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What is the CPCU® 550 exam?

The CPCU® 550 exam is the fifth CPCU® exam in a series of eight required exams to complete your CPCU® designation.

The CPCU® Designation Exams

For more information about the CPCU®, see our Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU®) page.

What is the CPCU® 550 exam format?

This exam consists of 50 multiple-choice questions, taken through the virtual exam platform. The virtual CPCU® 550 exam is 65-minutes long. Meaning, to answer every question before the time runs out, you should plan on spending about 1 minute and 18 seconds to answer each question (50 questions in 65 minutes).

All questions on the virtual exam will be application-based scenario questions. These are tricky questions that require you to apply your knowledge to a real-life scenario to choose the appropriate answer (you will not be repeating a definition or concept). That means, there is really no way to cheat on your exam, so don’t even try.

You can download one of our free practice exams to see what these questions look like.

What are the CPCU® 550 exam topics?

The major focus of the CPCU® 550 exam is data, data science, and technology. The main topics covered in this exam include big data, data mining, data modeling, data use in the insurance industry, risk analysis, and technologies (such as artificial intelligence and telematics).

A majority of the questions on this exam will be based on data science tactics and how data science techniques can be applied to the insurance industry. Such as using entropy to evaluate data models, using the energy transfer theory to reduce workplace accidents, and how the claims department uses classification trees. These questions will require you to fully understand the job of a data scientist and how various techniques can help to improve the analytics of an insurance company.

Here is an outline of the topics covered in our CPCU® 550 Online Course:

  • Section I: Data
  • Section II: Data Analytics
  • Section III: Insurance Analytics
  • Section IV: Technology
  • Section V: Risk Analysis
  • Section VI: Data Management

How difficult is this exam?

The CPCU® 550 exam is not too difficult. The content of the CPCU® 550 is relatively simple and straightforward. It’s new content that you likely do not have experience with in your day-to-day job, but, the content is easy to read, comprehend, and memorize. Making this one of the easiest of the CPCU® exams.

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. 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!

What grade do I need to pass this exam?

You will need to score 70% or higher to pass the CPCU® 550 exam. That means you need to answer 35 out of the 50 multiple-choice questions correctly to earn a passing grade.

What is the CPCU® 550 pass rate?

Unfortunately, The Institutes no longer publicly publishes the pass rates of each exam. They used to publish these for all exams including the ARM™ documented here and CPCU® documented here.

Here’s what we do know. According to The Institutes, the average pass rate of all exams that they publish is around 72.5%. We also know that this exam is similar, in terms of content, to the CPCU® 500, with some content that was actually taken directly from the old CPCU® 500 exam and plugged into the new CPCU® 550. The last documented CPCU® 500 pass rate was 76%.

We have also surveyed our email subscribers, including those who used our CPCU® 550 course and those who used different study material. We learned that the overwhelming majority of these students passed the exam on their first attempt. As of writing this blog post, 100% of our students have passed the exam, and approximately 90% of all other students have passed this exam.

On top of that, I have been taking these exams and writing CPCU® Courses since 2015. In that time, and when The Institutes used to publically publish pass rates, I have never seen a pass rate higher than 83%. Pass rates are typically in the 75% range.

So, after talking to those in the industry who have taken the CPCU® 550 exam, and accounting for historical pass rate data, my best guess is that the CPCU® 550 pass rate is likely around 80%. Most likely falling in the 75% to 80% range (as that is the standard range for the “easy” CPCU® exams). This means, that out of everyone who attempts the CPCU® 550 exam, one out of five will fail.

Please note. This is our best guess for informational purposes only based on our 10+ years of taking these exams and writing these courses. AssociatePI is not affiliated with The Institutes. This resource is intended for informational purposes only, to inform students about the likely national pass rates of the CPCU®. This information is not the choice, nor does it involve the input, of AssociatePI. This information is sourced from industry publications detailing the pass rates of CPCU® exams.

How do I start studying?

To get started studying, enroll in our CPCU® 550 online course. With a 99% pass rate and a money-back guarantee, our course will help you pass your exam in less time with less studying (two weeks on average).

Free Practice Exam

Ready to get started studying? We’re here to help (for free). Download our free CPCU® 550 practice exams 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® 550 exam, check out some of our other free resources:

Disclaimer

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 and importance rank 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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