What Is the Real Estate Exam?

Becoming a real estate agent can mean freedom and the ability to grow your own business. In fact, for plenty of people, it’s also the realization of a dream. 

But, it takes work! Real estate is a tightly controlled industry (I mean, you wouldn’t want to buy property from just anyone), which means passing a big exam. This exam ensures that you understand the rules and regulations in the state where you plan to start your business.

Real estate exams are specific to the state you live in and/or want to practice in. For example, California’s is controlled by the California department of real estate, or California DRE. While you can hold real estate licenses in multiple states with reciprocity agreements or portability laws, it may work out best to focus on building a business in one at first.

So, you want that pass. What’s next?

Related: Best Real Estate Books for Beginners and Best College Degrees for a Real Estate Career

What to Do to Pass Your Real Estate Exam

Even though the content of your exam will vary somewhat by state, many study strategies will apply to every version of it. Learn how to pass your real estate exam using the following methods.

Sign Up For A Real Estate Pre-Licensing Course

In most states, a pre-licensing course for a real estate license will cost around $200-$300 dollars. Depending on your state, the course itself will take roughly 40-160 hours, but remember a fair amount of the work will consist of study time. Some states require a high school diploma, while others want you to be “of good character,” which a professional acquaintance can usually confirm. 

Find out what topics you’ll study in real estate school.

Establish A Study Plan

Let’s be realistic; only a few people love to study. But, if you want that real estate license that could build you a successful career, you’ll need to put your head down and concentrate. 

The real estate exam is multiple choice, with 60-80 state-specific questions and at least 100 nationally relevant questions. This means you don’t need to write essays or brush up on anything you’ve forgotten since you last handed in an important term paper. Still, there are a lot of facts to internalize. 

Flashcards, practice exams, and memorization are all your friends. The exam itself will usually be between 2 and 3.5 hours, so you should also practice concentrating for that long without drifting off or losing your cool. 

You’ll find excellent practice exams readily available online. Check a few different sources to ensure you get the best option possible.

Work On Real Estate Math

Real estate math is a real thing! 

Yes, you can use a calculator out in the field, but you still need to know the formulas to practice for the exam. And, in real life, you don’t want to fumble around working out your formula and making potential buyers uncomfortable. 

Want buyers to trust you? Then make them feel comfortable with your solid math skills. After all, you’re dealing with their money. Here are a few easy-to-memorize formulas that will regularly be applied in the real estate world.

It would help if you were comfortable with the following:

  • Commission formula: This is the sale price x commission percentage divided by 100.
  • Simple interest: A way of calculating how a loan will make a difference to what you pay overall over X years: A = P (1 + rt), where A = the principal plus interest, P = the principal amount, r = the rate of interest per year in decimal form, and t = the time period in months or years.
  • Loan-to-value ratio: This compares what you pay for a property to its current value. 80% or lower is good.

Establish A Test Taking Strategy

To pass your real estate exam, you must get 70% of the questions correct. This minimum score leaves wiggle room. So, as you take practice tests online (there are plenty to choose from, whatever your state), you should work on a test-taking strategy. You might tackle the most straightforward questions first, move on to the more taxing questions, and leave those “no idea” crapshoot multiple-choice options until the end. By then, there may have been some divine inspiration. Or, just a dredged-up memory from a practice exam. 

Start Your Real Estate Career with AptAmigo

Okay, so you passed your real estate exam (seriously, we believed in you this whole time!). You’ll be thrilled to know we’re always looking for qualified real estate agents at AptAmigo. We operate in major cities throughout the US and would love to hear about you, your career goals, and why real estate is important to you.

Let us know. We always have space on the team for passionate agents, and we know how hard you worked for that license.

AptAmigo is proud to be an equal opportunity workplace and does not discriminate based on race, religious creed, color, national origin, ancestry, genetic information, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law, in connection with any aspect of employment at AptAmigo.