PA Real Estate Exam: Everything You Need to Know

May 24, 2023
10 min.

You’ve completed your educational requirement, and one of the last things standing between you and your license is the Pennsylvania real estate exam. While this is an exciting and important step, it also requires preparation and focus to ensure you pass your test and get your license!

Once you’ve completed your courses, you should take several weeks to study and get ready for the exam. If you’re preparing to take the Pennsylvania real estate exam, keep reading to learn: 

  • How to schedule your real estate exam
  • What is on the real estate exam
  • How hard the test is
  • Helpful study tips 

How to Schedule the Pennsylvania Real Estate Licensing Exam

To schedule your exam, you must first submit your Certificate of Completion for the required courses to PSI Services LLC, a private company that the state contracts to administer and schedule real estate licensing exams. 

When your application is approved, you can then schedule your exam. You must schedule your test at least 24 hours in advance, and no walk-ins are allowed.

During the registration process, you’ll have to pay an exam registration fee of $54, which covers both the state and national sections of the test. You’ll also have to pay some additional fees after you pass the exam, including a background check and your salesperson licensing fees, which will total around $127. 

Where Do You Take the Pennsylvania Real Estate License Exam?

In Pennsylvania, there are 10 different Pearson VUE test centers across the state for you to take your exam. Those locations include:

  • Allentown
  • Bristol
  • Cranberry Township
  • Erie
  • Greensburg
  • Harrisburg
  • King of Prussia
  • Philadelphia (Bala Cynward)
  • Pittsburgh
  • Scranton

You can review the test dates and availability for the location nearest to you using the Pearson VUE website. 

Make sure to arrive at the test center at least 30 minutes early on the day of your test, and prepare to be there between 1 and 2.5 hours. 

Can You Take the Exam Online?

While some states offer online real estate exams, in Pennsylvania, you must take your real estate exam in person at a Pearson VUE test center. While you must take your exam in person, all of the tests are administered on computers at the test center in a multiple-choice format. This requires scheduling your test at least 24 hours before taking the exam at one of the 10 test centers. 

What to Bring on the Day of Your Exam

On exam day, ensure you come prepared with all your required documentation. Pennsylvania requires two different forms of ID that are unexpired and government issued. One must have a photo, while the other only needs a signature and legal name. 

Examples of acceptable IDs include:

  • Government-issued Driver’s License
  • U.S. Dept. of State Driver’s License
  • U.S. Learner’s Permit (plastic card only with photo and signature)
  • National/State/Country ID card
  • Passport or Passport Card
  • Military ID
  • Alien Registration Card (Green Card, Permanent Resident Visa)

Keep in mind that if your name is in any way different from what’s outlined on your form of ID, you’ll have to bring proof of a name change. Otherwise, you will not be allowed to take your exam and will have to reschedule. 

Aside from your IDs, it’s recommended to bring a basic calculator for any math questions that might require a calculator. Make sure it’s just a basic hand-held calculator, though — no graphing calculators are permitted. 

What is on the Pennsylvania Real Estate Exam?

The Pennsylvania Real Estate exam is made up of 130 questions with a national and state section. When you sit down to take your exam, you’ll have 120 minutes to complete the national portion and 60 minutes for the state section. 

Your real estate pre-licensing course should have covered all of the outlined topics, but it can be helpful to understand the exact breakdown of each category. 

The national section will test you on the general information and skills you’ll need to become a successful real estate agent. The eight key sections include: 

  • Real Property Characteristics, Legal Descriptions, And Property Use - 9 questions
  • Forms Of Ownership, Transfer, And Recording Of Title - 8 questions
  • Property Value And Appraisal - 11 questions
  • Real Estate Contracts And Agency - 16 questions
  • Real Estate Practice - 14 questions
  • Property Disclosures And Environmental Issues - 8 questions
  • Financing And Settlement - 7 questions
  • Real Estate Math Calculations - 7 questions

Each state also has a specific section designated to go over their specific laws and regulations. In Pennsylvania, this is comprised of 40 questions based on the rules and regulations that are unique to Pennsylvania and the laws in place there. The categories in this section include: 

  • Real Estate Commission - 28 questions
  • Licensure - 8 questions
  • Regulation of Conduct of Licensees - 4 questions

Once you submit your exam, you’ll receive your score immediately and see if you passed or failed. 

Will There Be Math on the Exam?

There is a real estate math calculation section on the real estate exam that covers information like property area calculations, valuations, commissions, loan financing costs and more. The number of math questions can vary based on the specific test copy you’re taking, but it is safe to assume there will be several questions. 

The Pennsylvania Real Estate Commission also outlines that you should memorize some basic real estate calculations like the number of square feet in an acre or the number of feet in a mile. It’s not required, but bringing a calculator can help you with any large calculations in this section. 

Is the Pennsylvania Real Estate Exam Hard?

Don’t be surprised when you sit down to take your real estate exam! The Pennsylvania real estate exam can be a challenge — but only if you haven’t taken the time to study or prepare. The more time you spend studying, the easier you’ll find the exam and pass on the first try. 

How Many Questions Are on the Pennsylvania Real Estate Exam?

Understanding the number of questions and the breakdown of content can be helpful in creating a study strategy around what you should study the most. The national section of the exam for both a salesperson and broker exam includes 80 questions, and to pass, you must get at least 60 right. 

In the state section, you’ll find 40 Pennsylvania-specific questions for the salesperson exam and the broker exam. To pass, you’ll need to answer at least 23 correctly. 

What is the Passing Rate for the Real Estate Exam in Pennsylvania?

The real estate exam isn’t exactly easy, with 61% of people passing the national portion on the first try and only 46% passing the state-specific section on the first try. With less than half of test takers passing the state section on the first try, the Pennsylvania real estate exam is considered moderately difficult and requires thorough preparation in advance.

Once you’ve taken your pre-licensing courses, the next thing you should do to prepare is to find a guided study program that will help you prepare specifically for the real estate exam. By using a study and preparation program like RE State Exam Prep, you can feel confident that you’ll pass on the first time or get your money back – guaranteed. 

How Many Times Can You Take the Real Estate Exam?

If you don’t pass the test on the first try – don’t worry! You are still able to retake the exam as many times as needed until you pass. While you won’t be able to reschedule your exam at the test center, you can go to the PSI Services website to find another date and time that works for you. Keep in mind that you’ll have to pay the examination fee again. 

Since the state and national sections are scored separately, you might pass one section but fail another. If this happens, you’ll only have to retake the section you failed within the authorization period. For the salesperson exam, you have five years after completing your educational requirements to take the exam. For brokers, you have 10 years, giving you plenty of time to pass the exam. 

How to Pass the Pennsylvania Real Estate Exam

With proper study and preparation, you will be able to pass your Pennsylvania licensing exam and start helping clients buy and sell real estate. However, this requires the time and investment into an exam prep program so you can go into your exam feeling confident. A guided program will reiterate the lessons from your pre-licensing coursework and provide you with study tools to prepare you for the multiple-choice questions on the exam. 

If you’re looking for some specific study tips, we can help. Here are some common tactics and suggestions to get the most out of your studying. 

Create a Study Schedule

Set yourself up for success by creating a study schedule that you can follow throughout your exam prep. Whether life gets busy or you need a little extra structure, having a designated time to study for your real estate exam will ensure it’s top of mind when the time comes. 

Put the time on your calendar, and then set a timer for the study time block. We recommend studying a little bit every night if possible, or at least every other night.

You’ll thank yourself later that you took the time to set up a schedule and be consistent with your exam prep!

Use Acronyms and Mnemonic Devices

If you have a hard time memorizing or learning different real estate terminology, an acronym or mnemonic device can help. These are study strategies that use rhyming words or phrases to help your brain remember vocabulary words. A common mnemonic device is Roy G. Biv for the colors of the rainbow. Try creating a mnemonic device for different real estate terms or concepts. 

Join a Study Group

There are countless benefits to joining a study group to prep for your real estate exam. While studying alone might help you focus, joining a study group can connect you with other students and provide you with new ways to learn and remember information. 

You'll be able to discuss problems and ideas together, helping to foster new connections and become more confident about the exam material. Plus, with a study group, you’ll have some added accountability leading up to the exam that can ensure you stay on track with your study schedule. 

Get Guided Help

Your pre-licensing classes helped you learn the material, but a PA real estate exam prep package can get you ready for the exam and the content you’ll see on the exam. When you purchase up for our exam prep package, you’ll get access to our suite of study materials, including:

  • Over 1,500 Pennsylvania real estate exam practice questions 
  • Customizable practice state exams
  • Vocabulary flashcards
  • Video explanations by real estate experts
  • E-book study guide
  • And so much more

With a 90% pass rate and over 50,000 registered students, our exam program has helped real estate students across the country prepare and pass their licensing exams.

Final Thoughts on the Real Estate Exam in Pennsylvania

Every year, thousands of people take and pass the Pennsylvania real estate exam thanks to diligent studying and prep. If you’re looking for a trusted, affordable and easy-to-use study program, we can help. Sign up now for our free trial and get started studying for your Pennsylvania real estate exam!

TL;DR: The best way to study for the PA real estate exam is with the an exam prep package. That's because you get guided help that shows you what you need to study to pass the exam. Also, you'll receive practice exams, vocabulary flashcards, eBook study guides, and so much more!

May 24, 2023
How To
10 min.