So I've recently passed the California Real Estate Salesperson exam! I am now a licensed Real Estate Professional!

And I have to say that it was pretty easy using the sites and apps that are quite inexpensive and simple to use!

The two biggest tools I used were The CE Shop and PrepAgent.

My Journey

I am a recently retired Software Engineer and have been looking to moving much of my long term investments into Real Estate. In the past year, I've been managing a few residential and commercial properties and am in the process of buying a few units of my own.

GET A 20% DISCOUNT ON PREPAGENT if you sign up using my Affiliate Link!

My Blunder

I knew I wanted to become a licensed Real Estate professional, so I knew I needed to take the exam. In my mind, this was my only barrier to entry.

So I shopped around to find the best test prep app out there and landed on PrepAgent. It came highly recommended from users on Reddit and several other YouTube creators out there. Their prep courses cover all 50 states and Washington D.C., so your state should be covered.

I paid for the Deluxe package, which was about $180 (after "discounts") and gives you access to videos, flashcards, and a much larger bank of questions for the practice tests.

So I tried it out, and found it to my liking. I purchased a year subscription to the service and pounded away at the preperatory material and tests. Within about 6 weeks, I felt I was ready!

So I tried to register for the Salesperson exam and realized that there was an educational requirement! 🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️🤦‍♂️ In order to meet the requirements for becoming a Real Estate Professional in California, you need 135 hours of education spread across 3 x 45 hour courses! D'oh!

PrepAgent doesn't offer this type of service, so I had to seek another company to fulfill this requirement. I ended up going with The CE Shop.

California's Educational Requirement

So after almost 2 months of studying, I started the 3 courses offered by The CE Shop. The 3 courses are 45-Hr. CA Real Estate Principles Course, 45-Hr. CA Real Estate Finance Course, and 45-Hr. CA Real Estate Practice Course.

I paid around $140 for the 135 Hour CA Pre-licensing course. This gives you everything you need to satisfy the educational requirements for California. They provide courses for 48 states, so chances are they support licensing for your state, too!

Basically, I would spend 1-2 hours on my treadmill walking and trying to progress though each course. I set a goal of progressing through 5% of each course every day I was on the treadmill, which was 4-5 days per week.

As I got closer and closer to completing each course, I targeted higher and higher percentages, often banging out 10% per day.

Doing, this I was able to fulfill most of the 45 hour requirement (the app REQUIRES you to be in front of the computer or tablet screen) in about 12 weeks (about 4 weeks for each course).

Even though each course is said to require 45 hours of education, The CE Shop only requires that you are online 37.5 hours in order to fulfill your requirement.

And sign up for The CE Shop through my affiliate link to get a 35% discount on courses.

After finishing each course's lessons, I often had a few hours left of my 45 hour requirement (technically it was only 37.5 hours). With this time, I just took the practice test for the course over and over and over again.

I took screenshots of all the questions I got wrong, and reviewed the correct responses carefully to understand what I needed to learn. This was the most helpful part of the learning process for me.

By the time I had finished the time requirement, I was consistenly getting 90% or higher on the practice exams. You only need 70% to pass, so I felt good about taking the actual course exam.

When I had satisfied the "butt in seat" time requirement, I took the test for the course. You need to be careful when you take the ACTUAL exam! They only let you take it twice within a certain time frame, so you'd better be ready! They even ask you for your CA Driver's License so it seems real official-like!

And when I took the exam for each course I passed the first time! They don't tell you your score when you pass, but I feel quite confident I scored in the 90s!

Practice, Practice, and MORE Practice

After completing the educational requirement, I proceeded with the other requirements for registering for the exam. I created an e-licensing account with the California DRE, I conducted the LIVE SCAN fingerprinting service, and I registered for the Sales Exam and License.

All of these steps took a LOT longer than I expected. Between the time I applied for the Sales Exam and the time I was able to schedule a test, it took almost 6 weeks!

So, I just continued to take practice tests on PrepAgent. And I've saved the results of every practice test that I've ever taken with them. Overall, I've taken 41 practice "tests" with 8,000 practice questions, and here's what those scores look like:

My Test Results on PrepAgent
I've kept a history of efvery practice "test" I've taken with PrepAgent.

There are 8 topics that you can be quizzed on and I mostly tested myself with 20 questions per topic at a time. Before I found out about my educational requirement, I tried bumping up that threshold to 40 questions at a time. But it was just too laborious for me to do while walking on my treadmill. I felt like 20 questions was the perfect bite-sized number to choose.

Every day, I'd bang out 4 or 5 of the 8 topics while exercising, which means I'd complete a "test" every 2 or 3 days or so. And I kept doing this until my scores kinda plateaued at the 90+% range.

And here's what the graph of my progress looked like:

My Test Result Graph
Graph of my test scores over time.
Get access to this Google Sheet if you want to track your own PrepAgent scores! Just join my Patreon for exclusive access to shared spreadsheets!

I really felt like the PrepAgent tests as well as my spreadsheet were the key tools I needed for passing the exam.

Taking the ACTUAL LICENSE Exam

And finally, test day came.

The exam was pretty locked down. You were given a locker to store everything that you had in your pockets. You weren't allowed to take in paper, pens, pencils, hats, purses, wallets, or basically ANYTHING.

You walked in with JUST your ID and a bracelet with your locker number. Your desk has a dry erase marker and whiteboard, a computer screen, and a calculator. Each desk is separated from the next with clear plexiglass. You are assigned a wireless mouse that you have to carry to your desk and the mouse will only work at that desk.

Arrive early! It takes 10-20 minutes to go through the pat down process, and if it eats into your testing time, you will be penalized. The timer starts ticking at your EXACT scheduled time, not when you sit down at your computer.

You have 3 hours to complete the exam. There are 150 questions, and you need 70% to pass, so that means you need to answer 105 questions correctly.

I felt like I answered each question very quickly. After answering a set of 25 questions, I did a time check. After 25 questions, I was only 15 minutes into the test, after 50 questions, I was 30 minutes into the test... I only answered questions that I felt were at least 95% correct.

After looking at all 150 questions, I had answered 127 of them and I still had over 90 minutes to spare. I felt like that was MORE than enough to pass the test at that point. But, of course, I still went back and answered the remaining 23 questions.

A lot of those second-pass questions were coin-flips where I narrowed down the answers to just 2 valid options. A few other questions I was able to answer correctly based on options I had seen on other questions. But at worst, of the 23 questionable responses with 4 possible responses, I would expect at LEAST 5 correct guesses, especially since I was able to eliminate many options. In reality, I'm feel like I got at least 1/2 of the 23 questions right.

So with 80 minutes left to spare, I clicked "SUBMIT TEST" and I was done. I think I was the 2nd or 3rd person to complete the test. At least I only noticed 1 or 2 other people returning to the front desk besides me.

Apparently, there were some issues with their computers, so I wasn't able to know whether I passed right away, but I found out early the same afternoon (after lots of refreshing on the CA DRE site!).


And as you already know, I passed.

It was pretty easy, to be quite honest, but then again I really feel like I usually prepare well for tests. But it was also due to the help from The CE Shop and PrepAgent that taught me the material well.

If you sign up with The CE Shop through my affiliate link, you can get 35% off their courses that you can use towards your state's educational requirement! They also have other courses for Continuing Education to keep your license current once you've passed!

And when you're ready to take the practice tests, please sign up with PrepAgent, also through my affiliate link, so you can get 20% off access to their platform, which includes practice exams, videos, audio lessons (great for listening on your commute!), Flashcards, an E-Book, Webinars, and a Vocab worksheet.

I have also made my practice test result spreadsheet available on my Google Drive for others who may want to use it. I just ask that you join my Patreon to get access to this spreadsheet.

In the future, I will add a list of test tips that I used to help me study as well. This is a list of nmemonic devices and explicit definitions you need to learn to pass the exam. This will also be available to Pateron members.

I also welcome you to join my Discord if you want to chat with me directly.

PrepAgent Main Menu
This is the list of resources that PrepAgent provides.

How is your Journey?

Let me know if you've passed the exam or if you're still studying. And if you've passed the exam, how did your experience differ from mine? I'm curious to hear what other people thought of the whole process!

Getting licensed was the first step for me. Now I'm off to find a reasonable Broker to hang my license under. Wish me luck!

🧮 Math/Programming/Technology