How difficult is the California Real Estate License Exam?

Preparing to take your California Real Estate License Exam can be both daunting and stressful. You’ve worked hard and you want to pass the exam and get started on your real estate career. Obviously, you want to go in there and pass the real estate exam the first time. Students wonder how difficult the California Real Estate License Exam is to pass.

“Even though I taught a lot of students how to prepare for the Exams before, I got nervous when I took the real estate license exam.” said Mark Kunce, the director and instructor at Keller Williams San Diego Metro Real Estate School. Prior to a career in Real Estate, Mark worked in Education. In 1986, he earned U.S. West Teacher of the Year. In 1990, he traveled to Japan where he took a Professor/Coordinator of English Department position at Ashiya University and American Football Coaching position at Kwansei Gakuin University, he lead the team to the National Championship Game 4 out of 5 years and won the National Championship 3 out of 5 years.

“I am not a Fast Reader I needed to pace myself to make the most of my time. I passed the first time but many people did not. So the Exam is not easy by any means.”

How difficult is the California Real Estate License ExamThe California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE) does not establish a minimum or maximum percentage passing rate, according to it’s Real Estate Bulletin Spring 2016. “Rather, the examinations given and the applicants’ successes on those examinations set the rates of passage. During fiscal years 2012/2013, 2013-2014, and 2014-2015, CalBRE’s examination statistics show an “average” range of between 42-45 percent passage rate for broker examinees, and an “average” range of between 49-60 percent pass rate for salesperson examinees”.

“This data includes the second or even third timer. It does not give you the passing rate for first time take takers. We think it’s about 50% passing rate for first timers. Our school has a 97% passing rate for first-time test takers.” said Mark.

Both the real estate salesperson and real estate broker examinations test applicants on the core knowledge required by the law, and even broader knowledge. The coverage of the examinations is set forth in section 10153 of the California Business and Professions Code.

“The exam covers three college-level courses, you cannot go into it unprepared. We recommend you take the exam prep course before you sit for the state exam.”

“But don’t get too down yourself if you didn’t pass the exam at first time. Remember, You’re doing the best you can. It is not really failure. It’s only steps toward achievement. Stay on the path to your goal.”

Mark teaches a 1-Day Test Prep Course on the 4th Saturday of each month. For more information go to

Our student Jessica (right) passed her Real Estate exam on the first try and joined Keller Williams San Diego Metro! Congratulations!

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Keller Williams San Diego Real Estate School is a CalBRE Approved, premier provider of real estate licensing, exam prep and more.
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