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

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In this article, we take a look at how hard the Massachusetts real estate exam is, what the test entails, and how you can best prepare to pass it the first time around.

We will discuss the topics covered in the exam and the score you need to get to ace it. We will also share some tips that can help you study more efficiently.

Read on to know what it would take to get the real estate exam results you want to achieve.


Best Way to Pass the Massachusetts Real Estate Exam

How to Study for the Massachusetts Real Estate Exam

Studying for the real estate exam in Massachusetts begins with taking up the required 40 hours of pre-licensing coursework.

You have the option to take your classes either through remote learning or through a traditional classroom.

The method you choose for your real estate education sets the pace for how you will effectively study for your exam, so it’s important to weigh your options carefully.

Our A-to-Z guide comparing the pros and cons of real estate classes online vs. classroom courses can help you decide.

Make sure that throughout pre-licensing classes you take comprehensive notes. Break them up by topic and convert them into outlines for easy review.

When you get to straight-up facts, create flash cards so you can quiz yourself.

If studying on your own becomes a challenge, don’t hesitate to reach out to classmates and form a study group.

Reviewing with others is a great way to stay focused and accountable for putting in the necessary study time to get the exam results you want.


What to Study for the Massachusetts Real Estate Exam

If you’re wondering where to get an idea of what is on the real estate exam, your best bet is to review the PSI Candidate Information Bulletin.

The bulletin contains a detailed outline of all the topics covered in the exam, as well as what percentage of questions you’ll answer for each topic.

Key topics covered in the general portion of the exam include:

  • Property ownership
  • Land use controls and regulation
  • 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

Within the state portion, you’ll find questions related to:

  • Duties and powers of the Board of Registration of Real Estate Brokers and Salespersons
  • Licensing requirements
  • Requirements governing licensees
  • Contracts
  • Consumer protection laws
  • Environmental issues and hazardous materials
  • Massachusetts fair housing law
  • Landlord tenant law

Additional questions may include coverage of ownership, registered land and condos, cooperatives and timeshares.

Figuring out how to pass the real estate exam in Massachusetts requires that you devote adequate study time to all of these topic areas.


6 Tips for Passing the Massachusetts Real Estate Exam

With the right resources, and a topic breakdown at the ready, it’s time to formulate a study plan. This will help you effectively prepare to pass the real estate exam the first time out.

To streamline your strategy, use these tips to get ready for test day.


1. Take good notes.

Even if the topic being covered in class isn’t the most interesting, make sure you’re writing down all the key points.

Taking good notes will make it easier for you to study later and ensure you’re reviewing all the relevant material.


2. Make topic outlines.

Since some topics are covered over multiple classes, a great way to keep everything together is by creating outlines.

Combine all related information into a single study sheet, in outline form, for quicker review.


3. Build a flashcard set.

For all the facts you have to memorize, like real estate terms or even real estate laws, create flashcards.

Quizzing yourself on these each time you study will help with memorization.


4. Find a study group.

Even if studying on your own is working, sometimes it’s best to get together with a group just to ensure nothing is falling through the cracks.

Being able to talk through topics and quiz each other also changes up the study routine a little, keeping you more focused and engaged.


5. Find some downtime.

As much studying as you think you’ll need, it’s also important to schedule breaks. Your brain will benefit from some downtime, returning to studying fully recharged.

During your break time, make sure you aren’t thinking about the exam. Read a book, go out with friends, or watch a movie for a total brain break.


6. Have a testing plan.

As much work as you put into knowing the information that’s on the test, you should also have a strategy for how to take the exam efficiently.

This includes taking your time, reading through each question (and the answers) completely before selecting the one you think is right.

It also means deciding what you’ll do when you come to a hard question. A good strategy is to skip the hard ones and come back to them after answering the easier questions.

You should also have a strategy for questions where you aren’t sure of the answer at all. Situations like these are best handled using a process of elimination to narrow things down.

It’s also okay to allow yourself to guess. If you have no idea what the answer to a particular question is, take a guess. All of your studying means even a guess is an informed one.


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

The cost for the real estate exam in Massachusetts varies based on what type of license you’re getting.

The first-time cost for the salesperson exam is $85, while it’s $106 for the broker exam.

To register, your easiest course of action is to go through PSI’s online portal, but you can also call 800-733-9267.

For a complete breakdown of all licensing expenses, refer to our article on how much a real estate license in MA costs.


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

What Is the MA Real Estate Exam Pass Rate?

Is the Massachusetts real estate exam hard? In Massachusetts, real estate exam difficulty is purposefully high without being too hard, and your likelihood of passing directly correlates to how much you prepare.

How many people pass the real estate exam the first time? On average about 50-60 percent of people pass the real estate salesperson exam on their first attempt.

However, you can improve these chances with the right pre-license education package.

Some real estate schools in Massachusetts will offer up a guaranteed pass rate, or have passing statistics that far exceed the average, giving you a better chance.


How Many Questions Are on the Massachusetts Real Estate Exam?

Taking the real estate exam requires you to be in the state of Massachusetts at a physical testing center.

If you’re wondering if you can take the Massachusetts real estate exam online from home, the answer is no.

However, once you’ve arrived at the testing site and checked in, the test will be administered via computer.

The exam itself is broken into two sections: state and general. Regardless of license type, the number of questions in each section is the same.

You’ll have to answer 80 general questions and 40 state questions, for a total of 120 questions.

You’re given 150 minutes to answer the general section questions, and 90 minutes for the state section questions.


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

Real estate calculations make up 10 percent of the salesperson exam and eight percent of the broker exam. You’ll find these questions in the national section of the test.

Questions on both exams include those related to basic math concepts and calculations for transactions.

Brokers may also have to answer math questions related to rate of return, as well as calculations for variation.


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

In order to pass the real estate exam in Massachusetts, you must score at least a 70 percent.

When you pass, you’ll receive a successful score report.

If you do not pass, you’ll receive a diagnostic report that highlights your strengths and weaknesses. This should help you study for your next attempt.

If you’ve met all other requirements for licensure and passed the exam, you’ll receive your license as a new Massachusetts real estate agent while still at your testing location.


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

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

While you do have an unlimited number of attempts to pass the exam, you must pass within two years from the completion of your pre-licensing education.

You’ll receive an Education Certificate when you complete the pre-licensing education requirement, and that’s the start date for your timeframe.

Failure to pass within two years means you have to get a new Education Certificate and retake the entire test, even if you’ve already passed one section.


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

You must wait 24 hours after failing one or both portions of the exam to schedule a retake. At that time you can call and schedule a retake based on availability.

This means that if you failed your test on a Tuesday, you could call Wednesday, and retake as soon as Thursday if there are open testing slots.


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

You do have to pay a fee each time you retake. However, this cost is different from what you paid initially.

All retakes, regardless of license type, carry a $54 fee.


Once you pass the exam, you can then complete all the other requirements for getting a Massachusetts real estate license, such as working for a licensed Massachusetts real estate broker.

Choosing a broker to work for as a new agent is required if you’re aiming to earn your broker license after having at least three years of salesperson experience.

As you work toward building a successful real estate practice in the state, let the following useful resources guide you to put your career in the right direction:

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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