What is the CPCU Designation?
For professionals who are striving to earn their place in industries like medicine or law, a clear path to achieving qualification is pretty straightforward. Attending law or medical school after graduating from an accredited university and passing the appropriate exams to work in these fields are all part of the process. While many professions in the insurance world only require a high school or college diploma, those who work in claims, risk management, risk assessment, and insurance litigation can further their expertise in the insurance industry and make themselves more marketable by becoming a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, or a CPCU.
So how does one acquire the title of a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter? By passing the eight CPCU exams offered by The Institutes. According to the Risk and Insurance Knowledge Group, 100% of those in their career fewer than 2 years said the CPCU resulted in management recognition. While the CPCU is a series of exams, it’s also considered a study program with mandatory course requirements. To beat the CPCU, consistency, dedication, and trial and error are needed. Here are six steps for CPCU training and how to prepare for the exam.
- Set a Reasonable Time Frame
The average time it takes to complete a CPCU is roughly two to three years, but at the end of the day, it all comes down to how efficient your study plan is. To produce maximum results and earn certification as quickly as possible, lock in your study plan before getting to work. If earning a CPCU is outlined as a dedicated goal with specific time frames and study schedules, it will be harder to place this process on the backburner. Of course, be sure to factor in the potential employers and opportunities you would like to see on the finish line. Depending on what your higher-level goal is post-CPCU exams, your time frame may be different.
- Use Study Materials Effectively
Textbooks, course guides, online courses, and practice tests are all part of an effective study plan. For those who have tried to earn a CPCU designation and failed, a lack of preparation was most likely the trigger. There’s no room to just “wing it”! Do not hesitate to go above and beyond in your studies — additional study materials like the mobile app called Smart QuizMe offered by The Institute could be the defining factor in how much information you actually absorb. Give every method a shot and pinpoint a learning strategy that works best for you.
- Know What to Expect
The CPCU exams shouldn’t feel like a pop quiz from your elementary school days. With careful preparation and by working smarter not harder, you will have a general idea of what to expect. As certification is granted after the completion and passing of eight courses, it’s important to be prepared for each one. The exams include four foundation courses, three personal lines or commercial lines courses, and one elective course. Since you can take the exams in any order, map out a plan that illustrates how much preparation time will be needed for each course.
- Buddy Up
Speaking of those elementary school days, there is definitely some value in the lessons learned from partnering up for a group project. If you have a co-worker or buddy who is also focused on beating the CPCU exams, consider working together towards that goal. If you prefer to study and learn solo, that’s perfectly fine — a “CPCU buddy” is a great way to be held accountable for your progress. Check-ins, study tips, and plenty of coffee can certainly be shared along the way.
Again, there is no such thing as too much preparation when it comes to studying for the CPCU exams. For more information and resources on steps to take to become a Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter, check out The Institutes today. Use these CPCU training tips to help prepare and pass the exam!