The Texas Life And Health Insurance License Is Attainable With Proper Study
I am a health insurance broker by trade. The company I work for specializes in group health and welfare benefits. Our clients are all over the country, but since I am based in Texas, I am required to hold a Texas insurance license. This license is good for life, accident, health, and HMO insurance. Below, I will explain how I studied for the exam. I have previously chronicled the process for taking the exam in a separate article.
*Note: This was in 2009. Some rules or processes may have changed since then. Please comment below if you have any questions.
The idea of having to obtain a Texas insurance license was daunting at first. Trying to determine the process of obtaining the license did not help matters. The first step was to figure out how I was going to study for the exam. I went to Kaplan University's website to get some answers. It turned out that I could take a 3 day, all day course or I could self-study through a study guide that was available both hardcopy and online.
Because I did not have the time to take 3 days off of work and it wasn't extremely urgent for me to obtain the license, I opted for the self-study version. The positives of the self-study was that the course was about $150 cheaper than the in-class sessions. Also, I had a year before I would lose access to the online study material, so I could easily go at my own pace. However, that turned out to be a negative. After getting off to a nice start and dedicating about an hour a day to the self-study, I eventually put it aside for a few months. I did eventually make it back and finished the course before I lost online access.
If you decide to do the self-study, be aware that there is a lot of material to cover. Your eyes will start to glaze over after reading that much about insurance. What I did is make sure that I covered at least one section of the material every day. Each section was followed by a few questions to help me review what I just read. At the end of every major section there was a longer quiz.
Something I didn't take full advantage of until the end of my study was the exam syllabus and exam content outline that can be found online. These outlines can help you manage your study time by showing you about how many questions for each section will be on the test. It was very helpful to find out that a section I didn't fully understand was not predominantly featured on the exam. I could try to build a basic understanding of the material and move on.
Another thing to keep in mind is to keep the hardcopy study book close by at all times. The online course will follow the book almost word for word, but there are places where the two deviate. There were a couple of times where the online course had me confused only to find out that the online course skipped a section that was covered in the book. Also, since the self-study can take months, it was helpful to have the book around to refer back to in case I forgot a concept that I was introduced to three months previously.
If you pace yourself appropriately, you can easily finish the self-study material in a couple of months. A bonus of the online self-study is that there are several practice tests available. I would highly suggest taking as many of these as possible. I took a few open-book and then began to take them without using any help. What I found is that the online practice tests are very difficult. I had trouble staying above 70%, but that ended up being a great thing.
Because I had trouble passing the practice tests, I continued to take the practice tests until I felt that I was doing as well as I possibly could. When I went to take the real exam I passed with ease. During the first break I realized there had only been one question that I did not know. The difficulty of the practice tests really prepared me for the actual test.
In the end I was happy I did the self-study even though it took me a year to get through the material as opposed to 3 days for the in-class course. Because I self-studied I covered EVERY topic VERY thoroughly. The in-class courses tend to race through everything and not give any depth to the topics being covered. I wanted to make sure I only had to pay for and take the Texas insurance license exam once. The self-study allowed me to do that.
Insurance is a career field that will never go away. There will always be a need for all types of insurance. The first step to a career in insurance is to get your insurance license. With proper study habits and good discipline, you can take that step by passing your exam. Good luck!