A woman is helping a man work on his computer.

How to Pass the Real Estate Exam & Become an Agent

by The CE Shop Team

Pass the Real Estate Exam - Test-Taking Tips

Passing the real estate exam is the single most important step to take on your path to become a real estate agent. Without a passing score, you won't be able to earn your license or legally sell any homes other than your own. You may find yourself wondering how to pass the real estate exam.

While there is no magic bullet for acing the exam, many industry professionals would agree that there is a best way to pass the real estate exam, and we’re prepared to tell you the best way to pass your real estate exam. This recipe for success includes a combination of practice, research, dedication, and mental preparation. In this guide, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about how to pass the real estate exam the first time.

Utilize Practice Real Estate Exams

The real estate exam can be intimidating to people, especially if years have passed since they actually sat down to take a long test. Between the massive amount of content and test day anxiety, some people feel overwhelmed and nervous to the point that their performance on the exam suffers. So, how can you combat these factors? What is the best way to pass the real estate exam?

In short, practice, practice, practice! Practice real estate exams play a key role in mitigating factors that stop you from passing the real estate exam. Programs such as The CE Shop's Exam Prep Edge feature a variety of practice tests that help you maximize your chances of passing the real estate exam the first time. Enrolling in the program and engaging in the best way to pass the real estate exam is so easy that it only takes three steps:

  • Step One: Take an initial assessment to discover your strengths and opportunities for improvement.
  • Step Two: Dive into lessons that will help you overcome your weaknesses and improve your score.
  • Step Three: Take as many simulated practice exams as you need to feel fully prepared for your exam.

Many people consider practice taking practice tests to be the single best way to pass the real estate exam because people who take practice exams and prep courses tend to have a higher passing rate than those who sit for the exam without any structured preparation. For example, consider that 91% of people who take The CE Shop's prep courses pass the real estate exam. This figure is significantly above the overall average pass rates, which means these students are able to jump into their career more quickly than those who didn’t research how to pass the real estate exam.

Study Real Estate Vocabulary

You’re likely not surprised to learn that you should study if you’re interested in passing the real estate exam. But where should you start? Alongside your Exam Prep, remember to get back to basics and know your terms. A strong working knowledge of common real estate terms and vocabulary can give you the edge you need to tackle challenging exam questions. Here are a few reasons to brush up on your real estate vocabulary before taking your exam:

  • Passing the real estate exam will be easier if you're already accustomed to the terms used in the questions.
  • Knowing this vocabulary can help you narrow four options down to two or three, raising your odds of a correct answer.
  • Seeing a sea of unfamiliar terms on your exam can be nerve-wracking. By increasing your knowledge of these terms, it will be easier to stay calm and answer the exam questions.

With this information in mind, you may be wondering what is the best way to study real estate vocabulary. The CE Shop offers a variety of resources to help you master common real estate terms and vocabulary. You can also increase your comfort level with key terms by subscribing to real estate journals and other industry publications. By the time your exam date arrives, you will find that you recognize more content than you anticipated.

Pro Tip:

As you begin the exam, start by answering the questions that seem easiest to you. This strategy will boost your confidence and leave you with the remainder of the time to focus on the questions that are more difficult.

Ask Practicing Agents for Advice

One of the best ways to build your confidence and gain insight into the licensing process is to reach out to top agents in your area. In addition to building a network of real estate contacts, you can draw upon their industry experience and seek their advice on challenging topics, such as how to pass the real estate exam the first time. You may even find a person who becomes a trusted mentor for you as you pursue your career path.

As you prepare to meet with your mentor or any other practicing agent, it's best to arrive ready with a list of any questions you have to ensure that you don't waste valuable time. Here are some examples of questions that you may wish to ask:

  • "If you could give me one piece of advice for passing the real estate exam, what would it be?"
  • "What were some of the most challenging questions that you recall?"
  • "Do you have any tips regarding how to pass the real estate exam the first time?"
  • "Is there anything you wish you would have done differently while preparing for the exam?"
  • "What surprised you most about the exam?"

As your meetings come to a close, don't forget to thank the agents for their time. Sending a short thank-you note is a professional gesture that won't be forgotten. And forging connections with successful agents in your area will be beneficial to you once you pass your exam and launch your real estate career.

Answer Every Question

Because the exam is largely multiple choice, you have at least a one in four chance of answering a question correctly by guessing. And you are not penalized for answering incorrectly; you only receive points for the questions you answer correctly. Mathematically, you are better off responding with your best guess than not providing a response at all. This is one of the most critical things to remember as you sit down to take your exam.

But there is more to acing your exam than simply providing a response to every item. You will need to maximize your time while also ensuring that you leave no question unanswered. Depending on the state where you live, you will have between two and four hours to complete your exam. Maximizing this time means you'll need to have a plan in place to make sure you don't run out of time or leave any questions blank. Here are some other suggestions to help you fare well on your exam:

  • Read every question carefully to make sure you don't miss any key points.
  • Skip the most challenging questions; you can return to them at the end of your test and provide your best guess.
  • Save ten minutes at the end of your allotted time to simply make sure you have chosen an answer for every question.
  • Do your best to remain positive, especially if you encounter a couple of tough questions in a row. You got this!

Rest the Night Before the Exam

Of all the tips for passing the real estate exam, this bit of advice may seem the most basic. But there are some people who attempt to compensate for a lack of preparation by cramming at the last minute with an all-nighter. Studies consistently show there is a positive correlation between sufficient sleep and performance on tests. With a good night's sleep and a healthy breakfast, you will likely notice improvement with your memory, concentration, and stress.

The benefits of a restful night of sleep are hard to ignore. But what constitutes a good night's sleep? And what steps can you take to rest well the night before your exam? The National Sleep Foundation (NSF) suggests that adults 18 and older strive to sleep for seven to nine hours per night. The NSF also offers the following simple tips to help ensure that you sleep soundly once you go to bed:

  • Turn off electronic devices before going to bed.
  • Avoid caffeine and alcohol, as they can negatively impact your sleep.
  • Invest in a comfortable mattress and pillows.
  • Adjust the temperature in your room to 65 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Exercise on a daily basis.
  • Minimize light and sounds in your room.

One final note about the role of rest and your real estate exam: Studies suggest that you may perform even better on your exam if you get plenty of sleep in the weeks and months leading up to test day. Researchers point to the role of sleep quality, duration, and consistency over time as key indicators of performance and content mastery. This means that you should strive to make sure you're well-rested as you study and take your practice exams.

The Bottom Line

Passing the exam on your first try means that you can begin selling homes and earning commissions faster. While it's certainly not the end of the world if you don't pass the test on your first take, it does put you on a faster track to success. By following the five tips above, you can boost the odds that you will achieve a high score and earn your real estate license.

To discover why aspiring real estate agents turn to us for exam preparation tips, we invite you to reach out to us at The CE Shop. We have the Exam Prep tools and resources you need to put your best foot forward on the day of your exam. We look forward to helping you learn how to pass the real estate exam the first time!