Real estate agents must be licensed in the state or states where they facilitate transactions. A licensing test is administered after a prospective agent completes the education requirements.
There’s a lot of material covered, so it’s critical to be prepared in every possible way for your exam. You want to pass the first time!
Start by gathering all of the information for your particular state’s testing procedures and policies. Some states offer the test year-round at multiple locations; others at only certain times and limited locations.
The tests are multiple choice, with 100 to 150 questions. In most states, the tests are broken into two parts: a longer portion that covers general real estate principles, and a shorter section that’s specific to licensing laws in your state.
Real Estate License Exam: Resources That Can Help
Your state’s real estate commission or the test provider should provide resources that give prospective test takers information on what they can expect the exam to cover, and in what percentages. For example, in California, real property and laws relating to ownership questions account for about 11 percent of the test, while real estate practice questions account for about 22 percent.
Once you’ve registered for the test and gathered the information you need, it’s time to study. You can study on your own, of course, but a test prep course can be an invaluable tool for helping you fully prepare.
Test prep courses are offered in person, by correspondence and online. Choose the one that works best with your individual learning style. Math-related and contract questions tend to be the most difficult for many people, so spend extra time getting comfortable with these areas.
Also, make sure you are well-versed in:
- Types of listing agreements
- Types of real estate ownership
- Fiduciary duties of an agent
- Real estate specific vocabulary, especially any potentially confusing word pairs, such as foreclosure/forfeiture and leasehold/leased fee.
Testing day is here!
Be ready. Fill up your gas tank the day before. Gather your supplies, such as an approved calculator and your documentation, including your identification. Prepare a one-page, last-minute study sheet to take with you to the exam site. This study sheet should include notes for anything you feel you might struggle with on the exam. Use it to review these items again before entering the testing site.
While taking the test, keep these five tips in mind:
- Look at the answer first. Look for key words and terminology that stands out from your studies.
- Work backward to get to the correct answer. Eliminate any obviously wrong responses, and narrow down your choices. This raises your odds of getting it right, right off the bat.
- Do not choose an answer you’ve never heard of. If you’ve been studying your prep materials, there shouldn’t be anything unfamiliar to you.
- Once you’ve answered a question, don’t change it. Statistics show you’re more likely to change an answer from correct to incorrect.
- Skip questions you don’t know the answer to until you’ve answered everything you do know. Go back and work on the more difficult questions at the end.
These are some of the way you can prepare for your real estate license exam. Make sure follow these guidelines and, perhaps most importantly, relax! While not easy, passing the exam is much easier if you do the proper preparation so you will confident walking into the testing site.