Testing Tips & Strategies

Education & Training with MTI Services Corporation NMLS 1400044

It is completely understandable why the vast majority of our students are so focused, and somewhat fearful, of their NMLS licensing examination.  This exam will determine their fate as a licensed mortgage loan originator, should he or she fail (even by the slightest of margins) they must wait, at minimum, another 30 days before testing again.

Word has spread throughout the industry as to the difficulty of this exam, only helping to enhance pre-exam jitters and anxiety.  On a daily basis we receive inquiries about preparing for the NMLS exam, everything from how many prep tests are enough to any techniques we can provide that will help with answering exam questions.

It is MTI's goal to have every student succeed and pass their licensing exam.  We have compiled some of the best techniques and strategies to help students get fully prepared for the exam and enter their exam location with the full confidence and belief they will pass and leave a licensed mortgage loan originator!

Many of these techniques can be applied by anyone, regardless of the examination they will be taking.

  • Spacing Your Study Times.  In most cases students will have several weeks to prepare for their exam, it is quite rare that a student will take their exam just days after completing their coursework.  Even though they may have weeks, some students try and cram for their exam just days before they take it.  They would do better if they spent a little time studying every few days following the course.  Spacing self-tests and study time every few days allows the brain to partially forget, and then re-learn the information, with powerful effects on memory.
  • Changing Things Up With MTI's Preparation Tests.  Shuffling different types of practice questions into an unpredictable order is a technique known as Interleaving.  This is accomplished through the use of MTI's practice tests, provided to each student.  Students often study in an orderly fashion that builds on the last item studied.  Interleaving questions builds on a crucial testing skill: figuring out what kind of problem the question is asking.
  • Try an Exam Wrapper.  As you use MTI's practice tests, you will find they are immediately scored after completion and you have the ability to review.  After completing a practice exam try also completing an exam wrapper.  An exam wrapper is a set of brief instructions, printed on a piece of paper.  The instructions will lead you through the process of reflecting on how well you prepared for the exam, how well you performed, and what you can do differently on the next test.  If you find yourself struggling with obtaining acceptable scores, this method may help you to determine how to better prepare.  CLICK HERE for an exam wrapper you can use with your preparation, or, as an example to build your own.
  • Calming Your Testing Fears.  Before a high-stakes exam, many people often experience a quickened heartbeat, sweaty palms, and/or butterflies in their stomach.  These feelings may be interpreted as meaning, "I'm so nervous," which in-turn causes them to become more anxious.  Many studies have shown that spending 10 minutes prior to an exam writing down, on any piece of paper, whatever comes to mind significantly helps to reduce the levels of stress and anxiety and allows for better performance on the exam.  Some students will begin to feel their level of anxiety increase when taking the practice tests as well.  If you have a high level of anxiety when test-taking, try this technique prior to the next practice test and compare your results against previous tests.

To some the thought of the NMLS licensing exam can be overwhelming and scary.  Take full advantage of your preparation time and integrate some of these techniques, or additional tips we have shared.  Allowing yourself adequate time to prepare and utilizing the preparation tools will provide you with an arsenal for triggering successful passing of your exam!

Do you have techniques you've used in the past that helped you prepare?  Comment and share them.

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Kathleen Frawley
Keller Williams 916 730-4404 Elk Grove, Wilton, Folsom, Sacramento - Wilton, CA
South County Sacramento, 916 730 4404

That is some REALLY good advice.  I love your headline about you can never be over educated!

Dec 09, 2015 05:46 AM
Jon Exley - MTI Serv. Corp.

Thank you Kathleen, I truly appreciate the feedback.  I am glad you like the quote - truth is, it took me a while to choose the best one...

Dec 09, 2015 05:53 AM
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

The Florida licensing tests are nothing to scoff at either. I do have a pre-test presentation that I give my students to give them some really good tips and stragegies.

Dec 09, 2015 06:49 AM
Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School
Rowlett Real Estate School - Panama City, FL
Rowlett Real Estate School / Owner and Instructor

Welcome to ActiveRain,  it's great to have you aboard.  I look forward to reading more of your posts.

Dec 09, 2015 06:49 AM
Jon Exley - MTI Serv. Corp.

Hi Captain Wayne - Rowlett Real Estate School - I really appreciate your feedback, thank you.  Also, thank you for the warm welcoming.

Dec 10, 2015 12:26 AM
John Pusa
Glendale, CA

Jon Exley Welcome to ActiveRain community. Great list of testing tips strategies.

Dec 09, 2015 01:17 PM
Jon Exley - MTI Serv. Corp.

Hello John Pusa - thank you for the feed back and warm welcome.

Dec 10, 2015 12:25 AM
Kat Palmiotti
eXp Commercial, Referral Divison - Kalispell, MT
Helping your Montana dreams take root

Welcome to ActiveRain, and thanks for the tips. By the way, I know I'm in the minority but I always liked taking tests. Others would get nervous, but I'd be waiting excitedly with my pointy pencil. Weird, I know. 

Dec 09, 2015 07:43 PM
Jon Exley - MTI Serv. Corp.

Hello Kat Palmiotti - I wouldn't say it's weird, but would certainly agree you would be in the minority.  Although, I can see why you may get excited - it can be nice to see the progress you make and surprise yourself as to what you are capable of.  Thank you for the welcome.

Dec 10, 2015 12:24 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho

Kat,  Why does that not surprise me coming from someone who recently posted they put in a quick 4 mile jog, probably before I was even done with breakfast.  

Dec 10, 2015 07:31 AM
Kat Palmiotti

Jon - Thank you for saying it's not weird... I did like to see my grade and know what I got wrong.

Mark - Haha, well, I am a little driven.

Dec 10, 2015 09:19 PM
Gita Bantwal
RE/MAX Centre Realtors - Warwick, PA
REALTOR,ABR,CRS,SRES,GRI - Bucks County & Philadel

Welcome to active rain. Thank you for the post.

Dec 09, 2015 10:24 PM
Jon Exley - MTI Serv. Corp.

Thank you Gita Bantwal 

Dec 10, 2015 12:22 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

Good morning, Jon Exley love the statement "you can never be overeducated or over dressed"... that's great... I always say that "there's no such thing as too rich, too large a home or too thin!!"

Dec 09, 2015 10:33 PM
Jon Exley - MTI Serv. Corp.

Hi Barbara Todaro , that is a great quote - I really like.  Thank you for the warm welcome, I am very much looking forward to being a part of this.

Dec 10, 2015 12:20 AM
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Happily Retired - Franklin, MA
Previously Affiliated with The Todaro Team

and welcome to's a great place to learn, share, market and network....and I hope you enjoy and benefit from all of it ...

Dec 09, 2015 10:34 PM
Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers
Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area - Scottsdale, AZ
Coldwell Banker Realty

Welcome to Active Rain!  As REALTORS who have been here (on and off) for more than 9 years, it's well worth it!


Dec 09, 2015 10:54 PM
Jon Exley - MTI Serv. Corp.

Thank you for the welcome.

Dec 10, 2015 12:21 AM
Mery Fernandez Empire Network Realty Luxury Brokerage
Empire Network Realty INC. - Orlando, FL
The Rise of An Empire, Let's Build Yours!

Hi Jon! Welcome to the world of Activerain, may your blogging  create a whole new chapter in your Real Estate Career.

Dec 09, 2015 11:53 PM
Jon Exley - MTI Serv. Corp.

Hi Mery, thank you for the warm welcome.

Dec 10, 2015 12:22 AM
Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint-Idaho
Sandpoint Realty LLC - Sandpoint, ID
North Idaho Real Estate - 208-255.6227

Hello Jon,

    I like the distraction of writing things down 10 minutes prior to the exam.  I am thinking this may help in any 'anxious' moment events and will try it if I am able.  Thank you for the tips.  Welcome to Active Rain.  Enjoy the platform.  You will most likely find that it offers so much more than what you originally join for.  Mark

Dec 10, 2015 07:34 AM
Jon Exley - MTI Serv. Corp.

Hello Mark Don McInnes, Sandpoint - Thank you for the feedback - I really like to hear what others think (good or bad).  I have already seen the interaction within Active Rain has been very positive and I am very much looking forward to future use.  Thanks again.

Dec 10, 2015 11:48 PM
Melissa Jackson REALTOR
Trinity Premier Properties - Azle, TX
Helping You Make The Right Move

Welcome to Active Rain.  Great pointers for students getting ready to take their exam.

Dec 10, 2015 01:16 PM
Jon Exley - MTI Serv. Corp.

Hi Melissa Jackson - thank you for the feedback I sincerely appreciate it.

Dec 10, 2015 11:47 PM
Bob Crane
Woodland Management Service / Woodland Real Estate, KW Diversified - Stevens Point, WI
Forestland Experts! 715-204-9671

It sounds like you have a good system going here Jon, thanks for sharing and joining AR.

Welcome to Active Rain, looking forward to reading many more of your posts, let me know if there is anything that I can do to help as you get started here.

Dec 11, 2015 12:20 PM
Compass - La Jolla, CA
San Diego Partner - The Private Client Network

Congratulations on your first blog post.  Welcome to Active Rain.  Wishing you a successful 2016 Jon Exley - MTI Serv. Corp. 

Jan 03, 2016 12:08 PM