Can you take the real estate exam without classes?

Can you take the real estate exam without classes?

Published by Kartik Subramaniam

Reading Time : 3 minutes

State licensing exam

Embarking on a real estate career can be exciting and daunting, especially when meeting the qualifications for obtaining a license. One question that arises among aspiring real estate professionals in California is: "Can you take the real estate exam in California without any classes?" This question is crucial for those eager to dive into the industry but must decide on the required educational commitments. I wanted to address this question head-on while incorporating insights from related topics pertinent to launching a successful career in real estate.

California, known for its dynamic real estate market, sets forth specific requirements for individuals aiming to become licensed real estate agents. The California Department of Real Estate (DRE) mandates that applicants complete some coursework before sitting for the state licensing exam. Specifically, you must complete three college-level courses in real estate principles, practice, and one elective course from a list from an approved California real estate license school However, exceptions exist for individuals if they are a lawyer who wants a real estate license in California. Lawyers who are members of the State Bar of California are exempt from the college-level course prerequisites, allowing them to proceed directly to the licensing exam. This exemption acknowledges the extensive legal education that lawyers undergo, which overlaps significantly with real estate law and practices. However, California attorneys still must take and pass the real estate license exam.

For those not exempted by a legal career, the educational requirement is more than just a bureaucratic hoop to jump through. It is designed to equip you with a foundation to navigate the complexities of real estate transactions. These courses cover various topics, from property rights and contracts to finance and ethics, ensuring that you are well-prepared to serve your clients effectively.


Preparing for the California real estate exam is a rigorous process that demands a comprehensive understanding of various subjects. Our real estate exam prep guide offers a valuable resource for those studying for the exam, providing structured guidance and strategies to tackle the exam confidently. The guide includes practice questions, outlines of key topics, and test-taking tips to enhance your chances of passing on your first attempt.

Passing the California real estate exam is a notable achievement, but it's just the beginning of your journey. A Guide to Your First 30 Days as a Real Estate Agent outlines essential steps for newly licensed agents, from joining a brokerage to developing a marketing plan and building your client base. This critical period can set the tone for your career, emphasizing the importance of a strong start.

Once licensed, continuous learning and adaptation are key to longevity and success in the real estate profession. California requires real estate agents to complete continuing education courses to renew their licenses. This requirement ensures that agents stay updated on the latest laws, regulations, and market trends, reinforcing the value of lifelong learning in this dynamic field.

In addition to formal education and licensing requirements, building a successful real estate career involves mastering practical skills and leveraging personal networks. Referrals 101: How to Ask Your Friends and Family for Referrals highlights the significance of referrals in generating business. Cultivating a solid referral network can be instrumental in establishing and growing your real estate practice, underscoring the industry's relational nature.

Understanding the financial aspects of real estate, such as understanding off-the-top fees as a Realtor is also crucial. This knowledge helps agents manage their finances effectively, from navigating commission structures to budgeting for business expenses. Financial understanding is essential for maximizing earnings and ensuring the sustainability of your real estate career.

While it may seem appealing to bypass educational requirements and jump straight into taking the California real estate exam, the state mandates these courses for good reason. They provide a solid foundation of knowledge and skills essential for success in the real estate industry. For lawyers, exemptions offer a streamlined path to licensure, yet the principles of thorough preparation and continuous learning apply universally across the profession. By embracing these educational opportunities and leveraging resources like exam prep guides and practical advice for new agents, aspiring real estate professionals in California can set themselves up for a rewarding and prosperous career.

TLDR: For the most part, classes are required. Lawyers in California are exempt from the classes, but nobody is exempt from the licensing exam.



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