Being a real estate professional can be very rewarding. While the financial remuneration is handsome if you are truly good and immersed at what you do, all the house tours, market studies, and networking can also be great recipes for career growth and expansion.
Real estate brokers play a fundamental role in guiding the people who are making one of the biggest investments in their lives. It is only rational that they are held to a high standard and that becoming a part of the profession demands some prerequisites.
Applying for the position of a real estate broker means you’re expected to have the ability to deal with huge sums of money and property taxes. The clients are also sure to look out for you to carry out your businesses with ethical and responsible behavior.
The Florida Real Estate Commission (FREC) is responsible for the buying, selling, and leasing of all properties in Florida. They also administer The Florida Real Estate Sales Associate exam and the broker exams that both consist of 100 multiple-choice questions.
In this article, we’ll break down everything you need to know about the Florida real estate exam as well as some tips to help you pass to help kick start your real estate career.
What You Need to Know About the Florida Real Estate Exam
Before becoming a Florida real estate agent, you must first pass the Florida real estate exam. This exam is no walk in the park and will put your real estate knowledge to the test.
How Much Does the Florida Real Estate Exam Cost?
If you are planning to operate in Florida as a real estate agent, or even a broker, you must obtain a license. To get that license, you have to register for the Florida real estate exam and clear it. There are multiple costs attached to this process.
The first payment you make will be at the registration step. Applicants are required to take a 63-Hour Sales Associate Prelicense Course, for which the cost is $59 for a basic, online package. Classroom packages are also available but at higher prices.
The next stage is the application process where the candidates must submit their applications to the Department of Professional Regulation. While the cost for an agent’s application is $83.75, the broker’s application costs $91.75. The state runs background on each candidate before it accepts their application.
This requires the candidates to register for electronic fingerprinting with any of the Florida approved LiveScan vendor. This will cost you $53.50. At the final stage of your licensing process, you are supposed to take the State License Exam, for which the fee is $36.50.
How Hard is the Florida Real Estate Exam?
At the end of the prelicense course, you will have to pass the final exam. This is before you can take your the Florida real estate exam. The final school exam requires you to obtain 70% marks and will prepare you well before your Florida Real Estate Sales Association Examination.
The Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam is a multiple-choice exam. There are 100-questions, out of which 45 are on real estate principles and practices, and 45 questions quiz you on the federal laws of Florida real estate. There is an additional section that is primarily math based and has 10 questions.
The sales association examination requires a grade of at least 75% in order to pass. This means that the margin of error is quite low. It will not only test you on the laws relevant to the state of Florida but also the ones that are enforced at the national level.
While the exam can be tricky at times, there are multiple ways to prepare for it. While you already have to take your prelicense course examination, it is also recommended that you take one of the mock-up exams that are available online.
What You Need to Take on Exam Day
When it’s your exam day, you must keep the items that you will require for your examination ready in advance. These include the following items:
- There will be a dedicated section for math questions in your Florida real estate exam that will require the help of a calculator. The calculator, however, should be silent, battery-powered, and non-programmable.
- Entry Permit
- You will receive this in mail once your application is approved. Bring it for the purpose of identification.
- Scratch Paper
- The questions will have to be answered on a scratch paper. Bring a pair of No.2 pencils for that purpose. You can also use them for any rough work you may feel the need to perform during the examination.
- Photo ID
- While one is necessary, the examination authorities do require more than one photo ID on certain occasions. Therefore, it will be wise if you confirm from the authorities what document should you bring.
- Prelicensing Course Certificate
- This is to prove that you have completed the required course and are eligible to take the exam. While you may have already sent it with your application, you may need to present it at the time of your exam as well.
Tips on How to Pass Your Real Estate Exam
The sales associate exam includes 45 questions based on real estate principles and practices.
The other 45 questions cover the Florida and federal government laws, and the remaining ten questions are designed to test your arithmetical intelligence.
The broker exam, on the other hand, covers Florida real estate principles and laws.
This exam contains questions covering brokerage management and real estate investment. It also contains questions on the Closing Disclosure form and more items.
The sales associate exam and the broker exam, both require a score of 75 to pass.
According to the state law, the applicant must be above 18 years of age. The applicant must possess relevant documentation such as a driver’s license, National Identification Card or passport.
Furthermore, the applicant must also have a high school diploma or obtained relevant GED (General Education Development) equivalent.
Here are tips that will help you pass your Florida real estate exam:
1. Be Ready
Find out everything you can about the exam, process, rules, and the testing center beforehand. The Department of Business and Professional Regulation provides a Candidate Information Handbook for license candidates that include:
- Examination administration guidelines
- Exam rules
- Test-taking advice
- Exam study materials
- Exam content outlines
- Scheduling and registration procedures
- Scoring information
Learn as much as you can about the exam site (question type, time limit, required pass score, rules). Check out the exam provider’s website, download study guides and candidate handbooks, and read through sample test questions, much of which you can find online.
Review what’s on the test. Real estate licensing exams are extensive. They require memorization, focus, and stamina. There are certain basic real estate facts that will be on the test. Most real estate licensing exams have a national portion and a state portion. If you can, go back and review the state-specific part of your prelicense course. The exam is based on the prelicense course curriculum, which covers topics such as:
- Real Estate Business
- License Law and Licensing
- Real Estate law
- Property Rights and Estates
- Titles and Deeds
- Real Estate Calculations
- Types of listings and agent agreements
- Fiduciary duties
- Contract types and elements
- Forms of ownership
- Fair housing rules
- Types of property conveyance
Pearson VUE schedules, administers, scores, and reports the results. The exam is administered on an electronic testing system. You will be able to mark a question for review, move forward or backward one question at a time, or move to a specific question. The exam contains 100 multiple-choice questions and you’ll have three and a half hours to complete it. You must score 75% of the questions correctly to pass the exam.
Get plenty of sleep and food. It’s important to maintain your health before taking an exam. You’ll need at least eight hours of sleep for several days before the exam and a full meal the day of the test. You don’t want to be distracted by an empty stomach.
It’s not a good idea to take practice tests on the day of your real estate exam because it can increase your anxiety. Remember to relax, breathe, and remain calm. Concentrate only on the material presented on the exam.
Develop good study habits long before the test. As you go through the course, take notes. Review lessons that give you trouble. Do all the activities and worksheets and whatever else is provided. The more you engage with the material, the better you’ll remember it in the exam room.
Take the practice exams. Many online prelicense courses include lots of practice exams, so take advantage of them. Practice makes perfect, right? Plus, it will help you feel more confident and defeat test stress during the exam.
Take advantage of the materials out there to help prepare for the exam. A great way to identify your strengths and weaknesses and pinpoint areas for further study are exam preps or practice tests. You’ll also get familiar with the time allotted, the types of questions on the exam, and how questions are worded.
Memorize the math formulas needed to solve common real estate calculations such as profit and loss, mortgage interest, down payments, commissions, and closing prorations. Carefully read the questions to determine exactly what is being asked. If you use the correct formula, your answer should be correct regardless of the specific numbers and scenarios in the questions.
Review the prelicense course materials, take notes, and highlight key concepts. Use flashcards or other methods to quiz each other on vocabulary and major concepts. Study for about 60 minutes before taking a break.
Having a study buddy can keep you motivated and focused and help you understand some difficult concepts. It can be mutually advantageous. You help each other learn while holding each other accountable. You’ll be motivated to not only do well on the exam but also to make sure that your friend does well, too.
Review the prelicense course materials, take notes, and highlight key concepts. Use flashcards or other methods to quiz each other on vocabulary and major concepts.
3. Cope With Stress
Prepare emotionally to take the exam. Test taking is inherently stressful, but when the outcome determines whether you can become a real estate agent, it gets to anxiety-level stress.
Recognize the signs of anxiety such as sweating, increased heart rate, shortness of breath, trembling hands, shaking legs, and nausea. This can sabotage you, leading to poor concentration, confusion, and negative attitudes.
Practice breathing and muscle relaxation techniques before the test so you’re ready. Breathe deeply and slowly and allow every muscle in your body to relax while you concentrate on your breathing. Progressively tense and then relax a muscle system.
Break the self-defeating habit of negative self-talk as it can distract you from the test. Visualize yourself in a room full of people with a proctor watching. Knowledge about the situation can help you relax.
4. Use Basic Test Taking Tips
Most state licensing exams contain multiple choice questions with four answer choices: the correct answer and three distractors.
- Read the question carefully, multiple times if necessary, to ensure you know exactly what it is asking. Questions may be phrased in odd ways like: “The licensee shall disclose all of the following EXCEPT: ”
First, think of the correct answer to the question before looking at the answer choices. Then read each answer choice. Some tips on choosing the right answer include:
- Eliminate choices that are obviously incorrect so you can quickly narrow the choice down and improve your odds.
- It is more likely that a positive answer is correct rather than a negative choice.
- Don’t avoid “none of the above” and “all of the above.” One study found that they were correct 52% of the time.
- The same study also found that the longer answer, within reason, is often correct.
- Common prefixes, suffixes, and word roots can help you figure out the terms you don’t know.
- Keep an eye out for grammatical clues: subject/verb agreement and “a” vs. “an” may hint at the correct answer.
- Manage your time wisely, but don’t rush. If it is possible, answer the questions you’re confident about first and then go back to the ones you skipped and see if you can pick out the correct answer. Try not to choose an answer which you have never heard of before.
If you have spent too much time and energy working on the same question, it may affect your mental alertness and ability to concentrate. That might cause you to miss other questions in a rush at the end which can adversely affect grades. If you run out of time and energy by the time you get to the end of the test, take a lucky guess instead leaving a question out.
- Eliminate the wrong answers and work backwards to the right answer. You may be able to eliminate only one or two of the options. Even if that is the case, you’ve raised your odds, and that’s a big improvement.
Once you’ve answered a test question, don’t change your answer. Even if you are unsure of the answer, stand by your selection.
Statistics show that you are much more likely to change an answer from correct to incorrect instead of the other way around. Unless you are adamant that you have marked the wrong answer, resist the temptation to switch.
- Don’t miss the details. It’s easy to miss details when you’re overwhelmed taking a big licensing exam. One mistake could jeopardize the entire test, and you may not have time to fix it. If you don’t know an answer, guess. Answer all of the questions. Remember, you have the option to note the questions you wish to reconsider and return to them later.
Get Help With Exam Preparation
It is apparent that taking the Florida real estate exam does not only require effort but a lot of financial and time investment as well. Therefore, it is important that you prepare for it well. While the mock exams and the courses will help, there are times when you may feel the need for a little more than that to clear exam.
In that case, take one of the exam preparation courses that will you will give you an extra push to pass your exam. When you think of it, the small cost of a prelicense course is a very smart investment given the earning potential of Florida real estate agents.