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What Is on a Real Estate Exam?

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Real estate exams cover several competencies and key concepts. Licenses are issued at the state level, so each state has the authority to create and administer its own test. Each real estate exam has a general section and a state-specific section. Exam questions are multiple choice. A state's real estate commission may change the exam questions and layout periodically to deter test-takers from cheating.


The real estate exam covers a variety of concepts related to property. The exam covers property classes, types of property ownership and property transfer rules. The exam covers land use regulations, including government rights as well as private and public controls. Candidates must know land characteristics and the various legal descriptions of property.

Real Estate Regulations

A portion of the real estate exam is dedicated to federal laws that govern real estate practices. Candidates must have knowledge of fair housing and fair credit laws as well as landlord-tenant laws. This portion also covers ethical issues related to brokers, agents and other real estate professionals.


The real estate exam covers real estate calculations and various mathematics concepts. License candidates must understand how to calculate property taxes as well as how to make general lending calculations. Other real estate calculations include calculations for mortgages and property values.


Licensed agents must possess a general knowledge of real estate finance concepts. The exam tests the candidate's knowledge of different types of real estate loans and the different sources of loans. The exam also covers various government programs, mortgages and credit laws.

Real Estate Valuation

License candidates must understand real estate valuation and the different methods of estimating real estate value. The exam covers competitive market analysis as well as which transactions require property appraisals.

Contracts and Disclosures

The real estate exam covers contractual relationships between buyers and sellers. Candidates must have knowledge of general contract law. Candidates must possess property-specific contract knowledge including purchase agreements, lease agreements, counteroffers and rescissions. Further, the exam covers numerous real estate disclosures such as material facts and property condition disclosures.

State Specific

A portion of the real estate exam is dedicated to state-specific statutes and regulations. The state-specific portion covers licensing requirements as well as continuing education, license renewal and transfer rules as required by the state department of real estate. This portion also covers state laws governing licensee activities and state-specific real estate laws such as property ownership and transfer rules, landlord-tenant laws, fair housing rules and other state-specific disclosures.