How Hard Is the Oregon Real Estate Exam and How to Pass It the First Time?

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This article shares proven strategies to help you gear up for the Oregon real estate exam.

The entry-level status in the state is a broker license. The exam to acquire this license is a challenging one, so you’ll want to make wise use of your time and effort.

These tips will help you create a study plan in the most impactful way and power up your chances of scoring well when you take the test.

Eager to maximize your readiness? A treasure trove of information follows.


Best Way to Pass the Oregon Real Estate Exam

How to Study for the Oregon Real Estate Exam

The exam is designed to assess your competency to engage in real estate brokerage activities. Simply put, it’s a knowledge test.

Note that the most effective way to gain that knowledge base is to diligently study when taking the required pre-licensing education. You can take the courses at any of the real estate training schools in Oregon.

How much pre-licensing coursework is there? The total number of hours is 150, which covers the following seven courses:

  • Property Management (10 hours)
  • Agency Law (15 hours)
  • Contracts (15 hours)
  • Real Estate Brokerage (20 hours)
  • Real Estate Finance (30 hours)
  • Real Estate Law (30 hours)
  • Real Estate Practice (30 hours)

You’ll find opportunities to take these courses online, in the classroom (in person or via Zoom), or through a hybrid format (classroom/home study).

Some providers also offer live or online exam prep or review sessions. Either can help you recall and apply what you learn in class.

Check out our article discussing the pros and cons of real estate online classes vs classroom to get an idea of what to expect from each method.

Exam guides and mock tests are a couple of additional study tools that can help you test your knowledge and get acclimated to the real estate exam difficulty level before test day.

Additionally, if you do frequent reviews of class material along the way, your overall prep can be more effective. As you develop a study plan, keep the following tips in mind as well:

  • Do all of the reading and homework, even the optional parts.
  • Don’t forget to take notes to review later.
  • It’s essential to stay focused, but take care not to overstudy.
  • Cramming tends to be ineffective and should be avoided.
  • Switching up subjects is a helpful way to avoid burnout on a topic.

Read more helpful pointers on studying for the real estate exam.


What to Study for the Oregon Real Estate Exam

Just thinking about how much material could be covered on the test can be overwhelming. To make things easier, you need to know where to get an idea of what is on the real estate exam.

One of the most useful places to look is the Candidate Information Bulletin for the test. PSI, the company contracted by the state to conduct the exam, puts out this handy booklet.

You can use the content outline it contains to focus your study efforts. It lists the subject areas covered on the exam, as well as the subtopics and percentage of questions under each.

There are ten major content areas for the national portion. As you study, you should keep in mind that a little more than half of the questions in this section focus on the following topics:

  • Financing (10%)
  • Contracts (17%)
  • Real Estate Practice (13%)
  • Principles of Agency (13%)

The state section covers six subject areas, with questions concentrated in these two: Oregon Real Estate Statutes and Regulation of Broker Activities.

Accordingly, these are topics that you’ll want to be sure to devote sufficient study time to.

By focusing on topics covered on the exam, you’ll set yourself up for increased success on the test.

You’ll be able to spend your prep time wisely by organizing study sessions around the associated material in your textbooks and study guides and resources covering Oregon laws and rules.


7 Tips for Passing the Oregon Real Estate Exam

Although you’ve been working toward exam day, you’re bound to be anxious once it arrives. It’s okay to be nervous, but don’t let it get the best of you.

Take deep breaths, remind yourself that you’ve prepared for this, and follow these test-taking strategies to maximize your performance.


1. Watch out for absolute language.

Sometimes, questions will have words like “all,” “none,” and “except” that determine the correct answer. These are easy to miss if you’re reading quickly. So, be on the lookout for absolutes.


2. Read the entire question.

It’s natural for your mind to jump ahead to an answer as soon as you think you know what’s being asked. Make it a point instead to read each question carefully from beginning to end.


3. Don’t expect to know all the answers.

No matter how much you study, you may see a question or two you’re clueless about. Don’t panic, and don’t waste time obsessing over the choices. Make an informed guess and continue.


4. Look for hints in other questions.

At times, tests will have information in one question that helps you remember the answer to another one. If you’re unsure of an answer, skip the question and see if a clue comes up later.


5. Anticipate the answer.

Think of the answer before you read the choices. Then look for the option that matches or comes closest. That can give you more confidence that you’ve picked the right one.


6. Resist self-doubt.

You’ve prepared for the test. So, trust yourself to tackle the questions and pick the right answer. Avoid second-guessing yourself and stick with what you selected unless you know it’s wrong.


7. Pace yourself.

Periodically check the time to ensure that you’re on track to finish in the allotted time. That helps you keep a steady pace, not too slow or too rushed.


What Is the Cost of Taking the Oregon Real Estate Exam?

Applicants looking to become Oregon real estate agents must submit their application to start the licensing process. The associated fee is $300, and it’s non-refundable.

You’ll also have to pay $75 to take the exam. Your cost for pre-licensing education will vary based on the school and course delivery method. Generally, look to pay between $300 to $700 for the seven courses.

Our article on real estate license in Oregon costs can give you complete details on the other fees associated with licensing, on top of your exam expenses.


How Hard Is It to Pass the Oregon Real Estate Exam?

What Is the Passing Rate for First-Time Takers of the Real Estate Agent Exam in Oregon?

Looking at how many people pass the real estate exam the first go-round gives you an idea of how challenging the test may be.

According to current exam statistics reported in Oregon Real Estate Board meeting minutes, close to 70 percent of first-time takers pass the national part of the exam.

Meanwhile, about half of them earn a passing score on the state portion.

These pass rates indicate that the state-specific section is more rigorous than the national portion.

In terms of comparative difficulty with entry-level exams (e.g., the real estate salesperson exam) in other states, it’s on par with the harder ones.


How Many Questions Are on the Oregon Real Estate Exam?

According to the Candidate Information Bulletin, there are 130 scored questions. However, you may see an additional five to ten questions when taking the real estate exam.

The extra items are experimental questions that are mixed in with the rest. These questions won’t impact your score.

The state is testing them to see if these are good questions before using them as scored items later on.

The 130 scored items are divided into two timed portions as follows:

  • Eighty questions are in the national portion covering general real estate principles and practices common to many other states. (150 minutes)
  • The state section, which focuses on real estate rules and laws specific to Oregon, contains 50 questions. (90 minutes)


How Many Math Questions Are on the Oregon Real Estate Exam?

Ten percent of the national portion of the test consists of real estate calculations.

That’s eight questions that cover the following areas: basic Math concepts and computations for transactions, valuation, and rate of return.


What Score Do You Need to Pass the Oregon Real Estate Exam?

You have to answer a minimum of 75 percent of the questions correctly in each section to test successfully.

If you score less than that, you’ll receive a diagnostic report as part of your real estate exam results.

This report will help you identify the areas where you performed poorly, so you can give additional attention to these topics as you prepare to retake the test.


What Happens if You Fail the Real Estate Exam in Oregon?

How Many Times Can You Fail and Retake the Oregon Real Estate Exam?

Oregon does not impose limits on the number of times you can retake the exam.


How Long Do You Have to Wait to Retake the Oregon Real Estate Exam?

You’ll need to wait until at least the next day after the failed exam to make a new appointment. There’s no wait time after that. You can schedule for the first available date that works for you.

For time estimates to complete all the other steps in the licensing process, read – How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License in Oregon?


Do You Have to Pay to Retake the Oregon Real Estate Exam?

Yes. The $75 exam fee is good for one attempt. Therefore, it will cost you $75 for each additional try, whether you’re taking one portion of the exam or both.


Next Steps After Passing the Oregon Real Estate Exam

Once you’ve passed the exam, it’s time to get to work to complete the licensing process. For a more detailed guide on this, read our article on how to get a real estate license in Oregon.

For starters, you will need to screen potential brokers to sponsor your license application. Check out our article on choosing the right real estate brokerage to work for as you select the most fitting one.

Then, pick from our directory of the top real estate brokerage firms in Oregon.

You are also required to complete the Oregon real estate license background check to know if you are eligible to get licensed in the state.

When you’re finally licensed, you can then develop an action plan to guide you on what to do after you get your real estate license.

You may also want to consider joining a real estate team where you can meet experienced agents to help you start a successful real estate career.

An exciting career awaits you, but you have to be ready to tackle the challenges ahead.

Read our article on the pros and cons of a real estate agent job as a career, so you know what to expect as you start working as one.

To help you build and grow your real estate career quickly, we at Real Estate Bees created a directory for real estate professionals.

It’s designed to help you get more exposure for your business, including receiving leads. Create a free profile by signing up here.


If you want to contribute your expert advice on a topic of your expertise, feel free to apply to our Expert Contributor Program.


About the Author

Kristina Morales is a REALTOR® with over 20 years of professional experience. She actively practices real estate in Ohio but also has practiced real estate in California and Texas. Conducting her real estate business in three states has allowed her to gain unique experiences that make her a well-rounded realtor. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and her MBA with a concentration in Banking and Finance. Prior to real estate, Kristina had an extensive corporate career in banking and treasury. She ended her finance career as an Assistant Treasurer at a publicly traded oil & gas company in Houston, TX.

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