Taking your state real estate exam can be time consuming, costly, stressful and at times may seem impossible. I took mine for the first time this past Friday and failed!!!! FAILED!!! I couldn’t believe it! I actually failed. I couldn’t have failed. I spent hours, days, weeks even, preparing, but as much as I didn’t want it to be true, there was no denying the fact it was true. Where did I go wrong?

Well, I can tell you and share some tips and give you a few pointers on what not to do to pass your real estate exam. As well as a few pointers on what failing taught me about passing. 

Make a Plan!

Lets put pen to paper and commit to a study plan that defines the following:

  1. How many hours per day will you commit to studying your material? If you are currently working, calculate the actual hours you have to study for the exam. Eliminate the distractions!
  2. Where will you study? At the library, in your office, in your home or elsewhere? Make sure it is conducive to actually studying! Be disciplined with your time and it will pay off.

  3. When do you have time to study? In the morning or evening or at lunchtime? Do you find you are more bright and alert in the morning or evening? Will you spread it out  throughout the day?

  4. When do you plan on writing the exam? Will you do the computer exam or the classroom style exam held every month? Find out what the dates are and use them as a goal.

  5. Now you need to divide the chapters, assignment submissions and Examination Study Guide review into the hours that you have available. Also add some time for exam review prior to writing the exam.

Write it all down

Date of Real Estate Exam: ____________________________________________________

How many days will I study (exclude vacations, etc): ________________________________

How many hours per day will I study: ___________________________________________

When will I commit to studying morning, evening: _______________________________(I recommend studying throughout the day)  

Commit your time to a portion of your course and break it down so you are covering all the important tasks e.g. Four hours daily study time:

  1. One hour Review Chapter One
  2. One hour review and work on the Assignment for Chapter One
  3. One hour Study the Examination Study Guide and do the practice exam
  4. One hour Study Math calculations

**If we are being honest, the math portion of the exam, in my opinion is like calculus. You will probably never use it in real life, but are required to learn anyway.   Silly, yes. Required nonetheless. If anything learn all other areas to the best of you ability. If you got ever math question wrong, but did well on the other portions you can still pass. 

Daily study time

I recommend studying no more than 1 hour at a time. Your brain needs a break in order to retain the information you are trying to learn. So, study for an hour then take a 30 minute break. Go outside, take a nap, or call a friend to talk about something other than the exam. A break, snack, change of scenery can make all the difference in the world.


Everyone’s study habits & learning styles vary. You need to find out what works best for you. Focus on one portion of the exam a day.

Review & study in the morning. Then, take a break. After lunch take the review final on that particular section. This will help you decide what you need to focus on more. 

Flash cards have always worked for me in the past. They are an easy way to study by yourself and can be taken anywhere. Sometimes you will have to study on the go!


A lot of people think that getting that last minute cram session in will do the a world of good, but it doesn’t. All your studying should be done prior to the day of you test. Trying to cram will only stress you out and make you question, or doubt yourself and answers while taking the exam. Plus, you want your brain to be fresh when you get there, not fried.


Go with your gut, it is usually right. 

Do not be too hard on yourself

Try not to get discouraged if you fail on your 1st attempt. If you are like me this will be the hardest part.  I was so incredibly disappointed in myself, that I failed to realize at first that this was a perfect opportunity for me to be able to see the areas I needed to work on. Also, I knew what to expect the next time. I wouldn’t be walking into the testing site blind. I would know what to expect, know what to study and therefore have a way bigger advantage than I did the first time.  

Failing is never fun, but try not to take it personally. Failure refers to the state or condition of not meeting a desirable or intended objective, and may be viewed as the opposite of success. Don’t put limitations on yourself. Other people will do that for you. Don’t do that to yourself. Don’t bet against yourself. And take risks. You have to be willing to take those risks. … In whatever you are doing, failure is an option. 

By opting not to try again is failure…. BUT picking yourself up, brushing off you ego and getting back on the saddle is what makes a person successful. You only fail when you give up!

Zoe Piliafas

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s