Ten Tips to Prepare for the Real Estate License Exam – And Pass!


Completing your real estate education is just the first step toward a rewarding career in this growing field. The next step is taking the real estate license exam. A few smart strategies can maximize your potential to pass the state test. Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate is sharing these ten top tips to help you prepare for this essential exam – and pass it!

Be Aware of State Rules

Each state has specific rules on the administration of real estate license exams. Review these rules before taking the test including:

  • application and entry process required to take the exam
  • the fee to take the test and how it can be paid
  • location and time of the exam as well as handicapped access, if applicable
  • accommodations for special health needs, such as diabetes and others
  • acceptable forms of photo ID to gain entry to the testing site
  • if the use of calculators is permitted and what type are allowed or prohibited
  • writing implements to bring for test completion
  • what items are permitted at the testing site, such as food, beverages, and wallets
  • if a prelicensing course certificate is required to prove completion of the required real estate education

Schedule the Exam Immediately

Procrastination works against people who need to take important tests. Schedule the exam immediately after completing your real estate education. The longer someone waits, the more likely the test taker will forget information included in the exam. Find out how long it takes to get an appointment to take the exam. If the waiting period is longer than a couple of weeks, think about scheduling the exam before finishing the last few lessons. The facts should be fresh in your mind to provide accurate answers on the test.

Prep for the Test

As a real estate agent, there are many finer points of the profession learned in the field. The real estate license exam tests future agents on their knowledge of industry facts. Study the vocabulary closely to understand the meaning of the test questions. Understanding the vocabulary is crucial. As the questions are multiple choice, if you know the vocabulary you will be able to reason out the questions by discounting certain vocabulary words. Use flashcards to review key terms and relevant information, such as state licensing laws. Repetition helps people remember more of what they studied. Allow enough time to cover all the material without cramming the night before the test.

Practice Builds Confidence

Establish good study habits, take notes, and engage with the material. Complete practice test exams to find out what areas require additional study. Review the answers to discover your strong and weak points to feel more confident about passing the test. Take a real estate license exam prep course to know what to expect and avoid the anxiety associated with uncertainty.

Talk to a Pro

It helps to talk to people who have completed the real estate license exam. Active real estate agents can share tips and offer advice about how to approach the test. Find out if other people you know are taking the exam and start a study group. Taking a prep course or participating in a study group creates accountability and boosts motivation to study regularly. Prep courses can be online or a book. Many of the prep courses have you go through a series of questions to see what your strengths are. They then allow you to focus on the areas of the test which you need to work on.

Get Comfortable

Feel at ease before taking the test, so you are comfortable during the exam. Get plenty of rest the night before the test, and set your alarm to wake up on time. Then eat something light to avoid hunger pangs. Wear clothing that breathes and allows movement to stay cool. If you wear corrective lenses, put them in or bring them with you. Try deep breathing exercises or guided meditations to reduce stress before the test. Make a plan to arrive at the test site early and use the restroom before entering the exam room. Settle into the exam area and think of a few positive affirmations and images – you’ve got this!

Pay Attention to Detail

As soon as the exam begins, stay focused on the process. Have all the necessary materials accessible to complete the test. Read each question carefully to understand precisely what is being asked. Some questions could be designed to determine if the test taker understands the subtle differences between similar concepts. Knowing the vocabulary will help. Stay focused on the facts and avoid overthinking.

Do the Math

While math is a strong point for some, it is a weak one for others. Real estate agents are expected to be able to perform basic calculations pertaining to property transactions. These type of questions are likely to appear on the real estate license exam. Slowly read the question and do the work required. Double check your answers to the math questions to make sure the calculations are correct.

Read the Entire Question

Test takers often have an answer in mind halfway through reading the question. While the answer might seem obvious, always read the entire question and all the possible responses. Carefully consider multiple choice questions with a possible answer of all or none of the above, as these answers are right 52 percent of the time. Reread the question to determine if this answer is a possibility.

Finish the Exam Completely

Take a deep breath and avoid the urge to rush through the test to get it done. Once you complete all the questions, check the answers. Make sure to answer every question by choosing the most likely response. When in doubt, try to guess the answer – there’s a chance it could be right. Failing to answer a question is counted against the test taker.

Employment of real estate sales agents is expected to grow 6 percent over the next few years. Get your share of this lucrative profession. Knowledge and practice build confidence and help banish stress. Increase your possibility of passing the test by completing the right real estate education and being well-prepared for the real estate license exam. Need some assistance? Better Homes and Gardens® Real Estate helps people find the right career path and prepare for a satisfying career in real estate with a variety of tools to help agents make choices to enhance their careers.

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