Exam difficulty guide:

CPCU® | ARM™ | AINS™ | API™

Click below to find your exam and jump to the section breaking down the exam difficulty.

AINS™ 101

The hardest part of the AINS™ 101 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.


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

AINS™ 102

The hardest part of the AINS™ 102 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.


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

AINS™ 103

The hardest part of the AINS™ 103 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.


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

API™ 28

The hardest part of the API™ 28 will be memorizing each insurance product, minor detail, and underwriting consideration. There’s a LOT to memorize. Focus first on memorizing the definition and coverages of the insurance product. Then memorize the minor details, differences between each product, and underwriting treatment. The API™ 28 will try to trick you by asking about the minor differences between insurance products. The exam will mix up the underwriting treatment of insurance products to trick you.


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

ARM™ 400

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.


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

ARM™ 401

The hardest part of the ARM™ 401 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.


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

ARM™ 402

The hardest part of the ARM™ 402 will be memorizing the math-intensive topics. There is a ton of information to digest and comprehend. Not only do you need to understand and memorize each formula, but you must comprehend the content to a high enough degree that you can apply the concepts and formulas in a real-life scenario.


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

CPCU® 500

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.


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

CPCU® 520

The hardest part of the CPCU® 520 will be learning the minor details and complexities of each insurance function. Even if you’re an expert on the topic, you’ll need to fully study each section because the CPCU® exams are known for testing you on the most minor little details; missing one detail can cause you to choose the wrong answer.


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

CPCU® 530

The hardest part of the CPCU® 530 will be memorizing each statute, definition, and concept. There’s a LOT to memorize. We have personally reviewed the content and counted over 600 legal definitions that you need to be familiar with for this exam. Almost every single question on the CPCU® 530 exam will be based on some type of definition, there really isn’t any analytical questions on the 530. Focus first on memorizing the definition, then memorize the minor differences and complexities between each definition. The CPCU® 530 will try to trick you by asking about the minor differences between statutes and will even makeup the name of a statute to try and trick you!


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

CPCU® 540

The hardest part of the CPCU® 540 will be memorizing and learning how to use each formula. The concept questions of the CPCU® 540 are pretty straight forward, nothing more challenging than the CPCU® 530; the difficult part is reading a question and knowing which formula to apply without the question directly telling you. For example, a question will give you the beta, expected market return and risk free rate for five different companies and ask you to “select the best investment”. Without the question directly asking, you’ll need to understand that this question requires you to apply the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) to each company in order to determine the best investment. To make the test even harder the CPCU® 540 will attempt to trick you by giving more information than need for the formula meaning you’ll need to know exactly what information is relevant to the formula and what information is unnecessary.


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

CPCU® 550

The hardest part of the CPCU® 550 exam is the new and unique content, combined with the difficult format of the CPCU® exams. This content will feel new to you. You have not seen these topics on any of the previous CPCU® exams, and unless you are a data scientist, then you likely are not working with these concepts in your day-to-day job. In fact, there’s a good chance that you have never seen these topics before in your entire life (that was the case for me). Topics like supervised data mining, entropy, holdout data, cluster analysis, change analysis, energy transfer theory, probability distributions, Privacy Impact Assessment, and GDPR compliance. Combine that with the difficult exam question format that puts you in the shoes of a data scientist to answer the given case question, and you have yourself quite a difficult exam!


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

CPCU® 551

The hardest part of the CPCU® 551 will be memorizing each coverage, condition, exclusion, and every minor aspect of each commercial insurance product. The reason people fail this exam is because they underestimate the amount of content. There is a LOT to memorize. For each commercial insurance product, such as the building and personal property coverage form (one of the most important topics of the 551 exam), you must know the insurance limit, covered losses, optional coverages, additional coverages, coverage extensions, loss conditions, coverage conditions, exclusions, and endorsements. You have to know this for EACH of the 20+ commercial insurance products covered in this exam (that’s a lot to memorize).


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

CPCU® 552

The hardest part of the CPCU® 552 will be memorizing each coverage, condition, exclusion, and every minor aspect of each commercial insurance product. The reason people fail this exam is because they underestimate the amount of content. There is a LOT to memorize. For each commercial insurance product, such as the commercial general liability form (one of the most important topics of the 552 exam), you must know the insurance limit, covered losses, optional coverages, additional coverages, coverage extensions, loss conditions, coverage conditions, exclusions, and endorsements. You have to know this for EACH of the 20+ commercial insurance products covered in this exam (that’s a lot to memorize).


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

CPCU® 553

The hardest part of the CPCU® 553 will be memorizing each coverage, condition, exclusion, and every minor aspect of each personal insurance product. The reason people fail this exam is because they underestimate the amount of content. There is a LOT to memorize. For each personal insurance product, such as the homeowners insurance policy (one of the most important topics of the 553 exam), you must know the insurance limit, covered losses, optional coverages, additional coverages, coverage extensions, loss conditions, coverage conditions, exclusions, and endorsements. You have to know this for EACH of the 30 personal insurance products covered in this exam (that’s a lot to memorize).


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

CPCU® 555

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!


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

CPCU® 556

The hardest part of the CPCU® 556 will be memorizing each personal finance vehicle, the minor details, and the tax treatment of each. The tax treatment of each personal financial vehicle is extremely important. Know the tax treatment of withdrawals, loans, and distributions from each financial vehicle. Also know which vehicles are tax deferred, tax deductible, and tax free. There are over 80 different types of personal financial vehicles, each with unique tax treatment and minor details. For each of the 80 different personal finance products you need to know the tax treatment of the contributions, distributions, cash withdrawals, and loans.


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

CPCU® 557

The hardest part of the CPCU® 557 will be memorizing each coverage, condition, exclusion, and every minor aspect of each commercial insurance product. The reason people fail this exam is because they underestimate the amount of content. There is a LOT to memorize. For each commercial insurance product, such as the commercial general liability policy (one of the most important topics of the 557 exam), you must know the insurance limit, covered losses, optional coverages, additional coverages, coverage extensions, loss conditions, coverage conditions, exclusions, and endorsements. You have to know this for EACH of the 20 commercial insurance products covered in this exam (that’s a lot to memorize).


You can access the full difficulty guide by clicking here.

>