About CPCU® 500

The CPCU® 500 exam is the first CPCU® exam in a series of eight required exams to complete your CPCU® designation. This exam consists of 60 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 40 concept questions; these questions will test your understanding of a definition or topic.
  • Part B: Case questions – The second section of the exam will be approximately 20 case questions; these questions will require you to apply your knowledge to a specific scenario or event.

Download: Free CPCU® 500 Practice Exam


CPCU® 500 Difficulty

If the CPCU® 500 exam is your first Institute’s administered exam, you will be in for quite the surprise. The questions on these CPCU® 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 an insurance 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 study, please do not take these CPCU® exams lightly; I cannot stress this importance enough.

Now that I’ve stressed you out about the CPCU® 500 difficulty, I’m going to tell you why you should stop stressing right now because you will be FINE.

If you have experience in the insurance industry, you should not have trouble with the concepts of the CPCU® 500 exam. A major focus of this exam will be on risk control and risk financing techniques, which are used daily in the life of an insurance professional. The hardest part about the CPCU® 500 exam is preparing for the type of questions that will be asked. These questions will be tricky, worded strangely and will not directly quote any study material. As I mentioned above, this means that you must understand how to APPLY the material you have studied, not just simply repeat definitions.

For more insight, see our blog about the CPCU® 500 Difficulty.

CPCU® 500 Exam – Exam Topics

The major focus of the CPCU®® 500 exam is risk and risk management techniques used by individuals and organizations. The main topics covered in this exam include Risk, risk management, risk control, risk financing, insurance, and big data.

A majority of the questions on this exam will be based on how individuals and organizations can use risk control and risk financing techniques, such as insurance, to mitigate risk. These questions will require you fully understand the job of a risk management professional and how various techniques can help to reduce the severity and frequency of loss.

For more info about the most important topics see our blog about the CPCU® 500 exam format and topics.

Three Study Tips

1) Read the book/online course or attend a CPCU® class! This is by far the most important tip. These CPCU® exams are tricky and the exam questions will relate to very minute details from your CPCU® course or book. 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 CPCU® 500 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 text!)

3) Practice, practice, practice. Take as many practice exam and quizzes as you possibly can. This will help you familiarize yourself with the CPCU® 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 CPCU® 500 practice exams to get a feel for the type of questions you will see on the exam.

Download: Free CPCU® 500 Practice Exam

More Information

For more information about the CPCU® 500 exam, checkout 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.

For further information, please email contact@associatepi.com.





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