How to Apply for the North Carolina Real Estate Exam

May 4, 2022
5 min.

With the real estate market booming in North Carolina, many people are turning to real estate to start a new career. 

Before you can start working with clients and selling real estate, you’ll need to officially take, and pass, the North Carolina Real Estate exam. 

This involves completing the educational requirements, passing a background check, and successfully passing the final exam. 

What are the North Carolina real estate exam requirements?

Before you take the exam, you’ll need to ensure you meet the basic prerequisites. In North Carolina, you’ll need to make sure you do the following requirements:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • A U.S. citizen or be legally allowed to work in the country
  • Have a social security number

Aside from these basic requirements, you’ll need to ensure you complete all aspects of the application process as outlined by the North Carolin Reale Estate Commission.

How do you submit your North Carolina real estate exam application?

There are several parts of the application that you’ll have to complete beforehand to be applicable to take the exam in North Carolina.

The exam is the finale of the process and after passing the exam, you’ll quickly be able to receive your license, assuming your application is complete. 

Through the online portal

Submitting your application online can be streamlined and simple by using the North Carolina Real Estate Commission’s website. 

By heading to, you can create an account and fill out most of the application before completing the 75-hour educational requirement. This will allow you to get a head start on the form and ensure you have all the necessary information to complete it.

While you’ll be able to start your online application, you won’t be able to pay and submit your application until you have completed the educational requirement, your educational provider has submitted your certificate of completion, and you’ve obtained a criminal record report that’s required.

Once your application is submitted, you won’t be able to review or edit it anymore, and it will go under formal review with the Commission.

By mail

If you’d prefer to mail your application in, you can email the North Carolina Real Estate Commission at or call the office to request an application be mailed directly to you.

What do you include in your exam application?

There are several components that will need to be compiled when submitting your exam application. Before you can submit your application, you’ll need to satisfy both the educational requirement and pass a background check.

Educational Requirement

In North Carolina, prospective agents are required to complete a 75-hour educational course from an institution that has been accredited by the NCREC. 

The commission has approved several different schools that offer both in-person and online classes depending on what is most suitable for your schedule and learning style. 

The coursework is expected to cover a wide variety of topics. Students are expected to have a thorough understanding of real estate best practices and laws, including: 

  • Property ownership and taxation rules
  • Fair housing regulations
  • Real estate property valuation
  • Property valuation 
  • Basic contract law and sales contracts
  • Agent safety 
  • Real estate mathematics

Once you complete your coursework, your educational institution will upload a certificate of completion which will then allow you to schedule your exam time. 

Only upon completion of the 75-hours will you be able to register for the final exam. If you have a real estate license in another state, you may be exempt from the educational requirement for a North Carolina license. 

Background Check

North Carolina also requires all real estate license applicants to submit a criminal background report with their application. 

You can apply for this online when you submit your application by clicking, “Apply for a Background Check.” This report must be conducted by the specific organization that NCREC has partnered with, and must have taken place within 6 months of your application. 

While a professional background check is ordered, you will also be asked to self-disclose this information such as criminal offenses, judgments, liens, disciplinary action by a licensing agency, or similar matters on your application. 

Once the background check is completed, you will receive a copy and it will also be sent to the commission.

How long does it take the North Carolina Real Estate Commission to process your application?

Once your application is received, it generally takes only a few days for the NCREC to review your application and determine if you’re eligible to take the exam. 

If you submit an online application, you can expect it to take 3-4 business days, or 7-10 business days if sent via mail. 

If your application is accepted, the commission will send a “Notice of Examination Eligibility” signaling that you can now register for the exam and continue with the licensing process. 

You can then schedule to take your exam as soon as the next business day!

Where do you take the North Carolina real estate licensing exam?

If you’ve received your Notice of Exam Eligibility, you have 180 days to take your exam before your application will expire. 

North Carolina has partnered with PSI Services LLC to administer the final exam at one of their in-person test facilities. To schedule your exam, you can go to PSI’s website or call them directly to schedule an exam. 

However, same-day or walk-in testing is not available, so make sure you schedule ahead of time.

What’s the passing rate for the North Carolina real estate exam?

The passing rate for the North Carolina exam is 71%. You can increase your chances of passing by studying and taking an exam prep course.

You’ll need to answer 57 out of 80 questions correctly in the national section and 29 out of 40 in the North Carolina specific section. 

In most cases, if you failed the exam on your first attempt you are eligible to retake the exam the next business day. 

Final thoughts on applying for the North Carolina real estate exam

Applying for the North Carolina Real Estate exam may seem daunting, but with attention to detail and following the outline steps, you’ll be on your way to working with clients to find their dream home in no time. 

Proper preparation through an educational course will provide you with the resources and materials needed to ace the exam the first time around, and swiftly move through the application process.

TL;DR: You can submit your application online or by mail. When the NCREC receives your application, you will undergo a background check. From there, they will accept or deny your application. If accepted, you can schedule your exam date the next day.

May 4, 2022
How To
5 min.