What Is the Real Estate Exam

Written by: Katie Begley

    Before beginning a career as a real estate agent, you must pass the real estate exam. This professional test is the first major milestone to getting your real estate license and shows that you know your job, the real estate industry, and how to work with clients.

    Ready to learn more about the real estate exam and how to become a real estate agent? This guide will show you the subjects and format of the real estate exam, a solid study plan, and tips and tricks to maximize your chances of passing on the first attempt.


    How Much is the Real Estate Exam?


    When getting your real estate license, you will need to pay for the exam and the state application. The cost of the real estate exam varies by state and costs between $35-$130. You will need to pay the real estate exam fee before taking the actual test.

    The cost for the exam is between $35-$130 per attempt, depending on which state you are getting your license in. Based on the “per-attempt” pricing, you should truly put your mind to your studies and do give your all to pass on your first attempt.

    Along with your exam fee, you will also need to pay a separate application fee to get your license. This generally runs between $125 – $400 depending on the state.


    What Is on the Real Estate License Exam?

    The real estate license exam is state-specific, which means that the number of questions, time limits, and content varies. Most states cover similar topics, but you should always look to your state’s licensing authority to get the breakdown of the test in your state. Many publish content outlines for the real estate license exam.


    Real Estate Exam Format

    The real estate license exam is almost always a computer-based, proctored test in an independent testing center. You will be given a set amount of time, usually between three and five hours, to answer the multiple-choice questions. You will have four options for each question and need to choose the most correct answer on your computer screen at your testing center. Most state’s real estate tests are between 100 and 150 questions.


    For more information about how to pass the real estate license exam, StateRequirement recommends: How to Pass the Real Estate License Exam


    Real Estate Exam Questions and Subjects

    One of the best ways to prepare for the real estate license exam is to become familiar with the type of questions on the test. Here are some basic questions that cover information on the real estate license exam. Keep in mind that taking an exam prep course that includes sample questions and practice tests is a great way to get ready for the test.


    Real Estate Job Responsibilities Questions

    Many of the questions on the real estate license exam related directly to the day-to-day responsibilities of a licensed real estate agent. You will need to understand common real estate terms, contract structure, and legal requirements of real estate agents. Commonly tested concepts include:

    • Escrow funds
    • Earnest money deposits
    • Land and property descriptions
    • Listing best practices
    • Property appraisals
    • Agent and Agency relationship
    • Loan, insurance, and closing costs


    • Q: When you receive an Earnest Money Deposit, how long do you have to deposit it?
    • A: Five business days following ratification of the purchase agreement


    Real Estate Law Questions

    Each state will include questions about the laws and regulations that real estate agents must follow in their state, as well as the licensing process. Common laws that apply to real estate agents include state contract law, laws about disclosures to buyers and sellers, and fair housing acts. You should also be familiar with your state’s licensing process and requirements.

    The following question can give you an idea of the content covered on the Florida state-specific real estate exam.

    • Q: To become a real estate sales associate in Florida, how many hours of pre-licensing courses must you complete before taking the state licensing exam?
    • A: 63 hours

    Your state authority’s content guide or an exam prep course are excellent resources to learn about what is covered on the test.


    Real Estate Math Questions

    A lot of the questions on the real estate exam test your knowledge of real estate concepts and regulations through scenario-based content. All real estate agents must be able to do basic real estate math. This is an important skill for a real estate agent since you will be making financial recommendations to clients based on your analysis of the real estate market.

    Real estate math questions often focus on the financial information of home sales and rents. For example:

    • Q: If a real estate agent makes $3,000 on the sale of a home and earns a 3% commission, what price did the home sell for?
    • A: $3,000 is 5% of $100,000. The home sold for $100,000

    Real estate practice tests and questions are a great way to become familiar with the type of math you will see on the real estate exam and use as a real estate agent. An exam prep course can also provide plenty of study questions, including detailed explanations and formulas to help you master the math of real estate.


    How to Study for the Real Estate License Exam

    Gaining the knowledge that you need to pass the real estate exam requires study and preparation. The required state pre-licensing education classes cover a lot of the content on the real estate exam and act as the first step to studying for the real estate license exam.


    Real Estate Exam Classes

    To take the real estate exam, you will need to be at least 18 years old. Some states require college-level coursework, while others accept real estate courses from an accredited learning center on their pre-approved list.

    Each state sets its own prerequisite real estate class topics, but most want test takers to cover similar information. Most states require between 45 and 180 hours of each of the following topics:

    • Real Estate Principles
    • Real Estate Practices
    • Real Estate Elective Courses (Real Estate Finance, Legal, Property Management, or others)


    A licensing program through a real estate education institution will usually include all of the classes required by your state to take the real estate exam and get your license.


    For real estate pre-license education, StateRequirement recommends: The CE Shop

    How Long Should You Study for the Real Estate License Exam?

    Most real estate agents who successfully pass the real estate exam spend between two and four months preparing. This includes everything from taking required courses to studying specifically for the real estate exam. Developing a study plan can help you pass the real estate exam on your first attempt.

    Step 1: Make a study schedule that works for you.

    Step 2: Take practice tests and practice questions, using your course materials from your pre-licensing education

    Step 3: Take more practice tests. Consider taking an additional exam prep course for an added boost.

    Step 4: Get plenty of rest and healthy fuel leading up to the test day.

    Remember that the real estate exam is the culmination of a lot of hard work to become a licensed real estate agent. It is better to go into the test prepared and pass on the first attempt than need to retake the exam many times.


    Real Estate Exam Test Day

    Once you are ready to take your real estate exam and have registered for your test, many people recommend practicing your actual test day routine. The real estate exam is given at an independent testing center using computer stations and an exam proctor.

    The testing center will provide a list of policies and prohibited items before test day. Items not allowed at the testing center often include:

    • Personal electronic devices
    • Notes and study materials
    • Keys (can keep in a locker on-site)
    • Purses, backpacks, bags
    • Bulky jackets and sweatshirts
    • Smartwatches


    If you have a medical condition that requires you to take medication at a specific time, you will be able to do so with the approval and supervision of the test monitor. Some accommodations are also allowed, but you need to request them using a specific disability accommodation form, with documentation, before registering.


    Real Estate Exam Study Tips

    Thorough preparation is the most important thing you can do to get ready for the state real estate license exam. The real estate exam is not the time to just wing it and go into the test without studying.

    Make the most of your studying efforts by following study tips and tricks. Start by setting aside time each day or week to study for your real estate exam that works with your other commitments. Then practice, practice, practice. The more times you see sample questions and complete practice tests, the more confident you will feel going into the test.

    These are some great tips to help you pass the exam on your first attempt:

    • Don’t try to cram the night or week before the exam. Give yourself plenty of time, usually a few months, to prepare.
    • Take practice tests. Answer practice questions. The more you can become familiar with the content, format, and questions, the better you are likely to do on the exam itself.
    • Review your course materials or take an exam prep course. Keeping the information fresh in your mind going into the test will help you do well.
    • If possible, drive to your testing center before the day of your exam. This will make sure you are familiar and comfortable with the route, the area, and the building that the test will take place in.
    • Get a good night’s sleep the night before and a brain food breakfast before the test.


    Real Estate Exam Practice Tests

    One of the best ways to become familiar with the type of questions you will see on the real estate exam is to take a practice test. You can find free real estate exam practice tests on most state’s websites. For a more in-depth study resource, you should take a real estate exam prep course.


    Ask the institution where you completed your pre-license courses if they offer any real estate exam prep courses or study sessions. Many of these courses include practice tests. They may offer free or discounted registration to previous students.

    To make your practice tests most effective, pretend that you are in a testing center by setting a timer, putting away your study materials, and turning off your personal electronic devices. You can use a program on your computer to restrict internet access to any site other than the practice test to avoid potential distractions.


    Working Under a Broker as a Real Estate Agent

    Most states require you to be associated with a licensed real estate broker before being a fully licensed real estate agent. This can mean working for a larger national company or an independent broker.

    Some companies and brokers will sponsor prospective real estate agents and pay for the cost of their classes or exam. You can learn about the industry and develop a professional relationship with other real estate professionals by joining a networking organization or working in an administrative role for a brokerage before becoming a real estate agent.


    Even if your state does not require sponsorship by a broker before taking the real estate license exam, you can reach out to brokers in your area to network and learn more about the industry. Join a Real Estate Group or meet-up to meet other real estate professionals.


    Understanding the Real Estate Exam

    Passing the real estate license exam is a major milestone on the exciting journey to begin a career as a real estate agent. Becoming familiar with the exam format, questions, and best ways to study means that you will be a licensed real estate agent in no time. Now is the time to get ready to pass the real estate exam!

    Information on this page has been gathered by a multitude of sources and was most recently updated on January 2021.

    Any Information on this site is not guaranteed or warranted to be correct, accurate, or up to date. StateRequirement and its members and affiliates are not responsible for any losses, monetary or otherwise. StateRequirement is not affiliated with any state, government, or licensing body. For more information, please contact your state's authority on insurance.

    When readers purchase services discussed on our site, we often earn affiliate commissions that support our work. Learn More