Writing a CIP Exam
There are several ways you can prepare yourself to write an effective CIP examination.
Consider these tips for writing a successful CIP exam:
• Get a good night's sleep before the exam. Maximize your full capabilities for the exam by giving yourself at least eight hours of sleep.
• Watch your time and pace yourself. You have three hours to complete a CIP examination. Don't spend too much time on questions you're having trouble with.
• Answer the questions you find easiest first. With these questions complete, you will have more time to concentrate on the more difficult questions.
• Use visualization. It can be quite frustrating to forget information that you know you studied. When this happens, try concentrating on where this information appeared in your exam notes or in the course text.
• Outline your answer (especially narrative and application questions).
• Jot down notes or an outline on the back of your exam or on additional paper available.
• Aim for content, not volume. Present your answer in point form or short sentences.
• Aim to complete your exam in two and a half hours, leaving yourself the last half hour to review your exam.
• When answering or reviewing the written part of your exam, STOP and ask yourself these questions:
Is the answer completely relevant?
Does it answer all parts of the question?
• Be careful with words that are similar. If you write “insured” instead of “insurer,” the meaning of your sentence will surely be different.
Answering Multiple-Choice Questions
Multiple-choice questions are designed to test your knowledge and understanding of the course material within a specific format.
Multiple-choice questions used on the national exam consist of two parts:
1. A stem, which asks a question, poses a problem, or presents an incomplete sentence.
2. A series of four optional answers, which consist of three incorrect answers and one correct answer.
A typical multiple-choice question used on the national exam looks like this:
A peril is
a) an event that will give rise to a loss.
b) a risk based only on chance.
c) a factor that may influence the outcome of a loss.
d) a risk based either on chance or loss.
To answer multiple-choice questions more effectively, use the following tips:
• Answer the questions you know first. Once you are done, come back to the ones you aren’t sure about.
• Check your answers. Before turning your exam in, ensure that you have not missed any questions.
• Use the process of elimination. Eliminate the obviously incorrect alternatives by crossing them off so they do not distract you.
• Don’t change your answers. Research has shown that your first choice is often the correct one, so unless you’re absolutely sure you’ve made a mistake, go with your first instinct.
• Read the entire question, including the stem and every answer option.
• Read each question as though it were a true or false question, and choose the “true” answer.
• If you’re debating between two similar answers, try identifying which is the worse answer, rather than which is the better one. Looking at the question from a different perspective can sometimes help clarify the underlying purpose of the question.
• When working with multiple-choice questions, remember that the answer is always right in front of you—it never leaves the page!
Answering Narrative Questions
A narrative question is designed to test your knowledge and understanding of the course material. Most narrative questions test your understanding of theories, concepts, and terms. Some narrative questions, however, are more complex and may require you to compare and contrast, or provide an example.
A specific number of marks are allocated to narrative questions. Your response to a narrative question should contain at least the same number of points as the number of marks allocated in order to obtain full marks.
Narrative questions may also appear with two or more sub-parts.
A typical narrative question on the national exam looks like this:
Explain the many loss prevention activities that the insurance industry is involved in.
Include examples to support your answer. (10 marks) ____________________________________________________________________
When answering a narrative question, consider the following tips:
• Read the question carefully. Key terms (for example, describe, define) will provide guidance on the type of answer required.
• Ensure that the points included in your answer match the mark allocation.
• Write down the parts of the question that you know. When you see your points on paper, you may remember the remaining answer points.
Answering Application Questions
Application questions are designed to test your ability to apply what you have learned from the course material to a common insurance scenario. Application questions may require you to draw on material from more than one section of the text or, in some cases, to use a specific section of the course material to formulate your answer. These questions give you an opportunity to demonstrate to the exam marker your knowledge of the subject matter beyond merely repeating the course material verbatim.
An application question consists of the scenario and the question.
A typical application question on the national exam looks like this:
Full Coverage Insurance is insuring a risk valued at $2,500,000, with an original premium of $10,000. To spread the risk, they had Blessing Insurance reinsure 30% of the risk and Coverage Plus reinsure 20%, for an equal percentage of the premium.
(a) Identify and explain the type of reinsurance used in this scenario. (4 marks)
(b) How much of the annual premium, if any, would each company receive? Explain how you would determine the amount. (6 marks)
(c) Would each company be required to pay for the loss? If so, how much would each company have to pay? Show your calculations. (10 marks)
When answering application questions, consider the following tips:
• Read the question carefully. Students often overlook or misinterpret a key word or phrase that determines the type of answer required.
• Create an outline to organize your thoughts. Map out your response on the back of your exam paper or on additional paper available before writing your answer in the exam booklet.
• Write your answer in point form if the question warrants or if you are running out of time.
• Pay attention to the marks allocated and provide an answer with sufficient points. An application question is often worth 20 marks. This means that your answer should contain at least 20 points and be of sufficient quality to demonstrate your knowledge of the text material.
• Convince the marker that you know the answer by keeping to the point. Be direct in your answer, and avoid going off on a tangent.
• Be neat. Markers can’t provide marks if they can’t read or interpret your intended answer.
Preparing for a CIP examination