CPCU: Exam Prep Tips for a Career Making Distinction

As professionals, we continually look for ways to improve our resumes and set ourselves apart from our job competition. If you are in the insurance industry, or interested in joining it, one of the best ways to distinguish yourself from other job candidates is to complete the Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU) designation.

CPCU is a professional designation in property-casualty insurance and risk management. Achieving the designation requires completion of eight courses, administered by The Institutes, covering topics such as risk management, insurance operations, business law, finance and accounting, property insurance, and liability insurance. A designee must pass an exam on each topic and choose between a personal insurance and a commercial insurance concentration. The CPCU designation is widely considered the most renowned designation offered in the insurance industry.

Lindsay Brubaker, an EKU Risk Management and Insurance major, recently passed the CPCU 520: Insurance Operations exam. As an EKU student, Lindsay gets the added benefit of being able to waive two of the CPCU exams.  This benefit is offered to all EKU students through EKU’s participation in The Institutes’ collegiate study program.

With the ability to waive two exams, Lindsay has now finished three out of the eight exams for her CPCU designation.  As a recent exam participant, Lindsay shared the following tips to prepare for the exam:

Don’t delay
Take the corresponding course and finish the exam as soon as you can. Plan to spend six to eight weeks studying what the course covered prior to your exam.

Don’t skip
Read the entire textbook carefully. The exam asks a lot of detailed information that can be easily missed if you are not careful.

Take notes and be organized
A good memory is not enough. Make a habit of writing and organizing notes during the study process. Lindsay for example, created a binder of study materials that were carefully categorized and labeled.

CPCU study packages are readily available and typically include two sets of practice questions (with detailed explanations) and two sets of mock tests provided by a third party, at a cost of around $50. Linsey emphasized that practice questions with detailed explanation of why each choice was correct or not were extremely helpful.

Take the sample test
Mundane as it sounds; taking a test on a computer is a different experience from taking a test on a piece of paper. Download sample tests and you will be able to familiarize yourself with the testing system, including how to mark questions and come back for them. In the real exam, you may have a few spare minutes to go back and revisit questions.

Published on March 08, 2019