In my last post (which you can read here ) I detailed what I call the top reasons people fail the real estate exam. In that post certain behaviors and “strategies” – I’ll use that term loosely – were discussed that I see all the time in exam applicants who fail.
Now, let’s accentuate the positive and give you some insights on how to PASS your real estate exam. For years our school has lauded our passing rates and student success as one of our many marketing points for people to attend our programs. Sure, it has been good business, but it is also true! In fact, we even offer to pay the retake fees for certain students who manage not to pass their exam the first time. It would seem ridiculous, unless we had a strategy that worked.
If you want to pass your real estate exam, here are 5 things you should do starting right now:
1. Develop proper study habits
I know, no one wants to study. Furthermore, even those who are willing to put in the effort and study are doing it the wrong way. Remember, effort doesn’t always translate into results if you aren’t doing the right things. So, what is a proper way to study for the real estate exam?
The number one study habit you need to develop is purposeful, detailed, and dedicated reading of your course materials.
The number one study habit you need to develop is purposeful, detailed, and dedicated reading of your course materials. That’s right! Actually reading your book in detail goes a long way. In fact, I suggest that real estate exam applicants read their course materials a minimum of 3 times. Repetition works. Repetition works. Repetition w…ok you get the idea. Most of the information included on the real estate exam is not terribly difficult but there is a lot of information. With more information, you should repeat more times.
Remember, reading a review guide or taking practice tests only works if you have read the material in detail a minimum of 3 times. You wouldn’t want an airline pilot who only scanned the operations manual of the airplane once would you?
2. Pick your program wisely
Not all real estate exam preparation programs are the same. Trust Me
In the day and age of the internet, there are literally hundreds of links you can find to schools and programs which involve the word “real estate.” Believe me, I know. It is my business to know. The problem with that is that with marketing gimmicks, low prices, and other tactics to catch a potential student’s attention these programs are sucking people in and teaching them nothing. I mean literally nothing that will be of any value on the real estate exam. Oh, and these places likely are not approved by your state agency for any sort of credit either. So why bother!?
Those failed exam attempts can get quite expensive after awhile.
You are going to work hard to succeed in the real estate business, and you will work hard to pass your real estate exam. Make sure to spend your hard-earned money wisely and choose a program from an accredited school (like this one) and get the most bang from your buck. Nothing we do at our school is by accident, and we have the track record to prove it. So before you click that pretty link to the unaccredited school being run out of someone’s basement, take a deep breath and consider if that program would even be worth your time. Those failed exam attempts can get quite expensive after awhile. Don’t waste your time or your money, pick your preparation program wisely.
3. Create a schedule and stick to it
Give me an important task, and I will assign it to a busy person. Busy people know how to get things done, while people with time on their hands never get anything done.
One of the most important ways to get anything done in this world is to put yourself on a deadline. There is an old saying in business which goes like this: “Give me an important task, and I will assign it to a busy person. Busy people know how to get things done, while people with time on their hands never get anything done.” In other words, set your real estate exam date on your calendar and do everything in your power to complete your goal before the deadline. Don’t let anything get in your way!!
If you simply enroll in a real estate program with no plan or expectation on when you will graduate – you might not graduate. The reason has nothing to do with the school, the program, or even your ability to learn – it is a lack of a schedule and a plan.
If you were a writer and had to turn in an article for a news outlet on a certain deadline, do you think you would do it? If you didn’t have it ready on time – you could get fired! Use the same system in preparing for the real estate exam…schedule a date….pick a program…and work towards completion with laser focus. I think you will be amazed what you can accomplish when you set a date and go for it!
4. Use practice exams as measurement tools
In this section I am going to dispel a very important myth: taking practice exams alone is not a proper study plan. It is part of an overall plan for success, but practice exams should not replace dedicated reading and proper study habits.
taking practice exams alone is not a proper study plan
For instance, I am a real estate trainer and coach – not a rocket scientist. So, if you gave me an exam on rocket science principles I would probably fail. Miserably. And you know what else? If I took that same exam again right after failing it, I would fail again! Why? What have I learned about rocket science by taking the exam again? Nothing.
So how would I improve my score on this mythical exam about rocket science? I would take my exam results, identify my weak areas, and then study them properly and in detail. Then, and only then, should I take another exam to gauge my progress.
If you want your exam scores to improve, you need to study purposefully between attempts. Understand your weak areas, study them, aim to improve your score through study and practice.
5. Prepare for exam day like an athlete
The day you go take your real estate exam is the big day! You have worked for weeks or even months leading up to this day. You are already envisioning your “For Sale” signs in people’s yards, those big commission checks you are going to earn, the swanky parties and awards you will win. Uh Oh. You break out in a nervous sweat, you start convincing yourself that you are going to fail, you can’t seem to slow down your heart rate and you simply panic. Sound familiar?
Harness this nervous energy and use it to study hard, and then clear your head and visualize how good it will feel to pass that exam and get your real estate license.
Here is what athletes do before their big day: Visualize, Prepare, and use the Adrenaline. The number one thing any exam-taker should do is visualize what it will feel like to pass and tell themselves constantly about how they will pass. You become what you think about yourself, so think of yourself as an exam applicant who is going to pass! The second item is to prepare. I can tell you that nerves, more often than not, come from a lack of preparation. If you studied properly, followed your program, consistently scored well on your practice exams – then you are prepared. No reason to be nervous when you know you are ready. Finally, use your nervous energy to the positive. Some of those nerves are simply adrenaline kicking in because the real estate exam is important to you. Well, you can use those nerves for good or for bad. For instance, why do you think so many world records are broken at the Olympic Games? NERVES and ADRENALINE drives athletes to their absolute pinnacle. Harness this nervous energy and use it to study hard, and then clear your head and visualize how good it will feel to pass that exam and get your real estate license.
In closing, at the end of the day it is only a test. If for some reason you fail the real estate exam, the worst case scenario is likely having to pay for the test again. I never want to see any applicant have to take the exam more than once, and the best advice I can give you is to take a look at the steps outlined above and rock your test!