Before becoming a ‘registered’ real estate salesperson in Virginia, you need to pass your local licensing exam. This exam will test how well you understand state and federal real estate laws, regulations, and best practices.
However, before even qualifying for the test, it’s important to note that there are a few precursor requirements that you must complete, like the accumulative class hours of real estate education, also known as pre-license training. The program should help you gauge your preparedness in bringing your customers one-step closer to acquiring their dream property.
Once you’ve found an approved training program to aid in your preparation, follow some of the tips listed below so you can get the best results out of your Virginia real estate exam preparation!
1. Take Your Time Going Through the Material
The pre-license course material that is required before taking the Virginia real estate exam is overwhelming. Virginia’s Department of Professional and Occupational Regulation, or DPOR, states that all Virginia residents looking to attain their real estate license must “complete 60 class/clock hours of a Board-approved Principles of Real Estate Pre-License Courses.”
While this is on the lower end of pre-license requirements compared to other states in the country, 60 hours is still a lot of hours to dedicate towards your VA real estate exam preparation.
Too many candidates make the mistake of rushing through the courses content so that they can move on to the exam. This is not only an ineffective way to study, but it will likely result in failing the exam and having to retake it.
Virginia requires residents looking to pass their real estate exam to take 60 hours of pre-license courses for a reason. The material included in these courses will help you better understand the ins and outs of being a Virginia real estate agent, and will help you become a more well-rounded professional once you receive your license.
With that said, make sure to take your time when going through the required pre-license material. Make sure you are free from distractions and are fully focused throughout the course. Doing so will help you retain the information and set you up for success when taking the exam.
Be it mental or written, physical or electronic, make sure that as you go through the required pre-license course material, that you are taking notes as you go through the various topics. Noting important points down helps you commit them to memory and is also an excellent source of revision material nearing the exam.
Make sure that the notes you take are clear and readable. Writing short phrases in messy handwriting will be of no use when it comes time to study for the Virginia real estate exam. When you see notes written with your hand at a later date, your mind will instantly make the connection to what that point relates to and help you remember.
This notion is reaffirmed in a recent Huffington Post article, where University of Melbourne professor Jared Hovarth remarks that when you take notes, “you process that information on a deeper level, because you’ve deciphered what the content is, how it links together, and then picked the words that best summarize that content.” Basically, note taking forces you to understand the content in your head, and explain it to yourself for future revision.
3. Discuss New Terms and Concepts
It’s important to note that you are not alone in your real estate studies. According to Virginia Realtors, an organization that presents Virginia real estate agents, there are roughly 32,000 agents in the state, with more joining the profession daily. Finding others currently studying for the exam and going through the prelicense material can be a great way to prepare for you exam.
It’s very likely that what is new to you is also new to the others that are going through the same state-required courses. Finding others in your area that are trying to become real estate agents will not only help you practice networking, but may also prove a useful study tactic.
Taking notes is one thing, but being able to talk about different topics, concepts, policies, and regulations out loud with others can be extremely helpful. Discussing the course material will not only help commit the information to memory, but it will also help you break down and understand the complete scope of what you’re studying.
You can find fellow exam preppers in your area online, through mutual friends, or through various real estate schools. With that said, explaining new material you’ve just learned to friends and family will also have a similar impact on information retention.
4. Take Breaks, Study in Intervals
Study sessions are more effective if broken down into short intervals as opposed to long marathons of book-combing. Even a machine can’t keep functioning 24/7 without breaking down, so how do you think a human would fare? An article on Forbes suggests that the secret to learning might be less studying.
A human mind can concentrate for 20 minutes on one thing until it needs to re-focus on the same subject again. But after re-focusing two to three times, it needs a break. As badly as you may want to race through the material and take your exam as soon as possible, it’s simply not a wise strategy.
By taking breaks during your studies, you’re letting your brain process and digest the information you just read. When you return to the course, you’ll feel energized and focused. By not taking breaks, you run the risk of getting burnt out, reaching a stage where, no matter how hard you try, information cannot be processed and store efficiently.
So break your study sessions into short, productive intervals to get more out of each minute you spend with the material.
5. Get Sufficient Sleep, Don’t Push Yourself
Another major mistake exam-takers make when preparing for their Virginia real estate exam is sacrificing sleep to make more time for studies. Many real estate students, especially as exam day creeps up, opt to stay up late studying rather than getting a full night’s sleep. This does you no favors as the human mind needs sufficient sleep to perform proper functions.
The lack of sleep may also lead to loss of retention, and then you wake up feeling exhausted. This will set you up for a long day ahead, which can impact future study sessions.
Sometimes, candidates change their otherwise constant sleep schedule to accommodate studies, another ill-advised practice. Changing the natural sleep pattern shifts the body and mind’s harmony. It takes 48 hours for the body to then catch up with the mind’s change in sleep patterns, resulting in wasting those 48 hours.
6. Take Practice Exams
Practice exams are a great way to track your progress. Each time you try a different exam, you get an idea of what you know, and what you need to spend more time learning. There is also added clarity of whether you can pass this test or not and know how ready you are to attempt the real thing.
Practice exams also help in mentally preparing you for what is coming. You get a general idea of the types of questions and a hint into the exam maker’s mind; how they use common mistakes made by candidates to design the exam and what they expect from candidates.
Another comprehensive solution to all your worries is taking your pre-license training online, where you can easily eliminate scheduling and accessibility conflicts. With online training, you’ll now have a chance to prepare for the actual exam at your own pace, while also having 24/7 access to the topics that you’re struggling with. Sign up here to get started.