How to Pass the Real Estate Broker Exam

Written by: Mary Gerardine

Cartoon woman holding a how to pass the real estate broker exam document

    If you’re aiming to be a real estate broker, then one of the first steps to launching your career is to pass the real estate broker exam in your state.

    Passing the broker exam will pave the way to getting your broker’s license. Without a broker’s license, you will not be able to engage in real estate broker transactions.

    To be eligible to apply for a broker’s license, you must pass the broker state exam. Real estate broker exams vary by state. By taking the pre-license education and exam prep courses, along with a study plan in place, you will be ready to successfully pass the real estate broker license exam.

     

    Real Estate Broker Exam Prerequisites

    Before registering for the broker exam, you must meet your state’s broker licensing requirements.

    Most states require broker license applicants to demonstrate years of qualifying work experience as a licensed real estate salesperson and meet pre-licensing education requirements before being able to take the broker exam.

    The broker exam prerequisites vary state-to-state. For example, to apply for a broker license in Texas, you must have at least four years of active experience as a licensed real estate salesperson or broker and take 270 hours of pre-licensing broker courses. In Washington DC, you must have two years as a licensed real estate broker or salesperson and take 135 classroom hours of pre-licensing education.

    Make sure to check and review your state exam requirements and eligibility to know if you qualify to take the exam.

     

    Real Estate Broker Pre-license Education

    States require broker license applicants to take a pre-license education course. The pre-licensing education is a fixed prerequisite and serves as a qualifying course for brokers before registering for the broker exam.

    Pre-licensing education hours and state-approved courses vary for each state. They usually end up between 60 and 900 hours of classroom instruction.

    Make sure to check the pre-licensing education requirements in your state. For example, the Alabama pre-license requirement is different from Michigan, and so with other states.

    After completing your broker pre-license courses, most states require that you pass the broker course exam.

    broker course exam is not the same as the state broker exam. The broker course exam is where you apply what you’ve learned in the course and once you pass, you will need to submit your course completion documents to your state’s Real Estate Commission or similar authority.

    The state broker exam is the official exam administered by a state-approved provider, where you must pass to be eligible to apply for a broker’s license.

    Taking a pre-license education course will help you understand and focus on the areas needed to help you pass the broker exam on the first try.

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    What is a Real Estate Broker Exam?

    A real estate broker exam is an exam given to broker license applicants. As you move your career from salesperson to broker, you still need to pass the broker’s exam to be eligible for a broker license.

    State-approved exam providers, such as Pearson VUE and PSI Exams, administer these exams. These exam providers equip upcoming broker licensees with Candidate Handbooks that include content outlines, fees, and schedules for the broker exam.

    The content outline for a broker’s exam is typically divided into National and state-specific exams. You must pass both of these exams. Some states offer licensees the option to take one or both of these exams.

    The questions on the broker exam are directly related to the responsibilities of a real estate broker. The broker exam usually lasts two to four hours. They usually consist of 100 to 150 multiple choice questions, including 80 to 100 National questions and 60 to 80 state-specific questions about real estate concepts like the fundamentals of property ownership, contract laws, finance, real estate practices and disclosures, and codes of ethics.

     

    How Hard is the Real Estate Broker Exam?

    Real estate broker exams are designed to be difficult so you need to have a good understanding of the principles of real estate and business as well as broker responsibilities. The broker responsibilities are entirely different from a salesperson.

    The passing rates vary for each state exam; however, they typically range between 65% and 75% across the country.

    By taking pre-licensing education and exam prep courses, coupled with a razor-focused approach to studying, you will be able to successfully complete and pass the broker exam the first time.

     

    Tips on Passing the Real Estate Broker Exam

    Taking the real estate broker exam can be quite challenging. You will need to prepare a well-defined study plan so you can get the best out of your studies. Remember that the broker exam differs from the salesperson exam.

    Read on below for some tips to help you deal with challenges so you can pass the exam on the first attempt and move forward with your broker license application.

    Take Exam Prep Courses

    When choosing a pre-license education course, make sure it includes an exam prep in the package. Using an exam prep course provides you a better understanding of the specific materials that will be covered on the exam.

    These exam prep courses can help you locate the areas that you need help on. For example, if you need more practice with real estate finance, you can focus on that area and improve your chances of passing that section in the broker exam.

    This way, you can study smarter by keeping the focus on areas where you need improvement.

    Being able to take practice exams multiple times gives you familiarity with your exam material, thus alleviating the feelings of stress and pressure when taking the exam.

    Exam prep courses are made available in varying learning styles and formats, such as webinars, simulations, live classroom lectures, flashcards, videos, and more.

    Remember that when taking either practice or graded exams, ensure that you have read all the words to each question. When reading, it’s easy to skim over a word. One word can completely change the answer to a question, so read carefully.

     

    Create a Study Plan

    Once you’ve completed your broker pre-licensing requirements, you’re now ready to set up a study plan.

    So how do you create a study plan? Everyone is different and so the way that you study is also different. It is important for you to recognize how you best study before you start creating a study plan, so that the study plan you create works for you.

    To do this, think about the following questions below:

    • Do you focus better early in the morning, during the day or in the evening?
    • Do you prefer somewhere quiet or do you need some form of background noise to help you concentrate?
    • Do you feel better working for 30 minutes, then taking small breaks and starting again, or are you able to focus on 1-3 hours at a time?

    Once you have considered the answers to these questions, you will see that you have been able to learn the time of day, location, and hours you need for your study period.

    Now that you know this information, the next thing you need to do is assess your daily or weekly schedule with all of your responsibilities and commitments. This will help you learn which days you can squeeze in to focus on your studies.

    Fill those study sessions with a focus on what is most important, including what you have studied in your pre-licensing and exam prep courses since the information will still be fresh in your mind. You can use the exam prep materials like flashcards, videos, and simulations in your study sessions.

    Don’t panic. You can surely figure out what works for you, put it in your study plan, and stick to it.

     

    Take Care of Yourself

    The days before taking the broker exam, make sure that you get plenty of rest and sleep. Try not to stay up late at night or cram study time the night before your exam.

    Even if you ace your pre-license courses, have taken exam prep courses, and put together a study plan, being exhausted and depleted won’t do you any good on your exam. The goal here is to pass the exam, so make sure that you have high energy and concentration levels on exam day.

    Make sure to arrive at your testing center at least 30 minutes early to get you acquainted with the situation. Then, apply what you’ve learned and practiced during your study sessions.

     

    What to Do After Passing the Exam

    After you have passed your real estate broker exam, you will now be eligible to apply for your broker’s license.

    Once your state’s Real Estate Commission or similar state authority issues your broker license, you will be able to work as a real estate broker. Real estate brokers can work independently, launch a brokerage firm, manage a team of real estate salespeople, and work as a realtor without the supervision of a sponsor.

    Taking the real estate broker exam is a necessary step towards getting your broker’s license. Complete your pre-license education, use exam prep courses to help you study well, and you will increase your chances at successfully passing the broker exam on the first attempt.




    Real Estate Broker Exam FAQ

    Can you take real estate broker exams online?

    Yes. You can take your pre-licensing course online, however, the real estate broker exam itself will usually be held on-site at a state-approved testing center. There are some states that allow you to take it online. Check with your state’s Real Estate Commission to see your options.

    We recommend The CE Shop, which provides the required and supplementary courses in various flexible learning formats.

     

    Are real estate broker exams multiple choice?

    The broker exam is split into two parts: a National section and a state-specific section. Each one is usually multiple choice. The state section is around 60 to 80 multiple choice questions, and the general one is around 80 to 100. Some states use a “simulation” test consisting of 9-10 essay-type questions.

    See our What is the Real Estate Exam guide, which also provides information on the format and questions for real estate salesperson exams.

     

    How much does a real estate broker exam cost?

    The real estate broker exam fee varies depending on what state you are in, but it typically won’t be more than $100.

     

    Where to take the real estate broker exam?

    The main exam providers that administer the real estate broker exam are Pearson VUE and PSI Exams. They have testing centers across the country and you can schedule your exams at one of these locations once you qualify to take the exam.

    Check with your state’s Real Estate Commission for more information on the schedule, fees, location, and content outlines of your broker exam.

     

    How long is the real estate broker exam?

    The real estate broker exam can last anywhere between 90 minutes and four to complete both the National and state-specific sections. The time allotted for the exam depends on what state you are in, so check your exam provider’s Candidate Handbook for more information.




    Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated on November 2022.

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