Top 10 Tips for Passing the NJ Real Estate Exam


Picking a real estate school is easy; picking a real estate school that can help you pass the state exam is more of a challenge! Regardless of whether you choose an online real estate school or one of our in-person instructor-led real estate classes, your most important question should be, “How can I increase my chances of passing the real estate exam?”

In New Jersey, the state exam is so difficult that only about 30% of people pass it each month.

Here are 10 tips on how you can pass the state real estate exam and jump-start your career as a real estate agent:

1: Read the textbook chapters in advance of the classes.

By doing this, you will have an advance look at topics which you find confusing or difficult to understand. That way, when your instructor covers the chapter, you will be able to jump in and ask him or her to explain the subject. You are also better off with a real estate school that uses a textbook that was specifically and exclusively written for the New Jersey course. Many schools use books that were written by textbook companies (not real estate schools) for the national market, with only a few token references to NJ laws and practices.

2: Make your own flash cards.

By going through the textbook and writing your own flash cards, you are imprinting in your brain the information in a much more memorable way than by simply reading notes or cards somebody else prepared. Write the subject on one side of the card, such as “Essential elements of a contract,” and then the definition on the reverse. Not only are these easy to study as you prepare for the exam, but you can have a friend or family member use them to test your knowledge.

3: Ask lots of questions.

As an instructor, it always puzzles me why people in class preface their questions with an apology. Seriously! Over and over, multiple times each class, somebody will say things like, “I’m sorry, but could you just explain XYX again, please?” Why would you apologize? Instructors are there to help you; we love getting your questions! The last thing we want is for you not to understand what we are teaching.

I would much rather have a student in my real estate classes who asked 10 questions in one class than one who asked no questions over the last 10 classes!

4: Use as many exam prep resources as possible.

By the time you graduate from the real estate school near you, you should know the material. The problem is, there is so much to learn that much of it is then buried in the deep recesses of your brain.

Garden State Real Estate Academy has exam prep resources that are available to anybody, no matter where you went to real estate school:

  • A 2-night exam prep class led by a top instructor.
  • Our “Exam Prep Guide,” a fast-paced textbook that covers all the topics on the NJ state exam.
  • Our “Real Estate Math Made Easy” is a comforting resource for those who feel uncomfortable about math. It goes through math problems in every area of the real estate exam, such as mortgages, commissions, taxes, etc and shows not only the answers to the questions, but explains the concepts and way to get to the right answers.
  • Our “Real Estate Exam Questions” book, with 1,000 questions and answer explanations broken into the exact sections you will find on the state exam.

5: Get there early.

Don’t put yourself under stress by timing your arrival at the exam site too tightly. Plan to arrive an hour early. You will not be able to enter the exam then, but that’s the point: use that time to study your flash cards while in your car. Identify the areas where have the most difficulty and study those flash cards last—just before you go into the test center. We generally do not recommend taking the exam online from home.

6: Read the questions carefully!

The biggest single exclamation we hear during our practice exams when a student gets the wrong answer is, “OH NO! I read the question wrong!” Be very careful when reading the question, Watch out for “absolutist” words, such as “everybody, nobody, always, and never.” Then look at the answers. Before you pick one of them, ask yourself, “Is that true? Is this answer ALWAYS (or whatever the absolutist word is) true?”

7: Start with the last few words in a long question.

Some questions are long and complicated and contain lots of irrelevant facts or numbers. It’s natural to try to remember each word as you read the question from the start. Instead, go directly to the last few words, or final sentence, because that is telling you what the question really wants. If the final sentence is, “What would the Loan-to-Value ratio be?” you know the only relevant facts are the property price and loan amount. Everything else in the question is likely unimportant.

8: Narrow the answers down.

New Jersey’s real estate salesperson exam has 110 multiple-choice questions. The broker’s exam has 120 questions. But PSI often throw in additional questions that they are trying out. These will not count towards your exam score, nor will the timer operate while you are answering them.

If the correct answer is not immediately evident, you must narrow it down. One of the four is usually obvious. Don’t be fooled into picking an answer you have never heard of before. In one of our quizzes on Fair Housing at Garden State Real Estate Academy, an answer is “The National Fair Housing Agency.” There is no such thing! Of the three remaining answers, you’ll probably be able to eliminate one fairly easily. Then look again at the question. What EXACTLY is it asking. Then look at your two remaining answers and pick the one that best suits the question for every instance.

In the worst case, even if you are still not sure of the answer, you now have a 50% chance of getting it right.

9: If you’re stuck on a question, skip it!

Don’t let yourself get stuck in an emotional state when you cannot figure out the answer. The longer you stare at the screen with a question that you feel was never even covered in real estate school, the more your stress will build. Just skip the question! Many times, another question a little later will help you think of the answer to the one that stumped you.

Just don’t forget to go back to answer your skipped questions!

10: Don’t second-guess yourself.

It is amazing how many times, when we review quizzes and exam at our real estate school that our students discover they had initially selected the correct answer, and then at some point had second thoughts and changed it to the wrong one. Think very carefully before changing an answer as more often than not, your brain’s recollection that led to your first answer was probably correct.


Looking for the best real estate school that has both online real estate classes and NJ real estate classes led by instructors in person and via Zoom? Call Garden State Real Estate Academy at 609.354.8104 or visit us at

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