How to Apply for the Texas Real Estate Exam
You're well on your way to becoming a real estate agent in Texas. The next final obstacle is the Texas real estate exam. But, before you get pass it you have to submit your application.
This is your complete guide to applying to the Texas real estate exam. Following this article will walk you through step-by-step the process of applying to the exam.
How Do You Submit Your Texas Real Estate Exam Application?
There are several steps involved with submitting a complete real estate exam application, with the exam being one of the last steps in the process.
Once you submit your application, the clock starts ticking — you have one year to meet all the license requirements before your application expires.
For your initial real estate application, you can expect to pay $185, covering your license for the first 2 years. After that, you’ll be required to renew your license and pay an additional fee.
File Your Application Online
You can conveniently submit your application and pay your real estate license fee through the online portal. You’ll have to create an account first and then can walk through the application process.
Send Your Application By Mail
If you’d prefer, you can send a paper application by mail. First, go to the website and download the application. Upon filling it out, you can use a large manilla envelope to package and send a check and the completed application to the following address:
Texas Real Estate Commission
P.O. Box 12188
Austin, Texas 7811-2188
What Do You Include in Your Exam Application?
While the application may seem pretty straightforward, there are added requirements needed to submit your application. Here's what you should include in your application to the Texas real estate exam:
- Completed form ISL-10
- Check for $185.00 paid to the Texas Real Estate Commission
- Proof of completed pre-licensing education (course certificates)
In order to obtain a Texas real estate license, you’ll have to complete an education requirement before you submit your application. This involves enrolling in an accredited institution and taking the required 180 hours of educational classes.
Upon completion of the class, you’ll be asked to submit copies of your course certification to ensure the requirement has been met. The education requirement is broken down into six main categories:
- Principles of Real Estate I (30 hours)
- Principles of Real Estate II (30 hours)
- Law of Agency (30 hours)
- Law of Contracts (30 hours)
- Promulgated Contract Forms (30 hours)
- Real Estate Finance (30 hours)
Aside from the educational requirement, you are required by law to submit your fingerprints to the Texas Department of Public Safety. A fingerprint will typically cost around $40.00.
These fingerprints will be used to complete a background check, and must be specific to the TDPS — fingerprints on file elsewhere won’t be accepted. You will be notified about a potential delay if there is an investigation into your background history.
You can schedule an appointment to have your fingerprints taken at an IDEMIA facility, which is the vendor TDPS has contracted to conduct this process.
Once the above requirements are met, you’ll have to decide if you want to submit an application for an active or inactive license. Your application will be considered an inactive license until you have found a sponsoring broker.
However, once you have determined who your sponsored broker is, you are able to apply or switch your application to active. These forms can both be downloaded via the Texas Real Estate Commission's online portal.
How Long Does it Take the Texas Real Estate Commission to Process Your Application?
Once all your required documents and application have been submitted, you can expect it to take two to three weeks for the Texas Real Estate Commission to process your application.
You can check how long their processing times currently are on their website. They also offer an online feature that will allow you to track the status of your application as it moves through the review and approval process.
While your application is being processed, it can be helpful to study and prepare for the real estate exam. Once your application is approved, you will receive a letter from the TREC including your candidate handbook and how to schedule your exam.
Where Do You Take the Texas Real Estate Licensing Exam?
The Texas Real Estate Commission has partnered with testing company PearsonVue to administer their licensing exams. These tests are taken in person at a PearsonVue test facility and will cost $43.
It’s recommended to make a reservation online at least 24 hours before your desired exam date, as walk-in testing is not available. You can view the testing sites and requirements at Pearson Vue’s Texas Real Estate website.
What’s the Passing Rate for the Texas Real Estate Exam?
On average, 62% of candidates pass the licensing exam on the first try. While certainly a difficult test, you have three chances to try and pass the test.
After the first three tries, you’ll be asked to complete another 30 hours of educational courses and then will be able to re-take the exam for your license.
What’s on the Texas Real Estate Exam?
The Texas Real Estate exam consists of two portions: a national section consisting of 85 questions and a Texas-specific section with 40 questions.
You’ll have a total of four hours to complete the entire exam, broken into 150 minutes for the national section and 90 for the state section.
You’ll be asked about a variety of topics based on the coursework you’ve completed. Questions could include everything from information on property use and characteristics, appropriate forms, ethics and conduct, and much more.
PearsonVue has created a study guide that you are able to download and review as well to get a better understanding of what might be asked on the exam.
Final Thoughts on Applying for the Texas Real Estate Exam
Applying for the exam can be hard and confusing. The easiest way to do it is online. But, if you like the old fashioned method and want to support the post office, then by mail works too.
When you're mailing your application, make sure to include your completed ISL-10 form, check, and proof of course completion.
Finally, don't forget to get your fingerprint taken. If possible, do it before your submit an application because the TREC will do a background check when they get your application.
Oh, yeah. One more thing. Make sure the name you use for your application and fingerprint application matches the name on your driver's license. Not having a consistent name throughout the application process will only make things more difficult.
TL;DR: The easiest way to apply to the Texas real estate exam is with the online portal. If you're mailing the document, include a completed ISL-10 form, check for $185.00 paid to the Texas Real Estate Commission, and proof of completion – and get your fingerprint taken at a government approved location.