Although we have helped over 5,000 people pass their real estate exam with our real estate exam prep material, many of our readers still e-mail asking what are the best real estate license books to help them pass their exam.
In this article, we’ll show you the best real estate exam prep books. Consider these as the best study guides to help you feel more confident during the exam and become a real estate agent!
The 6 Best Real Estate Exam Prep Books
Here’s our list of the best real estate license exam prep books.
1.) Real Estate Licensing Exams With Online Digital Flashcards (Barron’s Test Prep) Eleventh Edition – Best Overall
Authors: Jack P. Friedman Ph.D., J. Bruce Lindeman, Ph.D.
Publication Language: English
Let’s kick it off with the best real estate licensing exam prep book on our list. You’ve probably encountered Barron’s in various exam preparations.
Barron is our top choice for students because it has a reputation of compiling high-quality content for exam reviews. The same could be said for real estate licensing exams.
This prep book will surely boost the results of your preparation efforts thanks to the in-depth information it contains!
It covers a wide scope ranging from finance, law, contracts, including which state conducts the hardest real estate license exam!
Not only that, but it also helps you with the following:
- Prepare for various real estate exams – Includes nine mock exams tackling different fields within the industry. The majority of the mock exams contained within this book are for brokers, but it also includes tests for appraisers and federal regulators!
- Get your practice in – This text contains more than 1000 practice questions. These questions both cover the nationwide and state portion of the real estate license exam!.
- Deepen your vocabulary – This prep book has a glossary of terms and practical examples to strengthen your understanding!
Some users even shared their opinions on how Barron’s helped them pass the real estate exam on their first try!
- Lays out content accurately
- The way material is arranged makes it easier to comprehend
- Good for last-minute cramming
- Book includes online support
- Some students have to filter out unneeded information themselves
Author: John A. Yoegel, PhD
Publication Language: English
Up next on our list is the best value prep book for the real estate licensing exam. The “For Dummies” books are also a name you’re probably familiar with.
But don’t let the word “Dummies” discourage you.
They’re excellent for beginners and have an abundant source of knowledge for different fields, especially for people with no expertise. This also holds true for real estate principles.
This For Dummies book can help you build an impressive foundation of knowledge you need to pass your real estate licensing exams! It’s an insane value-for-money option too!
If you’re worried about tackling complex concepts, don’t be!
This book is written in a fun way and can feed you information that’s readable in any order!
The For Dummies text can also aid in these aspects:
- It serves as a great reference text – It contains information on a variety of topics like legal issues, home valuation, ownership, etc.!
- It helps you retain information and practice – Each section has its own review questions and includes an answer key. This prep book even has four mock exams with in-depth answers!
- It teaches you how to study better – This text has strategies and techniques for studying and test-taking!
- Abundant source of knowledge
- Helps understand difficult yet essential ideas
- Improves study habits
- Integrates humor in text
- Lacks state-specific information for some
3.) Real Estate Math Express: Rapid Review And Practice With Essential License Exam Calculations 2nd Edition – Best Budget Option
Authors: Stephen Mettling, David Cusic, et al.
Publication Language: English
Real Estate Math Express is a handy prep text for getting a better grasp of calculations.
It has a math formulary section introducing major real estate math topics and their formulas. It covers vital subjects like basic math, capitalization rates, prorations, even closing cost calculations!
This book is the perfect reference if you’re looking to bolster your real estate math aptitude with minimal spending. It’s even written in a way that mostly serves as a great math refresher when you need it!
Another factor that makes it so effective is it’s written by veteran real estate professionals and trainers!
Prep Book Fact: The authors of this text also wrote Principles of Real Estate Practice!
Here’s how this book can support your exam preparations:
- It’s an excellent reference for refresher studies – It’s a condensed study guide no more than 100 pages long!
- Math Express helps you master the basics – The text starts off by making sure you have a grasp of fractions, percentages, fraction multiplication, etc.
- It deepens your knowledge of more advanced concepts – It includes calculations involving legal area, condo evaluation, net income, property income, and other real estate transactions!
Some reviews even raved about how it helped supplement their pre-licensing school studies!
- Concise content without extra fluff
- Also has more than 100 practice exam questions
- Covers basic and advanced topics
- Information is easier to retain
- Not as comprehensive as some would expect
4.) Real Estate Exam Prep (PSI): The Authoritative Guide To Preparing For The PSI General Exam (On-The-Test: Real Estate Series) 3rd Edition
Author: John R. Morgan
Publication Language: English
This next option is one of the best real estate prep books for state-specific information. It covers subject matter applicable to the following states:
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
If you’re preparing for a state exam in any of the states listed above, this is the perfect text for you!
Its content is well-organized, direct, concise, and it was written by John R. Morgan who’s a test development specialist.
What makes this material so great is it covers topics sure to appear on the actual exam!
Here’s how it will ease your examination preparations:
- You’ll quickly get through the material – It covers key aspects of preparing for your examinations in a structured and straightforward manner.
- The contents covered appear on the actual tests – Its author has testing program experience and its 80-question sample test matches the actual examination’s specifications.
- It’s easy to retain information – Its accompanying answers include a diagnostic chart that gives you ideas on strengths and weaknesses to further your review.
- Best for test preparations in states the material covers
- Prepares you for actual state exams
- Boosts your study efforts with easy-to-retain text
- Written by someone with testing program expertise
- Included mock test doesn’t go in-depth into any particular area
5.) Real Estate License Exam Calculation Workbook: 250 Calculations To Prepare For The Real Estate License Exam (2020 Edition)
Author: Josh Flagg
Publication Language: English
We’ve shown you our top picks, but there are a few more books worth going over if you want extra materials to ace your exam.
The Exam Calculation Workbook contains 250 vital calculations for real estate math.
This is a great text if you’re looking to purchase something that focuses on the math portion of your upcoming test. It covers subject matter that appears on the actual real estate exam!
Helping with this book’s credibility is its author, Josh Flagg. He’s a distinguished luxury real estate agent and one of the highest-ranking real estate agents in terms of sales volume!
Here’s what makes it one of the best prep books:
- Its scope of financial concepts appears on the actual real estate license exam – This text covers subjects like Appraising Real Estate Values, Taxation and Assessment, and other topics.
- It prepares you for the actual exam’s difficulty – It includes questions of varying difficulty levels that simulate the real estate exam itself. It includes real-life situations too!
- It helps you master calculations quicker – The included answer key shows you the calculations needed to reach the answer. You just have to work for it!
- Straightforward content makes comprehension easier
- Replicates test-level difficulty
- Written by one of the best real estate agents
- Doesn’t cover topics outside of math
Authors: Jack P. Friedman Ph.D., Jack C. Harris Ph.D., and J. Bruce Lindeman, Ph.D.
Here’s another text by Barron’s. It’s their real estate dictionary which contains all the terms and jargon you could think of.
If you need something to widen that vocabulary, this will help you speak the language of real estate in no time!
Not only will this prepare you for your exam, but it will also aid you long after you’ve become a full-fledged real estate professional!
Here’s what makes it one of the best study guides:
- It eliminates the constant need to Google a word you don’t understand – It contains more than 3000 words and their definitions!
- It makes comprehension easier – It includes visual aids like graphs, charts, and images!
- It’s pretty much knowledge at your fingertips – It provides a quick reference for common abbreviations, mathematical formulas, the mortgage payment table, and measurement tables!
- Greatly complements other learning materials
- Covers a wide scope of subjects
- Works as an easy-access reference
- Can even be used by those not in the real estate industry
- Not a great source for people in need of state-specific information
Choosing The Right Real Estate Exam Prep Book
Even with the best real estate exam prep books, there’s one more boggling question: Which is right for me?
And that’s where our in-depth buyer’s guide comes in: to help make your choice easier.
1. Whether You’re Taking The Exam To Be A Salesperson, Broker, Etc.
There are many test types and it may depend on your location. It could be a test for becoming a managing broker, leasing agent, or other professions in the industry.
It’s important to check whether or not the book you’re buying is for your exam.
These are a key consideration when choosing among exam prep books because the requirements depend on which state you’re in.
- To become a licensed agent, one state could require you to take accredited pre-licensing courses in order to qualify for the exam.
- Meanwhile, another state would only require students to take courses AFTER taking and passing the real estate licensing exam. Do note that it has to be done within a specified period though.
Side Note: State Laws Change
This affects the requirements you’ll need to take the exam. Some states are improving license laws and prerequisites for real estate agents, brokers, etc.
Pro Tip: Determine the current requirements by contacting the Real Estate License Commission in the state/s you want to practice.
2. Topic Coverage
A real estate exam prep book that thoroughly covers topics will greatly help you through your studies.
To be properly prepared for your state licensing exam, you’ll need adequate comprehension of federal and state rules and regulations about:
- Elements of real estate practice
- Property (Ownership, trantsfer, valuation, and inspections)
- Real estate contracts
- Land use regulations
- Laws of agency
- Fiduciary duties of a real estate agent
- Financial analysis
3. Skills Covered
Being a real estate sales agent or broker involves organizational skills. You might go about your day-to-day processing a lot of administrative data.
Some examples of tasks a real estate agent does are:
- Updating listings (Sold homes and new homes available for purchase)
- Inspecting, listing, and marketing properties
- Preparing documents (Legal, rental agreements, lease records)
- Developing and maintaining precise filing systems
- Organizing or arranging property showings, appointments, and meetings
4. Whether You Need It For The National Or State Exam Portion
The real estate license exam has a state-specific or national portion. It’s highly important that you know which portion you need the text for.
You should keep in mind that prep books containing nationwide information don’t necessarily mean they have the proper information for your state.
5. Proficiency In Real Estate Math
A section of licensing exams involves real estate math. It covers topics like home financials, house measurements, and their corresponding calculations or formulas.
Real estate math is also a part of real estate transactions, contracts, and agreements. So building your skills with the right real estate exam prep book is key!
6. It Should Simulate A State Real Estate Licensing Exam
Real estate exam prep books providing national and state-specific practice questions replicating the actual exam’s difficulty is important.
Why is that?
A state real estate licensing exam has questions targeting general real estate concepts. More than half of those questions are specific to state licensing laws.
The real estate license exam is also conducted in two sections. You have to pass both!
7. Additional Considerations
Real estate exam prep books that include these will greatly help in your preparations for your exam!
The best real estate exam prep books have mock exams simulating ones you would encounter in your actual state exam.
A not-so-good real estate exam prep book won’t be as in-depth and might not be as helpful in your preparations.
Elements For Online Studies
Try to purchase real estate exam prep books that include features for online studies. With it, you can log in and attend lectures, have access to additional study materials, even mock exams!
8. Real Estate Exam Prep Book Price
Like every purchase you make, price also plays a key role in our decision-making. Here are some considerations for texts that come at different price points.
Purchase a budget-friendly real estate exam prep book if you need a rapid study guide. The trade-off though is they won’t be as in-depth as needed for adequate preparation.
Mid-range real estate exam prep books have more comprehensive content on the principles of real estate. They’re written by well-known real estate industry professionals and produced by established publishers of educational text.
Do note though that a hardcover edition of the same real estate exam prep book usually costs three times as much compared to a paperback book!.
High-end real estate exam prep books are usually provided or offered as part of expensive pre-licensing courses. Different study materials like text, study guides, mock exam questions also come with the course.
Pre-licensing classes also vary. They can be crash courses that last two weeks or even courses with personal training and mentors.
Bonus: Some Added Tips
Here are some tips to increase your chances of using the right prep book!
- Make sure you purchase a comprehensive book – Ideal real estate exam prep texts cover federal and state-specific content and include practice exams!
- Don’t just rely on one reading material – Although Barron’s is a comprehensive read, focusing on one reading material narrows your comprehension for unexpected challenges during the exam. Have at least 3 reading materials to maximize the learning process. Our “Wrapping It Up” section recommends 3 of the best to use.
- Look for the latest edition of real estate exam prep books – Federal and state real estate laws can change!
- Be discerning – Make sure you purchase high-quality text!
- Forget your mobile phone – Just looking at your phone or having it ring during your state licensing exam will get you disqualified!
Pursue Your Studies Diligently
Of course, you should study in a way that works best for you. In this context, it’s important to know whether you’ll be going to a pre-licensing school or self-studying.
Taking classes means you’ll probably have access to more learning materials. You won’t need as many additional educational resources.
Self-studying, on the other hand, means you’ll need additional real estate books that are detailed.
Wrapping It Up: Our Verdict
Now that you know your options and have enough knowledge about real estate exam prep books, let’s wrap things up by going through our top picks.
Best Budget – Real Estate Math Express: Rapid Review And Practice With Essential License Exam Calculations 2nd Edition
There’s no question why this is our best budget option. Aside from its ridiculously low price, it’s arguably the best real estate license exam prep book for mastering real estate math!
It starts from the basics and covers up to advanced concepts. It’s even written in a way that makes it unbelievably useful for refresher study sessions right before your test!
Best Value – Real Estate License Exams For Dummies With Online Practice Tests 4th Edition
This option delivers impressive value for its price. Besides being a famous name in educational content, this For Dummies book helps you build a solid foundation of real estate knowledge!
What makes it even more attractive is it adds a fun twist using fun and humor. You’ll be saying goodbye to those long and boring study sessions!
Best Overall – Real Estate Licensing Exams With Online Digital Flashcards (Barron’s Test Prep) Eleventh Edition
We didn’t need any second opinions for choosing the best overall pick. Barron’s subject coverage is in-depth, geared for various types of real estate exams, and lets you practice what you’ve learned!
If you’re looking for the complete package, this is it! People who’ve purchased this book on Amazon even shared positive opinions on how it helped them pass the test on their first try!