Pass Your Real Estate License Exam With These Tips

Tips & tricks to pass your real estate exam on the first try

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas

Jacqueline Kyo Thomas


One hurdle stands between you and world domination as a Massachusetts-licensed real estate agent: The licensing exam.

Just when you thought you left tests and number 2 pencils in school, you have one more exam.

Does the idea of taking an exam make your heart race and your palms sweat? Are you worried that you'll go blank, forget the answers, or worse, not even know the answers?

You're not alone. Most of us hate taking tests. And, for some of us, the anxiety can be debilitating. But don't let anxiety scare you away or tell you that you can't do this. You can totally do this!

And we're here to help. In this post, we're sharing our top exam preparation tips to minimize your anxiety and maximize your readiness. Let's get started.

Take Our Practice Tests

We give all of our students an unbeatable guarantee: We guarantee that you'll pass your Massachusetts real estate license exam after taking our course. If you don't pass, you don't pay. We'll refund your class fee.

How can we make such a bold pledge? In addition to our courses, we also offer six comprehensive practice tests that cover the same material that you'll see on the state license exam. When you take our tests and score at least 85% on both the national and state sections, you can be confident that you'll also pass the real deal.

Learn more about our "Pass or Don't Pay" Guarantee here.

Use Flashcards

Some of us work best with the good old index card method. It's a staple study method because flashcards train our brains through active recall. Instead of simply reading or watching (which is known as passive review), active review asks a question or offers a prompt that forces our brains to respond.

If the idea of handwriting your flashcards seems overwhelming, you can also download a flashcard app. This option gives you increased flexibility.

Schedule a specific time to review your flashcards every day, but don't feel limited to just that time. You can also review wherever you go and whenever you have the time to do so. There are dozens of five-minute opportunities scattered throughout the day. While you're in line at the grocery store, while your show is on a commercial break, or even while you're drifting off to sleep, grab your phone and go over a few cards. Every little bit counts. Before you know it, you'll be able to define amortization in your sleep.

Create a Study Group

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Reach out to others in your class who are also preparing for the real estate license exam and find out if they'd like to form a study group. Studying with others offers a host of benefits. For example, it removes procrastination. It's hard to kick the can down the road when you have a set date to study with someone else. You're accountable.

Studying in groups also helps you learn faster than you would if you go it alone. When you're sharing in a group, you can support each other. If you have questions that you don't know the answer to, someone else in your group may be able to help you understand, and vice versa. You may also come away with new study skills to aid your own study time.

Finally, studying with others makes the prospect of studying seem less boring. It's hard to fall asleep on your books in front of other folks. And if you can, I'm impressed. Studying with others breaks up the monotony of hearing your own voice.

Create a Study Plan

To pass the real estate license exam, you need a plan. Don't think you'll just study whenever you have the time, because inevitably, you'll be too busy. Instead, make study time a priority and not an afterthought. Schedule a study session on your calendar and commit to doing it every day at the same time.

How long should you study?

Carve out at least one hour each day for study. Set a timer.

It may be difficult for you to study for one full hour without interruption. Perhaps your study time is during your daily commute to school or work. It's fine to break up your study time into two or more sessions, such as two 30-minute sessions or three 20-minute sessions. Do what works best for your unique routine.

Don't forget to include your study group on your study plan.

Get a Good Night's Sleep

The night before the exam, you'll be tempted to stay away and cram as much as possible. Resist that temptation. Instead, maintain your normal study routine and then get a good night's sleep. In fact, it's actually better to go to bed earlier than normal because it may take you some time to relax before you can drift off to sleep. As you are going to sleep, soothe yourself with this gentle reminder: I've studied the material. I know the material. I'm ready for this test.

Last minute cramming will do more harm than good. It will shake your confidence and cause you to second-guess what you already know. Go to bed and wake up refreshed. A fresh mind is more useful to you than a tired one.

Use These Test Taking Strategies

So far, we've discussed how to prepare for the test. Now, let's discuss how to pass the test. Here are X essential test-taking strategies to put to use during your real estate license exam:

Read the Instructions Carefully

Don't make the mistake of rushing through a question because it may sound similar to another question that you've answered previously. Take the time to read every word of the instructions. Watch for tricky words like except, and, or, if, all, etc.

Eliminate Obviously Incorrect Answers

If you don't know the answer to a multiple choice question, eliminate the obviously incorrect choices. This will allow you to narrow down the answers.

Skip Answers That You Don't Know

If you don't know the answer to a question, skip it. You don't want to waste too much time pondering the same question. Besides, you may actually find the answer written into a question if you skip ahead.

Go With Your Gut

If you still don't know, go with your gut and don't second-guess yourself. The right answer is usually your first choice.

Don't Leave Any Question Unanswered

After you've completed the test, go back and answer the questions that you've skipped. It's better to make a guess than to leave the question unanswered. Who knows? You may be right! But, as they say, you miss 100% of the shots you don't take.

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Pace Yourself

Come exam day, don't let jitters get the best of you. Jitters often lead to careless, unforced errors. In other words, it won't be the exam that defeats you instead, it will be your own mental game.

Jitters often sneak up on you when you check the time left on the clock. As if by invitation, worries flood your stream of consciousness: What if I don't finish on time? Have I spent too much time on that last series of questions? Why is that guy leaving? Why am I one of the last people in this room?

I don't know about you, but I've never been one of the first people to finish a test. Fortunately, speed is not a factor in the real estate licensing exam. You have four hours to complete the exam. Take all 240 minutes if needed.

Final Thoughts

Use the above tips to prepare for your upcoming licensing exam and also combat your test anxiety.

What's next?

Before you can sit for an exam you'll need to complete a certified real estate course. We offer live and on-demand classes to fit your schedule anywhere and at any time. Sign up for your Massachusetts real estate classes here, if you haven't already.

Check out these related posts:

Here are 10 frequently asked questions about the Massachusetts real estate licensing exam.


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