Tips and Tricks to Pass your Real Estate Exam

If you are like me, deciding to get your real estate license is a big deal. You’ve spent time looking for the best exam prep course for the best price and now you’re signed up to take your exam. You’ve circled the date on your calendar and the pre-test jitters are setting in. You have questions like “how much should I study? and "what should I study?” Every state's exam may be slightly different but the test taking skills you will need are universal. Here are some of the best exam taking tips to help you pass your exam.

Obviously the most important factor in passing the real estate exam is knowing the material. However, don't lose sight of the goal: passing the test! Learning is great but you can't use what you've learned if you don't pass.

  1. Start by only answering the easy questions. Read the entire exam and only answer the questions you absolutely know the answer to. This will give you a sense of progress and your subconscious will begin thinking about the questions you skipped. When you’ve got a timed test, there’s always the concern that you’ll get hung up in a section and not be able to finish the test. Don’t be one of those people--unanswered questions are marked wrong. Wouldn’t it be a shame if the last three questions on the test were easy ones— guaranteed points for you--but you wound up just having to fill in a random answer on them because you didn’t have time to actually read and think about them? By skipping through the questions you don’t know the answers to and focusing first on the questions you do know the answers to, you’re assuring yourself that you get time to answer the questions you are most likely to get right.
  2.  If you don't know it, wait. Skip questions if you don't know the answer--don't waste time on questions you don't know. For example, if math is difficult for you, skip the math problems until after you finish the rest of the exam. Occasionally, the answer to an earlier question will be revealed in a later question. It is not uncommon on the real estate license exam to have questions that relate to one another, like using the same purchase or sale scenario. These hidden answers are another reason why reading all the way through the exam once at the beginning is a great idea.
  3. Don't second guess yourself. As a general rule, once you've answered a test question, don't change your answer even if you're unsure of the answer you selected. It has been statistically proven that you are much more likely to change an answer from correct to incorrect. An easy way to get tripped up on the real estate licensing exam is to misinterpret an answer choice, thanks to complicated wording. Deceptive language is fair game on tests like this, so double-negatives, unrelated conclusions, or red herrings (especially in the math portion of the test) are common. Do your best to puzzle it out, but ultimately move on without answering if you estimate having to spend more than a minute thinking about the correct answer.
  4. There is no penalty for guessing. Once you have gone through the exam at least twice, time may be running short and now would be a good time to start guessing. The worst that can happen when you guess on a question is that you don’t get any point. The best thing that can happen though, is that you have a one in four shot at getting a point. Unanswered questions are marked wrong, and it is far better to take a chance on a wrong answer than eliminate any possibility of getting the correct answer. That being said, you can increase your odds by trying to make an educated guess--there is likely at least one answer that is obviously wrong, so don't guess blindly: read the question and answers first and choose the most likely answer.
  5. Don't compete with other applicants. You're given plenty of time to complete the exam and you should use as much of it as you need. Don't worry if other examinees finish before you do, most likely they are taking a completely different exam. All types of exams are given in one room. You may be sitting next to a plumber taking his exam or a beautician completing hers. If by chance, there is more than one real estate hopeful, remember that many students who finish quickly… fail.

Real estate licensing exams are pass/fail, there is no extra credit for a perfect score. If you’re like me, the allure of a perfect score on a test is hard to ignore, but in the case of the real estate licensing exam, we must. Remember, your goal is to answer the number of questions correctly that will get you a passing score. Use all your best energy to get to the passing threshold—anything beyond that doesn’t matter.

Bonus Tip: do as many practice real estate exam questions as you can. The test is multiple choice and you will perform MUCH better if you've been doing practice tests that mimic the exam. Use a trusted service like ours to prepare for the actual real estate exam.

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Why You Should Upgrade to A Broker License

If you are currently working as a real estate salesperson I have one question for you, why haven't you upgraded to a broker license? Brokers make more money and have more freedom to create their own schedules. While you must be licensed as a salesperson for three years before applying for a broker license, it is never too early to get started on your 90-hour prelicense program. Below are a few common questions and answers about obtaining a broker license.

Question 1: Why should I become a broker?

  • Be your own boss. As a salesperson, you work for a licensed broker. Getting a broker license means you can open your own practice and work alone or hire a team of salespeople to work under you. If you choose to work alone you can keep all of your commissions. If you choose to hire salespeople you can either keep a portion of their commissions or you can charge a variety of fees and allow your salespeople to keep all of their commission.
  • Make an average of $23,000 more per year. Brokers make more money whether they're working with salespeople or not. Between keeping their entire commission and receiving a cut of their salespeople's commission or yearly fees, they make an average of $23,000 more per year.
  • Increase your marketability. Individuals buying and selling high priced homes often prefer working with a broker. Brokers have a reputation for being industry experts with a strong dedication to the industry. As we all know, the higher the home price, the higher the commission!
  • Run your own property management company. Property management companies work as a middle man between tenants and property owners. Since the rental industry is hot right now, the ability to run a property management company is a big benefit.

Question 2: Why should I upgrade my license when the market is expected to decline?

Most experts are predicting a drop off in real estate sales over the next few years. Lucky for you, Michigan is expected to be exempt from the rest of the nation's decline.

Several sources believe Michigan's real estate market will continue to grow even as rising mortgage rates slow the market for sellers in other areas of the country. Home prices in Grand Rapids are forecast to grow at 8.2%, the largest home price increase in the nation. In fact, real estate resources nationwide are encouraging investment in Grand Rapids and the city comes in second for the hottest real estate markets for millennials.

Grand Rapids isn't the only area of Michigan experiencing growth. Numbers recently released by Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan's office show residential property values have increased by an average 12% in more than 90% of Detroit neighborhoods. The rest of the state is expected to experience continually growing housing prices but a declining number of homes on the market. While this may sound like bad news initially, growing home prices mean higher commission rates which can make up for the lower volume of sales.

In other words, while the rest of the country is preparing for a decreasing real estate market, Michigan can expect to see continued growth in urban areas and stable growth in the rural north. Additionally, even if the Michigan real estate market drops off after a few years, brokers are uniquely positioned to continue making a steady income since they receive a cut from all salespersons commissions.

Question 3: How do I get started?

  1. Complete 90 hours of approved real estate coursework within 36 months of application, unless licensed continuously.
    Note: if you have been a practicing attorney for 5 or more years you only need to take 30hrs to become a licensed broker.
  2. Submit your real estate license application. Go to www.michigan.gov/icola to apply for a license. Upon accessing iCOLA, you will be asked to create an account, pay your license fee, and submit your license application electronically.
  3. Register with PSI and pay the $76 exam fee

Find detailed instructions here.


Licensing Resources

Should You Get A Real Estate License?

Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Real Estate Salesperson

Step-by-Step Guide to Getting a Broker License

 


ONLINE STATE-APPROVED 90-HOUR PRELICENSE COURSE