So, you’re wondering how to pass your real estate license exam and have interest in becoming a REALTOR® (or a real estate sales professional)... maybe you’ve met a neighborhood agent and thought “I can do that… heck, I’d like to become one too!” Maybe you’ve looked into what they do for the community and already have the sort of background interests required to make a career of it. Well, let's explore...
You have to apply, take and pass your exam
In previous articles, we’ve discussed the real estate state license exam and what to expect when going in to your local testing facility for the testing process. For this article, we’re going to discuss what to expect as you begin looking into how to complete the exam application itself.
- Search for your state licensing portal (Florida’s can be seen here as an example).
- Select the real estate career path you’re interested in (i.e. sales associate).
- Browse through the course study options and select the one that fits you.
- Review the requirements for becoming an agent (broker, etc.).
- Choose whether you want to fill out the online agent test application form or do it offline.
- For online application, create an online profile for the real estate licensing board portal.
- Now, follow the instructions as they relate to your state regulations for certification.
Unfortunately, each state has its own regulatory requirements for becoming an accredited real estate professional, so there’s no clear amount of time you should anticipate hearing back from your own state’s version of the “Department of Business and Professional Regulation's Online Application Services” in between form submissions. Suffice it to say, it could be a few weeks between notifications, however, if you feel that your testing forms may have been lost in the mail, then definitely follow up using the contact info provided in the portal you created your application profile with.
Find the real estate license exam test location nearby
When it comes to testing centers, you actually have a lot of options and you may be surprised to learn that there are quite a few testing facilities nearby. Many of these state-accredited schools and testing facilities are private businesses and on the marketing side, may advertise their services to those interested in becoming an agent or REALTOR® using different descriptive words.
Beyond a simple Google search, tools like Google Maps will make the process of finding a nearby training facility a lot easier! Of course, because many of the schools themselves may host the exams, you may want to check for educational centers too. Even if the schools don’t offer the tests themselves, they’ll be able to point you in the right direction for finding a nearby agent exam.
Sometimes finding the right combination of words to expand your search means exploring obvious (or not-so-obvious variations) of search terms. In this case, you can see how a testing facility may only market their services under the term licensing facility (and so on). So when looking for a nearby testing facility to complete your real estate training, keep in mind that you may have to get a little creative in order to widen your options!
Find your testing dates
Once you have located the state licensing exam facility in the area (one that works well for you), you can check their online schedule to find a testing time that works best. Keep in mind that, depending on where you live versus where you work (if you’re currently holding down another job while you train to become an agent), it might make more sense to find a testing facility that has available testing times that work for where you’re going to be at specific points in your daily commute.
How to prepare for your license exam
In previous articles, we’ve discussed in more detail how to prepare for the state licensing exam. You can take a look at those tips here. For those that are coming here directly and might only have a brief amount of time to review some tips on prepping for the exams, here are some quick pointers to get you headed in the right direction:
- Real Estate Principles
- Real Estate Practice
- Legal Aspects of Real Estate
These sections can be further explored in this helpful article here. If you’re not comfortable with these general areas of study when it comes to passing the exams and obtaining your license, then you’re definitely going to want to brush up. It will help to run through some practices tests which can be found online through providers like this one here.
How much does the real estate exam cost?
It’s good practice to go in knowing the battle ahead of you and a little bit of advance research into becoming an agent can save you a lot of time-consuming mistakes and financial potholes as you begin your test to become a licensed agent in the state. The Texas Real Estate Commission, for example, posted on their site that out of 30,987 tests taken (10/01/15 to 11/30/17), 17,493 people had passed, but 13,494 people failed their tests to become an agent in Texas.
Take a second to really soak in those pass/fail stats for the exams. It shows a pass rate of about 56%! This should be an eye-opener for those serious about becoming an RE pro. Don’t worry, just prepare. Read up on the most common mistakes agents make going in for their license. Then… don’t make those same mistakes! ;)
Requirements to pass the exam
What score do you have to have in order to pass the real estate licensing exam? As always, this may vary for your state, but generally speaking, you’ll need a 70% score or higher to pass your exam for the agent role and you’ll need a 75% score or higher to pass your test to become a broker.
You can take your exam over again, but there may be time constraints or other considerations that may make taking the test over and over a bad decision in the long-run. Do brokers or clients have access to your testing scores? Not necessarily, but there’s a lot to learn the first year or two as an agent and you don’t want to begin your new career without the base knowledge required to really own your profession and to service your clients with a solid, core competency level.
Don’t lean on a “faking it till you make it” mentality. That can be a way to break into the luxury RE arena, but not the industry itself. Instead, take the time to learn this stuff, because knowing what’s on the exams absolutely matters in the real world. People’s very homes and financial wherewithal will depend on your advocacy and knowledge!
What to bring...
Okay, so what do you need to bring with you for the exam? We’ve talked about this briefly in this article here, but let’s expand a little with the following tips provided by our readers:
- Calculator: Not all facilities will allow calculators since many calculators these days can store and display other, user-supplied data (such as the answers!) So plan on the possibility of some basic, rudimentary math.
- Entry permit: Can’t get in without your entry permit, so make sure you’ve got that on hand. Make a checklist to remember, if you need to!
- Pen and Pencils: Many people remember one or the other, but forget both. For testing, many facilities will require a #2 pencil, but you may want a backup (or one for a new colleague that forgot theirs… great for networking!). You may also need to sign documents, so a blue and black pen are helpful to bring with!
- Photo ID: Preferably government-issued as anything less is seldom accepted for your exam.
- Certificate from Pre-licensing course: Naturally, you’re going to need to show that you’ve completed your schooling. If you did not receive your certification or diploma for from an accredited real estate school nearby, then contact them and let them know that you’re trying to take your exam and need that documentation before you can proceed.
We didn’t want to put it on the list above because, well… we didn’t want you to overthink it. But, be sure to get some good rest the night before and make sure that you’ve got food in your belly and a decent amount of hydration. Okay, so we’re sounding a little bit like a concerned parent, but we do care about your success. offrs provides lead generation and predictive analytics for you when you do pass the exams and begin your own career as an RE specialist in the area. To learn more about that, click here. But for now…
You’ve got this!
Getting Your Real Estate License:
- Requirements for a Real Estate License
- Real Estate License Test Prep
- How to Pass Your Real Estate License Exam with Flying Colors
- What to Do after taking the real estate license exam
- You passed the real estate license exam, now what
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