ARM™ 400 Difficulty 

The ARM™ 400 exam is all about risk, in particular, focusing on the risk environment. The exam covers the topics of risk management, risk governance, evolving risk environments, compliance, and strategy.

In this blog, we will break down the most difficult aspects of the exam. We will detail exactly what you should focus on when studying to pass this exam. The information in this blog post comes directly from our ARM™ 400 Online Course.

ARM™ 400 – Pass Rate

According to nationally published ARM™ pass rates, the ARM™ 400 is the hardest ARM™ exam. According to the pass rates, it is actually one of the most failed exams published by The Institutes.

As of this past testing window, the pass rate of the ARM™ 400 is 70%. This means, out of everyone that attempts the ARM™ 400 exam, only 70% pass. The pass rate is updated every six months, we historically see that the pass rate is around 75% or lower (usually lower than 75%).

This exam is hard. In terms of pass rate, this exam is more difficult than most CPCU® exams. In terms of pass rates, this exam is failed as often as the CPCU® 540 and CPCU® 500 (two of the most failed exams from The Institutes).

ARM™ 400 – Difficulty

The ARM™ 400 is a tough exam, especially if this is your first ARM™ exam or first exam published by The Institutes. The questions on these ARM™ exams will be much different than what you may have experienced on a typical exam that you took in high school or college. These questions require you to fully understand and apply every minor detail of each main topic.

When I say you must be able to apply your knowledge from these topics, I mean these questions will put you in the shoes of a risk management professional and it will be your job to analyze each question in order to select the best answer for the given scenario. You will NOT be simply repeating a definition. You must fully understand each topic, DO NOT simply memorize definitions and think you will be able to pass, trust me, I’ve been there.

The ARM™ exams are difficult; there is a lot of content to memorize for these exams. What we often hear from students about the ARM™ 400 is “this is a comprehensive exam”. And that is a true statement! This exam is very comprehensive in nature, covering everything regarding risk in an organization.

The content varies widely, covering everything relating to risk management including the risk management process, types of risk, risk governance, identifying risk, analyzing risk, risktech, treating risk, and big data. This makes the exam difficult because the content varies so widely you will see questions on your exam based on completely different and unrelated topics.

The hardest part of the ARM™ 400 will be memorizing every topic. There is a ton of information to digest and comprehend. Not only do you need to understand and memorize each topic, but you must comprehend the content to a high enough degree that you can apply the concepts in a real-life scenario. You will see these concepts formatted as scenario questions on your exam. You must memorize each concept AND be able to apply the concept in a real-life scenario on your exam.

Luckily we know exactly which topics and minor details you need to know. You can click here to download the list of ARM™ 400 topics that you need to memorize (we’ll also include a free practice exam with the download).

Download: Free Practice Exam (CPCU® | ARM™ | AINS™ | API™)


ARM™ 400 –Study Tip

A lot of students fail the ARM™ 400 because there is just too much content on the exam. It is too much information to memorize all at one time. Here are our three biggest tips to passing the ARM™ 400 exam:

  • 1) Fully read the online course or attend an ARM™ class. This is by far the most important tip. These ARM™ exams are tricky and the exam questions will relate to very minute details from your ARM™ course. Skimming through the course will not cut it, you must read EVERYTHING. Even reading it just once will help you recall the information on your exam
  • 2) Take notes. This doesn’t mean you should rewrite every single word from the ARM™ 400 Course . Use shorthand and bullet points to quickly jot down the most important topics. This will help you better retain the information for easier recall on the test and will give you a “study guide” to refer back to (rather than rereading the full course!)
  • 3) Practice, practice, practice. Take as many practice exams and quizzes as you possibly can. This will help you familiarize yourself with the ARM™ question format and help you determine which topics you need to re-study. Once you go through a few practice quizzes and exams, return to your notes from step 2 and review any section that you failed to comprehend on the practice exam.

Free Practice Exam

Ready to get started studying? We’re here to help (for free). Download our free ARM™ 400 practice exam (comes with study guide and coverage guide) to get a feel for the type of questions you will see on the exam.

Download: Free Practice Exam (CPCU® | ARM™ | AINS™ | API™)


More Information

For more information about the ARM™ 400 exam, checkout some of our other free resources:


Remember, every CPCU® and ARM™ exam is different. No single exam is the same. Be sure to study ALL topics (not just our recommendation). This resource is intended to provide you with a general idea of where your focus should be. Make sure to thoroughly study every topic of this exam.

Difficulty rank, importance rank, and the advice provided in this resource are solely the opinion of AssociatePI. This resource is intended to provide you with a general idea of where your focus should be. Each exam administered by The Institutes is different. AssociatePI is not affiliated with The Institutes or involved in the exam writing process. Please be sure to thoroughly study every chapter and every topic of this course.

CPCU® and ARM™ exams are administered by the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (“The Institutes”). AssociatePI does not administer the actual exams, we are an independent resource of free content, advice, and study material for professional insurance education. This blog is intended for informational purposes only, to inform prospective students of the benefit of the CPCU® designation.

CPCU®, ARM™, and API are trademarks of the American Institute for Chartered Property Casualty Underwriters (“The Institutes”). AssociatePI LLC is not affiliated with, associated with, endorsed by or otherwise supported or recognized by The Institutes in any way. AssociatePI LLC is not authorized by The Institutes to offer courses, practice examinations, or any other resources related to the Institutes’ designations or other programs.

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