Your All-in-One North Carolina Real Estate Exam Guide

By Ciprian Morariu Published: January 30, 2024

Are you looking for a lucrative career in the real estate industry in North Carolina? 

If yes, congratulations on making a good decision! Real estate is a rewarding career choice that offers equal parts satisfaction and challenges.

A career in real estate comes with its own set of learnings, experiences, and lucrative opportunities. 

The industry welcomes everyone, be it a complete fresher or someone switching careers.

Did you know that an experienced real estate professional can easily make $100K annually? 

The demand for residential and commercial real estate in North Carolina has been steadily increasing and now is a good time to enter the market and bear the fruits. 

We understand that becoming a real estate professional is easier said than done, however, we believe that with the right approach and a well-put plan, the goal is certainly achievable. 

If you are interested in knowing more about the North Carolina real estate exam and what it takes to clear it, then we have put together this article for you. 

North Carolina is one of the few broker-only states in the country and it has a specific set of rules and regulations that must be fulfilled. 

In this step-by-step guide, you will learn about the prerequisites to become a real estate broker in NC.

After reading this article, you will be able to tackle the licensing exam with confidence and prepare yourself for clearing it on your first attempt.

Exam Guide North Carolina Real Estate

What’s on the Real Estate Exam?

Overview of Exam Content

One of the most common questions asked by first-time applicants is - what's on the real estate exam in North Carolina? Let us walk you through the exam content in detail below. 

For the uninitiated, the real estate licensing exam is based on the pre-licensing course curriculum. 

This means that the topics and subjects covered during your pre-licensing education are going to make the exam questions. 

According to the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC), here are the topics you will learn as part of your exam preparation: 

  • Property Ownership
  • Real Estate Laws
  • Real Estate Principles
  • Land Use Regulations and Government Controls
  • Real Estate Contract Laws
  • Real Estate Taxation
  • Sales and Agency Contracts
  • Property Management and Tenant Rights
  • Fair Housing
  • Real Property Valuation
  • Conveyance of Real Property
  • Real Estate Commissions
  • Basic Construction
  • Real Estate Insurance and Taxes

You will be learning about these topics as part of your 75 hours of pre-licensing education before the final exam. There will be around 17 major topics in total as part of your coursework. 

In case you wish to get your hands on the complete topic list, you can visit the official website of the North Carolina Real Estate Commission (NCREC) website and download the pre-licensing syllabus. 

Note that you are free to choose between in-person classroom training or online classes as per your preference. 

Types of Questions

Now that you have a basic overview of the common topics and exam content, the next step is to find out what are the types of questions in the North Carolina real estate exam. 

The licensing exam questionnaire can be broadly classified into three levels for the sake of understanding. Let us take a detailed look at what these levels are and the different types of questions you can expect at each level. 

1. Level 1: Recall based questions

At this level, you will be tested on your knowledge of the fundamental concepts of the real estate industry. 

You should be able to remember and recall the core facts and basics to explain key ideas, common descriptions, and real estate procedures. 

To tackle level 1 questions, you should have a strong grasp of the definitions, facts, and basic concepts of the industry. 

2. Level 2: Application-based questions

At this level, you will be evaluated on your ability to draw new conclusions and form new connections based on your knowledge. 

You should be able to illustrate your deeper understanding of the real estate industry and its related procedures, processes, and principles. 

Level 2 type will require you to relate, compare, and interpret the facts and information to apply solutions to problems. 

3. Level 3: Analysis based questions

By now, you should be able to utilize your knowledge and understanding of the industry’s laws, regulations, principles, and practices to solve hypothetical situations. 

This means you will be evaluated on your ability to reinforce existing ideas and concepts to provide effective solutions to common real-world problems that you will encounter in your career. 

Level 3 requires analytical thinking and a strong grasp of basics as well as advanced topics.

Each level offers a specific set of questions and there will be 120 questions in total. 

All of them will be multiple-choice questions where you will have to choose one right answer from the four options.

Out of these, 80 questions will be from the national section and 40 questions will be from the state-specific section. 

To clear the exam, you must score at least 57 out of 80 questions correctly (in the national section) and 29 out of 40 questions correctly (in the state section).  

Note that in addition to the total 120 questions, you can expect to face 5-10 pretest questions during your licensing exam. However, they will not be counted in your final score.

North Carolina Real Estate Exam Guide

Importance of North Carolina Real Estate License Exam

Career Opportunities

After passing the licensing exam to be a real estate broker or provisional broker in North Carolina, you can engage in real estate transactions without any state or federal restrictions. 

You can help clients sell, buy, and lease residential and commercial real estate in the state of North Carolina. 

A licensed real estate broker can easily work with a sponsoring broker or brokerage firm to learn the ropes and gain real-world industry experience. 

Almost every senior broker or real estate agency seeks newly licensed real estate professionals, and getting a license means you can give your career a solid start. 

Regulatory Compliance

In addition to a wide array of career opportunities and possibilities that you can enjoy with a real estate license, there is another crucial reason you should consider getting one.

Without having a state-approved license, your career in real estate will be limited and growth potential will be restricted. 

Plus, working without a license will put you at risk of violating the state and federal rules and regulations for real estate professionals. 

If you want to ensure maximum regulatory compliance and safeguard your career prospects, getting an NC license is a must. 

North Carolina Real Estate License Exam Prep

Online Courses

Online pre-licensing courses teach you all the subjects necessary to successfully launch a real estate career. You have access to practice questions and mock tests that give you the ability to face the licensing exam with confidence. 

It is recommended that you sign up for an online real estate prep course in North Carolina to improve your odds of clearing your exam on the first attempt. 

Practice Tests and Mock Exams

Many professional agents and brokers suggest that taking practice tests is a good way to gain confidence before the licensing exam. 

When you practice sample NC real estate exam questions it gives you a simulated feel of what to expect in the final exam. 

Mock exams can help you develop speed and skill to go through the duration of the exam in a structured, well-paced manner. 

To start, ask your college or real estate prep course provider to give you access to practice tests and mock questions. Set a timer as you attempt to answer the questions. 

Study Groups and Partnerships

To boost your morale and confidence, find a study partner to prepare alongside for the licensing exam.

This way you can hold each other accountable for your learning progress while helping solve doubts during exam preparation. 

NC Real Estate Exam Cost

Registration Fees

To appear for the licensing exam, you will have to pay a one-time NC real estate exam cost of $156. 

Note that if you fail to clear the exam in one attempt, you will have to re-appear for the exam and pay the fee again. 

Additional Costs (if any)

In addition to the licensing exam fee, you will have to bear some additional costs for obtaining the certificate of character clearance from the local sheriff's office or a police station. 

Exam Day Tips

Pre-Exam Preparation

Start your preparation with the subjects that you know about and then progressively work your way to mastering the tough ones. 

Make sure to allocate each topic and subject enough time so you feel confident and comfortable in your preparation. 

To get a feel of what to expect in the final exam, you can go through previous years’ NC real estate exams. 

Many students have claimed that taking notes and using flashcards for key concepts is a good way to retain information and ensure you memorize facts faster.