In order to practice real estate in the state of California, you must first pass the California real estate exam before applying for your license. Both real estate salespersons and real estate brokers are required to pass an exam before being able to apply for a license.

The real estate exams are monitored by the California Bureau of Real Estate (CalBRE). In 1917, the bureau was formed, the first in the nation. Its purpose began with the Real Estate Law, which regulated real estate license and licensees to a high standard of excellence and practice. Since its formation, the bureau has been an example to numerous other states, and it continues to be a leading model in real estate regulation.

The real estate salesperson exam is three hours and fifteen minutes long. It consists of 150 multiple choice questions. The cost for the exam is $60.

The real estate broker exam is longer than the salesperson exam. It is five hours long and is divided into two, two and half hour segments, one in the morning and one in the afternoon. It has 200 multiple choice questions, with 100 questions in each time period. The fee for the broker exam is $95.

Both exams cover a broad range of topics which are included in the CalBRE publication, the Reference Book – A Real Estate Guide. This can be found on their website in PDF form and can be downloaded for free.

Depending on the location, the exams will either be handwritten or taken in an electronic form. Regardless of the format, the content of the test does not change. If you took a written test, your results will be mailed to you. You will typically receive the results in five business days. At the close of an electronic exam, you will receive your results automatically.

A passing grade for the real estate salespersons exam is 70%. For the brokers exam, it is 75%. If you pass the test, your percentage grade will not matter nor be recorded to be needed when applying for the real estate license. If you fail the exam, you will get a grade and a breakdown of the percentages in each area that you answered correctly/incorrectly.