How to Pass Your California Real Estate Exam?

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The competition never subsides, and real estate is always a sought-after profession. Statistically, someone will always require buying an apartment or renting one. Hence, numerous people seek to get their real estate license in California and many other states. By the end of the year 2022, it is expected that over 45 million Millennials will be entering the prime age of buying homes, and the overall competition will only increase.

All that being said, how can you even obtain a real estate license in California? One of the final steps, and most crucial, is sitting for the California Real Estate Exam. This examination is the last step to becoming a verified real estate agent on the market and the chance to expand your business.

This article provides an extensive overview of all details of the examination. You’ll also learn how to rigorously study for it to pass on your first try.

What is the California Real Estate Exam?What is the California Real Estate Exam?

The California Real Estate Exam is offered by the California Department of Real Estate. Its mission is to spread awareness and promote the public interest in real estate. Virtually anyone can become a real estate in California with adequate steps. The process is promoted through regulation, education, licensure, and enforcement.

But the looming question is, how to become a real estate agent in California? Well, you initially must take the required DRE courses. Many current real estates are not familiar with that term. The California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) was renamed the DRE, as in the California Department of Real Estate. The department has the power to do the following for the public interested in real estate:

  • Renewing licenses for salespeople and brokers
  • Granting permits to real estate brokers
  • Granting licenses to a real estate salesperson

Hence, before even applying for the license through the examination, you must finish specific courses. The DRE requires you to complete three college-level real estate courses, and it’s just like attending a real college. The DRE assigns you the specific courses, as they must decide which ones should be taken, including the approved elective courses.

You’re actually expected to take these three courses:

  • Real Estate Principles
  • Real Estate Practice
  • One other is from a general list found on the DRE website

Hence, they’re all often intertwined. You’ll have to have a structured plan to study for the exam, so you’ll have to go through extensive material. Things are more accessible for you as you must complete a set of courses, so your preparation is already a mandatory part of attaining your license.

What Questions Are on the CA Real Estate Exam?

What Questions Are on the CA Real Estate Exam?

All the CA Real Estate Exam questions aim to address your abilities and knowledge in the field. Hence, some of the topics you should be proficient in include real estate practices, regulations, laws, and guidelines. Moreover, you’re expected to have a strong foundation in economics, finance, politics, ethics, and legal principles.

While that might sound like a hassle for some people, it is simpler than most believe. These topics are already addressed throughout the DRE-approved courses you’re expected to take before qualifying for the exam.

To be more specific, you’re going to be tested on the following three bases:

1. Adequate knowledge and demonstration of the English language (writing, reading, spelling, and grammar) and ability to articulate real estate business through words and writing

2. A thorough understanding of real estate and business opportunity conveyancing (contracts, deposits, deeds of trust, bills of sale, and mortgages)

3. A general yet concise understanding of the relationship and obligations between principal and agent (code of business, provisions of law, and knowledge of principles of transaction)

To grasp the idea of how to pass your California real estate exam, we advise you to go over the outline of the test. Below is a list of the topics discussed in the exam, and California real estate license exam questions are weighed accordingly:

  • The practice of Real Estate & Disclosures (25%)
  • Laws of Agency & Fiduciary Duties (17%)
  • Property Ownership & Land Use Controls & Regulations (15%)
  • Property Valuation & Financial Analysis (14%)
  • Contracts (12%)
  • Finance (9%)

We advise you to learn a little more about the format, length, and required documents for the exam. Here is a short list to sum it up:

  • Type: Multiple-choice (four choices for each question)
  • Number of questions:150 questions
  • Total Time:3 hours and 15 minutes
  • Score to Pass:minimum of 70%
  • ID Requirement:one of the following; driver’s license, DMV ID, military ID, or passport

5 Tips for Studying the California Real Estate Exam

5 Tips for Studying the California Real Estate Exam

You’re probably wondering what to study for the California real estate exam. The primary advice we can give you is to thoroughly examine the 3 compulsory courses. You will already have multiple resources and material to go through merely by obtaining the necessary material to prepare for the DRE real estate courses.

However, we have 5 tips for studying for California real estate exam, which aim to prepare you vigilantly for the examination and help you pass from the very first time:

Build a Proper Study Schedule

Put aside two hours every day where you only focus on the material for the examination. We advise you to consistently study for 4 weeks, where you break it down into two weeks of principles and the second two weeks on real estate practice. Study every day during specific hours, and give yourself a break on the weekend.

Obtain the Necessary Books

There are two main books recommended by the DRE. These are the Reference Book – A Real Estate Guide and California Real Estate, both available as hard copies and online.

Find a Study Guide/Course

Aside from the fundamental courses you take before qualifying for the California Real Estate Exam, we recommend taking a refresher course. There are numerous sources online that provide a study guide for the real estate exam, including resources from or .

Use the Elimination Process

As all the questions are multiple-choice, once you run into some difficulty on one of the questions, don’t panic. As you have 4 options, first eliminate the “definitely wrong” answer. You’ll have a 33% chance of getting the correct answer. If you manage to scratch off yet another option, you increase your odds to 50%!

Practice Questions

This is one of the most critical steps you must follow. Practicing through past exams and getting familiar with the format of the questions is an absolute necessity. Multiple platforms offer practice exams and inquiries, including, 5 short free tests on Test-guide, and Proper Education‘s complete book with a total of 600 questions.

Is it Hard to Pass the Real Estate Exam in California?

Is it Hard to Pass the Real Estate Exam in California?

Honestly, in a nutshell, yes. The exam is not a piece of cake, ad it requires proper, long periods of studying efficiently for it. You cannot skimp through any material. You’re expected to prepare for real-life situations not discussed in the courses or books.

However, before we dive deeper into how difficult the exam is, we would like to mention a few critical pieces of information that will help evaluate the difficulty level:

  • The examination can be taken online by signing up on the eLicensing service portal.
  • The average preparation time needed (including the pre-license courses and prep time) is between 2 to 4 months.
  • The CA Real Estate Exam is a closed book exam.
  • You must answer at least 70% of the questions correctly.

So, still, wondering how to pass the real estate exam? Well, our main advice, which is often overused, is practice. The ultimate method to ace any examination you sit for is to practice as much as possible for it.

The CA Real Estate Exam is perceived as relatively tricky because of the questions involved. These include ones on legal issues, the responsibilities of a real estate agent, and all the tiny details that people find aggravating.

Keep in mind that the average passing rate of the Real Estate Exam across all states varies between 50 to 55%. However, it’s usually a little lower in California, hovering around 44%. That’s a clear indication that the exam is more complex than most believe it to be. This should motivate you to push yourself and study with more perseverance.

Wrapping Things Up: How to Pass Your California Real Estate Exam?

All things summed up, the California Real Estate Exam is not an easy one. Hence, if you decide to embark on this journey to attain the CA Real Estate License, you’re advised to prepare vigilantly and mentally prepare for what’s to come. To put it simply, the exam itself required ample preparation time through the mandatory courses and the individual preparation.

Hence, if you’re not actually passionate about real estate, you’ll feel that it’s pretty pointless for you to follow through with the rigorous preparation. However, all in all, you can pass the examination from your very first try if you follow the tips we have mentioned above.

Picture of Professor Conquer
Professor Conquer

Professor Conquer started Conquer Your Exam in 2018 to help students feel more confident and better prepared for their tough tests. Prof excelled in high school, graduating top of his class and receiving admissions into several Ivy League and top 15 schools. He has helped many students through the years tutoring and mentoring K-12, consulting seniors through the college admissions process, and writing extensive how-to guides for school.

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