6 Tips for Passing the California Real Estate Exam

If you’re looking to start a new career with incredible income earning potential, then look no further than real estate. With some of the highest property values in the country, many California real estate agents make six- and seven-figure incomes while still enjoying incredible work-life balance and flexibility. But before you even make a dime, you have to pass the California real estate exam. 

How is the California Real Estate Exam Structured?

The California salesperson exam is an electronic exam that students are required to take at one of five testing sites in the state after completing an approved pre-licensing course. It’s a multiple-choice test with 150 individual questions covering a variety of topics. 

Major categories on the California real estate exam include Practice of Real Estate and Disclosures, Laws of Agency and Fiduciary Duty, Property Ownership and Land Use Controls and Regulations, Property Valuation and Financial Analysis, Contracts, Financing, and Transfer of Property.

Students must get a passing score of 70 percent or higher on the exam in order to pass. This means the minimum passing score is 105 questions out of 150. There’s a 3 hour and 15-minute time limit for the exam and results are tabulated and displayed immediately. 

6 Tips for Passing

If you want to pass the exam, there are some things you should and should not do. Let’s take a look at a few of them:

1. Choose the Right Course

The first piece of advice is to select the right California real estate license course. There are plenty of options available, but we highly recommend choosing an online option with a proven track record and certifications. Online courses are not only more flexible, but they also tend to be less expensive.

With the pre-license course, you can expect to complete a total of 135 hours (three, 45-hour sections) and pass course-specific exams for each section. Once you complete these exams, you apply for the state exam.  

2. Don’t Procrastinate

Few things hurt your ability to pass the California real estate exam more than procrastination. While nobody enjoys studying, it’s part of the process. Waiting until the night before the exam to study isn’t smart and will almost certainly lead to a failing grade. You need to plan ahead by creating a detailed study schedule. 

It’s also not wise to procrastinate on setting your exam date. It’s best to take the state exam within two to three weeks of passing your course exams. This ensures the information and content is still fresh on your mind. 

3. Use Acronyms to Prepare

When it comes to memorizing groups and lists, use acronyms and mnemonics. You do this by creating short phrases or words that remind you of larger amounts of information.

For example, let’s say you’re trying to remember the Bundle of Rights. You could use the acronym “TEE UP” to remember the words transfer, enjoy, encumber, use, and possess.

4. Arrive Prepared

Be smart about how you approach exam day. Set your alarm to wake up at least an hour earlier than you usually would and give yourself plenty of time to get ready. It’s also recommended that you show up to the test center 30 to 45 minutes early to allow yourself plenty of time to park, use the restroom, gather your things, and check in. The last thing you want to do is feel rushed.

5. Answer What You Know

The best strategy is to go through the exam questions and answer the ones you know. If you’re unsure, leave that question blank and return to it later. 

When it comes to answering questions that you aren’t sure of, do your best to eliminate at least one of the possibilities. This instantly improves your chances of getting the question right. If you can eliminate two possible answers, you have a 50 percent chance of being correct. This process of elimination approach is very helpful. 

6. Don’t Rush

You have plenty of time to take the exam! With 3 hours and 15 minutes, this gives you nearly 90 seconds to complete each question. (And because many of them can be answered in 30 seconds or less, you’ll have plenty of time to dedicate to the more difficult ones.)

Ready, Set, Pass

The California real estate exam isn’t necessarily easy, but it’s also not something that should intimidate you. As long as you prepare and study the concepts, you’ll have no problem. And if you do fail, you can always take it over again. Good luck!

6 Tips for Passing the California Real Estate Exam was last updated January 12th, 2022 by Alex Sanders