Should I Take The Florida Real Estate Exam In English Or Spanish?

This posting was true in 2018 when I wrote it.  Please read my more recent posting for any updated opinion about it based on changes to the Florida Real Estate State Exam.

Most of my students take the sate exam in Spanish.  Are most of my students Hispanic?  No.  Some of them are, but there are just as many who don’t speak one word of Spanish.  But if I had to guess, I’d say most of them take the state exam in Spanish.

The test is easier in Spanish because you get two languages rather than one. That is twice the opportunity to figure out what the question means.

The Florida real estate state exam is offered in English and Castillian Spanish.  If you are wondering what Castillian Spanish is, it’s a dialect of Spanish that no one in Florida speaks.  To compensate for the different dialect and the fact the state chose a dialect that no one in Florida actually knows, they allow you to toggle between English and Spanish.  In other words, if you take the test in Spanish, you get it in English and Spanish.  But if you sign up for it in English, you only get it in English.  For that reason alone, I think everyone should sign up to take it in Spanish.  There is absolutely no downside to taking it in Spanish.

My students always ask me if the Spanish test is easier than the English test.  When I took the state exam in 2002, there was no toggling and pretty much no one was passing the Spanish test.  At some point, they decided to allow toggling and everything changed.

Some of my students swear the Spanish exam is easier than the English exam because they say the questions are worded differently.  The State of Florida says it’s the same test, just translated.  Since I never had the opportunity to take the exam with Spanish toggling, I don’t know for sure.

But here is one thing I know for sure: When sentences are translated, they are not translated word for word.  Different languages have different sentence structures, so the translator focuses on the gist of the question or the concept, not the word for word translation.  In the course of the translation, sometimes the syntax of the sentence changes.

Here’s an example:

  • En general se considera que los bienes inmuebles son una buena inversión.
  • Real estate is generally considered to be a good investment.

These two sentences mean the same thing, but the sentence structure or syntax is different.  Sometimes in the course of the translation, the sentence structure becomes a little more simplified, maybe less cumbersome.  State exams questions are often pretty cumbersome, so anything that can simplify that is great.

Also, I have some students whose first language is something other than Spanish or English.  Let’s say, Portuguese.  They read the question in English and they don’t know a few of the words.  So they toggle over to Spanish.  They don’t speak Spanish, but the Spanish version of those particular words is closer to Portuguese than the English is, so they are able to figure it out.  This isn’t a fail-proof method, but it helps sometimes.  Since there is no harm in taking the Spanish version, that’s what they do.

So, is the test easier in Spanish?  The State doesn’t publish the pass-fail statistics broken down by language; they lump them together.  So we will never know for sure.  But if you sign up in English, you only get English.  If you sign up in Spanish, you get Spanish and English.  So go ahead and sign up in Spanish.  I know if I were taking the exam today, I’d sign up in Spanish.  My Spanish vocabulary consists of about 50 words.

Be sure to do this when you schedule your test with Pearson Vue.  You can’t request it once you get there.

Good luck.  Or with the toggle —  Buena suerte.

Please note that I do not work for and have no affiliation with Climer School of Real Estate.  My family sold the school in 2014.  If you are looking for me, I’m at Demetree School of Real Estate.