After spending countless hours studying and preparing for your real estate license exam, it’s time to put your knowledge to the test. Like any big test, the days leading up to the exam will be daunting. This is especially true when it comes to the real estate exam, which covers a wide variety of topics, from terminology to state-specific regulations.
As your exam day approaches, it’s important to get as much advice as possible on test taking tips and preparation.
With that said, here are some of the best tips to help you ace your real estate exam and start a prosperous career as a real estate agent.
What to Expect from The Real Estate Exam
Before we jump into our exam tips, it’s important for you to understand what you’re going up against when exam day arrives. While experiences vary by state, most share basic commonalities that you can expect to see when you show up.
While many exams are going digital, it’s more than likely that your real estate exam will be held in a testing facility. It’s a smart idea to look up your testing location in advance so that you know how long it will take to get there on exam day.
Most facilities recommend getting there 15 minutes in advance to check in, but we recommend leaving earlier to account for traffic and to leave yourself with excess time to get comfortable once you arrive.
Don’t show up to the facility empty handed. While you won’t be allowed to use your cell phone when taking the exam, you will need some forms to check in. Here’s what you’ll need to bring with you to the testing facility:
- Government ID (passport, driver’s license, etc.)
- Second Form of ID with Name and Signature (credit card)
Real Estate Exam Length
The length of time you have to take your real estate exam will depend on the state you live in, but on average will be around 180 minutes. From the time you arrive at the testing facility to the time you leave, you should expect the whole real estate exam process to take roughly four hours.
Your test will be broken into multiple times sections, each containing a certain amount of multiple choice questions. For example, the Texas real estate exam is broken down into two sections, one for the national portion of the exam and another for the state-specific portion. For more information on your specific exam, be sure to research your state’s requirements before heading to the testing facility.
Real Estate Test Taking Tips
The real estate exam will not only test your knowledge and ability to retain the information you learned throughout your prelicense course, but will also test your ability to perform under pressure.
Here are some real estate exam tips to use during your upcoming test:
1. Focus on What You’ve Learned
On the final day, you need to be well-rested and calm. An article published in Forbes emphasizes that while it’s important to look over notes before an exam, doing so under pressure can cause more harm than good.
2. Use Flashcards or Short Notes
Notecards are one of the best tools for quick, rapid-fire studying leading up to an exam. If you’re getting a ride to the exam or using public transport, quiz yourself on your commute. This will help get your mind in the right gear as you head to the exam.
If you miss a couple of definitions here and there while reviewing your note cards, don’t freak out. Just keep them in a pile and look them over once more before your exam. The goal of the note cards isn’t to study, but to get you in a rhythm to take on your real estate exam.
3. Loosen Up
Test taking is much easier when you are confident and comfortable. Before you go to the exam room, take some time to stretch out and release your body of any tension or knots it may have. This will make you feel better while clearing your mind before taking your real estate exam.
Music can also help loosen the mood and ease tension before an exam. If you need to go to the bathroom, go beforehand. While bathroom breaks are fine during the real estate exam, they do break up momentum and can distract you from the task at hand.
4. Read Each Question Carefully
One of the most common real estate exam mistakes that aspiring agents make is rushing through the exam and not taking the time to read each question. This is understandable given the time constraints on each exam section, but it’s still vital to make sure you fully understand the question before providing an answer.
Too often, many test takers think they understand what a question is getting at, select an answer, and move on. But often, this tactic results in wrong answers because the question isn't as straightforward as they had expected. When taking the exam, be sure to read and re-read each question before answering.
Missing simple, small words like ‘all’ or ‘some’ or mixing up terms can change the whole meaning of the question, and the people that create the real estate license exam often put answers to deliberately to throw the test taker off.
Be careful of such misinterpretations by taking your time and reading the question carefully.
5. Don’t Focus All Your Attention to One Question
Among the key real estate exam tips is to not get too caught up on a single question. Too often on tests, individuals spend minutes on one question. This can be harmful to your performance, especially on timed exams.
Remember, you have to get a score of 75 out of 100, not a perfect score. A helpful tactic is to make note of questions that gave you trouble, and move on. Once you’ve answered all other questions confidently, go back and answer the tougher ones. This way, you don’t have to worry about spending too much time on the question and miss out on the rest.
Other questions further down the exam may jog your memory and help you remember the answer to the question that originally left you perplexed.
6. Make Sure You Fill in the Right Answer
This may seem simple, but test takers often accidentally fill in the wrong box to a question. Small mistakes like this can be extremely costly, and by the time you notice the mistake it could be too late. To avoid this human error, take your time on each question to make sure you are selecting the answer you want. If you have some time left at the end of the exam, go back and double check that your answers match up with the question.
7. Keep a Positive Attitude
Lastly, stay positive. Having a positive attitude can significantly impact your performance when taking the real estate exam.
At any time, if you feel like the exam-load is getting to you, take a break for a minute. Drop your pen, close your eyes, take some deep breaths. Staying relaxed will allow your mind to think clearly and dig deeper to remember what you learned.
Following these real estate exam tips can help you attempt the exam with relative ease and increase your chances of passing with flying colors.