How to Pass the Real Estate Exam on the First Attempt

Passing the Real Estate exam can be challenging. There is a lot of information to remember and the questions are often somewhat tricky. We hear stories of people who have tried and failed several times before finally passing this exam. My goal is to teach you how to study for and pass the Real Estate exam on your first attempt.

Before the pre-license

Before sitting for your state Real Estate exam, you are required to take and pass a 60 hour pre-license course. There are many companies that offer these courses and they are all relatively similar. The course that I took was through ProEducate. Although I initially chose this course simply because they were offering a deeply discounted rate for finishing it in 30 days, it ended up being a good decision. While this course is fully online and each section is broken down into slides that are presented one at a time, they also have the option to print the course material out and go through it manually. THIS is my recommendation. Before spending the cash to go through a pre-license course, I would highly recommend that you get a copy of Principles of Real Estate Practice and start studying it independently. This will give you some idea ahead of time about the type of material that will be covered in the pre-license course and if you are actually interested enough to go through it. It will also cut down on the amount of time it will take you to finish the course once you start. BE WARNED, this book covers a lot of material and, to be honest, a good portion of it will never come up in your daily practice as a Real Estate Associate. The main goal in this, I believe, is to educate the Realtor in the various aspects of Real Estate transactions.


Once you have spent some time reading this text and familiarizing yourself with the Real Estate world, you must then choose your pre-license course. Luckily, most state Real Estate Commissions will have a list of pre-license courses that they recommend. Do your research. Take the time to find the best type of course that fits your learning style. While there are many online courses, some of you will prefer to do the work in a classroom setting. It is important to know what works for you and not try to rush yourself. If you choose an online course, they will typically have a set deadline for completing the coursework. I highly recommend that you set a goal to be finished several weeks BEFORE that deadline. This will give you a little wiggle room in case something comes up….. because it will. It is also important to make sure that you go through the course material and set weekly goals for yourself so that you can complete the work in small, manageable pieces and not get overwhelmed. Additionally, I recommend that you do NOT try to memorize this information or specific test questions because they will not be the same on the state exam. You simply must take the time to learn the information.

State Exam

While some people would recommend that you take a cram course before you take your state exam, I didn’t go that route. For me, cram courses have always seemed like opportunities to memorize information or to promote tricks for getting through the exam. If you think you would find this helpful, then I will not discourage it, I will simply say that there is no substitute for actually taking the time to learn the material. There is no magic trick, there is only hard work.

The state exam varies from one state to the next, so I can only speak to my experience. I was given 3 hours to take the exam and I used every second of it. Again, this is not the way that everyone will do it but it worked for me. As I went through the test if I wasn’t sure about a particular question, I answered it and then put a bookmark on it so that I could come back to it at the end before submitting the exam. This worked out well for me because there were several questions that would jog my memory about previous ones that I was not sure about.


Yes! You passed on the first attempt. There is no better feeling. If you are like me, you hate taking tests. This is the reason that I wanted to be completely prepared BEFORE going to take the Real Estate exam. While I have tons of respect for people who keep trying after they didn’t pass initially, I knew that I wouldn’t have the patience for that…. or want to pay the expense.

REMEMBER…. now that you have passed the state exam, don’t forget to enroll in and pass your post-license course within the year or you will have to start over from the beginning and nobody wants you to go through that again. Now get out there and SELL!

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