What if I Don't Pass the NJ Real Estate Exam?

January 1, 2022

Can I Retake the Real Estate License Exam in NJ?

The answer is yes. You can retake the entire exam as many times as needed within 12 months.

Sometimes that creates false confidence, though. "Well, if I fail, I'll just retake it" is the wrong approach. Wrong answers don't turn correct next time, and the odds are, you won't see the exact same questions.

If you're here researching for your first attempt at getting a New Jersey Real Estate License, you should plan to pass on your first attempt. 

If you're here trying to figure out what went wrong on your last attempt/s, you're in the right place. Let's look at reasons people typically fail the real estate exam and how you can build a plan to pass the next time you take it. 


Reasons People Fail the Real Estate Exam in NJ

The main reasons people fail the exam include:

1) Not having enough knowledge of the state-specific laws.

New Jersey has a ton of state specific laws that vary from federal laws. Some are more restrictive (NJ Fair Housing) and others are regarding specific NJ legal situations or past cases. It's important to know these laws and situations, since they make up roughly 15-22 of the potential 110 questions on the NJ licensing exam.

2) Memorizing before understanding the information.

You can memorize 110 answers to questions you think will be on the test, but you'll fail if you get different questions and don't understand the logic behind the answers. Learn - Understand - Memorize. In that order, you'll have an easier time and won't feel like there are nearly as many "trick questions."

3) Studying how everyone else does didn't work for you.

Most people aren't aware of their learning style, so you're not alone. If you've spent your study time re-reading and highlighting the book, you may find that the info didn't "stick." 

4) Studying real estate exam questions or practice tests from sites that don't use local questions.

NJ has a lot of specific laws that are different from federal laws that apply everywhere. Real Estate Schools in NJ teach that info specifically, but online courses and prep systems elsewhere often leave the specifics out.

5) Being unprepared mentally.

The test is designed to challenge you, so you need to prepare yourself. Don't worry about being perfect, but make sure you're ready to handle the unexpected. Study by ensuring you have a complete understanding of the material first and memorizing second.

6) Trying to cram too much.

It's OK to study last minute, but it shouldn't be the only studying you do. Too much studying causes memory fatigue and doesn't allow your brain to retain what you're going over. If you've ever said, "I studied for hours all week and, I still don't get it?" Now you know why.


Study Procrastination - "I'll have plenty of time to study tomorrow."

The biggest mistake I see students making is procrastinating too long before studying. It's easy to tell yourself, "I'm going to study now." and then find something else to do instead. Instead, try to schedule regular study sessions. Set aside a specific amount of time each day to study, and stick to that schedule. Even 10-15 minutes will make a difference; you don't need to spend hours every day studying if you have a plan to follow and keep up with it. 

Failing to Follow a Study Plan

Another common issue is not following a study plan. Some students will try to cram everything into one day, which doesn't work well because they don't know what they don't know, and the added anxiety and pressure don't serve them well. Other students will spend hours trying to memorize every detail of the exam, but that's not necessary. Instead, focus on understanding the concepts behind the exam and then practice answering questions based on those concepts.

Too Much Study Time on What's Not Important

The biggest mistake I see students making is spending too much study time on topics that are less important than others. 

For example, the NJ exam breakdown is under 5% leasing. Contracts are about 18% of the exam. Most textbooks contain the same amount of review material for both topics and don't mention that one is weighted much heavier than the other. It's not that you shouldn't study the lower-weighted topics, but if you're juggling kids, work, and life in general, you need to optimize your study time because there's only so much of it. 

The Toughest Questions on the NJ Real Estate Exam

Some of the most challenging questions are those dealing with state-specific laws. Outside of that, math and contracts are the other two areas that seem to be the most difficult on the exam. Make sure you're studying NJ Real Estate Practice Exams that specifically cover our state's material.


Stay Positive, and Keep Studying

Getting down on yourself won't help; that's obvious - but not easy, especially if you've tried the exam and failed once or more. 

There's no shortage of real estate inspiration posts out there, so I won't take your time on them here, but it can be helpful to refocus on why you're taking the exam in the first place. Are you looking for a better career? Following a dream to be your own boss? Trying to set up a schedule that allows for more time with your family or kids? Refocus on that, and recommit to a better study strategy this time around, and studying will have some emotional force behind it.


What's the next step to get my NJ Real Estate License?

That depends on where you are in the real estate education process. If you're starting out and haven't taken your 75-hour prelicensing course yet, you can start with that. Some states offer different real estate courses for national and state sections, but in NJ, the real estate licensing exam is an all-in-one exam covering state and federal law. 

We offer that course online, taught live, via Zoom. View our course schedule and choose a class here. 

If you've already taken your 75-hour course at another school and are having trouble passing the exam, reach out to us. There's no need to retake the course unless you feel really lost, or it's been over a year, and you no longer qualify based on the state law. 

If you're within the 1-year window, we'd like to help you pass and offer an exam prep program that uses your previous score reports to create study guides with our program. 




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