20 Tips – How To Top The Real Estate Brokers’ Licensure Exam

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The 2013 Real Estate Brokers Exam is fast approaching as March 17, 2013 is only eleven days away!

If you are going to take the exam, might as well aim for the top.

Here are some tips for those who want to top the 2013 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.

Aim for the top 10 and pass the real estate brokers examHowever, 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

  1. Ask guidance from God. Have good intentions and pray always. When you are at peace and confident, I truly believe you will perform better.
  2. Follow PRC’s general instructions as written on the Program for the 2013 Real Estate Brokers Licensure Exam, which I have quoted below:

    General Instructions

    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.

  3. Aim for the top! Have confidence!
  4. 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

    *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

    Professional Practice (50%); 2 to 6 pm

    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.

  5. 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

    SUBJECTS

    WEIGHT

    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

    25%

    11:00 A.M – 1:00 P.M.SPECIAL AND TECHNICAL KNOWLEDGE

    25%

    2:00 P.M. – 6:00 P.M.PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE

    50%

    100%

  6. Have a good outline of topics to study based on the Program released by the PRC.
  7. 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.)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. Practice answering problems and time yourself while doing so. Strive to answer as fast (yet still as carefully) as you can.
  11. 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).
  12. Visit the exam room days before the exam. Check where the comfort room is located as well as the fire exits.
  13. 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.
  14. 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).
  15. 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.
  16. 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.]
  17. Wake up early and pray for guidance. A little bit of exercise would help “wake up” your muscles and brain.
  18. 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.
  19. 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.
  20. 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!

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~~~

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.

Image courtesy: of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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About Cherry Castillo

is a Real Estate Broker (PRC Real Estate Broker License No. 3187), Lawyer (Roll of Attorneys No. 55239), and CPA (PRC CPA License No. 0102054). She is the 2013 Internal Education Head of REBAP-LMP

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  • Carla

    Hi Cherry,
    Thanks for the helpful tips :)
    I would like to ask if I can still withdraw or cancel my application after I have already completed or applied for a licensure exam?
    If I will be absent on the day of the exam, will they forfeit my application or will rate me failed and will my examination type already belong to ” repeater” the next time I would apply for the exam eventhough I was not able to take the exam but was registered?

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  • Ren

    Are there any available references for the REB exam in the bookstore? What are they?

  • Rol

    Thank you for the tips Cherry! I just wonder if exams like this would include identifying the sections or articles of certain laws like identifying the article number of a civil code or section numbers.. It is just too much to memorize and take too much time. More power to you and your husband!

  • Wilfredo L. Segovia

    Great TIPS, they are very helpful! In addition –
    1) Remember the exam is multiple choice, so the answer is already present and you have a 25% chance.
    2) Read all questions first before answering. Then follow phase 1,2,3,4 below.
    3) Phase 1 – Answer only those questions that you already are 100% sure of the correct answer.
    4) Phase 2 – Go back to the remaining unanswered questions and eliminate the choices you know to be wrong; this will leave you just 2 or 3 choices left. Then focus and analyze for the best answer.
    5) Phase 3 – Leave for last those questions which requires computation. Computation takes much more time versus analysis but the question also has the same weight.
    6) Phase 4 – Here’s the spiritual part: If you still have some remaining unanswered questions, make a guess with a prayer> :) Good luck!

  • http://www.unsayuso.com Zion

    Good luck sa magtetake ng exam, gusto ko sana, kaso underage! T_T I’ve read that you need to be 21 to become a real estate broker here in the Philippines. Is 18 too young to be a real estate broker?

  • http://www.argeltiburcio.com Argel Tiburcio

    I’d like to share another tip:

    On the exam day, as much as possible do not review or even look at your reviewers for at least an hour before the exam starts. This will help you relax and also believe that you are 100% ready to be a top-notcher. Also, this will most likely prevent mental blocks once you grab a hold of your exam papers and questionnaires.

    Thanks for these tips, Ma’am Cherry!

    God bless to our future real estate brokers!

    P.S. I almost made it to the top 10, just like sir Ronald. A couple of points away hehe!

  • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Jay Castillo

    Don’t be bitter hon! I still remember when they released the results last April 1, 2011 and I said “Hon, may results na sa PRC, and you are ranked #4! By the way, Happy April Fools day!”. You said “Tado ka!” and you did not want to believe me until you had read the official results from the PRC… hehe!

    Sorry, that was a once in a lifetime chance to “good-time” you. :-)

    By the way, good luck to all examinees!

  • JM

    Thanks for the tips Atty. Cherry. Hope we can pass the Exam

  • Jojo Legaspi

    Hi Cherry,

    Thank you for the tips. These are helpful. I hope to pass the board exam this March 17. More Power!

  • Erwin Makalintal

    Lemme add,

    You have to wake up very early during the two day board exam
    Practice waking up at around 5: 30 AM 2 weeks before the exam.
    I had a hard time focusing on the exam coz I’m still sleepy but
    with God’s guidance I passed.

  • Jam Race

    Dear Cherry,

    Thank you for being helpful and accommodating. Attended the CRESAR review near Megamall and the notes are practically scattered- quite difficult which is which to prioritize. As a law student, I can heartily agree with you that there are a lot of additional notes being passed around for the final round of review. I wouldn’t want to look at it anymore and would just focus on the key points that will appear in the examination. Thanks for the rehash and straight to the point tips. After all, the Real Estate practice is a roller coaster of mixed happy emotions (yes, even the down side!) and the experience- the thrill and eventual financial freedom that comes along with carefully planned strategic work is worth it!

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Cherry Castillo

      Hi Jam,

      You’re welcome and good luck!

      Best regards,
      Cherry

  • http://www.livingcashflow101.com/ Ronald

    Hehehe. I remember my exam, I only got to #11. What helped me is your tip #9 and group study. When you do a group study, you get more practice exams to review and you help each other out with questions.

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Cherry Castillo

      Hi Ronald,

      Group study will never work for me kasi masyado akong madaldal. Imbes na mag-aral, puro daldal haha. To each his own I guess.

      Best regards,
      Cherry

  • JC Manahan

    Very Useful for us first timers. Thank you Jay and Cherry

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Cherry Castillo

      You’re welcome JC. Good luck!

      Best regards,
      Cherry

  • http://phillancer.com Hazel

    Thank you!! More power!

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Cherry Castillo

      You’re welcome Hazel.

      Best regards,
      Cherry

  • carla e sollesta

    Thanks a lot. My God , Im beginning to get nervous. . .

    • http://www.foreclosurephilippines.com Cherry Castillo

      Good luck Carla! You can do it!

      Best regards,
      Cherry