 months, the licensing exam must be taken again.

When will I know if I passed?

Depending on the state, you could know as soon as the test is over.

So how to you get through this? What’s the best way to prepare? Where can I find a best-in-class study guide?

Mometrix has a number of tools that can help you study for the Life & Health Exam.

Our comprehensive study guide has been researched by a team of professionals with years of experience helping educators prepare for exams just like this one. The guide provides specifics on how to tackle the questions you’ll be asked. And, if you’re worried at all about buying the guide, don’t worry. We offer a 100% risk-free, money-back guarantee.

Our large, easy-to-read flashcards help you learn through repetition, and the questions cover every content area of the exam. Not only that, the cards make it easy for a friend or relative to help quiz you on the questions you’ll need to know to pass the Life & Health Exam.

Practice Exams Are Very Helpful

One of the best ways to prepare for the Life and Health exam is by taking practice exams. Our Life and Health practice exams provide you with an accurate assessment of ‘exam readiness’ and will help identify your strengths and weaknesses.

ExamFX practice exams simulate the state exam experience – all to ensure you feel confident on exam day.

Along with practice exams, we also offer a Life and Health exam study guide, flash cards, and a tip sheet.

What type of preparation is required to take the Life and Health Insurance Exam?

You should get a high-quality, professional study guide, like the one here. A study guide like the one we provide is a key to success.

Step 7: Stay Calm and Take the Exam

Here are some tips for how to handle questions on the exam:

  • Read each question carefully and thoroughly before answering it. Most questions will have a lot of detail and qualifying information in them. Try to focus only on the information in the question and avoid making assumptions just to fill in the blanks.
  • 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.
  • Don’t leave any questions blank. Guessing the answer still gives you a 25% chance of getting it right. And, If you can eliminate any of the multiple-choice options that you know to be incorrect, you will have any even better chance at guessing the correct answer.

Once you complete the exam, you will get the results. If you pass, you will receive instructions on how to apply for your license with the state. You may have to wait a few days for the testing center to report that you passed before you can apply for your license. If you fail, you will get a diagnostic report so you know what areas to focus on the next time.

What is on the Life Insurance Exam?

While the life insurance exam is state-specific, there is a lot of content that is tested in all fifty states. The life insurance license exam is often divided into a general life insurance section and a state-specific section. You can structure your studying to cover all of the topics included in your state’s content outline. Many states cover these items.

Life Insurance Exam Content Outline

  • Types of Life Insurance
  • Annuities
  • Policy Provisions, Options, and Other Features
  • General Life Insurance Topics
  • State Section

Types of Life Insurance

Different types of life insurance include the term, whole life, endowments, premium variations, universal life, and combination policies. Within each type of insurance, you should understand the general structure, features, and when that type of policy is recommended. Sample items from the North Carolina life insurance exam content outline include:

I. Types of individual life insurance

A. Term 

1. General nature 

2. Basic types of term contracts 

3. Special features 

a. Renewability 

b. Convertibility

B. Whole life insurance 

C. Endowment

The content outline continues to include more testable information, but this gives you an idea of how in-depth each section goes.


You will need to know the basic contract structure of an annuity. In this section of the test, expect to see questions about setting up an annuity-based life insurance policy, how benefits are determined, and when benefits are paid. The Illinois life insurance exam content outline covers:

D. Annuities 

1. Single and flexible premium

2. Immediate and deferred

3. Fixed and variable

4. Indexed

Policy Riders, Provisions, Options, and Other Features

This section covers how life insurance policy contracts are structured, provisions that apply in certain circumstances (ex. suicide, misstatement of age, aviation, war, etc…), how to designate a beneficiary, and the different types of beneficiaries. You will also be asked about cash value and loans against a life insurance policy. The Colorado life insurance exam content outline lists the following as a sample of testable items:

II. Policy riders, provisions, options, and exclusions

A. Policy riders 

1. Waiver of premium and waiver of monthly deduction 

2. Guaranteed insurability 

3. Payor benefit 

4. Accidental death and/or accidental death and dismemberment 

5. Term riders 

6. Other insureds 

7. Long term care 

8. Return of premium

General Life Insurance Topics

The final section of the general life insurance content on the test covers a variety of topics that don’t quite fit under the other sections. These include group contracts, underwriting, and conversion, retirement plans, social security, tax implications of life insurance payouts, and legal concepts as they apply to life insurance contracts.

State Section

The majority of the state-specific section tests your knowledge of your state’s rules and regulations. These can include requirements for contract language, disclosures, and rules that pertain to the life insurance policy itself. It also covers licensing requirements for you, as the life insurance agent, as well as brokers, limited representatives, and adjusters. You may also be asked about continuing education requirements and available professional organizations in your state.

Schedule Your Exam

Your exam will be administered by one of the three national testing centers, Prometric, PSI, or Pearson VUE. Visit the state prelicensing requirement page to find your state’s testing provider and become familiar with testing policies and procedures. Schedule your exam early for the best selection of times and locations.

How To Pass Your Insurance Exams on the First Try

Now that you understand what is necessary to earn and keep a life and health insurance license, how do you go about tackling the exam? The goal for anyone taking a life and health insurance license exam is to pass it on the first try, but that doesn't always happen. Individuals that fail to pass it on the first try likely did not prepare well or gain a thorough understanding of what was ahead of them on the exam. Let's look at the format of the exam, as well as some tips and tricks on how to prepare successfully.

Format of the life and health insurance exam

The great thing about each state's life and health insurance exam is you can choose a date and time. Scheduling options will be dependent on the state’s department of insurance.

All testing takes place on a computer, but you won't need any specialized computer skills to pass the exam. Once you settle in for the test, you can expect between 100 to 150 multiple-choice questions. Again, the questions will depend on your particular state. Tests that combine life and health insurance tend to run a bit longer.

Passing score and passing rate

To pass each state life and health insurance exam, you need to earn a score of 70% or higher. A score of 70 is as good as a perfect score of 100 when it comes to earning a license. If you score below a 70, though, you'll need to take the exam again. 

The passing rate will vary depending on the test you take and the state you are within. The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) publishes data on pass rates by exam and by state. Generally speaking, the pass rate for life and health insurance exams hovers around 60% to 70%. 

The study recipe for success

The best method is to be formulaic in your approach to studying for the life and health insurance exam. Most agents will not succeed if they just read a book, only work on questions, or try to cram all information in at the end. Instead, be much more deliberate in your approach. 

The best approach to passing your life and health insurance license exam on the first try is to study, practice questions, evaluate, and repeat.

  • Study: There are many different ways you can study and prepare yourself for each state life and health insurance exam. Prep courses are available, as well as a series of study books that come complete with practice questions. Whatever method you go with, be sure to read and consume as much information as possible.
  • Practice questions: With new knowledge, it is time to see how you apply it to the questions on the exam. Practice question banks will be available through prep courses, as well as with study guides for each state’s exam. Taking practice questions based on each exam topic can help you see how well you're retaining information.
  • Evaluate: Are there specific areas of the life and health insurance exam topics where you are strong? Are there areas where you're still weak? Evaluate the results of your studying and practice questions to determine where you need to further hone your skills and knowledge.
  • Repeat: Now that you know your weak areas, focus on them with additional studying and further practice questions until you see improvement.

Decide on a target date and complete a practice exam

Decide on a target date for your exam. The flexibility that states offer allows you to set a date and prepare it in a way that works for you. Most individuals will take between 35 to 40 hours to fully prepare for their exam. The length of time you need to prepare will depend on how many hours each day you can commit. It's possible to schedule the exam two weeks out and get yourself ready if you can commit the study hours. If you're working a full-time job and have other commitments, though, you may need more time.

When you decide on your target date, strive to take a practice exam or two before the test date. Attempt to simulate the testing environment as much as possible, putting yourself in the mindset of how it will be on test day. Taking practice tests will also enable you to gain confidence and address any lingering problem areas.

Additional FREE Insurance Exam Prep Videos:

We also post insurance exam prep videos on our YouTube page to help those people that may need some additional help while studying for their Texas Life & Health license. You can find our page here and see some sample below: