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

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Passing the real estate exam in Minnesota on your first try is a lengthy process, so it’s important that you come prepared and confident to ace the test.

In this guide, we discuss everything you need to know — what to study, what to expect on the exam, and how to build an effective study strategy.

With a strong plan in place, you will be able to manage real estate exam difficulty and increase your chances of passing the exam.

Read on to learn more about what you’ll need to study and how to study effectively so you’re fully prepared for exam day.


Best Way to Pass the Minnesota Real Estate Exam

How to Study for the Minnesota Real Estate Exam

When thinking about how to pass the MN real estate exam, you should have a plan on how you’ll collect your resources, where you’ll study, and how often.

Information gathering all begins with your pre-licensing education courses.

Make sure you pick a class format for completing the required 90 hours that suits you best. This will be the basis for your review when it comes to staying focused and taking notes.

To help you decide on the best learning method, read our A-to-Z guide comparing online real estate classes vs classroom courses.

During class, take extensive notes throughout. Organize your class notes by topic, and create both outlines and flashcards for a more streamlined and comprehensive review.

Set a regular study schedule as well to avoid cramming for the exam at the last minute. You want to keep reviewing as you go.

If you prefer to study on your own, make sure you have a quiet, distraction-free place you can easily get to each day so that studying becomes part of your routine.

If you struggle staying focused on your own, consider forming a study group with friends from class.

Although there are three required courses to get your license, you’re eligible to take the exam after completing the first course. Only do this if you think you’re ready.


What to Study for the Minnesota Real Estate Exam

When trying to figure out where to get an idea of what is on the real estate exam, make sure to review the Candidate Information Bulletin from PSI.

PSI administers the real estate exam in Minnesota, and provides a detailed topic outline for both sections of the exam.

This outline helps you stay on track to getting the real estate exam results you want by giving you the percentage of questions you’ll find on the test in each topic area.

The primary topics for the national portion of the exam include:

  • Property ownership
  • Land use controls
  • Valuation
  • Financing
  • Contracts
  • Agency
  • Property disclosures
  • Property management
  • Transfer of title
  • Practice of real estate
  • Real estate calculations

The state section of the exam focuses on laws and rules with topics that include:

  • Real estate brokerage license law
  • Interests in real estate property
  • Conveyance procedures and protection of parties
  • Financial instructions: Obligations, rights, remedies

These are the topics for both the salesperson and the broker exam.


5 Tips for Passing the Minnesota Real Estate Exam

Crafting the perfect study plan is essential if you want to ensure you cover everything you need to know as you review.

Take some time to decide how you’ll study and where, but don’t forget to plan out an approach for taking the exam on test day.

These tips should help you get started.


1. Focus on your notes

The notes you take in class will set the stage for your entire studying process. Make sure you’re writing down key information to come back to for review.

There’s no such thing as too many notes either, especially when you can remove items you don’t need down the road.


2. Develop study materials that work

While your notes should be comprehensive and review-ready, they may also be a little long and disorganized.

To reign them in, and really streamline your time studying, create topic outlines. This allows you to group all related information and get rid of any excess.

For facts, dates, and real estate law statutes, make a pack of flashcards. This allows you to do some rapid review each time you sit down to study and helps with memorization.


3. Find a place to study

Studying done right requires you to do it often and in the right place. Set up a study schedule that has you reviewing regularly.

Find a study spot you can go to each time you review to help establish the routine as well. This should be somewhere without constant distractions or interruptions.


4. Take a break

Although studying will help you remember everything you need to know, taking breaks gives your brain time to recharge. It keeps you fresh to continue reviewing.

A proper break is where you completely detach from studying, spending time not thinking about the real estate exam at all.

Take a walk, read a book, watch a movie or a few episodes of a show, or play a video game. This will refresh your brain so you come back more focused when you sit down to study again.


5. Develop a testing strategy

Going into the test with a plan helps you maximize your limited time so you get to as many questions as possible without getting stuck early on on something hard.

Begin by reading every question on the test, separating out the easy ones from the hard ones. Tackle the easy ones first to ensure you get to them all.

As you approach the harder questions, make sure you read all the answer choices first before picking your response. Even if you think you know the answer, give yourself time to check.

If you can’t decide on a choice, use a process of elimination to narrow your options down and select from those. It’s still an educated guess.

Check out this article for more tips on how to pass the real estate exam the first time.


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

The fee for taking the real estate exam in Minnesota is the same whether you’re going for a salesperson or broker license.

To take both the general and state sections of the exam at the same time, the fee is $68. Should you need to only take one portion, especially where retakes are concerned, the cost is $45.

To take a deeper dive into all the fees associated with the licensing process, check out this guide on how much a real estate license in MN costs.


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

What Is the Pass Rate for the Minnesota Real Estate Exam?

The pass rate for the real estate salesperson exam in Minnesota is actually pretty good. Only about 30 percent of students end up having to retake.

The odds are 70 percent in your favor, when it comes to how many people pass the real estate exam at first try.

If you want to make sure you’re in that passing percentage, you may be able to improve your chances by taking advantage of PSI practice tests and exam prep materials.

There’s also a possibility the Minnesota real estate school you complete your pre-licensing education in will offer additional resources as well.


How Many Questions Are on the Minnesota Real Estate Exam?

Taking the real estate exam requires four hours to answer questions in both the general portion and state portion.

You have 2.5 hours to answer 80 questions on the general portion, and 1.5 hours to answer 40 questions on the state part.

The broker exam breaks down the same for the national portion, but gives you 50 questions to answer in the state in the hour-and-a-half time frame.


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

Passing the real estate exam in Minnesota also requires you to know a little math. The real estate calculations section of the exam appears in the national section.

Topics within this section include calculations for transactions and general concepts like equity, rate of return, and loan-to-value ratio.

The salesperson exam has 5-6 math questions on it, while the broker exam has 4-5 questions that cover calculations.


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

To pass the Minnesota real estate exam, you must score at least a 75 percent on both sections. Failure to do so on one, or both, will require a retake.


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

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

There are no limits to how many times you can retake the Minnesota real estate exam, but you only have to retake the section you don’t pass.

If you fail both, you’ll have to retake the entire exam, however.

Feedback from your failed attempt is given immediately after your test is scored, and this information should help you prepare for your retake.


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

Although you cannot schedule a retake at the testing site once you fail one or both sections of the exam, you are able to contact PSI the next day.

Use the same method of communication you did to initially schedule your test, either logging into your online account or calling 866-395-1006.

You can grab an available slot to retake as early as the day after you schedule your retake. This means you could fail on a Monday, call on a Tuesday, and retest as early as Wednesday.

If you’re wondering how much time you’ll need to complete the entire licensing process in the state, we tackle this topic in detail in our article — How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License in Minnesota?


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

You do have to pay an exam fee each time you sit for the Minnesota real estate exam, whether you’re retaking one or both sections.

The fee, however, varies.

If you’re taking both sections over, the cost is $68, but it’s only $45 to retake a single section.


Passing the exam is only one part of the process to becoming a licensed real estate agent in Minnesota.

You should learn more about what you’ll need to do to get your real estate license in MN, including how to pick a broker to work for as you begin your career.

Once you know what to look for in a real estate company, select one near your location from our database of the best real estate brokerages in Minnesota.

Note that when filling out your license application, you will be required to answer questions about your criminal history to check your eligibility for licensure.

We discuss this topic in detail in our article on background check for a Minnesota real estate license.

Once licensed, make sure to keep building your career as a real estate professional. Check out our helpful resources that include:

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 both a licensed mortgage loan originator and real estate agent in the State of Ohio. Inspired by her years of working with buyers and sellers and seeing a need for more consumer education, Kristina created loanfully.com, an online educational resource for borrowers and industry professionals. In addition to real estate sales and mortgage lending, Kristina had an extensive corporate career in banking, treasury, and corporate finance. She ended her corporate career as an Assistant Treasurer at a publicly traded oil & gas company in Houston, TX. Kristina obtained her MBA from the Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University and her B.A in Business Management from Ursuline College.

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