Tips for Taking the Real Estate Exam (+ A Breakdown of Each State’s Exam Format!)

Want to become a real estate agent? First, you will need to take a real estate exam. The requirements vary from state to state. This article will break it down, so you are prepared for what’s ahead. 

It will also provide valuable tips and tricks that ensure your success. 

Tips for Taking the Real Estate Exam

1. Create a Study Schedulewoman studying on computer

Create a study schedule to ensure you review the content regularly without overdoing it. 

2. Diversify Your Study Materials

The real estate exam covers several topics. Switch up the subjects you are studying to give yourself a fresh outlook. This strategy will also help you cover more ground. 

3. Challenge Yourself

Test yourself regularly. Focus on subjects you are struggling with.  Flashcards are a recommended study aid. 

4. Use Acronyms

Make up acronyms and think of other fun ways to remember your study material. 

5. Create a Study Group

A study group will make studying more interesting. It will also hold you accountable to your study schedule. 

6. Get Tutoring

Getting help from a live person can make coursework easier to understand. Consider hiring a tutor for a crash course if you are struggling with a topic. A tutor may also be helpful if you have been taking online courses and need clarification. 

women studying for licensing exam7. Use Exam Prep

Some real estate schools offer prep courses that are specifically designed to get you ready for the exam. They are an added expense, but they just might pay off. 

8. Get Ready for Exam Day

Prepare for exam day by getting plenty of rest the night before. Eat a healthy breakfast. Practice stress-reducing exercises so you don’t get overwhelmed. 

9. Don’t Overthink It

Stress at exam time can make you overthink and try to outsmart the questions. If you find this happening, take a deep breath, and ground yourself. Trust the information you have in your head. 

10. Practice Vocabulary

You will have a hard time passing the test if you aren’t familiar with real estate terminology. Go over the different types of contracts, ownership types, and fiduciary duties before you take the exam. 

11. Study Real Estate Math

Real estate math will come up on about 20% of the questions. Be sure you are familiar with the following formulas:

  • Area
  • Acre
  • Property tax rate
  • 1 mill
  • Commission Formula
  • Simple interest

12. Understand Fair Housing

Several exam questions will relate to the Fair Housing Act. Study it carefully to ensure you are ready for your test. 

13. Study in a Distraction-Free Environment

Study in an environment that is free of distractions. Shut off your devices before hitting the books.

studying for licensing exam14. Try the Pomodoro Technique

The Pomodoro Technique involves setting a timer for 25 minutes and engaging in a hyper-focused study section. Once the 25 minutes are up, take a 5-minute break before you resume studying. This strategy will help you retain information without fatiguing your mind. 

15. Make a Test Day Cheat Sheet

If permitted, create a cheat sheet that you can reference until you sit down to take your test. Put the important facts on one sheet of paper and study it until the exam begins. Doing so will keep the information fresh in your mind. 

Tips for Actually Taking the Exam

1. Answer Easy Questions First

Every question on the test holds the same weight. Get the easy ones out of the way so you have time to focus on the hard ones. This strategy will minimize your risk of leaving questions out. 

pencils and real estate exam2. Eliminate Wrong Answers

If you are stuck on a question, eliminate the answers that you know are wrong first. Doing so will allow you to focus on answers that are likely to be correct. It will narrow down your options, so you make an educated choice. 

3. Come Back to the Answers You Skipped

After completing the easy questions, come back to the answers you skipped. You will have time to concentrate on them before the test ends. 

4. Look for Opposite Answer Choices

Multiple-choice questions may list two answers that are the opposite of one another. One of these is likely to be the correct answer. 

5. Detailed Answers Tend to Be Correct

Answers may be wrong if only a portion of them is incorrect. For an answer to be correct, every part must be correct. As a result, correct answers tend to be longer and more detailed than incorrect answers. 

6. Look Out for ‘Always’ and ‘Never’ Answers

Answers with extremes like ‘always’ and ‘never’ tend to be incorrect. 

man studying for licensing exam7. ‘Except ‘Answers Tend to Be Correct

Answers with the word ‘except’ tend to be more detailed and are more likely to be correct. 

8. Read Questions Carefully

Some questions are made to mess up test takers who are moving quickly and aren’t reading carefully. Take your time to cut back on errors. Rephrase questions in your head to determine what’s being asked of you. 

9. Don’t Choose Unfamiliar Answers

If there’s an answer that discusses a concept or includes wording you’ve never seen before, it’s probably incorrect. 

Alabamaalabama

How Many Questions are on the Test? 140

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass?  70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 60 hours

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  210 minutes

Alaskaalaska

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 40

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Arizonaarizona department of real estate logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 180

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass: 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  300 minutes

Arkansasarkansas

How Many Questions are on the Test? 110

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 56/80 on the National Section and 21/40 on the State Section

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 60

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Californiacalifornia department of real estate logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 150

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 135

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  180 minutes

Coloradocolorado division of real estate logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 154

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 60/80 on the National Section and 53/74 on the State Section

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 168

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  230 minutes

Connecticutconnecticut

How Many Questions are on the Test?  110

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass?  56/80 on the National Section and 21/30 on the state section

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 40

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  165 minutes

Delawaredelaware seal

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 56/80 on the National Section and 28/40 on the State Section

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 99

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Floridaflorida state seal

How Many Questions are on the Test? 100

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 63

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  210 minutes

Georgiageorgia-seal

How Many Questions are on the Test? 152

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 72%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 75

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Hawaiihawaii3

How Many Questions are on the Test? 130

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 60

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  240

Idahoidaho

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 120

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  150 minutes

Illinoisillinois licensing logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 140

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 75

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Indianaindiana state seal

How Many Questions are on the Test? 130

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Iowaiowa

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 56/80 on the National Section and 28/40 on the State Section

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 60

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  180 minutes

Kansasarkansas

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 56/80 on the National Section and 21/30 on the State Section

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 60

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Kentuckykentucky

How Many Questions are on the Test? 130

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 60/85 on the National Section and 38/50 on the State Section

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 96

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Louisianalouisiana

How Many Questions are on the Test? 135

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 56/80 on the National Section and 40/56 on the State Section

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  180 minutes

Mainemaine-real-estate-commission

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 55

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Marylandmaryland department of labor logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 110

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 60

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  120 minutes

MassachusettsMassachusetts state seal

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 40

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Michigan michigan licensing logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 115

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 40

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  180 minutes

Minnesotaminnesota commerce department logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 130

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Mississippimississippi

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 60

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

MissouriMissouri state seal

How Many Questions are on the Test? 140

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 72

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Montanamontana

How Many Questions are on the Test? 113

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 70

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Nebraskanebraska

How Many Questions are on the Test? 130

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 66

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

NevadaNevada real estate division logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

New Hampshirenew hampshire

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 40

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  140 minutes

New Jerseynew jersey state seal

How Many Questions are on the Test? 110

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 75

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

New Mexiconew mexico

How Many Questions are on the Test? 130

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  180 minutes

New Yorknew york real estate board logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 75

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 75

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  90 minutes

North Carolinanorth carolina real estate commission logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120 questions

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 71%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 75

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  210 minutes

North Dakotanorth dakota

How Many Questions are on the Test? 140

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70/100 on the National Section and 30/40 on the State Section

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Ohioohio real estate commission

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120 questions

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 120

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  180 minutes

Oklahomaoklahoma

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  180 minutes

Oregonoregon real estate agency

How Many Questions are on the Test? 130

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 150

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  195 minutes

Pennsylvaniapennsylvania real estate commission logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 125

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 75

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  180 minutes

Rhode Islandrhode island

How Many Questions are on the Test? 130

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 45

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

South Carolinasouth carolina real estate commission logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  200 minutes

South Dakotasouth dakota

How Many Questions are on the Test? 168

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? The Angoff method is used to estimate the difficulty of each item on the examination for the minimally competent practitioner (MCP)

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 116

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  420 minutes

Tennesseetennessee state seal

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Texastexas

How Many Questions are on the Test? 125

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 62%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 180

How Long do you Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

UtahSealofUtahStateSeal

How Many Questions are on the Test? 125

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 120

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  140 minutes

Vermontvermont

How Many Questions are on the Test? 136

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? The Angoff method is used to estimate the difficulty of each item on the examination for the minimally competent practitioner (MCP)

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 40

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Virginiavirginia licensing logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 120

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 60

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  150 minutes

Washingtonwashington licensing logo

How Many Questions are on the Test? 130

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  210 minutes

Washington, D.C.

How Many Questions are on the Test? 110

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 60

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  210 minutes

West Virginiawest virginia

How Many Questions are on the Test? 150

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 90

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  210 minutes

Wisconsinwisconsin state seal

How Many Questions are on the Test? 140

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 75%

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 72

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

Wyomingwyoming

How Many Questions are on the Test? 132

What Percentage Do You Need to Pass? 70/100 on the National Section and 24/32 on the State Section

How Many Hours is the Pre-Licensing Course? 54

How Long Do You Have to Complete the Test?  240 minutes

The information in this article provides valuable guidelines for what to expect on the real estate exam. Hopefully, you can utilize it to succeed on the test. We wish you luck in your endeavors. 

Other resources: We have guides on the ins and outs of the topics you need to know to be a successful estate agent (like circle prospectingreal estate website buildersreal estate lead generation companies, or a well designed real estate CRM). If you’re looking for more advanced topics like the best probate lead sellersmortgage leadsreal estate adsbuilding your own real estate lead generation website, which real estate marketing tools you’ll need,  how to build a successful social media strategy, or even just real estate marketing ideas in general, you can try looking for a real estate mentor or an answering service that can help show you the way.

Chris Heller Headshot

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: 12/14/2023