“Those Questions Are Too Difficult”

I got a call today from a former student.  She said, “Karen, I’ve decided that I am going to take your review class.  I tried some of the questions in the exam manual and they are too hard.  I’m not going to do them.  I just want to take the review.”

I told her that she should take the review class AND do the state exam practice questions.  If the questions are easy, you aren’t learning.

Think about weightlifting.  Let’s say that 50 pounds is your comfort zone.  You have a few options.  You can lift 10-pound weights all day long.  That gives you the feeling of accomplishment of having successfully lifted, but it really isn’t helping you get better.  You could also lift 50 pounds.  Then try to lift 55 pounds or maybe even 60 pounds.  That is difficult.  You feel like you aren’t achieving anything because you couldn’t do as many reps.  But that’s what you need to do.

It’s not fun to do the difficult questions.  It’s not fun to get 68% on the practice exams.  But we are often poor judges of when we are learning or improving.  Slower and harder does not mean less productive.  We probably learn more from the difficult questions than the easy questions.

Doing easy questions give us the illusion of mastery.  You feel good about yourself for getting all of the questions right, but you didn’t learn anything.  So focus on doing practice questions, and do all of the practice questions.  If the questions in a particular book are difficult, that exactly the book you need to be studying from.  Then when the state exam comes up, you are ready.  The state exam becomes a 50-pound lift, and you have been doing 55-60 pound lifts in practice.

Please note the neither Karen Climer nor Ron Climer have any affiliation with Climer School if Real Estate or Gold Coast Schools.  Ron Climer sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  Karen Climer now owns Demetree School of Real Estate in Orlando.

By |2023-10-19T09:51:51-04:00July 6th, 2023|

How Much Do I Have To Study For The Florida Real Estate Exam?

I get that question a lot.  Or another way people ask it is they’ll say, “If I do A, B, and C, is that enough to pass?”  It is impossible for me to answer this.

This is like asking, “If I start walking 30 minutes a day, is that enough to get to my desired weight?”

There are so many variables…  What is your desired weight?  How much do you weigh right now?  What is your diet like now?  There is no doubt that adding a 30-minute daily walk will help you.  Also, that is enough for some people.  But I don’t know if that is enough for you.

It’s the same when people ask how much they need to study for the state exam.  How much real estate knowledge do you already have?  How quickly can you retain things?  How quickly can you understand new material?  When you say you study for an hour, what do you do during that hour?  How effective are your study habits?

I know that I studied more for the Florida sales associate state exam than I had studied for anything else in my life.  For me, though, it was very important to pass the first time.    Here’s what I did to study…

I know that was enough studying for me because I passed the state exam the first time I took it.  Your mileage may vary.

By |2023-10-19T09:59:46-04:00June 26th, 2023|

How To Study For The Florida Real Estate State Exam

One of the most frequent calls I get is when someone says, “I am taking the exam in ___ days, what should I be doing?”  I know the person wants some hack that says if you take chocolates the exam proctor you will pass.  Unfortunately, there are no hacks.  Instead I tell them what they should’ve been doing for the past several weeks.

First and foremost, you need to read the book cover to cover.  You do not need to read it ten times.  In fact, reading it ten times is a waste of time.  Read it once.  While you are reading it, make flashcards and take notes.  After you finish a short part of the reading, explain it out loud in your own words.  If you can’t explain it, you didn’t really read it – your eyes glossed over it, but that isn’t reading.  Going forward, you will study from your notes and flashcards.

Figure out someway to practice retrieving information.  I like flashcards, but it isn’t the only way.  What does retrieving information mean?  It means testing yourself to be sure you know the information.  You can repeat to yourself a million times, “Tallahassee is the capital of Florida.”  You won’t know if you know that until someone says, “What is the capital of Florida?”  This retrieval step is what most people skip in their studying and it is the most important part.

Why do people skip it?  Because it takes more effort.  They would rather watch another video.

Use material that is written for Florida.  If you are watching videos or using practices exams that you bought online, be sure you are buying it from a Florida based school.  Real estate laws vary in each state.  The way the test is given varies in each state.  If you are studying for the national real estate test (which we don’t have in Florida), don’t be surprised when you fail the Florida test.

But aren’t the definitions the same in every state?  Yes and no.  You can read more about that in this post.

When you are studying, don’t focus on getting the correct answer.  Focus on how you got it.  Let’s say you are trying to learn math… on the exam, the only thing that matters is getting the correct answer.  In practicing, you need to focus on how you got it.  If you don’t know how you got it, you won’t be able to repeat it.  If you can’t repeat it, it’s not a sound method.

Teach the material to other people.  Teach it to your dog.  Teach it to your teddy bear.  Anyone will work.  When you can explain the material in your own words, you are far better off than when you can’t.

Lastly, it’s not a two-day plan.  If you are calling me the night before the exam asking me what you should be doing, it is too late.  If two months ago, you realized that you need to lose ten pounds to fit into the dress for the big day, and 24-hours before the event, you haven’t lost the weight, it’s too late.  It’s a marathon, not a sprint.

Good luck.  Feel free to call me.  If you are calling five hours before the exam asking me what you should be doing, I’m going to tell you it’s probably too late to worry about that.  You should’ve called me five weeks ago.

Please note that neither Karen Climer nor Ron Climer have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  Ron Climer sold Climer School of Real Estate in 2014.  It is now owned by a large corporate conglomerate.  Karen Climer owns Demetree School of Real Estate.

By |2022-12-12T17:02:44-05:00January 31st, 2022|

Why We Don’t Allow Electronics at Demetree School of Real Estate

At Demetree School of Real Estate, we do not allow cell phones, laptops, tablets, and similar electronic devices in the classroom.  Why not?

This student thinks she is studying, but she is distracted by her phone.

There is a significant body of research that cell phones and other electronics are distracting to learning.  Even if your phone is sitting on the table turned upside down, it is still a distraction.  This is not an opinion – it is a researched fact.

Isn’t everyone in the class an adult who can decide if they want to pay attention or not?

Yes, you have a right to come to class and daydream.  However, you do not have a right to harm the learning of the others in the class.  The research is unequivocal.  Cell phones, laptops, and other electronics are not only distracting to the user, but to everyone else around them.  And it’s not a small amount – studies show that the students sitting around the phone user score 17% lower than students were there was no cell phone use at all.

You have a right to harm your own learning.  You have no right to harm the learning of your peers.

Therefore, at Demetree School of Real Estate, we do not allow cell phones, laptops, tablets, and similar electronics.  We do take a class break every hour, so you will have plenty of time to text on the breaks.

Please note that Karen Climer has no affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My father, Ron Climer, sold the school in 2014.  Neither Karen Climer, nor anyone else in the Climer family, have any affiliation with that school.  You can find me at Demetree School of Real Estate.

By |2021-08-20T10:05:06-04:00May 3rd, 2021|

How To Choose The Best Study Material For The Florida Real Estate Sales Associate Exam

I grew up in Florida and went to college in Alabama.  In the Deep South, like Alabama and Georgia, if you go to a restaurant and order a Coke, they will ask you, “What kind?”  Then you can say, “I’d like Sprite.”  In other words, “Coke” is a synonym for carbonated beverage — what I would refer to as “soda”.

In Florida, if you order a “Coke,” they will either bring you a Coca-Cola or they will say, “Is Pepsi OK?”  So in this case, “Coke” means a specific flavor of carbonated beverage.

Same word.  Different meanings.

I’ve also had the experience in different parts of the country, where I will order a “soda” and the waiter says, “Do you mean pop?”

The same thing, a generic carbonated beverage is called Coke, soda, soft drink, or pop, depending on where you are.  The word “Coke” can mean a specific flavor of carbonated beverage or it can mean any kind of soft drink depending on where you live.

What does this have to do with real estate exam prep?

I have written before about why you should not use any study material from a company that is not physically located in Florida.  About thirty of the states have a state test and a national test.  That material you are studying from those companies is material that is on the national test.  We don’t have a national test, so you are studying material that is not going to be on the Florida real estate state exam.

Imagine you get this question…

Coke is a

  1. specific flavor of carbonated beverage created by the Coca-Cola Company.
  2. term encompassing all flavors of carbonated beverages.
  3. drink that is more commonly referred to as pop or soda.
  4. type of soft drink that is created by multiple companies.

The correct answer is A.  But if you have been listening to Mr. Nationaltestprep, you might think it is B, C, or D, depending on where Mr. Nationaltestprep lives.

Some students insist on studying that material because they can find it easily, it’s free, or it’s in a format they like.  They show up to class and they know what a trust deed is.  That’s great, but we don’t have trust deeds in Florida.  They know what a lease option is.  That’s great, but that’s not on the Florida real estate exam.  They know what fee simple defeasible, emblements, puffing, fructus naturales, fructus industriales, and express easements are.  None of that is on the Florida state exam.

What’s worse than learning extra material is that sometimes they learn incorrect material.  I listened to one of these national company’s YouTube channel for about ten minutes.  In that short time frame, I heard several definitions that were absolutely incorrect in terms of how we use the terms in Florida.  One particular exam prep program was giving incorrect definitions about Florida contracts.  The contract section is 12 points on our test.  You can’t afford to learn incorrect information about contracts!

If you study material that is primarily designed for the national test, you will likely fail the Florida real estate exam.  That is like preparing for your Italian test by studying Spanish.  Yes, Spanish and Italian are similar, but they are definitely different languages.  The best way to pass a Spanish test is to study Spanish, not Italian.  Likewise, the best way to pass the Florida real estate exam is to study material that is written for Florida.

What’s the litmus test for determining whether the material is good for Florida?  Look up the author in the DBPR license portal.  If the author does not have a real estate license in Florida, are they the best person to teach you how to get a real estate license in Florida?  I’m not sure how someone can teach you to pass a test that they themselves have never even attempted.

Please note that I do not work for, nor have any affiliation with, Climer School of Real Estate.  My family sold the school in 2014.  There are no Climers who are affiliated with that school.

By |2023-10-19T10:28:32-04:00July 8th, 2020|
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