What is the Real Estate Exam

Written by: Ethan Peyton

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What is the Real Estate Exam

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, how to pass the exam with a real estate exam prep, and tips and tricks to maximize your chances of passing on the first attempt.

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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.

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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

Question: When you receive an Earnest Money Deposit, how long do you have to deposit it?

Answer: 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.

Question: 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?

Answer: 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:

Question: 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?

Answer: $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.


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!

What is the Real Estate Exam FAQ

What does the real estate exam consist of?

real estate exam includes a national section and a state-specific section featuring principles and practices of real estate as well as real estate math. The exam time limit can range between 90 minutes and four hours. Typically, the exam consists of around 100-150 multiple choice questions.

What is a real estate broker exam?

The Real Estate Broker Licensure Examination consists of the fundamentals of property ownership, Code of Ethics and responsibilities, and legal requirements for real estate practice.

Which state real estate exam is the hardest?

Colorado is regarded as the hardest state since agents need to cover 160 hours of education, pass two tests, pass a background check, and be fingerprinted. In contrast, most other states require less than 100 education hours, with the majority falling with the 40-hour requirement. Connecticut has always been considered one of the easiest states to obtain a real estate license.

Who has to take the real estate exam?

Everyone who wants to work as a licensed real estate sales agent must take the state real estate licensing exam. The only exception is those applying for reciprocity who hold a valid license in another state. Some states waive the entire exam requirement or the national portion of the exam. Other states still require applicants to pass the real estate license exam again. Check with your state to see if they offer reciprocity with other states for real estate agents holding an active license.

Is there math on the real estate exam?

Yes, you can expect to see math questions on the exam no matter what state you are in getting a real estate license. The number of math questions on the exam varies for each state; the total number of math-related questions is somewhere between 10-15%.

Which online real estate school has the highest pass rate?

We recommend The CE Shop, which has a 72.11% pass rate. The CE Shop offers options ranging from the basic requirements in your state to business-focused resources. Read our full review of The CE Shop.

How much does it cost to take the real estate exam?

The first cost to consider is to enroll in a pre-license course. You’ll need to complete your courses before you can take and pass the real estate exam. The cost of your education will depend on how many credit hours are required by your states’ real estate commission and whether you decide to take your education online or in a classroom setting. The next cost to consider is the state exam fee, which varies depending on your state’s requirements and the test provider. The real estate exam fee costs between $37-$130.

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