After spending countless hours studying and preparing for your real estate license exam, the date to put your knowledge to the test has finally arrived. If you’ve landed on this blog, you’re likely days, if not hours, away from taking your real estate license exam, and want to make sure you’re doing all you can to put yourself in a position to succeed.
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 real estate regulations.
As your exam day approaches, it’s important to get as much advice as possible on test taking tips and preparation. Failing the test is costly, but passing it can change your life.
With that said, we’ve researched and combined some of the best real estate exam tips we can find into this article to help you ace this exam and start a prosperous career in the real estate world.
What to Expect from The Real Estate Exam
Before we jump into our real estate exam tips, it’s important for you to understand what you’re going up against when exam day arrives. While exam experiences vary by state, most share basic commonalities that you can expect to see when you show up to your exam.
While many exams nowadays 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 their on exam day.
Most facilities recommend getting there 15 minutes in advance to check in and get situated, 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 (for obvious reasons), 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 will likely 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 likely 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 Exam 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 your way to the testing facility or exam hall, your mind might start racing through everything you learned over the past several weeks, and you may begin to question your understanding of various definitions or concepts.
For example, you may freeze when recalling the definition of municipal agencies or a clause in a license law. Your mind will send you down a rabbit hole of things you don’t know, causing you to freak out and frantically flip through your notes.
Resist that temptation!
On the final day, you need to be well-rested and calm. Picking up that book will only get you worked up and result in you forgetting things you already know! 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.
Outside the exam hall, you will likely see other test-takers, anxiously going over their notes and textbooks hoping for some last minute education. Resist talking to them, even if you know them. Anxiety is contagious and may end up rubbing off on you and make you doubt your preparation.
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’re driving yourself, maybe spend some time before your drive to calmly review your notes before leaving.
If you miss a couple 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 we are confident and comfortable among the common and effective real estate exam tips. 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. Try finding a calming playlist that allows you to think and prepare, rather than intense music that clouds your brain. 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 and Re-read Every Sentence
One of the most common real estate exam mistakes that aspiring agents make is rushing through the exam and not taking 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’s not 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, thinking that if they stare at it long enough, the correct answer will appear. 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 confidentially, then you can 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.
Who knows, 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 you’d be surprised at how many test takers know the answer, but accidentally fill in the wrong box. Some have even gone to mark a box for the wrong question entirely, which throws off all proceeding questions on the exam. You can follow all the real estate exam tips up to this point, but ultimately, your focus will still determine how far will you go.
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 each time. 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. Exams aren’t meant to be fun by any means, however, 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 breathes, and find your happy place. Staying relaxed will reinforce your mind and allow it to 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.