CPCU® 520 Exam Format
The CPCU® 520 exam consists of 75 multiple choice questions broken up into two sections, part A and part B.
- Part A: Concept questions – The first section of the exam will be approximately 49 concept questions; these questions will test your understanding of a definition or topic. The multiple-choice answers will generally provide 2 or 3 partially correct answers and one “best” answer.
- Part B: Case questions – The second section of the exam will be approximately 26 case questions; these questions will require you to apply your knowledge to a specific scenario or event. You will be given a real-life scenario; your job will be to select the best recommendation to solve the given scenario.
CPCU® 520 Question Format
The CPCU® 520 questions will be formatted in a similar manner to the CPCU® 500 exam questions. These questions require you to fully understand every aspect of the main topics and require you to actually apply the knowledge, rather than just repeating a definition. You will NOT be simply repeating a definition.
Part A question format
We found it best to practice concept questions formatted in a question stated as “All of the following are true, except” and “Which of the following is true in regards to…”. For example, reinsurers provide insurance for primary insurers. All of the following statements are true in regards to reinsurers except? As another example, reinsurers provide insurance for primary insurers. Which of the following statements are true in regards to reinsurers?
These are common exam question formats, we recommend you practice using this format to master the concepts to the CPCU® 520 exam. This will help to prepare you for the questions you will see on the actual exam.
Part B question format
We found it best to practice two types of concept questions for the CPCU® 520 exam:
- Calculation questions – using the calculations covered on the CPCU® 520 exam. For example, calculate the loss ratio if written premium is $100,000, earned premium is $90,000 and incurred loss is $50,000.
- Analysis question – analyzing a real life scenario to select the best answer. For example, ABC Insurance’s current year combined ratio is 90% and loss ratio is 70%. Last years combined ratio was 95% and loss ratio was 70%. Which is true in regards to ABC’s expense ratio?
CPCU® 520 – Exam Topics
The major focus of the CPCU® 520 exam is insurance and insurance topics. The main topics covered in this exam include insurance operations, regulations, risk control, reinsurance, and premium auditing.
For more insight, see our blog about the CPCU® 520 Exam Difficulty
CPCU® 520 – Important Topics
Below we are outlining some important CPCU® 520 exam topics. We recommend you master these topics before attempting the CPCU® 520 exam. This is our opinion of the topics that are important on your exam.
- Reinsurance – we recommend you heavily focus on reinsurance, in our opinion this is one of the most important topics of the CPCU® 520 content. Understand the reinsurance process, calculate how much the reinsurer will pay for a loss, and know the best reinsurance contract for an insurer given a specific scenario.
- Marketing – we highly recommend you master the topics of insurance marketing and distribution. Know the best distribution system given the characteristics of the customer and insurer, understand the characteristics of each type of insurance customer, and know the difference between an agent and broker.
- Risk control – risk control and premium auditing is an important topic. Make sure you know the reason for premium auditing, reason for risk control, and types of premium audits.
Remember, every CPCU® 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.
Two Final Tips:
1) Read the entire online course and focus on the details: Remember to practice with question that ask “which of the following is true” or “all of the following is true, except”, you might see questions formatted like this on your exam. These questions require that you know all of the minor details and differences between each CPCU®® 520 topics so be sure to fully read through the course and memorize all minor details because these questions will try to trick you by changing one little detail!
2) Practice, practice, practice: Practice makes perfect. The only way to prepare for the type of questions you will see on the CPCU®520 is to take as many practice exams as you possibly can. This will help you familiarize yourself with the CPCU® 520 question format and help you determine which topics you need to re-study.
Free Practice Exam
Ready to get started studying? We’re here to help (for free). Download our free CPCU® 520 practice exams to get a feel for the type of questions you will see on the exam.
For more information about the CPCU® 520 exam, checkout some of our other free resources:
- CPCU® 520 exam difficulty
- CPCU® 520 exam questions
- CPCU® 520 exam format
- CPCU® Designation Overview
- CPCU® Designation Salary
- CPCU® Cost
- CPCU® Exam Pass Rates
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® 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® 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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