Free North Carolina Real Estate Practice Exam Questions 2024

The North Carolina real estate market is booming. Home prices are on the rise. Experts predict demand to exceed supply in 2024. It will drive prices up even further. 

You can take advantage of North Carolina’s active housing market by launching a career as a real estate agent. But first, you will need to pass the real estate exam. 

North Carolina practice exam

The real estate exam is a difficult test to take. But if you understand the basics, such as what will be on the test, the format, and how to get prepared, you will increase your chances of getting a passing grade. 

This article will review what to expect on the North Carolina real estate exam so you can earn your license. 

North Carolina real estate laws and regulations

Several laws and regulations apply to North Carolina real estate. They are in the North Carolina Real Estate Law and Commission Rules document

The document is an extensive 124 pages. In this section, we will touch on some of the more important laws to be aware of. These laws and regulations will be included in the exam. They will also help you in your real estate career. 

  • North Carolina State Fair Housing Act: The Fair Housing Act prohibits discrimination against a tenant due to sex, race, age, ethnicity, gender, or any other factor. It applies to rentals and financing of residential properties. 
  • Administrative Procedures Act: The Administrative Procedures Act establishes a uniform administrative system and adjudicatory processes across all agencies. It ensures that rule-making, advocacy, adjudication, and investigation processes are performed by different people.
  • Landlord Tenant Act: The Landlord Tenant Act establishes laws on the obligations and duties of tenants and landlords. It includes the Security Deposit Act which determines how security deposits are handled. 
  • Vacation Rental Act: The Vacation Rental Act pertains to the handling of privately owned rental properties when rented to tourists for vacation and leisure purposes. It regulates the processes for unique situations that owners and brokers must deal with that don’t often come up in long-term rental situations. It protects the interests of landlords, agents, and tenants. 
  • Timeshare Act: The Timeshare Act creates a regulatory system for timeshare registration. Timeshares must be registered and specific information must be provided to the consumer during the sale. 
  • License Requirements: This first rule of the Real Estate License Law document states that North Carolina residents cannot act as brokers or engage in broker activity unless they have a license obtained by the Real Estate Commission. 
  • Disciplinary Action of the Commission: This law states that the Commission has the power to take disciplinary action against any agent due to a complaint and/or when there is probable cause that they violated the terms of their license. 
  • Contracts for Broker Services: The contracts for broker services mandate that no action for recovery is valid unless a written contract is in place. 
  • Handling of Monies: Any money a broker receives within their fiduciary capacity shall be placed into escrow or a trust within three days of receipt. 

What’s on the North Carolina real estate exam?

The North Carolina real estate exam consists of two sections: the national portion and the state portion. The national portion deals with general real estate laws. The state portion focuses on laws and concepts specific to North Carolina.

It’s essential to familiarize yourself with these topics so you know what to expect when you take the test. This section offers a topic summary. 


  • Agency Relationships and Contracts: Agency relationships refer to the relationships between the agent, client, and other agents working on the project. Agents must understand how these relationships work. They must also be familiar with the contracts involved, when they are required, and what legal language must be used. 
  • Real Property Ownership/Interest: Ownership interest refers to the rights an owner or multiple owners hold in an investment. It is usually split based on the amount invested in the property. 
  • Finance: Finance focuses on how people purchase real estate. It can involve analysis, planning and management, down payments, and loan approval. 
  • Real Property: Real property is a parcel of land and anything attached to the land. 
  • Marketing Regulations (Purchase and Rental): Marketing regulations regulate how agents can handle the advertising of a property. In North Carolina, agents may not advertise a sale under a brokerage name without the broker’s permission. They cannot sell land without the owner’s permission. They are limited in the contact information they can use when advertising a property. 
  • Property Management: Property management refers to maintaining rental and HOA properties. Rules and regulations dictate the care the tenant is entitled to. 
  • Real Estate Calculations: Real estate calculations generally refer to loan-to-value ratios, qualification ratios, down payments, capitalization rate, return on investment, prorated taxes, mortgage payments, gross rent multiplier, and price per square footage. Agents will be required to do some of these calculations during the exam. 


  • North Carolina Real Estate License Law and Commission Rules: Agents must be familiar with North Carolina real estate law and commission rules to pass the test. They include timeshare rules, the landlord-tenant act, the vacation rental act, and more. 
  • Other NC Laws and Practices: This section will quiz agents on unique situations that may occur in real estate practice. Agents must know how to handle these situations to pass the test. 
  • General Real Estate Topics: General real estate topics may touch on anything involved in North Carolina real estate law. 

North Carolina real estate exam FAQs?

Charlotte,North,Carolina,SkylineSo far, we have reviewed some basic facts that you will need to know about the North Carolina real estate exam. But it’s likely you still have a lot of questions. This section will address those questions so you know what to expect. 

1. How many questions are on the North Carolina real estate exam?

The exam has 120 questions. The National portion has 80 questions, and the state portion has 40 questions. There are also 15 unscored pretest questions to help you warm up for the exam. 

2. What is the passing score for the exam?

You must get 57 of the 80 national questions correct and 29 of the 40 state questions correct to pass the exam. 

3. How long do I have to take the exam?

You have 3 ½ hours to take the exam. 

4. How do I prepare for my real estate exam?

You must pass a 75-hour pre-licensing course before you can take the real estate exam. 

5. What if I fail the exam?

If you fail the exam, you may retake it as often as you like within the 180-day eligibility period. However, you must wait at least ten days between the day you failed the exam and the scheduled retake. You will receive a review of the sections you did poorly on so you can focus on them and improve your score. 

 If you only failed one section of the test, you will only be required to retake that section. So, if you passed the state portion and failed the national, you will only need to retake the national portion. 

6. How much does it cost to take the North Carolina real estate exam?

You can retake the North Carolina real estate exam as often as you’d like, but you must have deep pockets to do so. 

Test takers must pay a $100 application fee and a $64 application fee every time they take the test, even if they only need to retake one section. 

7. How many people pass the North Carolina real estate exam?

Statistics vary annually, but one survey of 3,017 people showed that 67.5% passed on their first try. Other sources say you have about a 50/50 chance of passing. 

8. How do I schedule my exam?

If you meet all the requirements to obtain your license, you can apply for a license application. If approved, you will receive a “Notice of Exam Eligibility”. One day after receiving the notice, you can visit the PSI Exams Online website and make an appointment to take your exam. 

9. What should I bring to the exam?

All applicants must bring two forms of valid signature-bearing identification. You may also bring a battery-operated silent calculator with you. It cannot be programmable. Its keyboard cannot contain the alphabet or offer paper-tape printing capabilities. 

A calculator is optional, but it can help you pass the test. 

10. When should I arrive for the exam?

Applicants should arrive 30 minutes early to get through the check-in process before starting the test. 

11. How can I request special accommodations for taking the exam?

Applicants can request special accommodations by calling PSI at 800-367-1565 X 6750 to schedule the exam. 

12. When will I get my exam results?

You will get your exam results immediately after the test is over. 

13. Is the real estate exam multiple-choice?

Yes, all the questions are multiple-choice.

14. I passed my exam. Now what?

You passed your exam. Pat yourself on the back briefly. You still have a hard road ahead of you. 

After passing the exam, you will receive a provisional broker’s license. You must then complete 90 hours of post-licensing education within 18 months to obtain your real estate license. 

When you get your official license, you can begin working as a broker whether it be with a partnership, with a brokerage, or as a sole proprietor. 

15. How do you prepare for the real estate exam?

In a word, study. But many study techniques will increase your chances of success. Here are some suggestions. 

  • Form a study group: A study group will keep you accountable so you study the material you need to focus on. You can help each other by offering your strengths so others can improve their weak areas, and vice versa. Getting together with other people will make studying more fun. 
  • Use Flash Cards: Flashcards may seem like an old-fashioned study method, but they are a great way to test your knowledge. 
  • Write Things Down: When you write down information, it becomes embedded in your memory, so it’s harder to forget. Typing can also be helpful. 
  • Refer to Test Questions: Many study resources have simulated test questions that test your skills and give you an idea of what to expect on the real test. 
  • Create a Study Plan: A study plan will keep you on track. It will ensure you get enough studying in without overdoing it. 
  • Practice Real Estate Math: Real estate math will be on the exam. Make sure you can do the calculations correctly

16. How do you find the right real estate schools?

The real estate school you choose will weigh heavily on whether you pass or fail your real estate exam. It’s essential to choose wisely. Here are some factors to consider when choosing the school that’s right for you. 

  • Courses Offered: Some real estate schools offer the basics. Others go more in-depth with continuing education courses, exam prep courses, and more. Choose a school that provides a curriculum that’s suited to your needs. 
  • Online or In-Person: Courses can be taken online or in person. Many people prefer an online format that allows them to go at their own pace. However, an in-person course is more engaging and can help you learn the material better. The school you choose should provide your preferred format. 
  • Cost: Cost is always a consideration. But think about what you are getting for your money. Schools may charge more but provide better teachers, more informative coursework, and other features that help you pass. Go with the school that offers you the most bang for your buck.

 The North Carolina real estate market is on an upward trajectory. A real estate career is accessible to anyone who can pass the exam. 

This article provides the basics of what’s on the real estate exam. You can use this information to get familiar with the testing process and format. The rest is up to you. 

Good luck reaching your career goals. 

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About the Author

Chris Heller brings 27 years of experience in real estate. Chris serves on the AgentAdvice Editorial Board and is the Chief Real Estate Officer at OJO Labs. Chris brings deep expertise having held influential industry positions including CEO of mellohome and former CEO of Keller Williams Realty International.

Last Updated: 6/11/2024