Best Life Insurance Licensing Exam Prep Courses A Comprehensive Guide to Life Insurance Exam Prep Courses in 2020
How to Find the Best Life Insurance Exam Prep Course for You
For a career in life insurance sales, you must first pass the life insurance license exam in your state. This comprehensive test measures your understanding of life insurance policies and the regulations that govern them. Most states require you to complete a set number of education hours before you can take the exam, and that’s where life insurance exam prep courses come in. There are many options out there, so we put together this guide to the best life insurance exam prep courses to help simplify your search.
Our team of experts compared 20 of the most popular life insurance exam prep courses to see which provide the greatest benefit to students. We only focused on companies that offered online classes because we wanted to keep our recommendations open to everyone. But you may also want to check if there are any in-person courses available in your local area. Each course was evaluated based on its study materials, student support and overall comprehensiveness. We also spoke to former students of each program to get their insights into what worked and what didn’t.
After analyzing all the data, three companies stood out from the rest. Kaplan was our top pick because its courses are thorough and easy to follow and its packages allow you a lot of flexibility to choose the materials you need. You may prefer one of our other finalists, however, so we recommend checking out all of our reviews before you make your decision.
A Full List of Every Life Insurance Exam Prep Course Worth Considering
Our three finalists are listed below, along with the other 17 companies we considered. Click on the links to read our reviews and to learn more about the available courses on the company websites.
The 3 Best Life Insurance Exam Prep Courses
|Kaplan University||$12.00 - $359.00|
|A.D. Banker & Company||$14.95 - $350.95|
|National Online Insurance School||$125.00|
The Other 17 Life Insurance Exam Prep Courses We Reviewed
|America's Professor||Visit Site|
|American Investment Training||Visit Site|
|CPMI Professional Development||Visit Site|
|Enterprise Training School||Visit Site|
|FIRE Solutions||Visit Site|
|Infinity Schools||Visit Site|
|Insurance Agents & Brokers||Visit Site|
|Insurance Career Training||Visit Site|
|Insurance License Express||Visit Site|
|Latitude Online Insurance School||Visit Site|
|LyteSpeed Learning||Visit Site|
|Securities Training Corporation||Visit Site|
The Most Important Features: Access, Comprehensiveness, Materials and Support
We determined that the most important things to consider when choosing a life insurance exam prep course are access, comprehensiveness, materials and support.
Each of our finalists offer on-demand or live online courses that you can attend from anywhere. Kaplan University and A.D. Banker & Company also host in-person courses in major cities across the country. We looked at how often each company offered live classes and made sure there were options to fit many different schedules. In today’s busy world, mobile access is also important, and our three finalists all offer mobile-friendly online tools that can be viewed from any smartphone or tablet.
We made sure all of our recommendations are state-approved by insurance departments so that they will count toward the educational requirements you must meet in order to sit for your life insurance exam. Then, we made sure that each program provides a thorough grounding in the material to be covered on the exam, including state-specific information about the laws governing the use and sale of life insurance where you live. All of our finalists performed extremely well in this category.
A typical life insurance exam prep course includes a study manual, flashcards, videos and a question bank. The best ones will also give you access to full-length practice tests that you can use to measure your progress and determine which areas you need to review further. These study materials are especially important for self-paced courses where that’s all you get. National Online Insurance School did the best here with an unlimited number of simulated exams and a Pass Report feature that tracks your progress over time.
Live courses give you access to knowledgeable instructors who can answer your questions as they arise. Many self-study courses leave students to fend for themselves, but the best ones provide a means of reaching out, usually by email. Kaplan University and A.D. Banker stand out in this category for their pass guarantees. If you complete the course and still fail your life insurance exam, the companies will refund you the cost of your course materials. There are certain requirements you must meet in order to take advantage of the guarantees, however, so make sure you read the fine print before you sign up.
Choosing the Right Life Insurance Exam Prep Course Delivery Type for You
There are three main types of life insurance exam prep courses, and the right one for you depends on your budget, schedule, location and preferences. We’ve outlined each of them below in order from least to most expensive.
- Self-Paced: You buy the course materials and study then when it’s convenient for you.
- Live Online: You join a virtual classroom and learn alongside other students from a remote instructor.
- Live In-Person: You learn in a traditional classroom environment along with other students.
- Cheapest classes
- Create your own schedule
- Possible to cram
- Must keep yourself on track
- No personalized instruction
- Little to no instructor help
What It’s Best For
A self-paced course is best for self-directed learners who enjoy being able to move at their own pace. It’s also ideal for those whose busy schedule prevents them from attending a live class.
- Join from anywhere
- Individualized help when you need it
- Schedule keeps you on track
- Less interactive than in-person courses
- Technical difficulties could arise
Who It’s Best For
A live online class is perfect if you prefer learning in a structured environment, but there aren’t any in-person classes in your area or you can’t commit to traveling to one.
- Total immersement
- Familiar classroom setting
- Live interaction with others
- Regular travel required
- Cannot adjust schedule
- More expensive than online programs
Who It’s Best For
A live in-person course is best for those who prefer an interactive and immersive learning environment. This type of program may not be available where you live.
Full Reviews of the Best Life Insurance Exam Prep Courses
Kaplan University Review
Best for comprehensive instruction.
Kaplan University has become a popular choice for life insurance exam prep thanks to its thorough study programs and flexible purchasing options that enable you to buy only the materials you want. It offers on-demand courses nationwide and in-person courses in 12 states. Each program comes with dedicated email support and follows the company’s tried-and-tested Prepare, Practice, Perform learning strategy. Unfortunately, there are no live online classes, so if you’re interested in these courses, you should check out A.D. Banker & Company.
What to Expect
Kaplan’s in-person courses are easily the most comprehensive in the industry. While most other companies only offer one- to two-day workshops, Kaplan’s life & health insurance classes run a full four days, leaving you 31 hours to review key concepts, work on practice problems and get your questions answered. If you’re only interested in life insurance, you can opt for the shorter, 2.5-day life insurance only course. New classes are starting every few days, so you shouldn’t have too much trouble finding one that fits your schedule. In-person courses are currently available in Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New York, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Texas and Wisconsin.
There are three self-paced courses available to those who prefer to study on their own. The Basic Online Course includes an on-demand course, an online textbook, the InsurancePro QBank with performance tracker, two full-length practice exams and a state law supplement with information exclusive to your state. The Basic Print Course is essentially the same, except the textbook and state law supplement are physical textbooks to accommodate those who don’t like to do a lot of reading online. The Essentials Course provides the best value with all the materials from the Basic course, plus a video library and audio review. Most of these materials can also be purchased on their own, but you’ll get a better price if you bundle them. All courses include free updates for the duration of your four-month access period and email support if you run into questions.
Kaplan takes you through the material in three phases. In the Prepare phase, you spend most of your time going over the concepts and vocabulary you are likely to be tested on. Then, you move to the Practice phase where you apply the knowledge you’ve learned to practice questions. You’ll get feedback on each one to understand why an answer is right or wrong, and your performance is tracked so you can home in on the areas you need to go back and review again. Finally, there’s the Perform phase. This section also deals primarily with practice questions, but they’re presented in the form of a simulated exam where you aren’t shown the answers until the end. This helps you to gauge whether you’re ready for the real exam.
Kaplan University Details
|Life Only QuickSheet||$12.00|
|Life & Health QuickSheet||$15.00|
|Life Only Flashcards||$14.00|
|Life & Health Flashcards||$19.00|
|Life Only InsurancePro QBank||$59.00|
|Life & Health InsurancePro QBank||$79.00|
|Life & Health Basic Print Course||$109.00|
|Life Only Basic Online Course||$109.00|
|Life & Health Basic Online Course||$129.00|
|Life Only Essential Course||$149.00|
|Life & Health Essential Course||$169.00|
|Life Only Premium Course||$289.00|
|Life & Health Premium Course||$359.00|
A.D. Banker & Company Review
Best for flexible courses.
A.D. Banker & Company is a good fit for students who want a hand in designing their own study program. You can purchase almost all of its course materials individually or in a number of different bundles until you have exactly what you need. Self-paced and live online courses are available everywhere, and in-person classes are available in 11 states across the country. All courses include prompt instructor support and a guarantee to pass, provided you meet the eligibility requirements.
What to Expect
The live courses consist of five hours of instruction in life insurance policies and regulation. If you’re also planning on selling health insurance, you can bundle the two courses together. The health insurance workshop is also five hours long and takes place the following day. Courses are taught once or twice per month, usually on a Monday and Tuesday. Live online courses are available everywhere, but the in-person courses are only for residents of Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Maryland, Missouri, Nebraska and Virginia.
Every course type comes with a choice of three different packages. The Silver package is the most basic and includes A.D. Banker’s study manual and a live or on-demand course if that’s what you’ve signed up for. The Gold package contains all this, plus a question bank with over 1,300 questions. You can use this to target specific areas where you need improvement or to create full-length simulated exams. The Platinum package is the most robust, including all the features of the Gold package, plus an on-demand video library, flashcards and audio lightning facts to help you review key concepts from each chapter. All of these materials can be purchased individually as well or added a la carte to the Silver or Gold packages. You can review all the material as often as you’d like during your two-month access period.
All programs, except the self-study course, include free email support from licensed life insurance specialists. You can send them a question through your online account and you will receive a detailed response, usually within a day or two. These courses also include A.D. Banker’s Guarantee to Pass. If you complete the company’s Guarantee Exam with an 80 percent or better within three days of failing your life insurance exam, the company will issue you a full refund for the course materials.
A.D. Banker & Company Details
|Life & Health Online Audio Lightning Facts||$14.95|
|Life Online Flashcards||$24.95|
|Life & Health Online Flashcards||$29.95|
|Life & Health Flashcards||$39.95|
|Life Practice Exams SuperSet||$49.95|
|Life Video Lecture||$69.95|
|Life & Health Video Lecture||$69.95|
|Self-Study Course Silver||$79.95|
|Self-Study Course Gold||$119.90|
|Self-Study Course Platinum||$201.80|
|Online Course Silver||$129.95|
|Online Course Gold||$169.90|
|Online Course Platinum||$231.85|
|Web Class Silver||$149.95|
|Web Class Gold||$189.90|
|Web Class Platinum||$228.95|
|Classroom Course Silver||$229.95|
|Classroom Course Gold||$251.95|
|Classroom Course Platinum||$350.95|
National Online Insurance School Review
Best for independent learners.
National Online Insurance School has one of the best self-study programs in the industry, and it claims it can prepare you to take your exam in as little as one week. The course is taught through engaging video lessons and interactive illustrations, and when you’re ready to review, you can try out the exam simulator, which includes an unlimited number of practice tests. All your progress is tracked, so you can see where you need improvement. And instructors are standing by seven days a week to help you if you run into questions.
What to Expect
All of your learning takes place in National Online Insurance School’s streamlined online learning portal. Everything in here is mobile-friendly, so if you need to transition to a tablet or smartphone and back again, you can do so without losing your place. Lessons are a combination of text, videos and interactive illustrations that take you through the basic laws and principles of life insurance. Each lesson and its contents are visible in a sidebar and your progress through the course, including lesson study time, is tracked in your Pass Report. There’s also a search feature if you need to find something quickly and a built-in glossary of important terms.
Each lesson ends with a short quiz, but if you need more practice, you can turn to the exam simulator. This contains hundreds of practice questions sorted into categories that match each lesson. You can choose which types of questions you want to review, or go with all questions when you’re ready to take a simulated exam. At the end of each quiz, you’ll get to review your answers, along with a detailed explanation of the questions you got wrong. This information is also recorded in your Pass Report to help you track your progress over time.
National Online Insurance School’s licensed and state-certified instructors are standing by seven days a week to help you with any questions, and you can reach out to them as many times as you need to during your three-month enrollment period. There is an Ask an Instructor button on every page. When you come across something you don’t understand, just click it and type your question and an instructor will get back to you promptly, usually within a day.
National Online Insurance School Details
|Life Insurance Course||$125.00|
|Life & Health Insurance Course||$125.00|
Frequently Asked Questions About the Life Insurance Exam
Our goal is to create a comprehensive resource to individuals interested in taking the life insurance exam. We spoke to licensed insurance salesmen who had recently passed the test to learn more about the questions they had prior to taking it. We’ve answered some of the most common ones below. If there’s anything we missed, feel free to let us know.
How do I register for the life insurance exam?
Insurance agent licensing is managed at the state level, so each state will have slightly different procedures when it comes to registering for your exam. The first step is to make sure you fulfill all of your state’s requirements in order to sit for the exam. Usually, this includes completing a designated number of prelicensing education hours. The exact amount varies by state. Make sure the prep course you choose meets the standards for your state. You may be exempt from these requirements if you carry certain certifications like Certified Employment Benefit Specialist (CEBS) or Certified Insurance Counselor (CIC). For complete details about the requirements in your state, visit its Department of Insurance website.
Once you’ve satisfied the requirements, you can create an account with your state Department of Insurance to register for the exam. You must have a certificate of completion from your life insurance exam prep course in order to sign up for the test. You must also pay the examination fee at this time. Fees vary by state and must be paid every time you sit for the exam.
Most states partner with testing companies like Pearson VUE to administer the exam. Once your state approves you to take the exam, you can schedule a test at a date and time that’s most convenient for you. You can cancel or reschedule this exam at any time up until the test date. But remember, your certificate of completion is only good for one year, so you must take the exam within this timeframe.
When you arrive at the testing center, you must present your certificate of completion and a valid, government-issued photo ID to the exam proctor. You may also have to go through additional identity verification steps, including a test-day photo and a fingerprint scan. Be sure you arrive at the testing center early so you have time for all of this. You aren’t permitted to bring anything into the testing room with you, so a secure locker will be provided for storing your belongings during the exam. For a full list of the test-day procedures you’ll be expected to follow, visit your testing administrator’s website.
How is the life insurance exam scored?
The life insurance is a multiple-choice computer-based test, though the length of the exam varies by state. Most range from 1.5 to 2 hours with somewhere between 75 and 100 questions. Your exam may be longer if it is a combined health and life insurance exam. You can learn more about your state’s exam and view the content outline on its Department of Insurance website.
The passing score for all life insurance exams is 70 percent. You are awarded points for the questions you get right, but there is no penalty for incorrect answers. Use this number as your guide when studying and make sure you feel confident that you can consistently score a passing grade before you register for your exam.
Some states may include a handful of unscored pretest items on their exam as well. These are new questions that the test makers include to assess their difficulty and fairness. The ones that pass may appear in future versions of the test as a graded item. You won’t know which questions are the pretest questions while you’re taking the test, so do your best on all of them.
What if I fail the life insurance exam?
Average passing rates vary by state, but it’s not uncommon for test takers to fail on their first attempt. If this happens to you, don’t worry. You can take it again. Most states will allow you to take the exam a second time whenever you feel ready to try again. If you fail the exam multiple times, you may start running into waiting periods. For example, Alabama mandates that individuals who have failed the life insurance exam twice must wait 90 days before they can try again. And Florida limits its residents to a maximum of five attempts during a rolling 12-month period. Look up the rules for your state on the Department of Insurance website.
When you receive your reports, you should get a score report that breaks down how you did in each of the major subject areas tested on the exam. Let this guide your studies as you go back and review the content before your second attempt. You should look over all the material again, but pay special attention to the areas where you really struggled on your first exam.
When you’re ready to try again, you can set up a new appointment with your testing administrator at a time that’s convenient for you. You will have to pay the examination fee again, but you won’t have to reregister with your state Department of Insurance as long as your prelicensing education certificate of completion is less than a year old.