How Hard Is the Real Estate Exam in Rhode Island and How to Pass It the First Time?

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With the right insight into the process and tips for preparing, you can reduce real estate exam difficulty and improve your chances of passing the test in Rhode Island.

To get good real estate exam results without feeling overwhelmed by the process, keep reading. We’ve got all the pointers you need to get to test day with confidence.


Best Way to Pass the Rhode Island Real Estate Exam

How to Study for the Rhode Island Real Estate Exam

Studying for the Rhode Island real estate exam starts with knowing where to go to collect the right materials. Your first stop — the classroom.

Completing the pre-licensing education requirement associated with a salesperson or broker license not only gives you access to what you need to know but also to the right tools.

Whether learning in person or virtually, your pre-licensing classes will help you target your studying into the right areas.

For a salesperson license in Rhode Island, this means completing 45 hours of pre-licensing education. Three of those hours must be in a New Agency Law class.

For those getting a broker license, the pre-licensing coursework totals 90 hours of approved classroom study.

The Rhode Island Real Estate Commission makes a list available as to what classes for brokers are pre-approved.

You can also find additional resource suggestions through your Pearson VUE Candidate Handbook.

Pearson VUE proctors the actual real estate exam, and also has practice tests you can take when you’re ready.


What to Study for the Rhode Island Real Estate Exam

While the Candidate Handbook is an excellent tool for additional study material suggestions, it’s also a great place to learn more about the exam itself.

If, as you study, you begin to wonder where to get an idea of what is on the real estate exam, the handbook provides you with detailed outlines.

These include key topics for both the general portion of the exam and the state-specific section. Both salesperson and broker licenses have each section.

For the national section, topics that are covered include:

  • Real property characteristics, legal descriptions, and property use
  • Forms of ownership, transfer, and recording of title
  • Property value and appraisal
  • Real estate contracts and agency
  • Real estate practice
  • Property disclosures and environmental issues
  • Financing and settlement
  • Real estate math calculations

For the section specific to Rhode Island real estate, topics include:

  • Duties and obligations under licensing law
  • Licensing requirements
  • Statutory requirements governing the activities of licensees
  • Additional state topics

There’s also a series of broker-only questions that will appear in the state section of the exam. There are a total of 12 in this section, covering topics such as:

  • Place of business
  • Office policies and procedures
  • Commingling
  • Escrow accounts
  • License required for ownership
  • Investigations, hearings, and appeals
  • Sanctions

Throughout each outline in the handbook, you’ll see how many questions are assigned to each topic for both the salesperson and broker exams.


6 Tips for Passing the Rhode Island Real Estate Exam

Even before you begin preparing to pass the test, you need to stop asking yourself how hard the RI real estate exam is.

It will only feel hard if you don’t take the time to study, and these tips can help make the difference between passing the exam the first time around and needing a retake.


1. Memorize

For facts that include dates, law code, and anything else that won’t change, memorization is the key. Do this by creating flashcards so you can review regularly.


2. Take Notes

Listening in class and taking good notes make a huge difference when it’s time to study. There’s less you have to look up and double-check. Your review time will be more efficient.


3. Make Outlines

To streamline your excellent notes and review the information itself, transfer everything into study outlines. This helps you focus on what only matters most.


4. Study with a Group

Studying on your own is great, but doing so with a group motivates you and makes sure you’re covering all the key topics. Build a group from your classmates and set regular meetings.


5. Rest

Studying is stressful, and if you let the stress take over, you’ll study less efficiently. Take a break to detach so you come back with a fresh mind ready to learn.


6. Test Carefully

When you actually sit down to take the test, and all your studying begins to pay off, remember to test smart.

Start by reading through all the questions, marking the hard ones and saving them for last.

Tackle the easy ones first, but make sure to read every answer choice before picking your final one. Use a process of elimination if you ever have to guess at an answer as well.

Additionally, we have more tips on passing the real estate exam.


What Is the Cost of Taking the Rhode Island Real Estate Exam?

The actual cost of the real estate license exam in Rhode Island is $70. This, however, is only one of a few expenses associated with getting your license.

You’ll have to pay for your pre-licensing coursework, and cost varies based on where you take your classes and whether you’re taking them in person or virtually.

You can check out our directory of top real estate courses in Rhode Island to find an institution with the best flexibility in terms of tuition and schedule.

When deciding which mode of learning to go for, read our A-to-Z guide on real estate classes online vs. classroom courses.

Many institutions offer bundles to help you save money, and you often get some bonus study materials as well.

Other expenses include the application fee, which is $140 for a salesperson application and $180 for a broker, a $25 real estate recovery fee, and $5 for a state background check.

Get more details in the licensing expenses involved by reading our article — How Much Does It Cost to Get a Real Estate License in Rhode Island?


How Hard Is It to Pass the Rhode Island Real Estate Exam?

What Is the Pass Rate for the Rhode Island Real Estate Exam?

The real estate salesperson exam and broker exam are purposefully difficult. With the right preparation though, it’s not impossible to pass.

Rhode Island actually has a decent pass rate, specifically for the salesperson exam, of 70 percent.

It’s reassuring to know that the majority of those taking the test get their license when considering how many people pass the real estate exam the first time around.


How Many Questions Are on the Rhode Island Real Estate Exam?

Taking the real estate exam in Rhode Island means completing two lengthy sections. The national portion has 80 scored items, plus five pre-test questions.

This is the same amount regardless of exam type. The state-specific questions vary in number, with the broker exam having 10 more.

The state portion of the salesperson exam has 50 scored items and the broker test has 60. There are also 10 pre-test questions.

The pre-test questions aren’t graded, but you won’t know exactly which questions they are as you take the exam, so make sure to answer each question like it counts.


How Many Math Questions Are on the Rhode Island Real Estate Exam?

There are seven math questions on the salesperson exam and eight on the broker exam. They’ll appear on the national section of the test focusing on these categories:

  • Property area calculations
  • Property valuation
  • Commission/compensation
  • Loan financing costs
  • Settlement and closing costs
  • Investment
  • Property management calculations


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

In order to pass the real estate exam and become one of the accredited real estate agents in Rhode Island, you need a score of 70.

This is not a percentage, nor is it based on the total number of questions you get right.

The scoring system is a point-based system that’s adjusted based on different types of tests, so any score of a 70 is considered passed.


What Happens if You Fail the Real Estate Exam in Rhode Island?

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

You have unlimited opportunities to retake the real estate license exam in Rhode Island, as long as you pass both portions within a year.

Should you only fail one section, you’ll only need to retake that until you pass it, unless a year elapses. Then you must retake the full exam.


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

Once you fail one or both portions of the real estate exam, you must wait 24 hours before scheduling a retake.

After that time passes, you must schedule your retake through the Pearson VUE system. By then, you can take any open slot as soon as one is available.

Make sure you have an idea of the estimated timeline involved in getting licensed in the state by reading our article on the topic — How Long to Get a Rhode Island Real Estate License?

While waiting for your schedule, you may want to read the pros and cons of being a real estate agent to learn from industry experts’ experiences in the field.


Do You Have to Pay to Retake the Rhode Island Real Estate Exam?

Each time you take one or both portions of the Rhode Island real estate exam, you must pay the fee of $70.


The best of luck to you as you take your real estate exam in Rhode Island. Note that passing the test is just the tip of the iceberg. You still have a number of steps to complete in getting a Rhode Island real estate license.

Part of this is picking a broker to work for. Your sponsoring broker will have to certify your application and guarantee your competence for licensure.

You can find one from our curated list of top-rated real estate brokerages in your location.

You also need to undergo a background check.

If you believe your past violations may affect your chances of getting licensed, our article on getting a Rhode Island real estate license with violations can walk you through the whole process.

Once you pass the exam and have your license in hand, you can now begin your journey as a Rhode Island real estate agent. The following resources will get you up to speed:

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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