How Hard Is the Real Estate Exam in New Jersey and How to Pass It the First Time?

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This article goes into detail on what you need to know to pass the New Jersey real estate exam on your first attempt.

We’ll let you in on what the test covers, where to get a solid grasp of that material, and how to study effectively.

Plus, we’ll provide actionable test-taking strategies to help you navigate the exam and maximize your performance.

Continue reading to learn what you can do to best prepare and make the exam easier for you.


Best Way to Pass the New Jersey Real Estate Exam

How to Study for the NJ Real Estate Exam

Preparing for the exam requires you to gain core knowledge related to real estate principles, practices, and legalities. You accomplish that by taking the required pre-licensing course.

The coursework consists of 75 hours of classroom instruction. There are a couple of ways that you can complete your studies:

  • Attend class in person at a physical location.
  • Participate in a virtual classroom with a live instructor.

You must take the course through a provider certified by the New Jersey Real Estate Commission, no matter which delivery mode you pick.

You can choose one from our list of the best real estate classes in New Jersey.

Before you make your choice, make sure you read our A-to-Z video guide comparing real estate classes online vs. classroom courses.


Survey of Experts

Did you take your pre-licensing real estate course online or in person?

Do you think taking a real estate pre-licensing course online can save students time compared to in-person courses?

What is the name of the school where you completed your pre-licensing course?

Expert Insight

Do you see any advantages of taking an online course over the in-person class?

I think you would learn more and be less distracted being in a classroom with a teacher and other students.

You can participate easier and ask plenty of questions. People who choose online classes tend to never give their full attention.

Nadine LoCascio, Keller Williams Real Estate, Agent

Yes. If you’re able to learn remotely and can thrive at your own pace, and can find the drive to keep yourself going, I think online offers a lot more options.

It’s also going to open up courses at varying price points which might help you save money.

James Joslin, James Joslin Real Estate, Real Estate Consultant/Realtor

With online courses, classes are more readily available and travel time is not necessarily needed. Location of the class is not important.

Miklos C. Foltiny, Keller Williams-Princeton, Realtor Associate

Taking your classes online saves trips and time going to school.

Linky Ha, Christie’s International, Real Estate Agent


Once you’ve learned the material, it’s helpful to assess your knowledge and practice applying it. You can do this by taking an exam prep course and doing some practice tests.

Prep courses come with study tools, lessons by topic, and question banks to help you gauge your progress. When you shop for your course, be sure to look for one tailored to the NJ exam.

Taking mock exams can help you improve retention and memory recall. You also get more comfortable with question phrasing and New Jersey’s real estate exam difficulty level.

Furthermore, if you regularly go over the material while taking classes, you’ll be less pressed to cram at exam time. You can make additional headway by doing the following:

  • Study with a buddy or a group. You can share notes and hold each other accountable.
  • Set milestones for your study plan and reward yourself when you meet them.
  • Create visual aids/flashcards and use them to promote active recall.


What to Study for the NJ Real Estate Exam

Is the NJ real estate exam hard to study for? There is a considerable amount of material to review. Note that not everything is covered in equal measure on the exam.

Additionally, you’re likely juggling priorities and need to optimize study time. So to strategically study, you must allot time to topics based on the prevalence of associated questions on the test.

To help you with that, here’s a top recommendation for where to get an idea of what is on the NJ real estate exam: PSI Services’ Candidate Information Bulletin.

PSI conducts exam testing for New Jersey real estate licensing and publishes this booklet based on the current test. According to their content outline, four topics account for more than 50% of the exam questions.

  • Contracts (17%)
  • Practice of Real Estate (13%)
  • Principles of Agency (13%)
  • Financing (10%)

The booklet also details the specific topics you’ll be tested on for New Jersey real estate law.

  • Commission Duties and Powers (2 questions)
  • Licensing Requirements (3 questions)
  • Statutes Governing Licensees (22 questions)
  • Additional Requirements (3 questions)

Use these outlines as a guide when reviewing material from your pre-licensing course. You may also find the additional study materials referenced in the PSI bulletin helpful in your review.


7 Tips for Passing the NJ Real Estate Exam

There’s no substitute for adequate preparation. However, having an approach that guides you on test day can help tilt the odds of passing even more in your favor.

Consider putting these seven practical tips into action on the big day.


1. Eat smart.

Make balanced food choices on exam day. Don’t overeat or over caffeinate. No matter how nervous you feel, take the time to eat something nutritious so that you can concentrate.


2. Work through the exam in rounds.

First, answer what’s easy. It’ll prime your brain, and you may get info that helps later. Then, step through the questions you skipped, ruling out wrong answers to narrow the choices if guessing.


3. Put challenging questions in context.

If you encounter a question that you can’t recall the answer to, try to envision where you learned that info. Science shows that this can channel context-dependent memory.


4. Read every word in each question.

If you misread a word, that can change a question completely. A single word or phrase can change the answer to a question. Words like “except,” “none,” or “all” are examples.


5. Come up with the answer on your own.

Visualize the answer before you read the choices. You’re less likely to become confused if some answer options are similar.


6. Test your logic before changing an answer.

If you’re second-guessing yourself, think about the reasoning that led to your initial choice. That will prevent you from changing an answer based on a gut feeling and possibly getting it wrong.


7. Focus on yourself, not others.

Don’t get rattled if others are done before you. As long as you’re on pace to finish on time, keep reading carefully, consider each question, and review your answers at the end.

Apart from these tips, we have an article walking you through passing the real estate exam the first time, which provides helpful pointers to get you in shape for test day.


Expert Insight

Tips to help future agents pass the real estate exam.

Take practice tests. Review the questions you had difficulty with studying and know them.

A good instructor may be able to point out the type of question that may be on the state exam. Make note of that and circle back to those questions.

— Miklos C. Foltiny, Keller Williams-Princeton, Realtor Associate

Study the materials first before you register for the classes. Currently, classes can be completed in 3 weeks, instead of 4 weeks. Each day, there are 2-3 chapters that you need to study.

— Linky Ha, Christie’s International, Real Estate Agent

Study vocabulary!

— James Joslin, James Joslin Real Estate, Real Estate Consultant/Realtor

What Is the Cost of Taking the New Jersey Real Estate License Exam?

Applicants seeking to become real estate agents in New Jersey will incur two costs associated with the exam.

One is a registration fee. The other is the cost of meeting the pre-licensing education qualification for taking the exam.

So, how much is the real estate exam in NJ in total based on those two costs? A ballpark range is $388 to $538.

  • You will pay $38 directly to the exam administrator PSI when registering.
  • Look to pay between $350 to $500 for either an in-person or live virtual course.

How Hard Is It to Pass the New Jersey Real Estate Exam?

What Is the NJ Real Estate Exam Pass Rate?

The average pass rate over time for the real estate salesperson exam is reportedly 60%. Education providers also indicate that the figure dips below 50% in some testing periods.

This percentage places the test among the more challenging ones in the nation. It’s said that the complexity of NJ real estate law makes those exam questions especially difficult.

So if you’re wondering how many people pass the real estate exam on the first try, keep in mind that preparation plays a role no matter how easy or difficult the exam is.

Consequently, adequately prepare to increase your chances of first-time success.


How Many Questions Are on the NJ Real Estate Exam?

The PSI exam booklet indicates that there are 110 questions worth one point each. Chances are, you’ll also have to answer 5-10 “experimental” questions when taking the real estate exam.

These experimental items don’t impact your score. Instead, PSI gathers statistical data from them to gauge their difficulty and applicability as future test questions.

They do count against the allotted exam time, though. So how long is the NJ real estate exam if you use all of the available time? You can spend up to four hours on the test.

Given the length of time, you may prefer to take the exam in a remote setting of your choice. Can you take the real estate exam online? Yes, you can.

One of the delivery modes is proctored online. You must select this option when scheduling. Remember to follow the PSI rules for remote testing when opting to take this route.


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

Ten percent of the questions on the salesperson exam are math-related. Those 11 questions cover the following two areas:

  • Basic math concepts such as down payments and equity
  • Calculations for transactions like property tax and commissions


What Is the NJ Real Estate Exam Passing Score?

You must get 77 correct answers to pass the New Jersey salesperson exam. That represents 70% of the total number of questions on the test.

You’ll know whether you passed as soon as you finish the exam. Your results will be displayed on the computer screen. Following that, PSI will email you a score report.


Survey of Experts

How difficult was it for you to study and pass the New Jersey real estate license exam?

How many attempts did it take you to pass your real estate license exam?

Expert Insight

What would you recommend real estate students to invest extra in to ensure passing the exam on the first try?

The state test is worded differently than the real estate school tests. So, read every question very carefully as they are designed to trip you up. Thankfully, I passed both the school test and the state test on the first try.

Suzy Leydenfrost, Keller Williams NJ Metro Group, Sales Associate

Taking valid notes during classes either online or in person. Purchasing study prep texts. Put the work in on math questions.

Angela Salisbury, Keller Williams Towne Square Realty, Sales Associate

Study from your teacher, your book, and most importantly, from the study guide PSI gives you.

Ashley Jimenez, Keller Williams Westfield, Realtor/Sales Associate

What Happens if You Fail the Real Estate Exam in New Jersey?

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

The only restriction you have for retakes is a time deadline. Your eligibility to take the exam expires one year from the date it’s issued.

Therefore, you can retest as many times as you desire within those 12 months. However, you must pass the exam and apply before the expiration date, or it’s back to pre-licensing class.


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

You can’t schedule a retake the same day you fail because PSI needs time to process real estate exam results and report them to the New Jersey Real Estate Commission.

The earliest you can call to make a new appointment is the following day. You can then book the first exam slot that works for your calendar.

Before you do, review the diagnostic information on your score report. It tells you where you did well and didn’t. Use that info to decide if you need to brush up on any areas before retesting.


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

Every time you take the exam, you have to pay PSI the registration fee. The cost is $38, which is not refundable or transferable.


Apart from this guide, make sure to read our other articles for all the information about the NJ licensing process:


Your Next Actions After Passing the New Jersey Real Estate Exam

Put these tips into action so you can create and stay on top of a study plan that results in exam success on your first try.

Once you pass the exam, you should work on getting a licensed broker to sponsor you. When picking one, use our guide on how to choose the right real estate brokerage firm to work for.

Then, check out our directory of the best real estate brokers in New Jersey, which lists the top companies in your area.

When you get your license, it’s time to get into business. These resources are great additions to your arsenal of tools for success as a licensed practicing agent:

  1. I Just Got My Real Estate License, Now What? — Get a free PDF checklist of actions you need to take after passing your real estate exam.
  2. What Are the Pros and Cons of Being a Real Estate Agent as a Career? — Know the benefits and drawbacks of being a sales agent.
  3. A-to-Z Guide on How to Join a Real Estate Team — Learn the basics of choosing the best real estate team and tips to get you accepted.

Improving your local visibility, building brand awareness, and enhancing your online presence will be your top priorities as you work towards becoming a successful real estate agent in New Jersey.

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.

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