Hack the NJ Real Estate Exam with Multiple Choice Strategy

April 11, 2022

It's no secret that the real estate industry is booming. In order to take advantage of this growth, you'll need to pass your state's real estate exam. The good news is that you can use multiple choice strategy to hack the exam and increase your chances of success! In this blog post, we will discuss what type of questions are being asked on the exam, how to understand the structure of each question, and how to recognize the answer choices from the context of previous reading, lectures, etc. Let's get started!

"Are you going to teach me how to cheat on the real estate exam?"

Nope. Well, maybe a little. There's nothing illegal here, and we didn't break into servers and steal the answer key.

You've probably heard people say that the exam can be confusing, questions are worded strange, or in a manner meant to trick the test taker.

Today, we're going to turn the tables. We're going to use psychology, grammar, syntax, and some old-fashioned strategy to break down how to get a better score and answer questions correctly when you don't know the answer.

Here's how we'll do it. You need to know these three things.

  1. The type of questions asked. 
  2. The structure of each question.
  3. The answer choices for each question.

From there, it's just practice. Luckily, the test prep is built in if you're taking one of our classes. Just apply what you learn to all the questions you're already using, and see your results improve.

Budget your time for a multiple-choice exam.

How much time is allotted? How many questions are you required to answer in that time?

The NJ real estate exam is 110 questions with a 4-hour time limit. That's a little over two minutes per question.

You'll be able to answer some instantly and many in less than two minutes. So realistically, you'll have more than two minutes each.

Now you have a time budget. Let's figure out how to spend that time wisely with some strategy tactics.

Ignore the answer choices.

Just don't read them. If you can't answer the question without looking at the choices, you don't know the answer (at least, without the suggestion of the choices - which we'll get to in a couple of minutes.)

Mark it and move on. We'll come back to it later.

First, let's get through all the questions we can answer easily or quickly. This will help build confidence and momentum going into the more challenging questions. There's also a good chance you'll spot the answers to early questions in some of the other questions later in the exam.

Once you've gone through the exam, skipping any questions you don't know automatically without reading the choices, it's time for the next step.

Go back and look at only the questions you marked. This is where we'll start using some of those answer choices to help us out.

Use obvious strategies to improve your odds. (Obviously.)

"Eliminate answers that are obviously wrong."

That sounds so simple. Surprisingly, not everyone does this when taking the real estate exam.

In most sample questions, you can spot one or sometimes two questions that are not the answer. Eliminate those from contention. Now your odds are improved by 25%-50%.

The first thing you should do when you come back to a question is to try to eliminate any answers that are obviously wrong. This will help you focus on the choices that are actually plausible.

"If you can eliminate two of the four choices, you have a 50% chance of getting the question right."

Scrutinize answer choices, then decide.

Here are a few things to look for and some common principles to guide you when examining the remaining answer choices.

  • Examine opposites carefully. One is definitely incorrect, and the other is likely to be correct.
  • If you have to guess, avoid choices that use absolute terms like "all," "nothing," or "never." Options that use open terms like "some," "most," and "often" are more likely to be correct.
  • Choices that are more specific, use more technical language than the others, or are more detailed are likely to be correct.
  • If one answer choice is longer than the others, it's more likely to be correct.

None of those are absolute rules that work every time. However, they sway the odds in your favor when you don't know the answer right away.

The last two, in particular, use syntax and sentence structure to steer you in the right direction. Test providers have to be correct without debate when test providers write questions. That means they have to match the question to an answer choice precisely - and it's pretty tough to write multiple answer options and have them be incorrect.

The result in many cases is that the longer answer choices will be more specific and end up being the correct choice.

Do this before choosing "all of the above."

Verify at least two of the answers by asking, "can this be true if it's the only choice?"

If the answer is yes twice, it's safe to assume the third fits, too, and all of the above is correct.

This is an excellent way to check your work and make sure you're not just choosing "all of the above" because it's an easy way out, or you're unsure.

One final multiple choice strategy

Read each question carefully without skipping a word. It's easy to get numb after answering a ton of questions. Sometimes, you'll develop a pattern of answering questions correctly or quickly and skipping a word or two when reading the next question. That can make all the difference if it's a question that says, "name all of the ______ EXCEPT XYZ."

Multiple-choice exams require a completely different thought process than essays. First, you need to know what type of questions are being asked. Then you need to understand the structure of each question. Finally, you must be able to recognize the answer choices from the context of previous reading, lectures, etc. We've got you covered if all of this sounds intimidating and you want help enacting these strategies. Our courses are built and taught using the Feynman Technique, and we actively use spaced repetition reviews to help make the most of what you've spent time learning. 

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