Everything you ever wanted to know about the real estate exam! (Updated for 2023)
The FTRS Team
We get a lot of questions from current and prospective students about the Massachusetts real estate license test. How many questions is it? How do I pass? Where do I take it? There aren't any obvious places to get that information, so let's clear things up.
First, before we talk about the real estate test, let's cover the basic steps to get your MA real estate license. Getting your real estate license in Massachusetts is a three step process:
Take the 40 hour real estate class at a licensed MA real estate school (that's us!). Massachusetts requires that all real estate license candidates take the 40 hour pre-license class before taking real estate license exam. The classes cover everything you need to know to pass your real estate test and become a salesperson or broker. We offer the full class online, and you can take it either on demand any time or live streaming with an instructor.
Apply to take the real estate test. Massachusetts requires all real estate license candidates pass a background check before taking the real estate test, so you'll send your course completion paperwork to the State along with a test application to get approved to take the license test. Worried about the background check? The Massachusetts Real Estate Board has more information about it on their website here.
Pass the real estate test. This is what we're going to talk about in this post. The 40 hour class entitles you to apply for and take the license test (without the class, you can't sit for the test - Massachusetts doesn't allow you to get your license without completing the real estate class with a licensed school). Briefly, the MA real estate license test is 120 questions, and you need to score at least a 70% to pass the test.
Get your real estate license. Seriously, that's it. After you pass the exam, you'll receive your license on the spot. Tada! You're a real estate agent!
The first thing to know about the Massachusetts real estate license exam is that you won't take the test during your real estate licensing class. Instead, you'll take it with a company called PSI Exams, who administers all licensure testing for the State of Massachusetts. PSI offers the test most days of the week both online so that you can take the test from home, and at several in person testing centers across the state, including test centers located in Boston, Auburn, Fall River, Lawrence, and West Springfield.
The exam itself is 120 questions in total, and is broken down into two sections: the Massachusetts Law section, and the General Real Estate Knowledge section. The Massachusetts Law section is 40 questions, and the General section is 80. You'll have four hours to complete the test, and need to get a 70% on each section to pass the exam and get your license. Don't fret too much, though: you can take the exam as many times as it takes to pass, and we'll go over testing strategies in class.
(You may also receive a few experimental questions on the exam, but don't worry: those don't count against your score!)
If you're interested in learning more about what's covered on the MA real estate test, you can get a full outline here. The weighting of the different test topics (financing, contracts, agency law, etc.) changed a little on September 1st, 2018, but the material is still the same!
And what about the math? Well, it's nothing to stress about. You're allowed to use a calculator on the MA real estate exam (but not the one on your phone!), and you'll only get around 8-10 total math questions total. And don't worry, the license test math itself isn't too hard - the hardest problem types are stuff you learned in 9th grade.
Then comes the coolest part about the exam: When you pass the test, you get your license right on the spot if you took the test in person. How cool is that? Pass the exam, and you'll walk out of the building a licensed real estate agent. Or if you took the license exam online from home, you'll go to a testing center after passing the exam to take a license photo, pay the licensing fee, and pick up the license.
That's a really good question! Getting your Massachusetts real estate license costs around $500. Here's a breakdown of the costs:
Real estate classes: $200-$600. The price will vary depending on the course package you choose, but with materials most classes will likely cost in the range of $300-$400.
The real estate test: $85. The test itself costs $54, and there is a $31 application fee when you apply to take the test. Retaking the realty test is a bit less expensive (it only costs the $54 exam fee), but if you study for the test you won't have to worry about any retakes!
Your real estate license: around $150. Ok, this one is a little more complicated than the other costs. Your license fee will be somewhere between $103-$150. Why the range of costs? It's because your first license is good until your 3rd birthday after you receive it, so Massachusetts pro-rates the fee based on how long your license is good for. Just plan for a fee of $150, and if it's less you can take yourself out to dinner with the savings.
Total cost to get a real estate license: about $500
Overall it's not too bad, especially considering that most professional licenses cost many thousands of dollars (nevermind becoming something like a doctor or lawyer)!
Hopefully that answers your questions about the exam! If you want to get your real estate license, your next step is to sign up for a real estate class. We can't wait to see you in class!