To pass your real estate licensing exam, most states require a minimum overall score of at least 70%, or a minimum number of exam questions answered correctly. But beware—the process to earn your real estate license includes much more than passing the exam.
Before you can schedule your licensing exam, you’ll need to complete your state-approved pre-licensing coursework. This educational requirement can be anywhere from 40 to 120 credit hours, depending on each state’s individual licensing criteria. In some states, pre-licensing fingerprinting and criminal background checks are also a condition of earning your real estate license.
Additional Factors to Consider
If you’re already a licensed real estate agent in good standing, you may be able to earn an additional license without completing the pre-licensing coursework requirements for that state. This is called real estate reciprocity, and varies depending on the agreements between states:
–Full reciprocity: Currently-licensed agents skip the general real estate pre-licensing coursework and take classes on state-specific laws and requirements before taking (and passing) the state exam.
–Partial reciprocity: Currently-licensed agents may be allowed to skip a portion of the pre-licensing coursework, depending on the agreement between their state of origin and the new state. Agents must pass the state exam.
–No reciprocity: Currently-licensed agents must complete all pre-licensing coursework and pass the state exam before obtaining the new state license.
Taking the Exam
State requirements for real estate pre-licensing courses and education vary, as do the length of the exam and score requirements. What qualifies as a passing score varies by state, and may be determined by either the cumulative percentage of correct answers or the number of correct answers per exam section.
Note that some states require licensees to complete additional coursework hours (not included in the chart below) after passing the license exam and before practicing real estate.
|State||Course Hours||Exam Questions||Passing Score|
|Colorado||168||154||60 national/53 state|
|District of Columbia||60||110||75%|
|Louisiana||90||135||56 national/40 state|
|Mississippi||60||120||56 national/30 state|
|Missouri||48||140||70 national/30 state|
|Montana||60||133||80% national/70% state|
|Nebraska||66||150||70 national/38 state|
|New Hampshire||40||140||56 national/28 state|
|North Carolina||75||140||71 national/29 state|
|South Carolina||60||110||56 national/21 state|
|Texas||180||125||56 national/21 state|
|Vermont||40||136||56 national/23 state|
|Virginia||60||120||56 national/30 state|
|West Virginia||90||150||75 national/38 state|
Keep in mind that passing the exam is only one component of your license. Most states also require real estate agents to follow a professional and ethical code of conduct, which may include completing annual or bi-annual continuing education courses to keep up with changes in the real estate profession.
Let’s Get Started
Ready to start your career in real estate? Check out the guide to getting your license to learn more about our process, and find out what sets our schools apart from the rest. We also invite you to participate in a live webinar Career Day session to discuss your new career with our instructors, who currently work as agents in the field.