The Real Estate Brokers Licensure Exam is is conducted yearly and I know a lot of you are aspiring to become part of the next batch of PRC licensed real estate brokers! If you are going to take the exam, might as well aim for the top. Here are 20 tips which helped me when I landed at the top 4th spot when I took the March 2011 real estate brokers exam.
Why aim for the top?
You may argue that there’s no special treatment for topnotchers of the real estate broker’s exam – unlike the bar topnotchers who law firms “fight over”. This is true. I placed fourth in the 2011 Real Estate Brokers Exam and I never got any of that sort of thing (bitter?).
But seriously, if you really think about it, performance in one exam (and this holds true for all exams) is not really a determinant of how good a practitioner you are going to be. Once you are a licensed real estate broker, nobody will ask you what your grade was or whether you were a topnotcher – the playing field is wide open and fair to all.
However, I believe that being a topnotcher helps boost your confidence, as it is a sign that you know the technical aspects of your profession. If you continue your diligence in studying, not only from books but also from mentors, it is very likely that you will be able to achieve success at a faster rate.
Most importantly, if you aim for the top and miss it, it is likely that you will still pass the exam and get your real estate broker’s license. If you only aim for a passing grade, and you miss it, then you have obviously failed – I am sure no one wants to be in that position. So, there’s nothing to lose and everything to gain if you aim for the top!
Why aim to pass the Real Estate Brokers’ Licensure Exam in the first place?
Without a real estate broker’s license, a person may not engage in the real estate service practice. This is a practice which gives financial rewards in proportion to a person’s efforts. Since 2011, the Real Estate Brokers’ Exam has been administered by the (PRC) and thus a Real Estate Broker is a full-fledged professional on the same level as Certified Public Accountants (CPA’s), doctors, among others.
20 Tips – How To Top The 2013 Real Estate Brokers’ Licensure Exam
- Ask guidance from God. Have good intentions and pray always. When you are at peace and confident, I truly believe you will perform better.
- Follow PRC’s general instructions as written on the Program for the 2013 Real Estate Brokers Licensure Exam, which I have quoted below:
1. Your school/building assignment will be posted at the PRC premises two to three working days before the examination. Bring your NOTICE OF ADMISSION when you verify your School / building assignment. Visit your school/building assignment prior to the day of the examination.
2. Report to the schoollbuilding assignment before 6:30 a.m. on the first day of examination to verify your room and seat number. Be punctual, late examinees will not be admitted. Examination Fee of ABSENT examinees will be forfeited.
3. Examinees are required to wear the following attire every examination day:
Male Examinees – White polo shirts or t-shirts with collar, tucked-in
Female Examinees-White blouses or t-shirts with collar
4. Bring the following on examination day:
a. Notice of Admission
b. Official Receipt
c. One (1) piece metered-stamped Window Mailing Envelope
d. Two or more pencils (No.2)
e. Ballpen with BLACK INK ONLY
f. One (1) piece Long Brown Envelope
g. One (1) piece Long Transparent (non-colored) Plastic Envelope (for keeping your valuables and other allowed items)
5. The following are PROHIBITED inside the examination premises/rooms.
a. PROGRAMMABLE CALCULATORS (click here for PRC’s list of allowable calculators)
b. CELLULAR PHONES, beepers, portable computers or similar gadgets/devices.
c. Bags of any kinds (ladies bag and shoulder bags, attache case, backpacks, etc.)
d. Other examination aides not stated on this program.
NOTE: PRC WILL NOT BE RESPONSIBLE FOR PROHIBITED ITEMS THAT WILL BE LOST.
6. Read carefully and follow the instructions on your Notice of Admission and Examinees Kit.
- Aim for the top! Have confidence!
- Know the exam coverage, subjects, level of difficulty. Please see below the exam coverage as written in the program, where I also added links to recommended reading:
Coverage of Examination
General/Fundamentals (25%); 8am to 10 am
- Fundamentals of Property Ownership
- Code of Ethics and Responsibilities
- Legal Requirements for Real Estate Service (RA 9646/ IRR)
- Real Estate Laws and Taxation (Agri Law, CARPER, RA 7160/ 8424, etc.)
*Take note that as you have limited time, be conscious of the number of questions per subject and budget your study time accordingly. You cannot read everything that comes your way as you will only get confused. As the exam date draws near, so many “tips” will come out and you will be tempted to photocopy all of them but you will end up not being able to read any. Select what you will read carefully.
Special and Technical Knowledge (25%); 11am to 1pm
- Subdivision Development (incl. PD 957, BP 220, RA 7279, etc.)
- Condominium Concept and Other Types of Real Estate Holdings
- Legal Aspect of Sale, Mortgage, and Lease
- Documentation and Registration
- PD 1529 – Property Registration Decree
- RA 26 – An Act Providing a Special Procedure for the Reconstitution of Torrens Certificates of Title lost or destroyed
- Registering property
- BIR Revenue Memorandum Order (RMO) 15-03 – Requirements for Certificate Authorizing Registration
Professional Practice (50%); 2 to 6 pm
- Real Estate Brokerage Practice
- Real Estate Finance and Economics
- Urban and Land Use
- PD 1517 IRR - Urban Land Reform
- Planning, Development, and Zoning
- Basic Principles of Ecology
- Basic Appraisal for Real Estate Brokers
For various laws and issuances, you may also check the HLURB website.
Note that the PRC and the Professional Regulatory Board of Real Estate Service (PRB-RES) previously issued a Resolution which states the Table of Specifications which provides a breakdown of the number of questions per subject. Click here to access the said Table.
- Focus on the subjects which carry greater weight, and also on those you are not very good at. Please refer to the table below which is also from PRC’s exam program:
DATE AND TIME: SUNDAY, MARCH 17, 2013
7:00 A.M. – 7:45 A.M. GENERAL INSTRUCTIONS AND FILLING UP OF FORMS 8:00 A.M. – 10:00 A.M. GENERAL/FUNDAMENTALS
11:00 A.M – 1:00 P.M. SPECIAL AND TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE
2:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M. PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
- Have a good outline of topics to study based on the Program released by the PRC.
- Pace yourself. It would be good to follow a calendar with the subjects you need to study for each day so you can be sure that you are able to read all topics at least thrice. (I got this style from the bar review at Ateneo Law School.)
- Read the laws and regulations in their original form (full text). Make and study your own reviewers many times. If you are going to top the exam, you must know something that others do not. If you read the original, you will know some ideas which were not included in the reviewers, which most examinees rely on exclusively.
- Practice answering sample real estate brokers exam questions. We suggest that you compile sample questions and then take a “practice exam” without looking at any of your notes, AFTER you have reviewed, to help you know what to expect, and also to gauge your preparedness for the exam. CPA exam takers call this the “pre-board exam” while bar examinees call this the “mock bar exam”. This helps take away some of the jitters. If you perform well, then you are ready. If your performance is in the average level, then double or triple your efforts.
- Practice answering problems and time yourself while doing so. Strive to answer as fast (yet still as carefully) as you can.
- This might come a bit late but you should have enrolled in a good review school, where the teachers are knowledgeable about real estate, and Do not hesitate to ask questions. (In case you want to know, my husband and I are products of Engr. Enrico Cruz’s Urban Institute).
- Visit the exam room days before the exam. Check where the comfort room is located as well as the fire exits.
- If you will be commuting, know the route and which vehicles to ride. If you will bring a car, know where the parking area is.
- If you can, stay overnight at a place near the venue so you can walk and have no problem with traffic, much better (though you may have trouble sleeping if you are not used to the bed).
- Prepare all the stuff you need early, like your exam documents, sharpened pencils, calculator (make sure you understand how to use it!), food and drinks (do not bring food that can cause stomachaches or farting!), clothes and sweater, etc. the day before the exam.
- Have a good sleep the night before the exam. If you don’t have enough sleep, you will be sleepy during the exam. [True story: A friend of mine couldn’t sleep the night before our first bar exam day, so she slept during the exam (!). Don’t worry, she passed.]
- Wake up early and pray for guidance. A little bit of exercise would help “wake up” your muscles and brain.
- Take a bath and eat a good breakfast. Never take a test on an empty stomach – you will be thinking of food instead of the right answer.
- Arrive early at the test site. Have a big “allowance” for traffic. You will be so much more relaxed if you are just waiting for the test to begin at the exam room, compared to when you are running around like a headless chicken and thinking that you might not make it on time.
- If you are guessing, choose the one that is not like the others, the one “sticking out” so to speak. Take note of the words “always”, “never”, or “except” – they can give you clues to the answer.
I hope these tips will help all of you who are taking the real estate brokers’ licensure exam on March 17, 2013. I wish you all the best and I pray that all of you shall become licensed real estate brokers soon!
Cherry Vi M. Saldua-Castillo
Real Estate Broker, Lawyer, and CPA
PRC Real Estate Broker License No. 3187
PRC CPA License No. 0102054
Roll of Attorneys No. 55239
Text by Jay Castillo and Cherry Castillo. Copyright © 2008 – 2013 All rights reserved.
Full disclosure: Nothing to disclose.