Read these through test taking strategies before you take a state licensing exam.
- Don’t be a careless reader. Ensure that you understand what each question says, and not what you think it says.
- Be particularly careful of negative questions. Read the stem of the question before considering each answer to ensure accuracy.
- Do not base your answers solely on common sense. Use your real estate knowledge to answer the questions.
- Look out for qualifying or limiting words that could affect your answer. They include “may,” “must,” “all,” “always,” “except,” and others.
- Look out for name or title substitutions of equal meaning. One example: calling “a lender” as “an investor.”
- Look out for words with similar spellings. One example: “demise” vs. “devise.”
- Always choose the best of the available answers, and make sure the whole answer is true. If most of an answer is true, but a small portion is not true, the whole answer is not true.
- Read the stem of a question at least two times before reading the offered answers. Be sure you fully understand the stem before choosing an answer.
- Write important words or phrases on the paper provided by the test center. This adds mental emphasis to important points … and slows you down.
- Do not speed read. Read and analyze individual words in the same way a lawyer would read and analyze a contract.
- Make sure you have clarified and defined, in your own mind, any real estate terms used in the stem before going to the answers.
- For any terms that end in “ee” and “or” – for example, a “lessee” and a “lessor,” or an “obligee” and “obligor” – substitute conversational English meanings. Remember that the “or” gives documents or paperwork to the “ee” during the course of a transaction.
- If possible, formulate your own answer before reading the answers provided. Don’t allow the answers to help you interpret the stem of the question.
- Write a note for each possible answer to help you make your final decision. Your note may only say “T” for “true” or “NT” for “not true.”
- Eliminate obviously incorrect answers. If an unfamiliar term or concept is used in a remaining answer, eliminate that answer too.
- If the correct answer still is not apparent, answer the question with your first impression. Then mark the question for later review.
- Avoid changing answers on a whim. Change answers only if you have a valid reason. If your are unsure of an answer, indicating your first impression will generally result in more correct answers.
- If you don’t have a clue on the correct answer … guess! There is no penalty for guessing, and your odds for guessing an answer that’s correct are significantly better than leaving the question unanswered.
- Don’t allow a few isolated questions to rattle or upset you. Every exam has several “klinkers.” Remember, you don’t need a score of 100 to pass.
- If you are particularly nervous, complete the easy questions first. They usually will take less time, and help eliminate anxiety due to time pressures.
- Schedule occasional breaks for yourself to “recharge your batteries.” You will return more refreshed and reduce the number of “dumb mistakes” due to fatigue.
- Ignore others in the room. Some will leave early because they are ill-prepared. Some will shuffle about or moan about what they don’t know. Leave their problems to them. Concentrate on YOUR success.
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