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Ace It: Study Schedule Tips for Online Real Estate Students
August 9, 2021

Ace It: Study Schedule Tips for Online Real Estate Students

by The CE Shop Team

Students Who Start Early and Stick to a Schedule Perform Better 

Whether you’re a Pre-Licensing student who’s launching a career in real estate or a seasoned agent completing their Continuing Education requirements, it’s important for you to create a study schedule that sets you up for success. 

After all, real estate students who start early and stick to a schedule statistically perform better and are more likely to finish their course, said Mike Matoush, The CE Shop’s Director of Education and Curriculum.

“What we see a lot of times is a much higher rate of course completion when courses are completed under a more aggressive timeline or a more prescribed schedule,” Matoush said. “Depending on the specific state, the number of students who complete their program [from] start to finish is typically about 10 to 20% higher for those who are able to complete within the first 90 days.”

They’re also more likely to pass their state licensing exam on the first attempt, Matoush said.

Unfortunately for the procrastinators among us, that means if you want to succeed, you shouldn’t wait until the last minute to complete your course.

“One of the most significant mistakes that Pre-Licensing education students make is that they procrastinate, like many of us like to do, and don’t get through their course in a quick enough fashion or according to a schedule,” Matoush said. 

“While self-paced online education offers flexibility and significant advantages, it also requires a lot of self-discipline and personal motivation to complete.”

Set Realistic, Manageable Goals

When creating a study schedule, each student should set reasonable expectations for themselves while considering their own responsibilities and time commitments.

“We always encourage our students to not only create a schedule that’s manageable for them, but then, of course, to stick to that schedule,” Matoush said. “And of course, life happens. We all know that, and that’s one of the great things about online education; you can get back in, adjust your schedule, and still catch up. But it’s important to do that if you do feel yourself falling behind.”

He recommends asking yourself: “What can I contribute on a weekly basis towards my success in this course?” Once you’ve determined your weekly bandwidth, “work with that backwards,” looking at how many hours long the course is and how many weeks you have to complete it, he said.

Give yourself some cushion, too. 

“Some topics in an online course take longer than other topics to get through,” Matoush said. “And depending on learning style and base knowledge to start, it may take some students longer to get through their content than what that minimum number of [course] hours is. 

“So, obviously, give yourself a little bit of extra time, but plan realistically, based on the number of hours that are required to complete the course — or the set of courses, in some cases — compared to what your availability is, and then, again, stick with it.”

What Not to Do as an Online Student

Sue Miranda-Rosensteel, one of The CE Shop’s National Real Estate Experts, offered tips on what not to do as an online real estate student.

1) Don’t Take Your Time (Without a Plan) 

“The course is flexible, right? And that must mean take your time, take as long as you want,” Miranda-Rosensteel said. “No, folks. Take your time, take as long as you want, if you don’t plan to succeed.” 

The course is flexible, she said, but that doesn’t mean you should dabble in it whenever you want or whenever you have time willy nilly. Instead, outline time to study with purpose.

“Who has time? Nobody has time, so you have to create time,” she said. “You have to create a plan: When are you going to study? Where are you going to study? Any successful journey begins with a plan.”

In that same vein, students need to start thinking about how motivated they are to succeed, “because if you’re motivated, you’re going to move that clock around, juggle things around so you can make it work,” she said. 

All good habits take two weeks to develop, Miranda-Rosensteel said, so it might be helpful for students to consider their study schedule in two-week increments. 

“Do you need to wake up a little bit earlier? Do you need to maybe break it up, so you do a little in the morning and a little in the afternoon? It’s okay to do things in little bites because that’s what we mean when we say the program is flexible: You can really do it in your own time.”

2) Don’t Take a Shortcut

“You don’t need to read all that material. What the heck, Google it! Avoid reading, don’t look at those resources,” she said. “No, folks. Everything you need is in your course. It’s right there. Don’t even look at outside material, and don’t you dare even think about Googling things, because license law is whatever each state says it is, so you might Google something that pertains to California, and you’re trying to pass an Illinois test.”

3) Don’t Put Off Your Exam

Some students might think they shouldn’t take an exam until they know they’re going to pass, Miranda-Rosensteel said. But even the brightest, most well-equipped students rarely feel like they’re totally ready for an exam — and that doesn’t mean you should shy away from trying.

“If you took the course, you followed the program, we’ve laid out this map for you. When it’s time to take that test, you jump in there and take that test, because that test is going to give you an assessment of where you’re at and what your weaknesses are so you can work on fixing them up and then get back in there and re-test.”

(Of course, each state is different, so make sure you know how many attempts you have for both your final exam and the state exam.)

On average, a Pre-Licensing student is learning between 600 and 800 new key terms, so you certainly can’t cram before the exam either, she said. 

Instead, incorporate studying into your schedule as far ahead of your exam date as possible, and don’t forget to incorporate study methods that best suit your learning style, whether that means creating flashcards to master real estate vocabulary or having a friend quiz you on legislative changes over lunch. Study smarter, not harder, by creating a schedule that works for you.

“Make No Excuse”

Finally, the most important thing to remember when you’re starting an online real estate course and creating a study schedule for yourself is to stay positive and “make no excuse,” Miranda-Rosensteel said.

“When you create a goal in life ... don’t stop,” she said. “Because sometimes students, when they go through challenges, they start questioning that goal. They start thinking, ‘Well, maybe I really don’t want a real estate license,’ or ‘The market isn’t good.’ They’ve got to get all of that negative buzz out of their heads and just keep going, because what you start, you have to finish.”

Whether you’re partway into a course or are thinking about beginning one, it’s not too late to create a study schedule and adjust your mindset to approach it with the confidence and self-motivation that you need to succeed. For more assistance in acing your real estate licensing exam, check out Exam Prep Edge, The CE Shop’s interactive study tool designed to help you pass your exam the first time around.

Ready to Get Started With The CE Shop?

Whether you’re a new agent looking to start award-winning Pre-Licensing education or an experienced veteran wanting to finish your Continuing Education, we’ve got a 100% online curriculum that’s one of the most diverse and groundbreaking in the industry. And if you want to network with your peers, join our Facebook group and get connected!