Before Exam Day
Once you have a target exam day (approximately three weeks out), follow the details found in our handy guide All About Registering For and Taking The Alabama Insurance Exam.
Warning: Be sure to register at least seven days in advance of your exam.
What Happens on Exam Day?
It may be a good idea to arrive to the test center early to get checked in and set-up. If it is convenient, you may even consider visiting the test center before the exam date so you can check out the parking, see where the test room is, locate the rest room, etc. Be sure to allow for traffic problems on exam day. Try to arrive at least 30 minutes in advance.
- In the event of bad weather or national emergencies, the exam may be postponed. For information regarding suspected test center closings, you may contact the University of Alabama at 205-348-0633.
- Be well-rested; take the night before the exam to relax and get a good night’s sleep.
- Do not cram for the exam the night before or the morning of the exam. Don’t panic when, at the test center, you see unprepared students cramming at the last moment.
- Be sure to eat something before the exam. You will use a lot of energy in a short period of time.
- The University of Alabama requires the following form of identification – a government-issued photo ID (like a driver’s license or passport); and, another form, which may be a credit card or some other document that identifies you and has your signature on it. Plus, a Certificate verifying your prelicensing course. (Certificates are valid for one year from date issued.)
- If you are repeating any part of the exam, bring your test score sheet so the proctors know which exams are applicable.
When You Check-in:
At the exam site, the proctor will check that you have your photo identification and your notarized prelicensing course certificate of completion. Your identification and your certificate must match the name you used to register for the test. After checking on these things, the proctor will assign your seat and give you instructions for the exam. The proctor cannot answer any questions about the exam content.
If you arrive at the exam site after the proctor has started the exam, or if you do not have the required identification and certificate, you will not be permitted to take the test. You will need to register for another exam online; please keep in mind that all tests must be scheduled seven days in advance. You will also need to pay the registration fee again for the new scheduled test.
You will be seated at a computer. The proctor will enter code numbers into your assigned computer and your exam will appear. Prior to beginning, you will have the opportunity to take a short computer tutorial, which does a nice job of showing how the exam operates. If you do not use computers regularly, plan on taking the brief tutorial. This tutorial will show you how to click the answer boxes, move on to new questions, change answers, etc. The time spent on this tutorial will not reduce your allotted testing time whatsoever.
The nice thing about a computerized exam, other than instant test results, is that you can mark questions for later review. So, you can come back to earlier questions as long as you have not left that test and started another one. (For example, if you are taking the Life and Health test, once you agree to leave the Life test, you cannot go back later). Just pay attention to the directions and warnings on the screen and you will do fine.
If you have any questions, be sure to ask the proctors who are normally very helpful.
The exam is computer generated. You will also be given a calculator. All questions are in a multiple-choice format. Each question has four possible answers. You may skip questions without answering them. You will be able to go back and answer the skipped questions before submitting the test, if time allows. You will also be able to change your answers to any of the questions before submitting the test, and if time allows. Your exam score is based on the number of questions you answer correctly. Every unanswered question counts as incorrect. So, it is better to try answering these questions with an educated guess by eliminating the wrong answers.
The computer will give you automatic alerts to tell you how much time is left. When the time for an examination expires, you will be given a “final” warning and the examination will be graded based on the questions answered when time is up. After completion of the exam, if time is still remaining, you will be able to review your answers.
When the Proctor Seats You at the Computer:
You will like the computerized testing system. It will allow you to skip questions, change answers, and mark questions for later review. All of the questions are multiple choice with four possible answers.
When you are done with an exam section, you will be asked whether you wish to continue. If you click on the YES box, that portion of the exam will be locked in and you won’t be able to revisit any of the questions. There will be a warning to that affect. So, just follow the instructions.
If you are taking more than one exam, you will have to ask the proctor to enter more code numbers so that the next exam will appear.
Are You a Nervous Test Taker?
If so, you may find it helpful to read through a number of questions before marking any – at least not until you have relaxed a bit. Studies show that deep breathing exercises also help nervous test takers.
- Be sure to take a mental break about every 30 questions. Simply pausing to get up and stretch or, if needed, to take a rest room break is a great way to relax. Remember that you generally have considerably more time than you need on these exams
- Read each question twice in order to fully comprehend what it is asking before you look at the answers. Read each answer carefully and pay attention to key words such as all, except, every, always, never, and so on. The most common mistake students make is misreading the question.
- Use the process of elimination: Decide if the question is looking for an answer that is true or false (such as “All of the following are TRUE except,” where the examiners want the false answer, or “All of the following are False except”, where the examiners are looking for the true answer). Eliminate choices that are definitely wrong, and then select the answer that is the best. There is absolutely no penalty for guessing, so NEVER LEAVE A QUESTION UNANSWERED!
- Do Not Get Frustrated: Relax! If you have prepared, the correct answer will come to you. If you cannot make a decision, leave the question unanswered, move on, and return to these questions after you have completed the rest of the test. Do not expect perfectly written questions. Mark the best answer even though you are convinced that the question is poorly written and the answers don’t really match the question.
- Pace Yourself: Do not spend too much time on each question. Work at a steady pace that will allow you to come back to the harder questions. Remember that you generally have considerably more time than you need on these exams. The computer will display a clock showing how much time is left on each exam.
- Should you change an answer or is it best to go with your first guess? Contrary to popular belief, studies show virtually no difference in scores – students who change an answer are no more or less likely to answer it correctly.
- Don’t be alarmed by absurdly false answers. Many of the false answers on exams are so convoluted that they simply make no sense whatsoever. Don’t assume that such answers are correct simply because you can’t understand them. Test writers refer to such answers as “convoluted distracters.”
- Do not be alarmed if others leave the testing center before you. People will be taking a wide variety of Alabama exams; some may be much shorter than your exam.
Once you find out your score, provide a copy to the licensing person at your place of employment. They will take care of the necessary paperwork to have your license issued by the Alabama Division of Insurance or direct you to apply for your license online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR) here.
Do Any of Our Students Ever Fail?
Of course they do. Even if you are fully prepared, you can still have a bad day. And the exams are not easy since they require a mastery of entry level insurance information and practices. But, the way 180 Licensing courses are structured, it is easy to review the specific sections where help is needed to prepare to retake the missed section as soon as desired.
If, you feel that we could do a better job by covering any issue in more depth or detail, please contact us with your suggestions (Email). We always want to improve our courses and welcome any and all of your feedback. But, we want you to know that it is illegal and unethical for you to send questions to anyone, including us. Do not jeopardize your career by sending us exam questions. As you are aware, our courses are designed to help you pass your exam and do not meet your required prelicensing education requirements. If you need help, purchase our national prep package, and supplement our materials with a state supplement you received from your prelicensing education provider to best prepare yourself for the exam.
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 Alabama 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.