Nervous about RE School

18 Replies

I've made the decision to get licensed. It just seemed like the next logical step in my RE journey. I'm so nervous and I can't pin point why. I'm not sure if it's passing the school or passing the licensure test. Is there any part of the process that you would have handled differently as a RE professional? If so, why?

I was an investor and selling property before I was licensed and I was also nervous, mostly about failing the test portion.  I ended up doing very well on the tests and passed them both first time.  Being nervous means you are taking this seriously.  Good luck

I recently took the RE course and test. It is a serious course but not that bad at all.

Oops. I accidentally Posted before finishing.

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Before I decided to go for it I asked a very experienced local investor what he'd do differently starting out. "Getting licensed sooner" was his reply - for the better market insight and tools.

@Marie S.  

Good idea to get your license. It is a great step for REI.

For the test itself, study more than you think you should.  I found the test (MA) to be extremely detail oriented.  I passed the first try, but I'm not sure by how much.  My favorite, and highly specific, question:

"If the property boarders moving water and the boundry is undefined on that side of the property, where does the property line lie by default?"  I think "the middle" was the answer.

Enjoy the process.  RE school was actually fun.  I got to chat with all sorts of people with different ideas on what they want to do with the license.  Most were "sell real estate" but there were several ideas that really made me think.

@Curt Davis  Thanks. It's good to know that I'm not being unreasonable.

@Chris Bounds  I'm sure that I'll probably feel the same way when it's all over.

 @Aaron Montague  Thanks! I've already started going through the course material. It seems like I won't need to cram. Just skimming the subtitles, it seems like a few areas are definitely a snooze. Overall, it seems to be sticking so I'm excited. Class hasn't officially started, so I'm ahead of the game.

It's a normal feeling. 

We're all nervous the first time we do something new.

I failed both the State and National tests the first go around.  Then, I studied harder for a week and took the test again and passed both.

Schools here guarantee you'll pass or you can take another session free.

Since they practically teach the test questions, you have to be an idiot to fail, but some idiots do.

Really, it's not hard at all. We get like 2 (might be 3) hours to take a 100 question test, I maxed it in under 45 minutes. Then took the broker's test, missed 1 because I misread the stupid question!

I've taken a lot of exams, government exams are like stupid easy. The whole system is to inform you, not make freaking experts out of you, if you failed, they don't get any more fees out of you. They just want to ensure you have enough knowledge that you don't mess over the public and at least understand what RE is about. Most states want you to pass, just not be a danger in public.

It's not a board exam for attorneys, a CPA exam, an engineering exam, if you can memorize 70/75+ answers you will pass!

It's the study or class that matters. I had high school tests that were harder! Stupid easy!

Don't fret over it, just learn the material and go do it!

Good luck, but you really don't need much luck.  :) 

@Marie S.    having taken brokers tests in 3 states  and NMLS test... What Bill describes is true you will simply memorize the test and answers the practice questions are basically vertabim the one's you will see on the test... At the end of the day there were 3 hours allocated in my states... I was done in 30 minutes.. they don't tell you how many you got right just P or F... The NMLS that one does tell you.. And is MUCH harder than any RE brokers exam I have taken... Remember when you meet some realtor and you can't figure out how they could have passed the test you will be comforted in knowing that its not all that difficult.. But use this time to really learn the inn's and outs do not just do the minimum... 

Also my tip for the test and the one that can fubar some is skip all Math questions.. there will only be about 3 to 7 on any given test... You don't want to get all frustrated with a math or problem solving question when the majority of the questions have a simple answer that you will recognize.. then just come back and do that math at your own pace knowing that you already passed because you knew rules and law portion well.

Personally I never answered one math test ever  just wrote C on each... Now I did like to work Section township and Range answers as I like that stuff... :)

Thanks everyone.

@Jay Hinrichs  I'm glad you shared your experience. I'm feeling a bit more confident. I've flipped through these books to the point I already know the quiz answers and class doesn't start for weeks.I think the class text is written at maybe the 8th grade level. I've taken some practice quizzes in the book that are about 8-12 questions on average. If the questions on the test anything like these questions, I should be fine.

In Florida the pass rates are about 33% and they don't improve with the retakes. Don't get all loosey goosey with the grade school thoughts. As a broker I've recently tried to hire two new salespeople out of other fields but neither could pass the test after multiple shots. Maybe some states are easier than others.

@Marie S.  I am a licensed broker in Iowa and Indiana.  I can say first hand, the state/national tests are not difficult to pass.  The hardest part of getting your initial license is finding the time to pain-stakingly sit through the class.

Best wishes!  Feel free to reach out if you have any specific questions.

@Mitch Coluzzi  

  is it mandatory to sit through class's .... my states OR CA MS you could do it on line.

And if your already a broker like I am you only have to take the state portion.. which in Mississippi was 15 questions.... and they hand grade it there right at the counter I got 13 of 15 in 5 minutes I was  a MS broker... the study material was like studying for a drivers license  they just handed you this little booklet.... Of course again that was not for new licensee's

@Jay Hinrichs   as an existing broker from Indiana, I just had to take the state portion in Iowa, believe it was 40 questions.  Easy test, just check local license rules.  No local standard courses required with reciprocity (or in my case-rule 5.3).

As a new licensee applicant,  in Iowa you can take the pre-license classes online.  If you go this route, ensure you have a state-certified online vendor.  After passing your state/national test there is an additional set of local standard courses (buying practices, listing practices, ethics).  To my knowledge, these have to be done in the flesh and must be completed prior to submitting your license application.

Last but not least, in Des Moines there is an introduction course required by our local MLS.

Indiana, it's been awhile, but when I went through they required in-person with time-recorded attendance. I know they have local standard course and local MLS intro required as well.

@Mitch Coluzzi  

we have the mandatory MLS course as well.. somehow I have never gone to one in 40 years... :)

Glad to see this person getting their license.. while we are on the subject whats your thoughts on BP folks getting a licenses some think its a waste of time and a hinderance others ( myself included) thinks its a n advantage.

Agent tests are usually multiple choice.

The benefit to a class versus online is you will hear from previous test takers what sections and types of questions they are putting on the test. The state likes to mix it up and will focus more questions on certain sections.

I don't know if they do this anymore but when I took it over a decade ago the previous students would tell our instructor what topics were on the most recent test. She would cover everything but really hammer down on those areas.

Multiple choice is statistically one of the easiest tests to take. I have always been a very strong test taker. I could study 20 minutes before and make almost a hundred and walk out and dump the information. My friends in high school couldn't stand that! lol They would study all week, sweat it at the last second, forget everything and pass with a 70. I guess some people just have anxiety about it or something and are bad at tests.

If you never have that problem it's hard to understand what they went through.

Multiple choice you simply start the test and answer ones you know 100%. Ones you do not know yet but have narrowed it down from 4 to 2 later on one answer usually eliminates itself. Then you go back and answer those.

You save the last ones where it's 50/50 chance to answer. Statistically this model should put  the odds in your favor for passing.   

@Jay Hinrichs  to me, it's a required step if you intend on investing as a career.  

I enjoy the rapid response time I can deploy independently... Being able to view and submit an offer within hours of list is a huge advantage.   Compare that with the average investor who gets an IDX output, then schedules it through and agent, who may or may not have to schedule it through the listing office.

When the market was saturated the lag time of using an agent was much less of an issue. The demand was down far enough, that not only could you be SLOW but you could also offer significantly under value! Now-a-days, I am lucky if I can get a full-price cash no contingency MLS offer accepted. Being the first offer in sure does help, esp with individual sellers.

Of course, there is always the cost savings of buying/listing your own properties (esp as an independent broker).  Not much more to say about that, financially it makes sense very quickly.

Last but not least, in my opinion, if your going to invest in a market... YOU should know your local conditions.  Relying on an agent's opinion is okay starting out, but realize they have a lot less vested in the long-term outcome of YOUR investment... and, per the above forum discussion: Everyone should be fully aware that most agents have very limited INVESTING experience and are often relying on tools they are not fully educated on to make assumptions.  That same agent might be a fantastic consumer agent, it's a much different mindset to sell to homeowners though!

That said, most of my investments do not originate on the MLS and are resold off-market as well.

@Joel Owens  

  my point exactly that's why folks should always skip the math questions and take them last... you don't want to get all flustered trying to do math.. and for most Math is a challenge.

All tests are not the same, but the degree of difficulty isn't that difficult, some folks are just bad test takers too.

As to the math questions, there are varied degrees of math required and there are enough math questions to fail you here, might decide at a glance to answer the easy ones and move on and as Jay mentioned, go back to the calculator questions.

If at all possible, students should attend a class rather than on line.

A class gives you;

1. interaction among other students, the exchange of ideas and questions that often leads to your having other questions. A good instructor can address these side questions, relate experiences and actually teach to give a clearer understanding of the material.

2. opportunity to meet 20/40 others in the same boat starting out, develop friendships with your peers, they will soon be out on the streets and while there is a bit of competition, there is just as much collaborative efforts among Realtors. Later on, you'll find that Realtors specialize somewhat and they will trade leads and work commission splits on things they don't care to do or don't have the expertise in.

3. A bit more as to #1, as a student, you may ask the instructor a question, you're much more likely to get a more in-depth reply verbally than if the instructor has to type out a reply. I can make things more clear to a mentee speaking to them than trying to type and just as my blunt writing style comes across much differently here in the forums, you may not feel that my answers are really as I intend them to be. If I were to speak what I type, the inflection of my voice, speaking style, tone and maybe a humorous expressions would give the typed word a completely different meaning and message to you. Might get this from Skype, but I can tell you it wouldn't be like personal interactions.

4. Hopefully, those taking classes will make a greater effort to learn the subject more than memorizing test questions along the way. There is a greater commitment to learning when you physically have to go to a class than sit in your undershorts on your computer, it will make a difference in your attitude toward learning and the benefit you will gain for the additional efforts made.

Ask any real teacher and I'm sure they will agree that classroom instruction will be much better than internet instruction. Many classes are on line, there are lazy teachers and students and the class may be nothing more than a hurdle to some end. :)   

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