Once you’ve taken pre-licensing courses, you’re finally ready to take your state licensing exam!
After you finish the courses, most states specify a time frame within which you must take the exam and obtain your license. For example, California mandates that you must wait at least 18 days after receiving course materials before you can take the exam. Florida says that pre-licensing courses are valid for two years for licensure purposes, so you must apply take your exams and file for your license within two years of finishing your pre-licensing education. For more up to date information in your state, contact your state’s division of licensing services.
The length of the exam varies from about 1.5 hours to 3.5 hours based on the state you’re in. In most states, you must answer 70% to 75% of the questions correct to pass.
The state exam will cover the same topics that are covered in your pre-licensing courses. The majority of states have multiple choice exams that test both national real estate principles and laws and state real estate principles and laws.
How Hard is the Real Estate Exam?
While I can personally only speak to the New York State real estate exam, many agents and brokers I’ve spoken with mentioned that they were a bit surprised at how hard the exam was. There is a lot of information to memorize, and if you don’t have a background in law, it’s not very intuitive. Take the class and your studying and exam prep seriously.
Don’t let these pass rates scare you. We’ve shown you the statewide pass rates, but they vary widely based on the quality of pre-licensing courses you take. For example, the Texas had a 76 % pass rate for students who took the Kaplan real estate course.
If you’re taking an online course, make sure that you keep up with your work and do practice tests. The schools that offer the pre-licensing courses will very often offer practice exams or a question bank as part of the curriculum. Also, taking the exam as soon as possible (while adhering to state-mandated waiting periods of course) after finishing your courses helps because the material is fresh in your mind. For more exam taking tips, read our guide to real estate exam prep.