How to Pass the Real Estate Salesperson | Broker Exam! The First Time!

Real Estate Agent with Hrisco & Associates | J.P. & Associates, Realtors Lic.#480703

How to Pass the Salesperson | Broker Exam! The First Time!

As some of you may or may not know, after over 10 years in the real estate business, I recently became a newly licensed Texas Real Estate Broker.  I thought as a service to my fellow agents and brokers out there, I would share with you my experience over the past 7 months in my quest to acquire my real estate broker license and how it may help any future agents or brokers out there.

After my initial conversation with my former broker in which we discussed me obtaining my real estate broker license with the possibility of me managing a branch office for my former brokerage in the future.  (FYI, they have since closed shop, nationwide).  I inquired and found out I only needed one core brokerage class in order to apply for my real estate broker license.

I would normally recommend attending a class in person, but due to the fact that I had three previously unscheduled surgeries at the end of last year, I opted instead for a correspondence course.  I ordered my course through StateCE.  They offer continuing education in like 49 of 50 states.   I needed 45 hours of core real estate courses with 30 hours of it needing to be in core brokerage , so instead of taking two separate 30 hour courses, I decided to take one 60 hour brokerage course.

I completed my course work in March and turned in my broker application to the Texas Real Estate Commission.  I highly recommend that you make sure that you meet all of your states requirements prior to submitting your application to the state, because once you turn in your application along with the required fees, the fees are non-refundable and if you by chance are missing some requirement after you turn in your application, you will have to reapply and pay an additional application fee.

While I was waiting for my application to be approved by TREC, since I had previously taking a licensing exam preparation class prior to originally taking my salesperson exam back in 2000, I knew that I wanted to do the same again.  I contacted Purvis Real Estate Training Institute in Fort Worth, Texas.  It is a family owned and operated Real Estate Training Institute that has been training current and future real estate salespersons and brokers for over 30 years.  It is located two miles west of downtown Fort Worth at 2020 Montgomery Street in the Cultural District.

Purvis Real Estate Training Institute provides: classroom, Internet and home study courses.  Leslie Purvis has helped thousands of candidates pass the salesperson and broker licensing exams since 1982, when she took over ownership and operation of Purvis Real Estate Training Institute from her parents who ran it before her.  Leslie is the author of four exam preparation texts and recently completed a new text for the PSI exams.  She is also a professor of Real Estate at Texas Christian University.  I highly recommend Leslie’s Mega PREP course and suggest you attend it at least twice prior to taking your exam.  The Mega PREP class is offered one time a month. 

Purvis Real Estate Training Institute

To put the Texas Real Estate Broker Exam in perspective, it is kind of like taking a CPA exam and most applicants don’t pass it the first time.  When I took my Real Estate Salesperson test over ten years ago, I passed it the first time.  At the time, I had a friend who was also trying to get his real estate license and made four attempts at taking the salesperson test only to fail each time.  He never became licensed.  This time around I did not want to suffer the same fate as my friend in regards to my broker exam.   So I waited till I felt I was fully prepared before attempting to take the exam.

There are a few rules you should follow when preparing to take the real estate salesperson or broker licensing exams and I highly recommend that you follow them to a tee.

  • Always remember the test questions are written from a theoretical perspective and are NOT necessarily relevant to any personal or professional real estate transaction you may have experienced.  They say that agents who have many years of experience and are attempting to take the broker exam sometimes have a difficult time passing the exam the first time because of the way it is written.  (I hate to admit it, but I was one of those agents).
  • Memorizing the multiple-choice questions and correct answers is NOT important.  What is important is a thorough knowledge of the concepts, as well as a understanding of the text material.    This is essential to passing the exam.
  • Accept the fact that being in a hurry to get your license is counter productive for most license applicants.  Take the exam when you feel you are ready not when others say you are ready.
  • Plan a realistic exam date and give yourself ample time to study every day (with no day off) for a specific amount of time each day and on or about the same time of the day that you plan on taking your exam, if at all possible.  You should plan out your study time prior to taking the exam in week increments, by starting out studying 30-45 minutes each day your first week, then increase your study time as the weeks progress leading up to your exam date.
  • Finally, there are many more tips that will be covered during your PREP class, but one of the most important is to not tell anyone exactly when you plan on taking the exam.  If you do so, you will have friends and coworkers or your broker constantly asking you if you have taking the exam yet and it will put an undue pressure on yourself.  Simple say that "you will let them know once you have passed the exam."
  • Almost forgot, no matter what, answer every single question on the exam, whether you know it or not, see my comment below @#21.

Remember, the title of this post is how to pass the salesperson/broker exam right, the first time.  I almost hate to admit this, but in the interest of full disclosure, while preparing for my broker exam, I didn’t abide by all of the rules mentioned above as much as I should have and paid for it when I made my first attempt at taking the exam back in June.  I passed the State portion of the exam and failed the National portion by just a few points.  In order to obtain your license you have to pass both portions of the licensing exam.   I don’t take failing anything easily.  When retaking the exam, when you pass one section but fail another section, you only have to retake the portion of the exam that you failed the first time.  Hence, I had to retake the National portion again, which is the longest portion of the exam.

Prior to my second and final attempt at taking my broker exam, I had learned about an online study program through my instructor called Night before the  A recent student who had ordered the mega PREP course material but could not attend the class in person had recommended it.  So I looked into it and ordered it.   I didn’t want to leave any stone unturned.  According to Night Before The Exam, most people who fail the licensing exams, fail by just a few points, I firmly beleive in hindsight, that gave me that extra edge that I needed in retaking the exam.

  • They have study materials for all 50 states. 
  • It has complete exam preparation w/exclusive cram mode
  • It helps you study smart and efficiently.
  • It will help identify your strengths and weaknesses while your studying.
  • It also features Practice Exam Simulations + Bonus Materials like:
  • What to do if you don’t know the answer
  • 10 things to do  or know before taking the exam
  • Printable Real Estate Exam Cheat Sheets
  • Fun, Real Estate Exam Concepts “Creepy Crosswords Game”
  • a Late Night Game Show “Leopard-y” (Exam Concepts Game)
  • they can customize it for you specifically by removing unneccessary portions, like in my case, they removed the state portion because I had passed it already, so that I could concentrate solely on the national portion.

I like the fact that the Practice Exam Simulations were very similar to what I actually encountered while taking the real exam and I feel it better prepared me the second time around.   The exam makers will try and trip you up by posing a question with “What do you think is the most appropriate response?”: and they put all the obvious answers one would choose in there.  Then you go back and read the question several times through and realize that just when you had found what you think is the correct answer, you all of a sudden noticed that they slipped the word NOT in there, so now the question reads: “What do you think is not the most appropriate response.”  And you have to totally rethink the answer you were going to choose the first time.  I probably took around 10-12 practice exams prior to taking my National Portion of the exam again.

I felt that this very real life simulation in the practice exams gave me an edge the second time around.   So Instead of failing by a few points like I did on the National portion the first time, I passed comfortably the second time around.  Whatever material, course, program, etc…that you use in helping you prepare for the salesperson/broker license exam I highly recommend that you concentrate solely on the matter at hand while preparing for the exam.  If you do, it will save you a lot of time, energy and money in the long run. 

I hope that my experience could help you in some small way and look forward to hearing your success stories in taking your salesperson/broker exam.

Stay tuned for my upcoming post on where I decided to hang my real estate hat!

Posted by

John Hrisco & Associates: When experience counts, the sign you want, the agent you need. Licensed Texas Real Estate Broker #0480703, with over 15+ years experience buying & selling real estate in the D/FW Metroplex. Integrity, Professionalism, Results & Charity is our Mantra. It is how we go about our lives and our business. We undertake a specialized set of tasks and orchestrate them with uncommon skills. Whether you are buying, selling, or investing in real estate, if you are not doing business with John Hrisco & Associates, you are losing money.

servicing the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex: including Argyle & Southern Denton and Northeast Tarrant Counties; Ft. Worth, Keller, Southlake, Colleyville, Grapevine, Haslet, Trophy Club, Roanoke, Westlake, NRH & Surrounding areas

John Hrisco & Associates
RE/MAX Heritage
4200 Heritage Trace Pkwy., Ste. 100
Ft. Worth/Keller, TX 76248



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Rebekah Radice
Imagine WOW! Digital Marketing Agency - Burbank, CA
Social Media Marketing, Coaching & Training

Congratulations John!  I know this was a huge undertaking but one well worth the effort!  Great post and suggested for all the terrific info you passed along!

Sep 06, 2011 08:35 AM #14
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates | J.P. & Associates, Realtors - Argyle, TX
-"When Experience Matters - The Agent You Need!"

Hi Rebekah, thank you so much for the know when I first started the process I didn't think it would be as big an undertaking as it was, but boy was I wrong.  I'm looking forward to your Tuesday Tech Tip today.  Thanks again.

Sep 06, 2011 08:42 AM #15
Barbara Hensley
RE/MAX Properties - Rockwall, TX
Homes for Sale in Rockwall County, Texas

John - congratulations!!!  The best is yet to come!!!  Best wishes for getting settled in your new business office - you made a great choice!  Popping a cork for you!

Sep 06, 2011 08:59 AM #16
Morgan Evans
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

The first thing I took away from your blog is how serious you were about achieving success in regards to this test and I think that's important for anybody to have the right mindset when deciding to go down that road.  I would also think that all of the practice tests you took would really help out a lot as getting familiar with the test and how to mentally prepare for it.

Sep 06, 2011 09:08 AM #17
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates | J.P. & Associates, Realtors - Argyle, TX
-"When Experience Matters - The Agent You Need!"

HI Ms. East Side, how are damn skippy, the best is yet to come...thank you for your input on the matter as well.  Ah, a little bubbly...I love your cartoon cariciatures....stay tune for my post for today, on letting the cat out of the bag so to speak, will also be reblogging severl of your posts on the matter too...

Hi Morgan....thank you....I firmly believe mindset is key....with the proper mindset, you can achieve anything you set your mind to....the practice test, definitely helped.

Sep 06, 2011 09:24 AM #18
Anna Tolstoy
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage - Natick, MA

Great tips and congrats on the feature!

My lil' tip: know yourself and what's the best strategy for you to study and retain information. My preferred method  for example is: reviewing the material several times. Say, you had a lecture (or watched a video course section) today, make sure you review it THAT SAME DAY. (better twice: shortly after the lesson, and later in the day / before you go to bed). 

Do a practice test if you can and analise your mistakes (which areas were hit the most, and which types of questions were hardest to answer) Make notes and review. Don't forget to review all the material (even topics where you did well). Schedule time to practice. 

I took my course over a couple of weeks, and after a couple of days I took the actual exam and passed it the first time. 

Sep 06, 2011 09:25 AM #19
Eileen Hsu
Douglas Elliman Real Estate - Manhattan, NY

I would be motivated to get that test done the first time so I could be done with it and not have to go back and worry about it over and over again.  The preparation you put in sounds like it set you up for success. 

Sep 06, 2011 09:29 AM #20
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates | J.P. & Associates, Realtors - Argyle, TX
-"When Experience Matters - The Agent You Need!"

HI Anna, those are all great tips as well, and ones I do in my studies also....this post could have turned into a book, so i had to edit some things out...figured they should be a given...but you would be surprised.  One thing I did was go through the prep book and highlight the answers to the questions and then go back and read each question several times through along with the answers, not trying to memorize them, but to get a overall understanding.  Congrats on passing it the first time, I'm sure it was a relief to knock it out that first time.

Hi Eileen, I was motivated to get it done the first time and thought I was prepared enough, but a little slip up here or there is all it takes.  I didn't mentioned it before, but on the first exam, I missed it by like 5 or 6 questions, and low and behold there were about 5 questions I didn't have time to think they had anything to do with it. 

thank you both for your comments....and didn't realize it was featured until I came back to read your comments....thank you everyone for suggesting....I am just glad I could help in some small way.

Sep 06, 2011 10:01 AM #21
Mel Ahrens, MBA, Kelly Right Real Estate
Kelly Right Real Estate - Hood River, OR
Customized Choices for your Real Estate Needs

Hey John,
Congrats on passing your broker exam - a very worthwhile achievement.  Your reference to the CPA exam is not valid.  The CPA exam is a 14 hour test, with a education requirement by state.  Many, if not most, states are now requiring a fifth year of college coursework for the CPA designation.  The same exam is required by all states to obtain a CPA license.


Sep 06, 2011 11:22 AM #22
Beverly Carlson
Carlson Properties 325-721-2429 - Abilene, TX
Abilene's Staging Realtor

John, Congratulations on passing your Broker test.  I passed the broker test on the first try and also  went to a prep course at Purvis in Fort Worth.  It was well worth the drive from Abilene.  

I would like to pass on my tip is that I ordered online some practice exams and took all 12 of them!  I think taking the practice exams is what really got me ready to pass.  


The broker test is not like the salesperson test at all. The questions are much more like graduate schools exam testing.  I have no idea about CPA testing.  To pass the first time, one does need to know to be prepared.  

Sep 06, 2011 12:28 PM #23
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates | J.P. & Associates, Realtors - Argyle, TX
-"When Experience Matters - The Agent You Need!"

HI Mel, thank you for the congratulations, I really appreciate that.  If you reread that sentence, I was not trying to insenuate in any way that the broker exam and the CPA exam were anything alike, other than the fact that most CPAs I have spoken with have said it took them several attempts to pass the exam.  Same thing for the broker exam...I have spoken to several brokers who said that they didn't pass both portions the first time out.

Sep 06, 2011 12:31 PM #24
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates | J.P. & Associates, Realtors - Argyle, TX
-"When Experience Matters - The Agent You Need!"

Hi Beverly, I saw several different online practice test options, and probably the one you are referring to.  It had like 12 practice exams and three extra exam for math, definitions, etc...the reason I picked NightBeforeTheExam was because they were able to go in and remove areas of the test (state portion) which I already passed, so I could concentrate solely on the National portion.  There are several options out there, I was just sharing what worked for me....I contacted the one you are referring to I think and I liked the format of the program, except that they could not remove unneccessary areas.  And I agree with you, regarding the graduate reference....I made a reference to that in one of my previous post a few days ago.  Leslie over at Purvis rocks...and she knows her stuff.  Thanks for sharing.

Sep 06, 2011 12:43 PM #25
Joy Daniels
Joy Daniels Real Estate Group, Ltd. - Harrisburg, PA

I had to check out your post - I passed my broker exam (1st time) just a few months ago.  I didn't take a pre-exam class, but purhcased sample tests ( and they were great!

Sep 06, 2011 01:55 PM #26
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates | J.P. & Associates, Realtors - Argyle, TX
-"When Experience Matters - The Agent You Need!"

Hi Joy, congrats on passing the exam the first time, depending on the provider the sample test really help, because they prepare you for real life scenarios.

Hi Mike, wow, two states and the district of Columbia?  I bet your dues are a doozy...I agree with you in some respects.  I think that if they are going to test everyone in the country on the same national portion, that eventually, we move to a national type license, I know it will never happen, but just a know maybe an person could then just take a state specific portion to be licensed in a certain state if they have already tested on the National portion elsewhere.  I know there is too much money involved and too many agencies involved for that to ever happen.  You know what would be nice though is a national MLS system.  I think if every agent had to test for a brokers license after 4 years, kind of like serving in the military, it would definitely weed out all the hobbyists in the business.

Sep 06, 2011 02:24 PM #28
Kathy Schowe
California Lifestyle Realty - La Quinta, CA
La Quinta, California 760-333-8886

My husband is studying for his license... I will pass this along!  Thanks!  Kathy

Sep 06, 2011 03:44 PM #29
Tara B. Downing
Village Properties - Mineola, NY
Homes For Sale - Mineola Port Washington
I am preparing from my broker exam, John, and I appreciate your tips. Since the guidelines for a NY salesperson has changed, I need to prepare for the remedial salesperson first. Thanks for your advice.
Sep 06, 2011 03:49 PM #30
Sandy Acevedo
951-290-8588 - Chino Hills, CA
RE/MAX Masters, Inland Empire Homes for Sale

I enjoyed reading about your test experience. I have been thinking for a while to go for mine. Thanks for the encouragement.

Sep 07, 2011 09:26 AM #31
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates | J.P. & Associates, Realtors - Argyle, TX
-"When Experience Matters - The Agent You Need!"

Hi Kathy, good luck to your husband and if he needs any tips or whatever, give me a shout.

Hi Tara...good luck on your exam.....remedial salesperson? what's that?  on second thought, perhaps that is something the NAR should institute nationwide, until you reach a certain production level or experience level, every agent should start out as a remedial salesperson, kind of like going to junior college before transferring to the university. 

HI Sandy, you are welcome, I had thought about it before, but until I checked into it and realized i was only one course shy of being able to get it, that's when it really set in.  Good luck to you and if you have any questions, give me a shout.

Sep 07, 2011 11:13 AM #32
regina cook

Hi John, I too took my exam and passed the state but not the national. I needed 6 points to pass. I went back yesterday and failed by 1 point. I used Texas Exam Prep. It was the online study course from Purvis. I was thing about ordering The Night Before the Exam. If you have any suggestions I would greatly appreciate them. I think my problem is the way the questions are worded on the exam.

Jul 22, 2014 03:01 AM #33
Hrisco & Associates
Hrisco & Associates | J.P. & Associates, Realtors - Argyle, TX
-"When Experience Matters - The Agent You Need!"

I would attend the Mega Prep Class live in person that Purvis has with Leslie, and also order the Night before the Exam, both combined should hopefully put you over the top.  Let me know how you did.

Jul 22, 2014 02:10 PM #34
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