If you are thinking of getting your insurance producer license(s) in the state of Washington, there are just a few steps to follow. About 75% of people studying to pass their insurance exams already have committed to work for a specific insurance company, or at least have talked to a manager at a company and were told to pass their exams first, before an offer of employment will be extended.
Whether you know what company you will be working for, or if you are still doing research, it is always a good plan to pass your tests right away. This is true especially if you have not committed yourself to any one company as of yet, because once you pass your insurance exams, you instantly become much more marketable since this is one huge hurdle the company no longer will have to worry about.
Attending class with an instructor present to ask questions of and who will clarify complicated topics is the very best choice, although a lot of people’s schedules just don’t permit them to take a live lecture class. Once you have decided on your study method, register for class or order your study materials.
Test anxiety is huge for a lot of us out there. These issues can stem way back into adolescence, or the anxiety can be present because it might have been a very long time since you have taken a challenging exam. There are several ways in which you can study effectively and be as calm as possible when you arrive at the testing site.
Follow this Psychology 101 advice:
Cramming can produce speedy, short-term learning and a feeling of confidence, although this study method does not lead to long-term memorization. With the insurance exams, however, it is recommended that you take the exam no later than 5 days after you have attended class so that the lecture materials are fresh in your mind. If you are studying online, at your own pace, then this rule does not necessarily apply.
Also, it is better to practice retrieval of learned information (as any exam will demand) than merely to reread material (which may lull you into a false sense of mastery). Online insurances classes are set up in this fashion: you read one chapter/section, then take the online quiz that corresponds with that section.
When studying, it is important to find a very quiet place to read and take the practice tests. Your goal should be to have your study environment match as closely as possible to the real testing environment (complete silence) so that you can recall information more readily.
The tip to remember is: the more alike your study and testing environment are, the easier your recall will be.
You will need one fingerprint card and it must be submitted electronically to the Washington State Patrol.
- Electronic fingerprints for license candidates are mandatory. You can schedule your fingerprint service for the same time as you take your exam at the testing center.
- Please call Identogo / Morpho Trust @ 888-771-5097 or go to www.identogo.com to arrange for your fingerprint service. You must pay for the
service ahead of time with a credit card when you make your appointment.
- Your cost: about $50.00 for the fingerprinting.
- Candidates are not issued a license until their background check is completed.
If you have an existing insurance license, you will not need to be printed again. Prints taken for any other reason (securities, real estate, etc.) will not qualify.
Schedule your exam either at the test center or do it at home. If testing at the test center, leave yourself extra travel time on the day of the exam, just in case you run into traffic or have a hard time finding the testing location. You want to avoid any situations that will cause you unnecessary stress.
If testing remotely, leave plenty of time to verify your computer works with the required software, your internet is working, and you can show the room to the proctor. Please note, you will need to do this at any point required by the proctor. Additionally, do not read outloud…even silently, automatic incorrect answer.
Once you are finished taking your exams, the testing company tells you immediately if you passed or failed. If you have a company that you will be working for, provide the exam sheet to them and they will almost always send in all of the licensing paperwork to the state on your behalf. If you have not chosen which insurance company you want to work for as of yet, just send in all of the appropriate licensing paperwork to the state and a license will be issued to you. You will not be able to solicit, sell, or discuss insurance coverages until you are appointed by an insurance company, but obtaining the license is a great first step.
In summary, if you are planning on getting your Life and Disability (Health) insurance producer licenses for example, plan on a lecture class running 4 full days, then study for 3-5 days thereafter, and take the state exam immediately. The point in doing this process rapidly is so that you do not forget important material that might have been emphasized by the instructor. An average length, from class time to testing, should take around 2 weeks.
If you will be self-studying online, then the window is a little wider since you might only have time to study for a few hours a day, especially if you are switching careers and are still working full-time or have a family. In this case however, it is still encouraged to hold yourself to a time frame of no more than 4 weeks to study and take the state exam.
If you have confidence in yourself and study hard, you will be able to pass the insurance producers exam and get your license in Washington State.