CPCU® 555 Difficulty

The CPCU® 555 exam is the fifth CPCU® exam in a series of eight required exams to complete your CPCU® designation. This exam consists of 85 multiple choice questions split up into two sections: 57 part A questions (concept questions) and 28 part B questions (case questions).

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. This blog comes straight from our CPCU® 555 online course where we breakdown the difficult concepts and convey the topics in simple terms and plain English.

CPCU® 555 Difficulty – One Of The Hardest Exam

According to nationally published CPCU® pass rates, the CPCU® 555 is typically one of the most failed CPCU® exams. The pass rate is typically around 72% to 75%.

The CPCU® 555 exam is one of the largest in terms of content (12 chapters) and is very focused on minor details about every personal insurance product, endorsement, and coverage. In my opinion, the CPCU® 555 is one of the toughest of all the CPCU® exams because there is so much content to consume and memorize. It is overwhelming!

CPCU® 555 Difficulty – Endorsements

The CPCU® 555 exam focuses on the personal insurance industry, including topics such as auto insurance, homeowners insurance, watercraft insurance, and umbrella insurance

The reason this exam is tougher than most is because there is so much content to memorize. In particular, there are a ton of endorsements and coverages that you need to memorize. We have personally reviewed the content and counted over 80 endorsements and 11 different personal insurance products (such as dwellings, snowmobiles, and antique automobiles) that you need to be familiar with for this exam. Almost every single question on the CPCU® 555 exam will be based on some type of endorsement or coverage. For more insight, see our blog about the CPCU® 555 exam format.

The hardest part of the CPCU® 555 will be memorizing each coverage, endorsement, and the minor details and differences between each. There’s a LOT to memorize. Focus first on memorizing the definition of the endorsement or coverage. Then memorize the minor details and differences between each endorsement and coverage. The 555 will try to trick you by asking about the minor differences between endorsements. The exam will even makeup the name of an endorsement to try and trick you!

Luckily we know exactly which endorsements and coverages you need to know. You can click here to download the list of endorsements and coverages that you need to memorize (we’ll also include a free practice exam with the download).

Now that I’ve scared you, here’s why you’re going to easily pass the CPCU® 555. We’re going to learn from everyone else’s mistakes. Follow this plan of action while studying and you’ll have no trouble passing.

Be sure to download our free CPCU® 555 practice exam and list of endorsements to ensure you’re memorizing every endorsement and coverage.

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

CPCU® 555 Difficulty – Study Plan

  • Step 1: Read each chapter individually.
  • Step 2: After each chapter, go back and jot down each endorsement and coverage from the chapter.
  • Step 3: Take note of the minor complexities and details of each endorsement and coverage. (trust me, this will be on the exam).
  • Step 4: Compare each endorsement and coverage to one another, study the subtle differences between each (the exam will try to trick you by mixing and mingling definitions).
  • Step 5: Study the endorsements and coverages as a whole – go back and look at your huge list of endorsements and make sure you’ve memorized each.

Three Study Tips

1) Study each chapter: Treat each chapter like its own textbook. Read each chapter and memorize the endorsements and coverages as you go. Don’t wait until the end to memorize definitions, you’ll be overwhelmed.

2) Make a study guide: Taking notes and making a personal study guide is a great way to improve your ability to recall information on the exam. Make sure your study guide is short and easy to quickly review; this will help you keep track of those minor details and creates a reference sheet for you to review rather than re-reading the textbook.

3) Practice, practice, practice: Take as many practice exam and quizzes as you possibly can. This will help you familiarize yourself with the CPCU® 555 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 and review any section that you failed.

Free Practice Exam

Ready to get started studying? We’re here to help (for free). Download our free CPCU® 555 practice exam (comes with study guide and endorsement 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 CPCU® 555 exam, check out some of our other free resources:


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.

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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