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.