Frequently Asked Questions

What’s the Hardest Part of the Real Estate Exam?

So you’re preparing to take the real estate exam and worried about the hardest part. That’s understandable. Unfortunately, there is no easy answer to this question.

The good news is that this guide will break down the answer to this question into bite-sized pieces to help ease your anxiety about taking the state exam prep course. So, instead of dreading the hardest part, focusing on acing the sections you consider easy and strategically guessing correctly on the parts you don’t know can help you pass.

How Hard Is the Real Estate Exam

The real estate test is hard if you haven’t had any real estate exam prep. So, it would help if you had some preparation before you arrive at the test site for your exam.

You can prepare for the exam by doing some preliminary research and studying on your own. There are many companies online that provide prep courses and information that can give you a feel for what you can expect on the exam. Such courses are great because some of them are free and allow you to sample whether a real estate career is a step in the right direction for you.

If you can handle the prep courses, the next practical step is to take a state pre-licensing course that helps you prepare for the licensing exam. This is similar to prep coursework, but it costs several hundreds of dollars and will provide you with a certain amount of hours necessary before taking the test. Upon completing the pre-licensing course, you can schedule to take the real estate licensing exam. 

If you’re part of the lucky 50 percent, you’ll pass your exam on the first attempt. Unfortunately, it may take several tries to pass the real estate exam. But before you get comfortable with the idea of taking the exam multiple times, keep in mind that your state exam could be quite costly, and some states limit the number of times you can take the exam. 

Is test prep or a pre-licensing course a guarantee that you’ll pass the test? While some test facilities offer pass guarantees, the best way to ensure you will pass the real estate exam is to prepare. 

In addition to taking coursework, you should also develop a practical study schedule. Don’t wait to cram everything you learned from your course the night before the exam. Take your time and learn as much as possible about the exam topics in small doses over time. This will make the exam “less hard” on test day.

Remember that the hardness of the exam is left up to interpretation. If you’re well-prepared, you may not perceive any part of the exam as hard.

Common Parts of a Real Estate License Exam

The most common real estate license exam test format is multiple choice. Typically there are between 100 and 150 questions on the test. One section you’ll see on the exam is math. Most people dread this section, but it only makes up around 20 percent of the test. The more significant portions of the tests will be based on your knowledge of two critical areas: 1) national real estate questions and 2) local real estate questions.

National vs. Local Real Estate Questions – Which is Harder?

Again, how complicated the exam is will be relative to the test taker. Instead of judging the national or state portions of the real estate exams as hard or easy, you should view them as general or specific. National questions will fall into the general category, while state questions will be specific. If you recall general information much better than specific information, you may perceive the national part of the test as “easier” and vice versa. In any case, you should aim to work on what you perceive as easy first and save the “hard” parts for later. 

Is the Finance Part of the Exam Hard?

Many people approach the real estate finance portion of the test with fear and anxiety because they don’t like math. So, they put up a roadblock before they even take the test. Remember that the real estate math section of the test won’t consist of calculus, trigonometry, or algebra. Instead, it will be basic math that will help you be a successful real estate professional

Memorizing some of the basic formulas you learn in a prep course should help you easily tackle these math questions. For instance, remembering that an acre equals 43,560 feet will help when you have to do math problems involving conversions. Knowing the formulas to expect on the exam is half the battle. The other half is doing the math on scratch paper or using your simple calculator. Eliminate the mental block, and you’ll do surprisingly well with math. 

How Important Is Vocabulary?

Real estate terms are a significant part of the exam. Many of the concepts your class introduces you to will relate to vocabulary. So, it is a good idea to devote most of your studies to real estate vocabulary. This is where old-fashioned flash cards may come in handy. This technique may take you back to elementary and junior high school days. But this is a tried-and-true method for memorizing vocabulary words. 

Strategies For Passing the Real Estate Exam Before Test Day

The real estate exam varies from state to state. But preparation for the exam is universal. Here are some techniques to prepare for your real estate exam before the big day arrives.

Know What Your State Specifically Covers

You will have to answer questions about both national and state-specific things. But everything you cover in exam prep courses will not be on the test. It is a good idea to find out what your state exam covers. For instance, your state may cover agency relationships, finance, real property, contracts, and closing procedures. While you don’t want to focus exclusively on these topics alone, emphasizing them more when studying is a good idea. 

Take Practice Exams Under the Pressure of Time

Another thing you’ll want to do in preparation for the real estate salesperson exam is take the practice test multiple times. Ideally, it would help if you took the tests under the pressure of time constraints so you can practice timing yourself. 

Know Plenty About Fair Housing Laws

As a successful real estate salesperson, you don’t want to discriminate against clients, intentionally or unintentionally. So, the test will cover real estate laws related to fair housing. So, make sure you prepare for this. 

Strategies For Passing the Real Estate Exam on Test Day

Besides getting a good night’s sleep, what are some good test-taking practices to use on test day? Here are a few exam preparation tactics to keep in mind.

Answer the Easy Stuff First

Remember, test-taking, in general, isn’t easy. So, you don’t want to make matters worse by staying stuck on the hard stuff. Work on the easy parts of the test quickly and save the complex portions for last. 

Answer Every Question

You aren’t penalized for answering a question incorrectly. So, it is a good idea to answer every question. Try to avoid guessing erratically. Instead, employ better test-taking strategies, such as using a process of elimination. This can help you choose the best answer and potentially get it correct.

Real Estate Exam FAQs

Are you taking the real estate exam soon? Here are answers to a few questions you may have when taking the exam in your state.

Can I Use a Calculator For Math-Related Questions?

Yes, you can use a calculator for math-related questions. But don’t expect to be able to pull out your smartphone and use the calculator on it. You will have to have a separate calculator that is battery-operated and makes no noise. Calculators with simple memory are acceptable. However, programmable calculators and graphing calculators are forbidden. 
A good option is the Casio FX-115 ES Plus. To be sure, check with your testing facility before the test day or refer to your exam candidate booklet about what type of calculator is allowed on the exam. If you plan to work for a sponsoring broker once you pass your exam, you may also ask someone at your home location which calculator is best for the exam. 

Is Guessing on the Real Estate Exam a Good Strategy?

Yes. If you don’t know the answer to something on the real estate exam, leaving the answer blank is not a good idea. There is a slight chance that your guess could be correct. But the good news is you’re not penalized for guessing. So, consider guessing when you don’t know the answer. 
Try to apply a guessing strategy that is strategic rather than random. Iny, meeny, miny, moe is probably not a good strategy, nor is when in doubt, pick C. Instead, read each and look for clues that are obvious red flags. For instance, avoid answers that include absolute words like always or never. 

Will I Take a Written Test or a Computer-based, Proctored Exam?

In most states, the exam will be administered as a computer-based, proctored exam in a testing center. 

When Should I Pay the Real Estate Exam Fee

You’ll pay the real estate exam cost before sitting for the exam. You typically pay with a credit card, but sometimes, a cashier’s check may be accepted. Payments may be made online, via telephone, or sent by mail. Once a testing facility receives payment, you can schedule the day you want to take your real estate exam. 

Ready to Practice For the Exam?

If you’re ready to start preparing for your exam, the team at Real Estate License Wizard can help! If you need help with the national portion of the test or the state-specific portions, we have practice exams available to suit your needs. Visit our free real estate exam practice website to prepare for your real estate exam today! 

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