​​​​How to Pass the Real Estate Exam

Do you want a challenging, constantly evolving, and rewarding career?

If so, becoming a real estate agent might be the ideal job. With plenty of income potential, a flexible schedule, and the ability to help clients find their dream home, it’s no wonder many people choose to pursue a career in the real estate industry.

Passing your real estate exam is one of the most important steps to getting your license and being an agent. Preparing for a test can help manage stress, boost confidence, and allow you to perform at your best.

Learn what to expect on the real estate exam and the tools you can utilize to pass with flying colors.

What Is on the Real Estate Exam

Every state has different requirements for becoming a real estate agent. However, every state does require you to pass a test to become licensed.

The real estate exam is broken up into two sections. The first and longer section covers information covered in your pre-licensure class. The second shorter section covers real estate laws applicable to your state.

You can expect to answer questions on the following topics:

  • Brokerage Responsibility and Agency Management

  • Contracts

  • Financing

  • Practice and Disclosures

  • Property and Ownership Laws

  • Property Evaluation and Appraisal

Before your exam, check in with the testing center to find out what they require you to bring. In most cases, you will only need your identification as testing materials will be supplied.

How Many Questions Are on the Real Estate Exam?

In general, you should expect your exam to consist of around 100–150 multiple-choice questions. Each question is worth the same amount.

Most states will give you 3–4 hours to complete the test, although some only allow 2–3. In New York, applicants are only allowed 1 1/2 hours to complete the test.

You will need to achieve a minimum score of between 70%–75% or above to pass.

The good news is most states will allow you to retake the test until you pass the requirements. Testing is offered year-round. Keep in mind you will need to pay an application fee with each exam retake.

How to Prepare for the Real Estate Exam

It is important to start your exam prep early to put yourself in the best position to pass on the first attempt. For some students, exams can be a stressful experience. The best way to minimize that stress is by utilizing study materials and developing strategies that suit your learning style.

Here are some studying tips and tools to help you pass the real estate exam.

1. Create a Study Plan

A study plan is an organized schedule outlining when you will study and what goals you want to achieve in each session. A study plan will establish good studying habits, ensure you manage your time effectively, and make you accountable for your goals.

As a result, you become a disciplined and motivated student. It’s easy to underestimate how much time you’ll need to study. When it comes to creating your study plan:

  • Plan enough time for studying each section

  • Study at a set time and in a consistent place

  • Utilize odd hours during the day

  • Leave some unscheduled time for flexibility

It’s important to understand that your study plan is not set in stone. Life can sometimes get in the way when you least expect it. Throughout each week, review and make changes to your study plan to accommodate any unexpected events.

2. Focus On Your Real Estate Exam Prep Material

It’s easy to overlook key concepts or objectives when you’re studying. This is where a study guide comes in handy.

The purpose of a study guide is to detail what a student should be learning and how they can learn it. Study guides include the most important content clearly and concisely, making it easier to study multiple topics at once.

Instead of creating your own, Union Test Prep’s free real estate study guides can help. Our guides are compiled into concise, simple categories, so you can study only what you need to or study the whole kit and caboodle. The choice is yours.

3. Complete as Many Practice Tests as You Can

As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect.

Practice tests are worth their weight in gold. And no, this is not an over-exaggeration. Real estate practice tests are the closest you will get to the actual exam.

Taking practice tests will help you become familiar with the exam’s content and the types of questions you will encounter on test day. Of course, they aren’t the only benefits.

Union Test Prep’s free practice test is ideal for exam prep because it can help you:

  • Build stamina

  • Learn the quirks of the test

  • Identify knowledge gaps

  • Alleviate anxiety

  • Follow your progress

  • Retain information

  • Perfect your timing

Factor in time for several practice tests throughout your study prep. As a rule of thumb, you should complete practice tests at the start, during, and toward the end of your study period.

Take the first practice test to establish a starting point, use the second to measure your improvements, and take the third to cement your understanding.

As you do your practice tests, try to simulate the conditions you will experience in the actual test. This will assess how you will react to stressful situations, time pressures and how you problem-solve under these conditions.

4. Study Your Real Estate Terms and Vocab

The most important part of the real estate exam is the vocabulary. It also takes up a considerable chunk of the exam content. To pass the exam, you must learn and become familiar with these terms.

Utilizing real estate flashcards is a common learning strategy used by students to review certain things you need to know working as a real estate agent.

For example, contracts are a significant part of the real estate business. As a real estate agent, you need to know how to draft and deal with a solid contract.

Union Test Prep’s free flashcards can help you learn everything you need to know about contracts. Simply read the flashcard question: “What is an express contract?” answer it, and then flip it over to find the correct answer; “a contract created in words, written and oral.”

The flashcards are broken into six topics that cover the two sections of the real estate exam. Use flashcards to test your knowledge or get together with peers and test each other using the cards.

5. Challenge Yourself

No matter how much you think you know, there will always be one subject that you struggle with the most.

Instead of hoping it won’t be on the exam, challenge yourself to understand it. When you come across a difficult concept or question, there are several ways to break them down and make them more straightforward to answer:

  • Translate questions into your own words

  • Read each option carefully

  • Use the process of elimination strategy

If you’re trying to answer a tricky multiple-choice question, use the process of elimination. Cross out all the answers you know are incorrect or sound incorrect. Then, focus on the remaining answers.

When you only have two rather than four answers, it increases your likelihood of selecting the correct answer.

Challenge yourself now and feel more confident tackling tricky questions during the actual exam.

6. Form a Study Group

Some students often struggle to study alone. A lack of motivation is just one of several reasons why individual studying isn’t practical.

So, why not form a study group?

Studying with a group allows you to compare your notes with other students. It also helps solidify and clarify course materials and ensures you have a greater understanding of the topic.

When prepared for and done well, studying in a group:

  • Offers variety

  • It helps to keep your accountable

  • Eliminates procrastination

  • It helps fill gaps in your knowledge

  • It helps to gain different perspectives

  • Learn new study techniques

  • Learn information faster

When arranging to study in a group, consider the size. In general, it’s best to limit the size of the group to around 2 to 3 people.

At the end of each session, provide a quick summary of what you have learned and set a goal for the next. That way, you know what content you need to cover, and you’re coming to the next session organized.

As always, monitor the effectiveness of the session. If you notice any distractions, consider ending the session early or changing study tactics.

7. Ask a Real Estate Agent for Help

Each state, county, and town has its laws regarding property ownership. These laws are ever-changing.

What better way to stay up-to-date with the latest real estate laws than with a licensed real estate agent!

While it might not work every time, it can’t hurt to ask your local realtor for some advice. Sometimes asking another agent for help can create industry connections and career opportunities.

A licensed professional can give you tips and tricks on how best to tackle the exam. If you’re lucky, they may even have some old study notes.

8. Use a Real Estate Prep Course

While most states allow you to retake the test as many times as is needed, you want to avoid this as much as possible. Each time you reschedule a test, you pay another application fee and delay your career further.

You can avoid this by passing on the first attempt with the help of an exam prep course. Through Union Test Prep, you can gain familiarity with the test, learn the material, and discover tips and methods to maximize your performance.

Test prep courses have been known to raise test scores and boost confidence going into the actual exam.

9. Get Plenty of Rest

Poor sleep directly impacts your ability to perform mental tasks, which can be a nightmare on test day. Without sleep, your memory suffers, your stress levels increase, and your concentration goes down.

To develop a healthy sleep schedule, try to incorporate the following:

  • Go to bed and wake up at the same time each day

  • Avoid anything loud an hour before bed

  • Limit alcohol, caffeine, and nicotine consumption

  • Only exercise during the day

  • Make your bedroom as dark as possible

  • Limit daytime naps

The longer you follow these tips, the easier it will be to fall (and stay) asleep. This isn’t a “night before the exam” exercise. Ideally, you should start maintaining a healthy sleep schedule one to two weeks before your exam.

You can develop a habit within two weeks; who says you can’t do the same when you sleep?

10. Eat Nutritious Foods

Maintaining a healthy diet while studying can boost your brain power ahead of test day. Eating well is good for your mental and physical health.

When it comes to your real estate exam, you want to perform at your very best. Here are some tips to ensure you eat your way to success:

  • Avoid skipping meals

  • Eat plenty of fruit and vegetables

  • Drink plenty of water

  • Eat whole grains

  • Avoid snacks high in sugar

  • Avoid too much caffeine

You will want to eat a well-balanced nutritious breakfast on exam day, too. Choose brain-boosting food which includes plenty of protein for mental alertness, like eggs, whole grains, yogurt, and leafy greens.

Ace Your Real Estate Exam With These Studying Tips

There’s no magic spell or formula for studying for the real estate exam. The best advice is to start your exam prep early, be organized, and take advantage of study materials and learning strategies.

When taking the actual test, don’t leave any questions blank and return to the more challenging questions.

Need help with the real estate exam?

Union Test Prep has you covered. You can study with confidence with our free lessons, practice tests, flashcards, and study guides. Identify weaknesses and correct them.

You got this! Start your real estate exam prep now.

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