The TREC (Texas Real Estate Commission) real estate licensing exam isn’t easy! And it isn’t meant to be.
The licensing exam is a way for TREC to make sure you know your stuff before they offer you a real estate license and allow you to represent buyers and sellers in real estate transactions. The test has to be hard enough to confirm that you have the knowledge needed to be a competent real estate professional.
The licensing exam is so challenging that only about 59% of students pass on any given test day. The good news is that choosing a top-tier real estate school can dramatically improve your chances of passing the exam. For AceableAgent students, the pass rate jumps to 92%! AceableAgent students have better odds of passing the exam than students from any other real estate school in Texas!
But still...it’s a difficult exam. And it may take you a couple tries to get a passing score.
So let’s discuss how you can recover from a failed licensing exam.
What happens if I fail my first licensing exam?
Failing your licensing exam on the first try isn’t a big deal. It has happened to some of the best agents in the business. So don’t let it get you down!
Here’s what will happen if you fail your first attempt at your licensing exam:
You will receive a scorecard with your numeric test score. You will also get information about the failed portion of the exam (the national portion, the state portion, or both). You only have to retake the portion(s) of the test that you failed. So if you pass the national portion and fail the state portion, you only have to retake the state portion. The information you receive after the exam will also include the number of questions in each content area that you answered correctly. And you’ll also be given instructions for scheduling and retaking your exam.
You need to wait 24 hours before rescheduling your exam. Which is good, because it gives you time to study the content areas where you missed multiple questions. In fact, you may want to give yourself a little more time. Now that you’ve seen the actual licensing exam, you’ll have a better idea of what to study for your retake. Why not give yourself a little extra study time to make sure you have the material down pat?
Reschedule your exam when you’re ready. You’ll be more prepared this time around, so you’ll have a better chance of passing!
If you fail your second attempt, there’s no need to panic. You can take the exam up to 3 times within a 12-month period.
And what happens if you fail that third attempt? We’ll cover that next.
What happens if I fail the licensing exam 3 times?
If you fail the licensing exam 3 times, it’s not the end of the world. This has happened to multiple agents who have gone on to have successful real estate careers. You just need to persevere through this setback.
If you fail the third attempt, the state requires additional education. For each failed portion of the exam (national, state, or both), you will need to take an additional 30 hours of education.
Once your extra hours of education are complete, you can email your completion certificates, along with a copy of your third failed score report, to TREC at firstname.lastname@example.org.
TREC will need about 5-7 days to process your paperwork and authorize you to schedule your fourth exam.
You should also know that if your TREC application expires while you are in the process of getting your extra educational hours, you’ll need to reapply.
How to pass your licensing exam
If you’re struggling with the licensing exam (or just the thought of the exam!), we have some tips to help you study for the exam, prepare for the day of the exam, and do your best during the exam.
Studying for the licensing exam
Set yourself up for success by establishing good study habits early in your real estate education.
Here are some tips to help you make the most of your study sessions:
Build a routine
Sporadic studying isn’t going to cut it. Commit to setting aside time regularly to focus solely on your real estate education. Build a study routine into your day. Then write it into your calendar and treat your study time like any other important appointment.
Luckily, with online courses and on-demand exam prep, you have the flexibility to study any time that works best for you.
Time is limited, so make the most of your study time by minimizing distractions and giving the material your full attention. AceableAgent’s course materials are designed to be accessed from your phone or tablet, so you’ll have everything you need to study with you at all times. All you need is a quiet space.
Take practice exams
Practice makes perfect. Practice exams are a great way to prepare yourself for your real licensing exam. To make the most of your practice exams, keep the environment as close to an actual exam environment as possible. This means putting away all aids. Force yourself to search your brain for each answer. Don’t look up any answers until you’ve scored your practice exam.
Here’s a little trick for you. As you take your practice exams, make a habit of answering the question even before you read the multiple choices. This is an old-school exam hack. See, multiple choice answers are often written to confuse you or make you doubt yourself. If you answer the question in your head before reading the choices, you’re less likely to be fooled by confusing verbiage.
Chew peppermint gum
This may sound crazy, but there is some evidence to suggest that chewing gum keeps you alert and helps boost memory. Then, take that same peppermint gum you’ve been chewing during your study sessions to your exam. Experiencing the same taste and scent during the exam may bring back memories from your study sessions. It’s worth a try. What do you have to lose?
Be at your best on test day
After months of hard work learning the material, it’s time for your licensing exam. To perform your best on the exam, you need to be at your best.
Here are some tricks to make sure you’re at your best on test day:
Get plenty of sleep
A good night’s sleep will do more for your brain than a late night cram session. If you often have a hard time sleeping, treat yourself like a toddler the day before your exam. Run around and physically exhaust yourself so you’ll crash into a relaxing sleep. An extra hard workout the day before an exam will help wear you out so you can sleep without reaching for any medication that could leave you feeling drowsy the next morning.
Eat some brain food
Walnuts, avocado, sunflower seeds, peanut butter, berries, leafy greens, and whole grains have all been shown to aid in memory and critical thinking. So enjoy a healthy score-boosting breakfast the morning of your licensing exam.
Leave the house early
Plan to arrive at your testing site early. You don’t need the added stress of running late or hitting unexpected traffic. If you arrive early, you can always use that time to give yourself one last review so the more difficult concepts are fresh in your mind.
Also, listen to some happy music on the way to your exam. It’s a proven relaxer and mood booster.
Helpful test hacks
We’ve covered the ways to study leading up to the exam and how to prepare yourself to be at your best on test day. But what about during the exam?
Yep, we have test hacks to help you then as well! Just understand that test hacks are no substitute for knowing the material. Make sure you know the material. Then take advantage of these hacks to give yourself a little extra advantage.
Take a deep breath
Your adrenaline will be pumping, and you’ll have a million thoughts circling your brain. Start the exam with a deep, calming breath. Remind yourself that you’ve worked hard to learn this material, and this test is your chance to show everyone how much you know!
Skip the hard questions
If you’re worried about time management, skip the hard questions.
Slower test-takers often get hung up on a single hard question and spend so much time on it that they run out of time before they can finish the exam. This means they don’t get credit for the easy questions at the end of the exam that they could have gotten correct if they had been able to finish.
Make sure you get credit for every answer you know! You can come back to the hard questions after you’ve answered the easier ones. And if you run out of time before you can revisit all the hard questions, you’re still better off because your chances of answering those hard questions correctly aren’t as good as your chances of answering the easy ones correctly.
Don’t despair if it takes a few tries for you to pass the difficult TREC licensing exam. Keep studying. Keep working hard. You can schedule another attempt and try again!
Good luck on your licensing exam. You got this!