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

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In this article, we’ll let you in on Tennessee’s real estate exam difficulty and what it will take for you to get good real estate exam results.

We’ll answer all your questions, the most important being “How do I pass the Tennessee real estate exam the first time around?”

So, keep reading to get insight into the basic requirements, education prerequisites, and more.


Best Way to Pass the Tennessee Real Estate Exam

How to Study for the Tennessee Real Estate Exam

One of the requirements for getting your real estate license in Tennessee is completing 90 hours of pre-license education.

Thirty hours must be taken in real estate principles and another 30 in a Tennessee-specific course for new affiliates.

The remaining 30 hours can be filled with approved electives.

Taking these courses is the best way to study for the exam, since all important topics are covered throughout your total hours.

This foundation sets you up nicely to reduce real estate exam difficulty at least somewhat.

Where you complete this educational requirement is up to you. You can choose any of the realty classes offered in Tennessee.

Tennessee even allows you to review the pass rates from different schools. This means you have the option to take an in-person class, or a virtual one at the location that offers the best results.

Both formats offer different advantages, so it’s really about your personal schedule when it comes to deciding which is best.

In-person learning allows you some face-to-face time with both future colleagues and industry experts.

It lets you get a little ahead when it comes to networking, and makes it much easier to pull a study group together as you approach the exam.

You also have the luxury of a predictable schedule when you take an in-person class. Sessions are offered at the same time every week, allowing you to get all 60 hours pre-loaded into your calendar.

This makes it easier to add in other commitments like work and family, not to mention time with friends.

While in-person learning may work best for someone with a more rigid schedule, those with plenty of flexibility might prefer completing their coursework online.

This format lets you, at least partially, work at your own pace so that you might be able to complete the 60 hours much faster.

To choose which of these two formats suits your schedule, read our article on the pros and cons of real estate classes online vs. traditional classroom courses.


What to Study for the Tennessee Real Estate Exam

Your pre-licensing coursework will help get you started when it’s time to study, but it’s not the only source.

Knowing where to get an idea of what is on the real estate exam itself means looking a little deeper.

In Tennessee, the best place to look for a specific exam outline is the exam bulletin created by PSI Exams.

PSI administers the actual test, and shares an outline of the information covered on both sections of the real estate exam — the national portion and the state portion.

You’ll also find a list of suggested resources to review, in addition to materials given out in class.

Key topics covered in the national portion include:

  • Property ownership
  • Land use controls and regulations
  • Valuation and market analysis
  • Financing
  • General principles of agency
  • Property disclosures
  • Contracts
  • Leasing and property management
  • Transfer of title
  • Practice of real estate
  • Real estate calculations

For the Tennessee-specific portion, the topics covered are:

  • Duties and powers of the real estate commission
  • Licensing requirements
  • Advertising and marketing
  • Broker/affiliate relationships
  • Handling documents and record keeping
  • Handling of trust/escrow funds
  • Other improper activities and consumer protection
  • Agency and disclosure issues
  • Special areas of practice


7 Tips for Passing the Tennessee Real Estate Exam

Having a plan of how to study not only helps you manage what you’re learning during your coursework. It also enables you to set aside the time you need to study.

Make sure you take studying seriously. It’s the best way to retain what you really need to know to pass the real estate licensing exam in Tennessee.

These tips can put you on the right track for productive study sessions:


1. Memorize What You Can.

When you’re studying a topic that’s full of facts, get out those index cards. Creating flashcards and continuously quizzing yourself is the best way to memorize dates, regulations, and more.


2. Listen and Learn.

Starting on the first day of your pre-licensing course, pay attention. Your classes are the best place to get the information you need for the exam.

Listening well and taking good notes during lecture means you’ll have to figure out less on your own when looking through supplementary materials.


3. Make an Outline.

Once you’ve separated out the facts from your notes for flashcards, you’ll need an easy way to review the remaining information.

Creating an outline, while the information is still fresh, will help you compile and organize everything you’re learning. They’ll also make great study tools when you’re going back and reviewing.


4. Join a Study Group.

Studying with your peers is one of the best ways to stay motivated when slogging through a lot of material. Not only that, you’ll always have someone beside you to quiz you on your flashcards.


5. Take a Practice Test.

Studying is great, but practicing what you know helps get you ready, too.

PSI Exams offers online practice exams for the national section of the real estate licensing exam for both salespeople and brokers.

Taking it at least once can help you find holes in your knowledge and narrow down your focus on what to study as your exam date approaches.


6. Do Some Self-Care.

One part of studying is actually knowing when to take a break. Your brain can only hold so much at one time. Remember to pause in your studies to eat and sleep, especially the night before the test.

On the actual exam day, don’t forget to eat breakfast, and consider bringing a snack to eat on the way.


7. Take the Test Efficiently.

The Tennessee real estate license exam is a timed test, so it’s essential you use your time wisely. There’s nothing worse than knowing an answer to a question, but not having the time to submit your response.

To keep the clock from distracting you, it’s best to have a test-taking strategy like this:

  • Answer the easy questions first; the ones you know without a doubt.
  • Read through all your answer options before picking your final response, even if you’re sure of the answer before you’re done.
  • If you have to guess, only pick an answer that feels familiar to you.
  • Wait until the end to tackle the hard questions, all the ones where you have no idea what the answer is.
  • And, when you get to the hard questions, use a process of elimination to make a guess by removing obviously wrong choices first.

Get more tips on studying for the real estate exam.


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

To take the real estate exam, applicants hoping to become real estate agents in Tennessee have to pay a $39 fee. This is the same fee you will shell out should you need to retake one or both parts of the exam.

To register for the exam, it’s easiest if you log in online through PSI Services. You can also call them directly to schedule your exam at 855-340-3710 or email them at [email protected]

For complete information on other licensing fees, check out our guide discussing the cost of a real estate license in Tennessee.


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

What Is the Tennessee Real Estate Exam Pass Rate?

For the real estate salesperson exam, known as the affiliate broker exam in Tennessee, the average pass rate is 57 percent for the national portion, and 81 percent for the state portion.

These percentages indicate how many people pass the real estate exam on their first try.

As you can see, more people pass the state portion first, having to retake the national portion in order to qualify for their real estate license.

Taking an exam prep course, in addition to any other educational requirements, can raise those averages significantly, giving you a better chance of passing on your first attempt.


How Many Questions Are on the Tennessee Real Estate Exam?

Taking the real estate exam in Tennessee is no small feat. The test is long, four hours total, and rigorous. The total number of questions, and the time for each section of the test, vary by license type.

If you’re going for an affiliate broker license, you’ll have 80 questions in the national section, and 40 questions in the state section.

You’ll have 160 minutes to complete the national section, and 80 minutes for state.

To get a broker license, you must answer 75 questions in the national section, and 50 in the state section. You’ll have 150 minutes for the national section, and 90 minutes for state.


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

Located within the national section of your real estate license exam, the number of math questions also varies by exam type.

The affiliate broker exam has eight math questions, while the broker exam has six.

These real estate calculations cover basic math concepts, calculations for transactions, and specifically for brokers, calculations for valuation, and rate of return.


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

To pass the affiliate broker exam, you need a minimum score of 70 percent on both sections of the test. For the broker exam, your minimum score must be 75 percent.

You’ll receive your scores immediately upon completing your real estate licensing exam in Tennessee, along with instructions on what next steps you need to take.


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

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

Should you fail either one or both parts of the Tennessee real estate exam, you have unlimited opportunities to retake within specific parameters.

If you do pass one section, but not the other, your initial passing score is only valid for two retake attempts or a six-month period, whichever comes first.

Should you not pass the other portion of the exam within those parameters, you’ll have to retake both sections.


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

In Tennessee, PSI allows you to schedule a retake the day after you fail the examination on your first attempt. This means you could retake the test in as little as two days.

In the best case scenario, if you failed the exam on a Wednesday, you could call to schedule a retake on Thursday, and grab an open slot on Friday.

If you fail the real real estate exam any additional times though, you must wait 30 days between attempts to retake.

Know how much time you need to allot to complete all the stages in the licensing process by reading our article on the topic – How Long Does It Take to Get a Real Estate License in Tennessee?


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

Each time you take the real estate license exam in Tennessee, there is a fee. The cost to retake either one or both sections is $39. It’s the same retake fee no matter how many sections you’re taking at once.


What’s Next After Passing the Real Estate Exam in Tennessee?

After passing the Tennessee real estate exam, you will need to pick a broker to work for. The real estate brokerage firm that will sponsor you will sign your license application.

Select a broker from our directory of the top real estate brokerages in Tennessee.

You should also get your fingerprints taken to complete the background check requirements. To know how this process goes, read our article on getting a Tennessee real estate license with violations on your record.

While waiting for your license to be approved, read the pros and cons of having a real estate agent job as a career to be ready for the challenges ahead.

To navigate the real estate industry more effectively, it also pays to know what to do after passing the real estate exam.

It also helps to meet experienced agents to guide your career. You can do this by joining a real estate team.

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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