The best real estate exam prep book

From bestreviews.com
By
Sian Babish

The life of a real estate agent is exciting with sales, closings, and open houses -- but before you dive into the excitement, you'll need to pass the test. To help you prepare, you'll need a real estate exam prep book that covers all the basics and beyond, so you can become an informed, competitive real estate agent.

Real estate exam prep books include laws, regulations, definitions, and procedures you'll be asked about on the exam. Some of the most valuable sections in these books are practice tests, which help you identify which areas you've mastered and which areas you'll need to study more. 

To learn more about how to ace the real estate exam with one of these handy books, read our quick guide, which includes our top pick, Barron's Real Estate Licensing Exams, 11th Edition. It includes a comprehensive overview of the field as well as some state-specific information.

Considerations when choosing real estate exam prep books

What's on the exam? 

Real estate exam prep books include information related to what will be asked on the exam, with some guides more extensive than others. Sections are tailored to mirror content, including phrasing and question style. 

There is a general portion to the real estate exam, which is what the majority of the prep books cover. However, you're also responsible for state-specific questions in a separate part of the exam. Depending on the state, this information may be included in your general real estate exam prep book. If not, you'll need to purchase a dedicated guide to cover it.

Guide style

There are three different styles of real estate exam prep books to choose from: 

Comprehensive real estate exam prep books include everything that could be asked on the exam, including definitions, regulations, laws, and state-specific information.

Overview guides might cover the bare essentials, though they only scratch the surface with concepts and situations.

Dedicated guides focus on specific areas of the real estate exam, such as state laws and regulations or only practice exams. 

Practice tests

Practice exams structure the questions and answers the same way they would appear on the exam. In some guides, you'll get detailed explanations on how to arrive at the right answer.
Review questions are found at the end of each section and aim to sum up the real estate knowledge you acquire in that area of real estate. 

Situational examples pose a common situation, like a complicated closing, and ask you to find a solution. Because these aren't always multiple choice, you'll need to write an essay and then compare it to the correct answer.

Bonus features

Online component

There are some real estate exam prep books that come with an online study component. You'll be able to log in with a key or serial number that is included. The online platform has a host of practice tests and supplemental study materials you can print out.

Flashcards

Flashcards are a test-taking staple, and real estate exam prep books often include their own. At the very least, have them available online or as a separate item in their product line.

Real estate exam prep book prices

Real estate exam prep books cost between $9 and $30. If you're looking for an overview or a dedicated guide, you'll find books at the low end of the range. For comprehensive guides including state-specific content, aim for the more expensive books. 

FAQ

Q. Why does it matter if my real estate exam prep book has practice tests?

A. It's helpful to go through the motions of actually taking a test so you know what to expect. The practice tests also follow similar wording and question styles, so you'll also learn how to pace yourself during the exam.

Q. My real estate exam prep book doesn't have flash cards, so should I buy them separately?

A. You could, though you can easily make your own from the book you have. Turn definitions and prep questions into question-and-answer cards. Write them out, type them up, or photocopy and paste the information onto index cards.

Real estate exam prep books we recommend

Best of the best: Barron's Real Estate Licensing Exams, 11th Edition

Our take: Includes online study aids, practice tests, and helpful information breakdowns in complex areas.

What we like: Explanations and examples are thorough and detailed. Each section is organized and subdivided. It's not too dense, and you can study in pieces.

What we dislike: There are some organization and wording issues that could use clarity and proofreading.

Best bang for your buck: Real Estate Math Express

Our take: This dedicated guide to the math on the exam approaches what you need to know in a direct and easy-to-follow format.

What we like: It's easy to move through the practice tests and answers, and there are detailed explanations for important areas to master.

What we dislike: It's more of a short quick-review guide as opposed to a full-blown educational resource. 

Choice 3: Real Estate License Exams for Dummies

Our take: Learn all the moving parts to real estate you need to know in an easy way. Includes changes to laws and updates, so it's current and relevant.

What we like: Dive into real estate discussions and everyday questions posed in the industry and by clients. Four practice exams help with test-taking preparation.

What we dislike: Not ideal if you're looking for a comprehensive guide, and certain state-specific information is lacking.

Sian Babish is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money. BestReviews never accepts free products from manufacturers and purchases every product it reviews with its own funds.

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