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How to Pass the Real Estate PSI Exam

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PSI, which designs and develops examinations for professional associations, government regulatory agencies and corporations, offers a real estate exam that's recognized in many states. These states require brokers and agents to pass the PSI exam before they're licensed and legally able to practice real estate. Some states, such as Tennessee and Colorado, require candidates to complete pre-licensing programs before applying to take the PSI.

Understand the Format

The PSI exam includes national and state portions, and requirements vary for salespersons and brokers. Those applying for a salesperson license must achieve a score of at least 70 percent on the national portion and 75 percent on the state portion, while brokers need to score at least 75 percent on the national component and 80 percent on the state. The exams are timed and typically taken on a computer.

Know the Material

Study candidate information bulletins, which are available on the PSI website, to prepare for the test. Each bulletin outlines the content covered on the test, identifies tips and provides sample questions. The topics covered in real estate PSI exams are generally the same, and include finance, property law and real estate fundamentals. Exams for sales agents may inquire about the terms of certain agreements, such as mortgage clauses, while those for brokers may require math calculations. For example, candidates may be given a value of a property and asked to calculate the monthly to earn 12 percent on total investment.

Hit the Books

When key concepts or ideas aren't totally clear, discuss complex details with colleagues who may have more experience in these situations and take notes. Take practice exams through to get used to recalling details while being timed. The PSI Learning Academy offers full courses to prepare candidates for exams in some states, such as Florida, Georgia and Texas. It also provides pre-exam preparation courses in 14 states, including Nevada, Pennsylvania and Colorado, as of 2014.

Use the Tutorial

PSI doesn't allow the use of notes during the test. Before the test begins, candidates are offered the opportunity to follow a tutorial of sample questions. Take advantage of the tutorial to get comfortable with the computer and the testing format. For example, instead of leaving questions blank during the test, you can select "mark" and the system will bring the question back later for review. Unanswered questions are marked incorrect.


Based in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, Megan Torrance left her position as the general manager for five Subway restaurants to focus on her passion for writing. Torrance specializes in creating content for career-oriented, motivated individuals and small business owners. Her work has been published on such sites as Chron, GlobalPost and eHow.

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