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

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As with any other test, effective preparation is required for success on the Idaho real estate salesperson exam. Keep reading for details on what to expect and how to develop a study plan.

This article covers exam content, essential study resources, and actionable learning techniques. It also provides test-taking tips to help you strategize what’s helpful to do during the exam.

Here are the things you need to know.


Best Way to Pass the Idaho Real Estate Exam

How to Study for the Idaho Real Estate Exam

Idaho’s licensing process requires 90 hours of real estate school, where you’ll acquire the knowledge needed for success on the salesperson exam.

That coursework is divided into two modules. Each one is 45 hours.

  • Module 1 – Fundamental concepts of the real estate business
  • Module 2 – Applied skills for listing, selling, and closing property

The Idaho Real Estate Commission allows flexibility in how you complete these courses. You can choose between three formats based on your schedule and desired learning environment.

If you prefer a structured, immersive learning experience and the class location and schedule are convenient, you can study in a classroom setting.

If attending class in person is a no-go, you can do distance learning via a real-time virtual classroom or self-paced instruction online.

Know which method can help you learn and study better by reading our A-to-Z guide comparing real estate classes online vs. classroom courses.

Once you’ve completed pre-licensing education, you can firm up what you learn in class by taking an exam prep course.

Most commonly offered as an internet-based program completed at your speed, this preparation lets you analyze your progress and study based on knowledge strengths and weaknesses.

Prep courses also include mock exams, which you should use as a study aid even if you do extra preparation independently.

Practice tests simulate the exam environment. As such, they are excellent tools for giving you a feel for the real estate exam difficulty level and the timed test-taking experience.

Additional study strategies to help you be better prepared for test day include ones like these:

  • Keep a healthy balance between studies and personal life.
  • Study topics more than once and space those times out.
  • Learn consistently versus doing cram sessions.
  • Create a realistic timetable that you can stick to.
  • Set achievable milestones to help you stay on track.


What to Study for the Idaho Real Estate Exam

Creating a strategic game plan before reviewing 90 hours of coursework is highly beneficial.

Here’s where to get an idea of what is on the real estate exam so that you can most effectively map out your study efforts.

The Idaho Real Estate Candidate Handbook provides substantive insights on the test. Pearson VUE, the company that develops and administers the exam program, publishes this booklet.

One of its most valuable aspects is the detail provided on the test topics. Pearson VUE includes a descriptive outline for each of the two portions of the test—national and state.

Those outlines not only show the main topics covered on the test. They also present subtopics and tell you how many questions you can anticipate in each subject area.

The advantage is an improved ability to structure your study sessions in content and time.

For example, plan to brush up on seven topics for the national portion which focuses on the basics of the profession. The first four on the list account for half of that section’s score.

  • Real Estate Contracts and Agency
  • Real Estate Practice
  • Property Value and Appraisal
  • Property Characteristics and Legal Descriptions
  • Ownership, Transfer, and Title Recording
  • Disclosures and Environmental Issues
  • Financing and Settlement

The state portion tests your knowledge of five areas: License and Commission Rules, Agency Law, Principles and Practices, Licensing Requirements, and Commission Duties and Powers.

Forty percent of the total points you can earn fall under License Law and Rules of the Commission. Agency Law accounts for another 25 percent of your score.


7 Tips for Passing the Idaho Real Estate Exam

Even if you understand the material thoroughly, test-taking skills can make the difference between passing and failing. The following tips can help you perform well.


1. Go for the low-hanging fruit first.

You waste time struggling with troublesome questions at the start. Instead, answer what you know to be sure you get those points. After that, cycle back to the items you left blank.


2. Ignore answer choices when reading questions.

Come up with your own answer and use it as a yardstick against which to measure the available choices. That helps you be more confident in your response.


3. Consider all the answers.

Avoid picking the first answer you think is correct. Remember, you need to choose the best one.


4. Stay alert for clues.

Sometimes, information in one question can jog your memory about the answer to another. Be on the lookout for these clues and use them to tackle questions that challenge you.


5. Use problem-solving strategies.

When guessing, use the question wording to eliminate possibilities and rule out answers you know are flat-out wrong or don’t make sense in the context. Then, make an educated guess.


6. Look for the familiar.

As you read the questions and answer options, look for words and phrases that were in your coursework. Doing so can help you find the correct answer.


7. Set a schedule of progress.

Have an idea of how far along you should be at different time intervals, and check your rate of progress periodically. But try not to check so often that it disrupts your concentration.


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

Registering for the exam will cost you $80. But before you can do that, you must complete the required preparatory education.

The price for the two 45-hour pre-licensing modules varies by school. On average, you’ll pay around $700, with online and in-person courses priced comparably.

Additionally, budget an additional $75 to $140 if you plan to take an exam prep course.

You will also have to pay for a background check for an Idaho real estate license.

Apart from these, there are other licensing expenses to prepare for. We break them down in an article on Idaho real estate license costs.


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

What Is the Idaho Real Estate Exam Pass Rate?

The Commission does not publish pass statistics for the Idaho real estate salesperson exam.

Some pre-licensing course providers post the average success rate for their students on their website and refer to the Idaho exam as purposely challenging but not impossible to pass.

As you compare real estate schools in Idaho, make it a point to check their pass rate. As a point of reference, you can consider that the national average is approximately 50 percent.

Also, remember that no matter the percentage, how many people pass the real estate exam the first time is impacted by how well they prepare in addition to how hard the exam is.


How Many Questions Are on the Idaho Real Estate Exam?

The two portions of the Idaho real estate agent exam have 120 multiple-choice questions that count toward your score. They are distributed as follows:

  • Eighty questions on the national portion
  • Forty Idaho-specific questions

Also, be aware that you must answer any included pretest questions. These items do not impact your score in any way.

Instead, they are used to gather performance data and help test developers assess whether they should incorporate these questions into future exams.

Expect five of these items in the national portion and five to ten in the state section. You won’t know which questions they are. So, do your best on all items when taking the real estate exam.


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

Nine questions involve real estate math calculations. The specific areas include the following:

  • Property management calculations
  • Property area calculations
  • Property valuation
  • Investments
  • Settlement and closing costs
  • Loan financing costs


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

Your real estate exam results are reported as a scaled score versus a percentage or number of questions answered correctly.

This equating process adjusts for slight variations in difficulty between different versions of the exam. So, it ensures fairness regardless of which questions appear on your exam form.

The scale for the salesperson exam is 0-100. And the passing point is 70 for each section.


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

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

You get unlimited retakes on the exam. However, be aware that a time limit applies if you pass one section and fail the other.

In that instance, your deadline for a successful retake is one year from the date of the passed portion.

Also, if you do not test successfully on both parts and apply for your license within that year, you’ll have to retake the entire exam.

Read our tips for studying for the real estate exam to increase your chances of passing the test the first time you take it.


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

According to the Candidate Handbook, you cannot schedule a reexamination at the test center, and at least 24 hours must have gone by before you make a new appointment.

You’re also required to book a test slot at least 24 hours before the date you want to retest.

So, you may only need to wait 48 hours to retake the exam if you can get an appointment that quickly. Otherwise, your wait time will depend on whether there are openings at the test center.

For the time commitment involved in completing all the other steps in the licensing process, read our guide on how long to get an Idaho real estate license.


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

Yes, each registration for the exam requires the $80 fee, even if you are only taking one portion.


With this information, you can better organize, focus, and make the best use of your study time.

Also, you can get the scoop on other aspects of the licensing process by reading our post on how to get a real estate license in Idaho.

Pay special attention to getting a sponsorship from a licensed Idaho real estate brokerage. This is a prerequisite for acquiring an active license. So, make sure to carefully choose the right broker to work for as a new agent.

It’s also a good idea to arm yourself with information on what it’s like to work as a realtor. The following resources can help:

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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