How to Prepare for Your Real Estate License Exam

How to Study for Your Real Estate Salesperson Test

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas


You’ve completed your real estate pre-license classes. Congratulations! That’s no small feat. Now, the only thing standing between you and your MA real estate license is the exam...

Cue ominous music

Don’t worry. You can do it! But not without a plan.

In this post, you’ll find a plan that will help you pass the real estate salesperson exam the first time. Let’s get started.

Gather Your Materials

Real estate license exam tips

To adequately prepare for your real estate license exam, you need to gather the right materials. Fortunately, you only need a few basic items:

  • Our course study guide
  • A simple notebook
  • A pack of index cards
  • A pencil or pen
  • Additional notes from your classes

The course study guide is the star of the show and an essential component to your success. After enrolling as a student, you’ll get access to this 130+ page guide. As far as study guides go, our guide is small but mighty. It will include everything that you need to know to pass the real estate salesperson exam in as short of a format as possible, and in the back, it includes a glossary of key vocabulary terms. We recommend printing and binding the course study guide for easy reference. You can get this done inexpensively at Staples or OfficeMax.

You can pick up a simple notebook from the store while you’re there. You’ll use this notebook to create an outline of the course study guide. More on this later.

You can also buy a pack of index cards while you’re out. Use these index cards to create portable notes that you can take with you wherever you go. But, if index cards aren’t your thing, consider creating digital flashcards with an app like StudyBlue, Cram, Brainscape, or Quizlet.

If you’ve taken our pre-licensure classes, you have access to all of the whiteboard notes (found in the class archives). These notes will supplement the course study guide.

Follow a Test Prep Schedule

Real estate license exam tips

Now, let’s get into the nitty-gritty. Here’s how to formulate a study plan that will guarantee your success.

The first step is to submit the test application paperwork to PSI. PSI provides and administers the real estate salesperson test. It takes between 4 to 6 weeks for PSI to approve your paperwork. This gives you plenty of time to study.

Here’s the study schedule that we recommend to all of our students.

5 Weeks Until the Test:

  • Immediately after submitting your PSI test application, start gathering the materials mentioned in the above section.
  • Familiarize yourself with the course study guide. Be sure to read it from cover to cover without skimming. You can pace yourself by reading a section of pages per day for a total of 4 study days.
  • Study 4 days this week. We recommend studying on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.
  • Devote at least 1 hour to study each day.

4 Weeks Until the Test:

  • Re-read the entire course study guide.
  • Make flashcards of the vocabulary terms in the back of the course study guide.
  • Say each vocabulary term out loud as you write to help with memorization.
  • Use a digital flashcard app if you prefer.
  • Study 4 days this week for at least 1 hour each day. We recommend keeping the same schedule of Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and Sunday.

3 Weeks Until the Test:

  • Create an outline of the course study guide in your notebook. Instead of copying the guide verbatim, use your own words to summarize the topics. This will help with memorization and processing.
  • When preparing your outline, don’t skip over anything in your course study guide. In your notebook, you should have handwritten notes on every topic discussed in the guide.
  • Identify and then spend extra time on topics that you don’t know very well.
  • Study your flashcards/ index cards for 15 to 30 minutes every day.
  • Bump up your study time from 4 hours to 15 hours this week. While you can break down your study time in any way you prefer, here’s one idea: Study Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday for 3 hours each day. Alternately, you can study 6 days a week for 2 ½ hours each day.
  • Take your first exam cram practice test. Write down your score.

2 Weeks Until the Test:

  • Continue studying for 15 hours this week, broken down in whichever way works best.
  • Study your outline of the course study guide.
  • Study your flashcards for 15 to 30 minutes each day.
  • Take 3 exam cram practice tests. Write down your score.
  • Review the topics that you don’t know well.
  • If you have questions that you can’t find the answer to, prepare a list and then bring it with you to a live office hours class. We’ll be happy to help answer your questions.

1 Week Until the Test:

  • Continue to study at least 15 hours this week.
  • Re-read your course study guide from cover to cover.
  • Study your entire handwritten outline.
  • Study your flashcards for 15 to 30 minutes each day.
  • Take 6 practice tests. Take note of the score. You should score at least 85% on both sections of all 6 tests. If you fall below that score, push the test date back. It may be a setback, but it’s better to delay if the low test scores show that you’re not ready. Trust us, you only want to pay for the real estate exam once.
  • You also have the option to take the official PSI practice test this week.
  • Do not take practice tests, including the PSI practice test, back to back on the same day. Instead, take one per day to avoid burnout.
  • Make note of any sections that you scored poorly on and review those topics.

Week of the Test:

  • Receive approval from PSI to schedule your test. If you haven’t heard from PSI after 6 weeks of submitting your paperwork, call them at 1-800-733-9267 to check on the status of your application.

General Study Tips

Now, let’s discuss some basic study tips to help you prepare for your real estate salesperson exam.

Dedicate a specific time to study every single day. Make this a non-negotiable part of your daily routine.

Don't skip more than one day of studying. Ideally, you should study at least every other day— even on the weekends.

Minimize noise and distractions. This includes muting your cell phone, shutting down your computer, and turning off the television while you study. Also, ignore your social calendar. Remember: It’s only for a few weeks.

Teach a topic to someone else. This is one of the best study hacks. By explaining a difficult topic to someone who’s unfamiliar with real estate, you’ll develop a deeper understanding.

Read your notes out loud. Researchers found that by reading out loud and hearing yourself, you'll create a stronger memory of the subject matter.

Take frequent breaks. Don’t study non-stop. Although you’ll study multiple hours a day, break up that study time to give your brain a rest. Consider following the Pomodoro method, where you study in intervals of 25 minutes with a 5-minute break. After 2 hours, you’ll take a longer, 15-minute break.

Just do it. It’s easy to procrastinate and push off studying until the last minute, but you’ll be in a better position if you just start now, instead of later.

Next Steps

If you haven't already, be sure to sign up for your pre-license classes with us today. We offer live and on demand online classes for your convenience. Learn more about our real estate salesperson classes here.

If you've already taken our pre-licensure class and want to learn more about the MA real estate exam itself, check out this link: All About the Massachusetts Real Estate License Test.

If you have any questions about the exam or our classes, reach out to us here.

Interested in getting your real estate license?


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