The Real Estate License Examinations
The law requires that the Department of Real Estate (DRE) ascertain, by written examination, the competency
of a prospective real estate licensee. DRE cannot waive this examination requirement.
This chapter discusses the examination process in general, details the scope of the examinations and includes
A pamphlet titled
Instructions to License Applicants
provides detailed information about examination and
licensing procedures. Interested persons may obtain this pamphlet and an application to take an examination by
calling or writing any DRE office.
Additional information, forms, publications, and other items of interest to examinees, license applicants and
licensees is available on the Department of Real Estate (DRE) web site
Scope of Examination
Business and Professions Code Section 10153 requires that the real estate examinations test for the following:
knowledge of the English language, including reading, writing and spelling; and of arithmetical
computations used in real estate and business opportunity practices;
understanding of the principles of real estate and business opportunity conveyancing; the general purposes
and general legal effect of agency contracts, deposit receipts, deeds, mortgages, deeds of trust, chattel
mortgages, bills of sale, land contracts of sale and leases; and of the principles of business and land
economics and appraisals; and
understanding of the obligations between principal and agent; of the principles of real estate and business
opportunity practice and the canons of business ethics pertaining thereto; and of the Real Estate Law, the
Subdivided Lands Law and the Commissioner’s Regulations.
Preparing for an Exam
Unless a prospective licensee has had experience with the various types of real estate transactions and has
knowledge of real estate fundamentals, including the obligations of an agent and the laws and
regulations governing an agent’s activities, it is suggested that
study be undertaken prior to taking the
examination. Even persons well grounded in these areas will find a review extremely valuable.
This book and DRE’s
Real Estate Law
book are useful study tools. In addition, public libraries and bookstores
have textbooks on California real estate law, practice, finance, economics and appraisal. Real estate courses are
available at colleges and private vocational schools.
DRE’s testing program follows guidelines set by the State Personnel Board and other test authorities.
Periodically, DRE uses research studies to update the test specifications. Because there are differences in the
level and amount of knowledge required of salespersons and brokers, the exams differ in their emphasis and