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 |2021-08-23T10:52:48-04:00July 8th, 2020|

The Florida Real Estate State Exam Pass Rate Is Climbing

The state exam pass rate is skyrocketing!  The DBPR issued the monthly statistics for the state exam.  The pass rate for first time test takers is increasing.  Check out this chart of the pass rate for people who took the Florida real estate sales associate state exam for their first time in 2020.  Keep reading for my theory about why the pass rate is increasing…

January and February were pretty typical months.  The pass rate for first-time test takers hovers around 50-51% most of the time.  In March, the number of test takers began dropping because this is when the statewide shutdown went into effect.  Many exams were canceled.

In April, our pass rate went up a lot.  You could argue that it was because the sample size was so small.  There were only 73 people who took the exam.

In May, our pass rate jumped significantly.  The number of test takers was not that different from March, but the pass rate was much higher.

Why is that?  Did they just issue an easy version of the state exam?  We’ll never for sure, but if I were a betting person, I’d say that is not the case.  Did we have a slew of very smart people take the exam in May?  Again, we don’t have any way to compare the IQs of everyone who took the exam, but I’m going to rule that out as a possibility.  So what is my theory?  I believe people are taking the test more seriously and studying more.  Why do I say that?  Because right now it is difficult to get a test date.

I have long said that the primary reason that people fail the state exam is that they either don’t study enough or they don’t study the right things.

Back in the 1980s and 1990s, everyone in the state had to come to Orlando once a month to take the state exam.  Many people traveled here on Friday to take the weekend state exam review offered by Demetree School of Real Estate.  The state exam was given on Monday.  Back in the good old days, people studied a lot more for the state exam because the consequences of failing were more severe – you had to wait a month to retake it and come back to Orlando, which could be costly depending on your situation.

Once computer exams were invented, the consequences of failing were less severe.  You could take the exam a few days later in your local city.  It cost an extra $57.75 and you had to spend another half day of your life, but it wasn’t as bad driving from Pensacola to Orlando and staying in a hotel.

Fast forward to this unusual pandemic we have.  Right now, it is difficult to schedule a state exam.  If you fail your exam today, you are unlikely to be able to take it again next week.  I believe that people are studying more.  They are taking the exam more seriously.  They are studying as if their new career depends on their passing (because it does).

Since the very first class I taught in 2003, I have always said that I have never met anyone who is incapable of passing the Florida real estate state exam.  However, I have met dozens of people who don’t study enough to pass the exam.  Sometimes they don’t know how to study.  Sometimes they aren’t interested in studying.  Sometimes they study the wrong things.

If you don’t know how to study, I’ve written a post about how to study and how your brain works.

If you don’t want to study, I can’t help you.  Real estate is a field that requires hard work.

If you don’t know what to study, you need to be in Karen Climer’s weekend review class.  You will learn what you need to know to pass the Florida real estate exam.


Please note that Karen Climer does not have any affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  Karen is proudly Ron Climer’s daughter.  He sold the school in 2014.  Neither Karen nor her family have any current affiliation with that school.

By |2023-02-15T09:16:38-05:00June 10th, 2020|

Don’t Collect Study Material – Study The Study Material

Almost daily, I get calls from around the state due to my YouTube channel.  People call with a specific question.  Sometimes they call to register for a class.  Sometimes they call to thank me and tell me they passed the Florida real estate state exam.

Recently, someone called and asked me what study material I recommend.  Here’s a summary of the call:

Caller:  Your videos make things so easy to understand.  Is there any study material you recommend?  Any books or apps or videos I should buy?
Me: I recommend a book called Florida Real Estate Exam Manual by Linda Crawford.  Or you can get the QBank that’s on my website?
Caller: I saw a book on another site called _____.  Should I get it?
Me: I recommend the Exam Manual or the Q Bank.
Caller: What about this app?  Should I get it?
Me: I recommend the Exam Manual of the Q Bank.
Caller: What about this other book?  Is it good?

It was clear that she was asking for my advice, but really wanted me to confirm that these other materials were good.  I said, “If you are a collector, then yes, you should purchase all of those books and apps.  There are people who like to collect study material.  If you are a collector, then yes, you should buy all of that material.  On the other hand, if you are someone who wants to pass the state exam, you should use the material you have.  Don’t buy more books.  Actually, use the books you have.  Study the material.  Do the practice questions.  Really understand the material.”

It reminds me of a group I used to be a part of.  I am a children’s entertainer, so I was interested in learning ventriloquism.  Florida has a ventriloquism club.  After a few meetings, I realized that there are people in the group who has several ventriloquist figures that cost thousands of dollars each, but they never use any of them.  At each meeting, they would bring their new figure.  They’d tell use who made it, what special features it had, who owned or used it before them.  It was show and tell, not a performance.  Then there were other people who would show up with a mass-produced puppet that probably cost about $40.  They would do a short performance with the puppet.

Some people joined the group to become ventriloquists – they even called themselves ventriloquists – but they are actually collectors.  They would have a hard time doing a three-minute routine.  Other people joined to become ventriloquists, bought a cheap puppet but put in the effort, and now are making a living as a ventriloquist.

Don’t pile the books up. Open them up and study from them.  So do you want to be the person who spends hundreds of dollars on study material and can’t pass the exam?  Or do you want to be the person who puts in the effort to study, passes on the first try, and is not making a living selling real estate?

By |2022-12-28T12:51:41-05:00December 20th, 2019|
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