Hiya loves!! I am beyond excited to share with you, like, the best news ever!! (other than Adam & I getting engaged! haha) Just in case you missed the title of this post (lol) I passed the NC Real Estate Exam. Eek!!! I am incredibly proud of myself for this huge accomplishment! North Carolina is one of the hardest, if not THE hardest state to get your Real Estate license in.
On the first day of class, my instructor, Deborah Cox, pretty much scared the sh*t out of us letting us know how many people fail the course -- the pass rate is only 61%. She gave examples of lawyers & people with their Masters degree who have failed. I'd say about half of my class were repeaters. A majority dropped out in the beginning-middle of the 5 1/2 week course and several did fail the final exam. I'll never forget when Deborah said "whatever you do in life, you need to do less of it" if you want to pass this class. Let me tell you, this statement was 100% true!! I had no idea the hours upon hours of studying that would be involved in the course. To give you an idea, Deborah told us that we should be studying 2 hours per every hour of class. Oh and by the way, the course is 75 hours.
So, a bit of info about the course for anyone who is simply interested and/or has ever considered getting their Real Estate license...
- I took the Broker Pre-licensing course at Superior School of Real Estate in Ballantyne. I've heard great things about Superior, they have a wonderful reputation and I know several people, including my mom, who have gone thru their school to get their license. They have other locations but Ballantyne was most convenient for me.
- As I wrote above, the course was 75 hours. Actual classroom time is 75 hours, however, they call it 79 taking the 4 hour exam into account. I was on a Tuesday/Thursday schedule from 9am-5pm + an hour lunch break. I didn't know at the time, but evidently this was an "accelerated course" meeting 10x. The Monday/Wednesday schedule is an evening class spread out over 20 class sessions. There are also weekend classes available, too, if weekdays just aren't doable for you bc of work, family, or other commitments...
- The cost of the course was about $450 + an additional $47 for the required textbook -- Modern Real Estate Practice in NC 8th Edition Update Revised. I actually borrowed my sisters textbook from when she took the course so I didn't need to purchase the book. Additionally, you'll need your "Adventure Guide" which is included in the cost of the course. The Adventure Guide is a huge help as it is full of the [exact] Power Point slides we reviewed in class. We used the Adventure Guide in class more than the text book. Next to each slide in the book is space to take notes as Deborah went over the correlating slide on the projection screen. As I said, HUGE HELP!
- Class moves at a VERY FAST PACE. You honestly cannot miss a beat or you will be left behind. This is 3 fold:
1) CHAPTER READING/HOMEWORK: end of chapter quizzes + reading were given at the end of every class. You need to be current if not ahead on your reading so the next time you meet, the material actually makes sense and sinks in.
2) ENGRADE: Engrade is an online tool where you login to take more fun-filled chapter quizzes. Seriously tho, this was super helpful in preparing me for my final exam. After your first day of class, you'll receive an email with your UN/PW giving you access to all Chapter Quizzes, Quarterly Reviews + several quizzes with questions pertaining to Pre-licensing & Law. Engrade isn't like a, oh hey, this is a nice-to-have / take-it-or-leave-it kinda thing, it IS a requirement. If you don't complete 19 out of 21 chapter quizzes + the quarterly reviews + the licensing laws you are not eligible to sit for the exam.
3) CLASS ATTENDANCE: Deborah ran a pretty tight ship in regards to attendance. We had to sign in for both our morning & afternoon sessions after returning from lunch. If you miss 7 hours or more of class, you are no longer eligible to sit for the exam. I would suggest showing up for class promptly and leaving any and all distractions at the door. This class requires your full attention!
- So about that exam... 4 hours, 140 questions combining both NC State & National questions. You get 2 attempts at the class exam. If you fail the first time, you get a second chance. Fail the second, you have to repeat the course. Yikes! After you pass the class exam, you are eligible to sit for the final exam that actually gets you your Real Estate license! Wee!
You schedule your exam either online or over the phone thru a company called AMP and you go to an H&R block (so random) to sit an take another 4 hour exam. This exam, unlike the class exam is electronic and you find out your results immediately. Also, another difference in the class to state exam is, it isn't cumulative. Say you fail one section, you simply sit for that portion again.
Speaking of failing, I passed my class exam on the first try! Whoop Whoop! However, I only passed the NC Section on my first stab at the state exam. I had to wait the 10 days, pay $96 and retake the National portion. Thankfully, a lot more studying paid off and I passed!
As I wrote at the start of this post, I am incredibly proud of myself for successfully passing the course/exam. Honestly, I don't think anyone truly understands how much hard work & dedication it takes to pass it all unless you've gone thru it yourself! And if its been several years since you've taken the course you might still not get it, as the requirements continue to change & get harder. For example, my mom, who's been licensed for about 20 years only had to sit thru 30 hours of class. I believe from here it increased to 40 and so on, and as you now know, it is at 79 hours.
A little bit about the commitment it took for me to pull this off...
The course ran from Nov. 10th-Dec.15th with the exam on Dec. 22nd. For 6 weeks, I went to class from 9-5 Tuesday/Thursday and on Tuesday's, I left class, sat in traffic & taught my yoga class from 6-7pm. Get home at nearly 8pm, eat dinner and study until I passed out!
Mon/Weds/Fri, I managed all my training sessions, having anywhere between 6-8 hours of clients a day. I still managed to get in a workout at least 3x a week (if I didn't, I may have gone crazy!) and honestly every bit of my free time was sucked up with studying. There were many nights I fell asleep studying and pretty much every morning before class, I'd wake up at 630-645am to refresh material for class that day.
Before the class began, I already made the decision to stay with my parents on Monday & Wednesday nights 1) to avoid traffic & make it easier to get to class in the morning since Adam & I live uptown + I just suck at mornings all together 2) to have no distractions, get all my studying/reading done on the nights before class. This was a tough but needed decision bc I knew Adam would be a distraction to me. I mean this in the best, most loving way possible. That man is my best friend & we just have fun with each other...cooking dinner, hanging out, listening to music & drinking wine. This just couldn't be during these 6 weeks! Another reason this little separation was so tough is, Adam had JUST returned from filming Loving in RVA. (If your just tuning in, you can get caught up, here.) He had been away for 4 months and this class started 5 days before he came back home. ugh I basically had no social life for 6 weeks and studied my face off. Anytime I was in the car, I listened to a set of CD's called "Hiking The Real Estate Trail". These CD's were awesome & very helpful, too! Just another way to get the material in my head. There were many nights I didn't sleep bc I just felt so stressed (probably self-induced, I tend to do this) but it was a tough schedule to keep. One morning, I had a complete breakdown and had a much needed cry fest. I left the house to go study with my study buddy from class pretty much all weekend, every weekend. And on the final days leading up to the exam, I studied for about 8+ hours a day.
I'm by all means, not boasting. I just wanted to share what it really took for me to pass this whole thing. Perhaps it would come easier to others, but honestly, I don't believe so. I remember one afternoon, a girl in my class, during one of our short little 10 minute breaks said she felt like she was going to cry. So many people in my class were super stressed.
Any way, the point of all of my rambling is that HARD WORK PAYS OFF. You are capable of anything you set your mind to -- all it takes is the commitment + a drive to succeed from inside of you! If your wondering why the heck I decided to get my Real Estate license in the first place, stay tuned...there will be a post to follow!