Real Estate Exam Prep: What Topics Are On The Exam?

Real Estate Exam Prep: What Topics Are On The Exam?

Starting your career in real estate is an exciting journey, full of potential for growth and success. However, before you can start selling properties and closing deals, there's an important task to check off: the real estate exam

This comprehensive test is designed to assess your understanding of key concepts, laws, and practices that are crucial to operating effectively and ethically in the real estate industry. 

In this blog, we'll go over what you can expect on the national portion of the real estate licensing exam, highlighting the essential topics and categories you need to study. 

What Is a Real Estate Exam? 

The real estate exam is a critical step for anyone looking to enter the field of real estate as a licensed agent or broker. This test is divided into two main parts: 

  1. The national portion: Covers general real estate principles and practices applicable across the U.S. 
  2. The state portion: Focuses on specific laws and regulations relevant to the state where you're seeking licensure. 

The national portion of the exam typically consists of multiple-choice questions that evaluate your knowledge across a wide range of topics. To succeed, you'll need a comprehensive understanding of real estate principles, including property law, finance, market analysis, and ethical considerations. Let's break down some of the key topics and categories you'll encounter.

Real Estate Exam Topics and Categories 

The national portion of the real estate exam assesses your familiarity with the everyday knowledge and competencies essential for a real estate agent's role. 

The questions stem from a job analysis conducted by Pearson VUE, focusing on the tasks and responsibilities of real estate professionals. This part of the exam, endorsed by renowned real estate experts across the nation, spans 150 minutes and comprises 85 questions. 

To pass, you must correctly answer at least 56 of these questions.

Here are some of the real estate exam categories and topics you can expect to see on the national portion of the exam: 

Real vs Personal Property 

Real property refers to land and anything permanently attached to it, such as buildings and fixtures. Personal property, on the other hand, includes movable items, like furniture and vehicles. 

This distinction is crucial when it comes to sales transactions, property taxes, and estate planning. You'll need to be familiar with concepts like fixtures (personal property that becomes real property when attached to land) and the legal tests used to determine whether an item is considered a fixture.

Land Use and Zoning 

Land use and zoning regulations play a critical role in shaping the development and use of property. These laws determine what types of buildings and activities are allowed in certain areas, impacting everything from residential home construction to commercial enterprises. 

You'll need to understand the basics of zoning categories, such as residential, commercial, and industrial, as well as more specific designations like agricultural or mixed-use. 

Additionally, the exam will test your knowledge of variances, special use permits, and the implications of zoning on property values and use. 

Calculating Living Area 

The ability to accurately calculate the living area of a property is another essential skill for real estate professionals. This involves measuring the size of homes and other buildings to determine their market value, listing details, and to ensure compliance with local building codes. 

The exam may include questions on standard methods for measuring living spaces, including what areas of a home are considered livable square footage and how to account for unique architectural features.

Fair Housing Laws

Fair Housing Laws are designed to prevent discrimination in the buying, selling, leasing, and financing of properties. As a real estate professional, you'll be expected to have a thorough understanding of these laws to ensure that all clients are treated equally, regardless of: 

  • Race 
  • Color 
  • Religion 
  • Sex 
  • Disability 
  • Familial status 
  • National origin 

The exam will test your knowledge of the Fair Housing Act, as well as other federal, state, and local anti-discrimination laws. You'll need to be familiar with the types of practices that are considered discriminatory and the exemptions to fair housing laws. 

Property Valuation in the Exam 

Property valuation is an important real estate exam topic, involving the assessment of a property's value for sales, investment, and financing purposes. You'll need to understand various valuation methods, including comparative market analysis, income capitalization, and cost approach. 

This section tests your ability to evaluate properties accurately based on their characteristics, market conditions, and income-generating potential.

Real Estate Finance Exam 

The real estate finance portion covers the principles and practices of financing real estate transactions. This includes knowledge of different types of: 

  • Loans 
  • Mortgage markets 
  • Underwriting processes 
  • Government programs 

You'll be tested on your understanding of financing options, loan qualification criteria, and the impact of interest rates and market factors on real estate finance.

Legal Aspects of Real Estate Exam 

Understanding the legal framework surrounding real estate transactions is essential in your real estate career. This category includes: 

  • Contracts 
  • Property ownership types 
  • Title transfers 
  • Escrow 

You'll need to be familiar with the legal requirements for real estate contracts, the implications of different ownership structures, and the processes for title examination and closing transactions.

Real Estate Exam Preparation With VanEd 

The national portion of the real estate exam covers a broad range of topics, all of which are essential for a successful career in real estate. By understanding the key real estate exam categories, you'll be well-prepared to tackle the exam and begin your new career with confidence. 

However, successfully passing the real estate licensing exam requires diligent study and preparation. Familiarize yourself with the exam format, and consider using study guides, practice tests, exam study tips, and real estate exam prep courses to reinforce your understanding of the topics mentioned above. 

VanEd's online real estate exam prep course is designed for students who have already completed their primary pre-licensing coursework and want additional practice before taking the state real estate licensing exam. 

Our online exam prep is applicable in all 50 states and covers the national (or general) portion of your state licensing exam with practice tests, topic reviews, and interactive exercises to prepare you for success. Ready to start your real estate career on a high note? Sign up today! 

Written and Published by: VanEd

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