Taking a test is a common anxiety for many people, especially when it will determine whether you get a license needed for your career. To become a Washington real estate broker, you must pass the licensing exam. Taking this high-stakes test can be stressful, but there are steps you can take to relieve your anxiety.
Know What to Expect. Learn everything you can about the exam, process, rules, and the testing center beforehand. The testing company, AMP, provides an candidate handbook for license candidates that includes:
- Examination administration guidelines
- Exam rules
- Exam study materials
- Exam content outlines
- Sample questions
- Scheduling and registration procedures
There are two portions in the Washington Real Estate Broker Examination — national and state — and 3.5 hours is allowed to complete both portions. National and state questions will be mixed, not relegated to separate sections. There are 100 multiple choice national questions. The state portion, which deals with Washington real estate license law, contains 30 multiple choice questions.
Review What’s on the Test. Real estate licensing exams are extensive and require memorization. If you paid attention during your pre-license course, there should be few surprises because the exam covers the same subjects in the real estate course you had to complete.
The candidate handbook provides exam content outlines that tell you exactly what is on the test and how many questions per topic. Topics include:
- Agency Relationships and Contracts
- Real Property Ownership/Interest
- Real Property
- Marketing Regulations (purchase and rental)
- Property Management
- Real Estate Calculations
- Washington statutes governing the licensing and activities of licensees
Use Exam Guides. Take advantage of the available materials to help you pass the exam. Exam preps or practice tests allow you to gauge your strengths and weaknesses and pinpoint sections you need to focus on. Taking the practice tests will also allow you to get familiar with the time allotted, the types of questions on the exam, and how questions are worded.
Remember to memorize the math formulas to solve common real estate calculations such as profit and loss, mortgage interest, down payments and commissions, and closing prorations. While practicing, carefully read the question to determine exactly what is being asked. Regardless of the specific numbers and scenarios in the question, if you use the correct formula, then your answer should be correct.
Study Buddy. Sometimes, studying with a friend who is also preparing for the licensing exam will keep you motivated. Studying with others can be mutually advantageous. You help each other learn while holding each other accountable. You will be motivated to not only do well on the exam, but to make sure that your friend does well, too.
While you review the pre-license course materials, take notes and highlight key concepts. Use flashcards to quiz each other on major concepts. Study for 45 to 60 minutes before taking a break.
Get Plenty of Sleep and Fuel. It is important to maintain your health in general and specifically before taking an exam. Get eight hours of sleep for several days before the exam and eat a well-balanced meal. An empty stomach can be distracting.
Don’t take practice tests on the day of your real estate exam; it may increase your anxiety and tension. Remember to relax, breathe, and remain calm. Concentrate only on the material presented on the exam.
Be Thorough. Be aware of the time allotted and manage your time wisely, but don’t rush. Read every sentence and every word carefully. It’s much harder to answer correctly if you’ve misunderstood the question. It’s easy to overlook words such as “all” and “none” and mistake “is” and “if” for each other. Test makers are also testing for attention to details and are aware of common mistakes and assumptions. They may include an answer that would be correct for the misconstrued question, so watch out.
Don’t Forget the Details. It’s easy to miss details when you are overwhelmed taking a 130-question licensing exam. Ensure that your question number corresponds to the number on your answer sheet. One mistake will 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 and don’t leave any empty spaces on your answer sheet.
Passing the Washington real estate exam is not as hard as you think if you are prepared, calm, and thorough. Commit to the steps above, and you should pass the test.