Congrats on making the decision to get a Virginia real estate license. As part of that process, you need to take the Virginia Real Estate Exam. Here are some handy tips on how to pass.
1. Meet Requirements to Hold a Virginia Real Estate License
To get your Virginia salesperson license, there are some basic requirements you need to meet before you take the Virginia Real Estate Exam:
You are at least 18 years old.
You hold a high school degree or equivalent.
You have the reputation of being honest, trustworthy, and competent.
You pass a background check.
If you are applying for a broker’s license (i.e., the Virginia real estate license required to supervise salespersons), you must meet all of the salesperson requirements, plus a couple of additional requirements regarding education and experience.
2. Take a Pre-License Course
Do you meet the above requirements? Great! On to the next step: Take a 60-hour salesperson's pre-license course. The course and provider must be approved by the Virginia Real Estate Board (REB).
3. Study for the Virginia Real Estate Exam
Once you’ve taken the pre-license course, it’s time to study. Here are some suggestions:
Get an up-to-date copy of PSI’s Virginia Real Estate Candidate Information Bulletin. It contains an outline of all the content you can expect to see on the test, so use it to guide your study plan.
Take advantage of the Aceable Study Guide and practice tests!
Take notes while you study, if that's your thing. Putting information in your own words can help you cement the ideas.
Meet up with a study buddy if you can. If you're on this great learning journey alone, test your understanding of real estate concepts by explaining them to your family, your dog, anyone who will listen.
Don't cram! Study as frequently as your schedule allows, but limit study sessions to an hour or less. Experts say this leads to better absorption and retention of the material.
4. Get Approval to Take the Virginia Real Estate Exam
Yep, you've gotta get permission to take the big test. You'll need the Virginia Real Estate Board's approval first. Then, the REB will send your application to PSI, the third-party testing service that conducts the exams for the state.
You have three options for applying for the exam:
Apply with a letter from the REB for permission to take the exam.
Apply for a license by exam by reciprocity. (This option is for out-of-state agents who want to do real estate business in Virginia.)
Apply for a license by exam from your education provider (like Aceable!). When you finish your pre-license course, the education provider will notify PSI of your eligibility to take the state licensing exam. After that, you can register for the exam.
Regardless of which option they choose, all test-takers have to pay the exam fee ($60).
During the registration process, you will be able to select the testing center location and time that work best for you. Walk-ins are not accepted. You have your pick of several cities where PSI testing centers are located. In Virginia, you can choose from Vienna, Richmond, Roanoke, Virginia Beach, and Charlottesville. There are also out-of-state testing centers in Salisbury, North Carolina and Johnson City, Tennessee.
5. Take the Virginia Real Estate Exam
Once you've finished the pre-license course, studied, and registered for the exam, you're ready for your appointment at the testing center.
You will want to arrive on time (try to get to the testing center at least 30 minutes early so you have plenty of time to check-in) and bring two forms of a valid ID.
Testing Center Security
Security is strict at these testing centers. With your Virginia real estate license on the line, PSI wants to make sure that the process is secure and fair for everyone. Your fingerprints will be taken during check-in for security purposes.
Here's a handy list of things you cannot bring with you into the testing room:
Your phone or other electronic devices
Cameras, audio recorders, or paper for note-taking
Programmable calculators with alpha keys and calculators that print or make noise
Visitors or accompaniment of any kind, including family members
Here’s what to know:
The test administrator will give you writing materials to use for notes and calculations as needed during the test.
You can't ask anyone questions about the test content.
No eating, drinking, or smoking is allowed.
Breaks are unlimited, but any time you spend on breaks counts toward your overall time limit for taking the test.
If you attempt to cheat, break the test center rules, talk to other test-takers, or otherwise cause a disturbance, you will be asked to leave. Your score won't be recorded and you won't get a refund.
What's the Virginia Real Estate Exam Like?
You will most likely take the test on a computer. You’ll take one of two exams, depending on which license you want to obtain.
The salesperson exam is made up of 120 multiple-choice questions total. This includes 40 state-specific questions and 80 questions on national topics. Expect to see questions about the principles, practices, regulations, and statutes of real estate.
You have 150 minutes total to complete the exam. Each portion is timed, with 45 minutes allotted for the state portion, and 105 minutes for the longer national portion.
The broker exam contains 125 multiple-choice questions. You get 160 minutes to complete the exam. Like the salesperson exam, the broker exam breaks down into two different parts: a national portion (75 questions that must be answered in 105 minutes) and a state portion (50 questions that must be answered in 55 minutes).
The broker exam includes a few scenario-based questions. For these, you will read a short passage explaining a scenario, and then select the best choice from a series of options.
See Your Results
You get to see your score immediately after finishing the exam! It will show on your computer screen, and you will also get a paper copy of your score from the test administrator.
When You Pass
Right there at the testing center, you can pick up a license application to send to the Real Estate Board to apply for your salesperson license.
If You Fail
If your score report is the bearer of bad news, you can register for a retake using the same registration process as soon as the next day (not the same day). From there, you can schedule another exam as soon as scheduling permits.
Apply for your Virginia Real Estate License
When you pass the Virginia Real Estate Exam, you're ready to apply for your Virginia real estate license!
*This article was updated on 1/26/21.