What is the New York Insurance Exam Like?

New York has contracted with PSI, a testing service, to administer the New York insurance exams. The New York 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 course 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.

New York Insurance Exam Details

You will take your exam on a computer, with your test results provided immediately afterwards.

Minimum Passing Score. New York 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 State Department of Insurance. (For more information about obtaining your license, see our article Steps to Getting Your New York Insurance License.)

Where is the New York Insurance Exam Given?

When you register with PSI, 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 PSI Exams Test Center locator, go here.

Test Locations in New York. Although they may be changed from time to time, the usual testing locations are:
Albany, Brooklyn, Buffalo, East Syracuse, Westbury, Melville, New York/Midtown, New York, Poughkeepsie, Rego Park, Rochester, Utica, Vestal, White Plains, Manhattan, and New York.

Keep in mind it may be possible to take the New York insurance exams in other parts of the country. PSI’s New York Candidate Information Booklet lists those alternative locations, go here.

How Do I Register For the New York Insurance Exam?

If you have any disabilities that require special attention, be sure to contact PSI 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: PSI
  • Get fingerprinted through IdentoGO, the fingerprint service company contracted by New York. Preregistration is required before visiting an Identogo location in New York. Get fingerprinted after passing your exam and immediately before applying for your license. Go here.
  • Change a Scheduled Exam Date. Keep in mind that if you need to change your testing time or date, PSI will sometimes cancel your existing testing time before they can see if other time slots are available. 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 New York Insurance Exam?

We recommend that you plan to contact PSI at least three weeks prior to completing our course. That will allow you to predict when you will complete your required prelicensing 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 New York Insurance Exam Available in Any Other Language?

In New York, the exam is available in English and Spanish. English as a Second Language (ESL) candidates must call PSI at 800-733-9267 to schedule for their examination, if they wish to receive additional time. Please do not schedule online, as you will not receive the additional time.

Which New York Insurance Exam Will I Take?

The most common types of licenses and related exam names or numbers for New York are listed below, along with the number of questions and 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
Life 100 2 Hours
Accident/Health 100 2 Hours
Life, Accident & Health 150 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Property & Casualty 150 2 Hours 30 Minutes
Personal Lines 100 2 Hours

*For a complete list of license types, visit the PSI Services Website and review the Candidate Information Bulletin. 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 New York’s Licensing Exam?

Find the current answers to many of your questions from the New York’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 New York do not meet your state’s prelicensing education requirement. They 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). If you have taken an approved prelicensing education course, have a valid certificate, and still need a passing score, use our materials and supplement with the state law material from your prelicensing provider. Designed by award winning Professor Jerry Furniss, our interactive exam prep materials are excellent for getting you over the finish line the fastest and easiest way possible. Go here for more information.