Your Guide to Navigating the New York State Real Estate Exam

By Ciprian Morariu Published: December 26, 2023

Be it the iconic Times Square to the mesmerizing Central Park, there’s something for everyone in New York City. 

The City of Dreams, as it is popularly known, is welcoming to anyone who wants to make it their home. New York is one of the top real estate markets in the world and continues to attract domestic as well as international buyers and investors. 

A career in real estate in New York is a lucrative and exciting opportunity to pursue, especially if you are someone who values financial freedom and independence. 

This is why working in New York’s real estate market opens opportunities for growth and success.

Whether you want to become a real estate salesperson, broker, or appraiser in New York, one of the key steps to start your career is to clear the licensing exam. 

Much has been said and written about the New York State real estate exam, but with so much information, things can quickly become overwhelming for aspiring real estate professionals. 

In this step-by-step guide, we will dive deep into every aspect of the real estate licensing exam in New York to help you get started. 

We will cover the details of the exam, including the coursework, difficulty level, type of questions, and also share preparation tips.

New York State Real Estate Exam

Understanding the Exam Structure and Format

If you have completed the pre-licensing coursework for your real estate training, you probably are acquainted with the fundamental topics and subjects. 

To understand what is on the real estate exam in New York, one can start from the basics first. 

The pre-licensing coursework will cover the basics of the real estate industry, including topics such as real estate laws, real estate finance, contracts, and fair practices. If you are going through completing the 76-hour course right now, pay close attention to these topics. 

The New York state licensing exam consists of 75 questions in total, and it covers a broad range of topics with both national and state portions. 

The test makers create questions with multiple-choice answers based on state and national laws. Sometimes, these questions might look familiar to you and that is simply because they are a part of the pre-licensing coursework.

Sections and Modules Covered

If you are not familiar with the sections and modules covered in the New York State real estate exam, here’s a quick checklist of the key topics to keep handy: 

  • Real estate laws and regulations
  • Legal descriptions
  • Real estate practices
  • Types of property and their ownership
  • Land survey
  • Real estate contracts
  • Land use
  • Lines and Easements
  • Introduction to Construction
  • Real estate financing and basic terms
  • Lending and underwriting
  • Property valuation and real estate appraisal
  • Insurance and taxes
  • Real estate property management
  • Human rights and Fair practices
  • Commercial and Investment properties

The above-mentioned topics are important as they are designed to test your knowledge and understanding of the state and national industry. 

You will be expected to keep a strong grasp of the rules, regulations, guidelines, and best practices of the real estate industry. 

Time Allocation and Scoring

For applicants appearing for the New York state real estate exam, the total time limit to complete all the questions is 90 minutes. 

To pass the licensing exam, you must score at least 70% of the questions correctly. 

The Importance of Practice Exam

Purpose and Benefits of Practice Exams

Have you set your sights on a career in real estate in New York state? If yes, then it’s time you understand the importance of practice exams and mock tests in your preparation strategy. 

Completing New York state real estate practice exams is a great way to identify your current situation in terms of how prepared you are. 

A practice test is a good yardstick to measure your level of understanding of the concepts and topics. It is a way to find out what types of questions you will face on the day of the licensing exam.

Completing practice exams will also help you get a better understanding of the time allotted as you get familiar with the exam and learn how to manage the stress that comes along with it. 

Put simply, the more practice exams you complete, the better you will get at performing on the day of the final exam. As you get better, so will your chances of clearing the exam successfully. 

Accessing Practice Materials

Many first-time applicants have a common question - is there a way to access NY real estate exam questions and answers to prepare better?

The answer is if you have signed up for pre-licensing education from a state-approved college or university, then you will be covered. 

Even if you enroll in an online course provider, you will get access to practice materials, and practice tests, including mock tests, coaching, doubt-clearing sessions, live Q&As, recorded lectures, and more. 

This is why investing in pre-licensing education is important - not only will you learn from expert trainers and teachers, but you will also find access to practice materials to help you prepare better.

Practice material and learning resources such as - webinars, flashcards, and group study sessions among others come standard with your pre-licensing training package. 

You can study at your own pace, and reach out to teachers and fellow students to clear your doubts.

Real Estate Exam New York State

Assessing the Level of Difficulty

Factors Influencing Exam Difficulty

How hard is the real estate exam in NY - this is one of the most frequently asked questions for aspirants preparing for the exam. 

To answer this question, one has to take a holistic view of the multiple factors which can influence the exam difficulty. 

Firstly, your knowledge and understanding of the coursework can directly influence how well (or badly) you perform in the licensing exam. You must get a good grasp on the state as well as national laws and regulations to ensure you are well-versed and prepared for the final exam. 

Secondly, your time management skills can also influence your ability to do well in the final exam. Applicants who have a hard time managing their time and schedule will find it difficult to complete 75 questions in a period of 90 minutes. 

Lastly, you will find the licensing exam difficult if you have not taken any practice tests. Practice tests show you real-world examples of the type of questions you can expect to see in the exam. 

Students who do not have access to practice tests and mock papers might find it difficult to adapt to the exam stress and pressure.  

Tips for Exam Preparation

Passing a real estate exam can seem like a daunting task, especially if you are taking it for the first time. However, with smart practice and careful preparation, you can easily clear the exam. 

It is important to understand that completing the NY state exam is not an easy task, as the questions come from a range of topics and subjects. 

As the bar to become a real estate professional in New York is high - thus, these exams are designed to be harder, to weed out the undeserving applicants. 

Typically, the pass rate for the NY state exam is around 50%, thus only half of the applicants taking the exam pass it. 

If you are preparing for the New York State real estate exam, then you must follow certain best practices and tips that can help you achieve good scores. Let’s look at them below: 

  • Enroll in a pre-licensing course training to learn from professionals and get access to practice tests and mock exam papers. You will gain knowledge and skills that you will not be able to gain on your own. 
  • Start with the topics you are most comfortable with first and then work your way up from there. You must practice both easy and hard questions but first, build confidence. However, do not ignore tricky questions or keep them for last-minute preparation. 
  • Plan your calendar and use specific time blocks to dedicate to practicing each topic. Give yourself enough time to work on your strong and weak subjects. 
  • Complete practice tests more often and pay attention to the questions you find difficult to solve in time. Try to work on difficult questions more often. 
  • Reach out to teachers and trainers for doubt-clearing without hesitation. Make sure you understand the solution clearly and not just for the sake of memorizing the answer. 
  • Take and review class notes as you progress through the coursework. You can also make note cards and flashcards to review important concepts and topics. 
  • Most pre-licensing courses also come with additional exam prep training. Make sure you inquire about it and complete the extra training for better preparation. 
  • Go through previous years’ NY real estate exams in detail. Try to look for common questions and repeating patterns to focus more on those topics. 
  • Find a study partner to prepare for the licensing exam. Learning with a study buddy can help you stay motivated and can help solve doubts or assist with learning. 
  • Be thorough in your understanding of real estate laws and regulations. It is common to misinterpret or misread the small details which can make or break your chances. 
  • Avoid stress during your preparation as it would hamper your learning speed and retention ability. You can practice managing stress by doing exercises and taking breaks. You should also get good sleep and full meals. 
  • Do not second guess your ability to get a good score and pass the exam. Sometimes, clearing the exam might seem like an impossible task, but you must continue to believe in yourself and put your best efforts out there. 

Remember that real estate exams can be exhaustive and extensive, therefore, you will need more than just willpower and luck to succeed. 

All the above tips are proven to help you stay focused, calm, and fully prepared for taking and successfully passing the New York state licensing exam.