What is the Iowa Insurance Exam Like?
Iowa has contracted with Pearson VUE, a testing service, to administer the Iowa insurance exams. The Iowa insurance licensing exam will test your knowledge and understanding of broad insurance concepts. The exam is also designed to challenge your reading comprehension, product knowledge, and test-taking skills. The following are key points about the exam format:
- Multiple Choice Questions. All examination questions are multiple-choice with 4 possible answers. The typical question is short – usually just one sentence followed by 4 answer choices. Although there are short “story” problems on the exam, even those are quite brief. Even though the trend among many test writers is for longer questions, you will be surprised by how short the questions are.
- Very Few Math Problems. There are very few math questions and the math problems on the exam are very straightforward. Basic addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division skills are all the math skills required. (Please review our Math Problems Super Sheet found in your online learning materials to master the math problems.) The testing company provides you with scratch paper, but they do not allow you to use a calculator while taking the exam. 180 Licensing will provide you with sample math problems so there will be no surprises at exam time.
- Read Key Words Carefully. Test questions are not designed to mislead. However, just like any other exam questions, misreading the questions will impact your score. Words such as ALL, NONE, EXCEPT are often used and, if misread, can dramatically impact your score.
- Question Types. About 80 percent of exam questions cover conceptual knowledge, while the remaining 20 percent cover specific facts, such as number of days, dollar amounts, etc.
Iowa Insurance Exam Details
You will take your exam on a computer, with your test results provided immediately afterwards. If you pass, you will not be given an actual score; if you fail, you will be given your actual score.
Minimum Passing Score. Iowa requires that you receive a 70% or higher score to pass the exam. In our experience, this score is difficult to interpret because the passing score is curved and questions have different weight values. So there is really no way to know exactly how many questions you have missed with any particular score. Our experience has shown that most students who do have trouble on the exam receive a score within 5 points of passing. The problem of course is that missing a passing score by 5 points does not tell you how many questions you actually missed. And, you don’t know which particular questions you missed either.
Passing the Exam Does Not Equal a License. Passing the insurance exam does not automatically mean that you receive an insurance license. You must work with your employer in order to apply for and receive your insurance license from the Iowa Division of Insurance. (For more information about obtaining your license, see our article Steps to Getting Your Iowa Insurance License.)
Where is the Iowa Insurance Exam Given?
When you register with Pearson VUE, you will be asked to specify a test center location. Several ways to find a location include:
Online Test Locator. To find a test center that is most convenient for you by using the online Pearson VUE Test Center locator, go here.
Reference to The Candidate Handbook. You can also find the list of test locations by viewing the Pearson VUE Iowa Insurance Candidate Handbook here.
Test Locations in Iowa. Although they may be changed from time to time, the usual testing locations are:
Coralville/Cedar Rapids, Davenport, Sioux City, and West Des Moines
Keep in mind it may be possible to take the Iowa insurance exams in other parts of the country. Pearson VUE’s Iowa Candidate Handbook lists those alternative locations, here.
How Do I Register For the Iowa Insurance Exam?
If you have any disabilities that require special attention, be sure to contact the Pearson VUE well ahead of time to make special arrangements. When signing up for your specific exam date, keep in mind that examination time slots may fill up quickly.
- Schedule Your Exam. Use the links below to schedule and register for your exam. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to ensure the location and date you prefer are available. We recommend scheduling you exam at least one week in advance.
- Exam Registration Phone Number: 877-540-5825
- Exam Registration: Website
- Change a Scheduled Exam Date. Use the links below to schedule and register for your exam. Be sure to give yourself plenty of time to ensure the location and date you prefer are available. We recommend scheduling you exam at least one week in advance. Reschedule as soon as possible in order to avoid forfeiting your registration fee. Visit the online registration page to view/edit your appointment.
When Should I Schedule My Iowa Insurance Exam?
We recommend that you plan to contact Pearson VUE at least three weeks prior to completing your exam prep course. That will allow you to predict when you will complete the course and also give you the opportunity to pick an exam date that falls soon after finishing the course. If you take the exam too long after completing the course, it becomes more difficult to remember the details.
Is the Iowa Insurance Exam Available in Any Other Language?
In Iowa, the exam is not given in languages other than English. But candidates for whom English is a second language may request extra time by completing a Special Accommodations Request From Found in the Candidate Handbook.
Which Iowa Insurance Exam Will I Take?
The most common types of licenses and related exam names or numbers for Iowa are listed below, along with the time allotted for each exam. Students report to us that they normally complete their exams with time left over. But, be sure to watch the clock on your test computer to keep track of the remaining time on each exam. And, if you have any doubt as to which exam you need, your employer is the best person to ask.
|Available Exams||Number of Questions||Time Allotted|
|Personal Lines||129||2 Hours|
*For a complete list of license types, visit the Pearson VUE website and review the Candidate Handbook. Go here.
What if I Fail the Test? Can I Retake It?
Yes. Each state has a different rule on this and the rules change from time to time. The best source to find the answer is from the testing service’s handbook (see below).
Where can I Find Additional FAQ’s about Iowa’s Licensing Exam?
Find the current answers to many of your questions from the Iowa’s Insurance Licensing Information Bulletin here.
Disclaimer: 180 Licensing Exam Prep, Inc. makes every effort to ensure the accuracy of this article, information is subject to change. The final authority for the latest insurance licensing information is your state’s department of insurance.
Must Read: Our National online, self-paced, exam prep courses offered in Iowa contain national insurance and general state law rules, but do not contain your exam’s specific state law content (about 15-20% of your exam). You must supplement our materials with your state’s specific state law rules. You may have access to such materials from your recruiter or another source. If not, we may be able to assist you in finding such materials. Our National courses are designed by award winning Professor Jerry Furniss and are excellent for getting you over the exam finish line the fastest and easiest way possible. Go here for more information.