Published by Kartik Subramaniam
Most people, especially adults, are a little intimidated when it comes to taking an exam; it somehow doesn't matter if it's a driving test or an exam to qualify for a license, or the culmination of a special training program. It can be stressful, but there are a number of ways to calm your anxiety and boost your level of confidence.
The required California Real Estate Exam is one of those tests that determines whether you will become a licensed professional, qualified to act on behalf of buyers and sellers to transact business in the state. It is an important step, and after weeks of serious study, you'll want to make every possible effort to pass the exam on your first attempt. Here are some ways to do just that, and to easily achieve your goals. The test consists of 150 questions; you are allowed three hours to complete the exam, and a passing score requires that at least 70% of the questions be answered correctly.
There is no magic formula to help you fill in the blanks correctly. Advance preparation is important, and pre-exam review of the myriad real estate topics you have studied is vital. Cramming, however, might lead to greater apprehension. A planned timetable of review is a better idea, and one that will also prepare you more fully for the day-to-day skills and knowledge that a real estate agent or broker requires.
Create a Study Schedule: If you have been enrolled in a real estate course, plan to review your class notes and course materials thoroughly before scheduling the exam. Enlist the help of your spouse, partner, or best friend to help you with concepts and to act as a coach or sounding board as you review the various topics and principles.
Form a Study Group: Learning and understanding are enhanced when you receive input and feedback from others. Keep the group small and informal, if possible, and limit the duration of study sessions to encourage lively discussions and prevent burnout.
Review Vocabulary and Terms: Be certain that you have a grasp of the defining vocabulary and specific designations that characterize real estate roles and transaction responsibilities. Review Concepts to Gain Understanding. Role playing can be highly instructive. Use it to demonstrate the different aspects of any real estate transaction -- from initial contact with a prospective client to discussion of specific prohibitions of language and topics that you may encounter in your real estate dealings.
Watch YouTube Videos: There are some highly instructive materials online. Seek out professionally-prepared videos and presentations that will illustrate the situations any real estate professional must understand.
Enroll in a Review Course: If it has been some time since you first enrolled in a real estate licensing course, you might want to schedule a quick pre-exam review. Online reviews, flash cards, and comprehensive study guides can all be helpful. Take a Practice Test. A practice test will provide basic familiarity with the type of questions you'll encounter. However, use practice tests judiciously, and don't make the mistake of "practicing" too much. Not everything you need to know will be covered in any test; understand that your real estate career will always present you with new challenges, and that it's better to understand concepts than to memorize answers to specific test questions.
During the week leading up to your testing date, try to get plenty of rest and exercise, and try not to stress about the upcoming exam. Prepare yourself by reviewing to the best of your ability and try to be physically fit and mentally relaxed when the day arrives.
Follow your normal routine as much as possible. If you normally eat a healthy breakfast, do so and don't stress unduly about the rest of your day. If, on the other hand, you have only coffee for breakfast, go ahead, but don't overdo the caffeine. Also, remember to bring a snack or something nutritious available for sustenance prior to the exam. Bring water as well; it's important to stay hydrated.
Plan to get your normal quota of sleep the night before the exam. You might want to rise a little earlier than usual, however. Get in some stretches for your body or read something motivational to get your mind in gear -- whatever seems appropriate. Arrive early at the test location, armed with everything you've been instructed to bring, but nothing else. Breathe deeply, get comfortable, and don't stress.
Don't rush through the questions. If there are questions that are confusing, or answers you're unsure of, skip over them and move on. A later question might trigger the correct response for you, and you can then return to answer the questions confidently.
Be confident; don't overthink the multiple-choice answers. Understand that the test is not designed to trip you up, but that some real estate principles and practices are subject to interpretation. In most cases, trust your judgment and choose the one answer that seems to be the most logical and correct. Progress through the 150 questions, answering all that seem easy. Try to allow ample time to review your work and to reconsider answers to questions you were unsure about. Once you have made a final choice, however, move on.
Don't stress. Remember the concepts. Understand the topics. You’ve been preparing for this. Be confident and know that you’ve got this!
Are you ready to get your real estate license?