Secrets to Passing the California Insurance License Exam

Like most States, California requires that you pass a government administered license exam before you can hang your shingle to sell insurance. In addition, you must take up to 52 hours of pre-license training, which thankfully, can now be done online. Separate license exams and training courses are required to sell property and casualty insurance versus life and health policies. And, there is mandatory continuing education required every two year renewal period as well as additional, special training classes needed to sell specific insurance products like flood insurance, long term care insurance and/or annuity investment policies.

If your plan is to thoroughly study the State handbooks, read and read again all the materials from your license course and take a cram course on test-taking, I can almost guarantee you still won’t pass the California Insurance Exam. These exams can be tough, since they are riddled with confusing and convoluted questions . . . the trademark of most government or quasi-government license exams. So what does it take to pass? Well, that’s what we cover in this article. And, there is a method to the madness.

First Off, Be Wary of Advice and Crazy Tips

Here is just some of the “buzz” around taking the State Exam. For the most part, ignore these rants and tips:

“Taking a cram class is all you need to pass” (Not true. See cram courses below)

“I was told to skip every question on the state exam. That way, these same questions are locked in and the computer will not spit out more difficult ones.” (A crazy conspiracy theory).

“A live teacher is the only way to pass. They pinpoint the “buzz” words you need to pass. They tell you things that can’t be put in writing” (Bunk . . . classes are monitored by the State. And, you need more than buzz words to pass).

“Use common sense to answer the exam questions.” (It won’t work).

“By process of elimination, you can get to the right answer.” (Works sometimes, but you would have to know the subject to eliminate the wrong answers).

“I earned 90{512b763ef340c1c7e529c41476c7e03bc66d8daea696e1162822661d30dde056} on my online practice exams . . . I’m ready”. (A lot of these 90 percenters still fail. There are practice exams and there are practice exams. See below).

“People who take online courses always fail”. (Bunk . . . our online school has a very high passing ratio . . . it’s what you do with the material that counts).

“Study the course materials . . . you will pass” (There is a lot more to it. It may be a variation the material you learned that is being asked).

“Just look for certain “buzz” words for the answer.” (The State knows all the buzz words . . . you’ won’t beat them this way).

California Specific

It may seem obvious to many, but be sure that the courses and exam prep materials you are studying are California specific. There are a lot of generic practice exams and …

The Fantasticks: Plato’s Allegory of the Cave

In 2008, six years after the closing of Tom Jones and Harvey Schmidt’s Off-Broadway production of The Fantasticks, the beloved musical returned to New York City. Forty-two years, it seems, was not a long enough run after all for this record breaker, and furthermore, no one appeared unhappy with the decision.

When in the early 1960s the musical first came to fruition, the beat generation saw itself in the play’s tension of opposites–the ideology of the young versus the ideology of the over-30s–and the dissonance caused by the current political unrest of that time. The play reached out to the generational needs of the ’60s and continued even beyond. But today in 2012 we are undergoing a different kind of turbulance and much has changed since The Fantasticks was written. So why has this musical endured? Why can’t we get enough of its lines and lyrics? What is our connection? Why are we so in love with this play?

A Familiar Plot

The answer may lie in the underlying archetypal plot of the script. Act I opens in the sweet innocence of moonlight; Act II opens in the harsh reality of day. The boy Matt and the girl Luisa thrive on their illusions in the first act but encounter a painful awakening in the second. El Gallo, “the rooster” and professional abductor hired by Hucklebee, ushers in the light of day, literally but also symbolically. He has come to lead Matt and Luisa on separate journeys in which they will leave their innocence behind and become initiates into the world of experience.

In Moonlight

Matt’s and Luisa’s fathers construct a make believe feud and build a wall between their houses in order to encourage their children to fall in love, relying on the old temptation of the forbidden to do the job. It works, and when the two lovers meet in secret, in moonlight of course, they pledge their love to each other. To create the illusion of settling the feud, Matt’s father Hucklebee engages El Gallo to stage the abduction of Luisa, allowing his son Matt to rescue her heroically and end the ruse. Luisa’s father Bellomy agrees, but a happy ending in moonlight cannot be real.

In Daylight

“Their moon was cardboard,” El Gallo tells us. In the daylight, life takes on a less subtle tone and reality casts a harsh glare. All four sing, “What at night seems oh, so scenic may be cynic much too soon.” Suddenly dissatisfied, the boy and girl part ways to find a solution to their restlessness. Matt ventures off to drink and gamble and find a shining world full of adventure while Luisa longs to be kissed upon the eyes by El Gallo who will take her on a journey to see the world, dancing forever and forever. To do so, she must put up a mask to prevent her from seeing the truth. When Luisa refuses to accept this world as only an illusion, the trickery of smoke and …