How To Study For The Maryland Real Estate Broker Exam Like an Attorney – The Pendergraft Firm

What Do I Mean By Studying For The Maryland Real Estate Broker Exam Like an Attorney?

I approached the Maryland Real Estate Broker exam in the same way I approached the Maryland Bar Exam. You do not need to know how to practice law to pass the bar exam, and you do not need to know how to broker real estate in order to pass the real estate exam. To pass these exams you need to understand (1) the terminology (2) the rules and (2) how to apply the rules. Before going into How to Study for The Maryland Real Estate Broker and Salesperson Exam Like an Attorney I’ll do a brief overview on what’s tested, so we know how to focus our studies.

Update: My Study Materials Are Now For Sale!

Due to popular demand, the study materials that I created in order to quickly learn the black letter law for passing the Maryland portion of the real estate exam is now for sale. You can download a sample or purchase the study aid for $99. The study aid includes:

  1. My 33-page comprehensive plain language interpretation of the Maryland Real Estate Broker’s Act
  2. My secret weapon – My 9-page super-condensed outline of the REBA to learn the minimum of what you need to know for maximum results.
  3. A plain language interpretation of relevant ethics rules from the Code of Maryland Regulations.
  4. Our exclusive 20% discount code to Prepagent.


The National Portion of The Exam and Overall Strategy

The National portion of The Real Estate exam is the same for both Salespersons and Brokers in Maryland. You’re asked 90 questions, and 10 are experimental so you’re graded on 80. You must a score a minimum of 70% in order to pass. This means you must get 56 questions right, and can only get 24 questions wrong. Because of the large volume of questions I overall think the National Portion is easier than the Maryland portion. More questions means more room for error. The topics and the amount of questions you are asked in each section is public information put out by psiexams that can be found here. The topics are further broken down. I highly recommend checking out that link. Here are the topics and the amount of questions asked from each section for both aspiring brokers and salespersons:

  1. Property Ownership (Salesperson 6 questions/broker 6 questions)
  2. Land Use Controls and Regulations (Sales person 5 questions/broker 5 questions)
  3. Valuation and Market Analysis (sales person 8 questions/broker 6 questions)
  4. Financing (sales person 7 questions/broker 7 questions)
  5. General Principles of Agency (salesperson 10 questions/broker 11 questions)
  6. Property Condition and Disclosures (salesperson 8 questions/broker 9 questions)
  7. Contracts (salesperson 11 questions broker 12 questions)
  8. Transfer of Title (salesperson 5 questions/broker 5 questions)
  9. Practice of Real Estate (sales person 12 questions/broker 12 questions)
  10. Real Estate Calculations (salesperson 6 questions/broker 4 questions)
  11. Specialty Areas – like 1031 exchanges (salesperson 2 questions/broker 3 questions)

Right off the bat you’ll see that real estate calculations and specialty areas are tested the least, even though in my experience those areas take the most time to learn. For this reason I half-arsed studying for those portions of the exam and suggest most people do the same. And again, because the National Portion asks so many questions you can make up for those points by doing better in the other areas.

Learning The Terminology for the National Portion of Real Estate Exam

So before you can take practice exams you’ll need to understand the terminology. You’ll need to know what is an “estate for years”, a “deed”, a “riparian rights”, and so on. I recommend signing up for the premium package from prepagent.com, a real estate exam prep company. In my opinion they go overboard with the amount of things they give you to study. You can learn the terminology just by studying the:

  1. Keyword Outline
  2. Flashcards
  3. Taking Vocabulary exams

Important note, you are NOT being tested on your ability to write down and repeat definitions. You just have to know the terms enough so that you recognize it when you see it and can answer questions. So don’t get bogged down with studying vocabulary. Read it, then move onto doing questions. Doing questions will help you understand the terminology as well, so the goal here is to move on to doing questions quick.

Practicing for The National Portion of The Real Estate Exam

Now that you have a grasp of the terminology it’s time to hop straight into doing multiple choice questions. For this I recommend using prepagent.com as well. You’re going to get a lot of questions wrong but that’s the point. The goal is to get as many questions wrong as possible. The technique is really simple. Get questions wrong. Study the questions you got wrong and learn why you got them wrong. Write down why you got them wrong and keep going. Use prepgent to take these exams:

  1. Master exam
  2. Law of Agency Exam
  3. Financing
  4. Practice and Disclosure
  5. Transfer of Property
  6. Valuation & Market Analysis
  7. Property Ownership
  8. Math*

*Once again, I half-arsed studying the math portion and never actually completed a math practice exam because I felt that the overall amount of time spent learning and fewer questions was not worth it.

The Maryland Portion of The Real Estate Exam

The Maryland portion of the Real Estate licensing exam is just 40 questions for brokers and 30 questions for salespersons. I think that the Maryland portion is harder because there is much less room for error. In order to pass the exam broker examinees must get 28 questions right and can only get 12 questions wrong. Salesperson examinees must get 21 questions right and can only get 9 questions wrong. For this reason I recommend studying for the Maryland portion like you’re trying to get an A. Here’s the topic and amount of questions break down for the Maryland portion:

  1. Duties and Powers of The Real Estate Commission (4 sales/5 broker)
  2. Licensing Requirements (4 sales, 8 broker)
  3. Agency (7 Sales, 7 Broker)
  4. Supervision (5 Sales, 6 Broker)
  5. Business Conduct – (6 Sales, 9 Broker)
  6. Ethics – (4 Sales, 5 Broker)

Studying The Maryland Real Estate Brokers Act

The Maryland portions tests the aspiring brokers and agents knowledge on Md. Business Occupations and Professions Code Ann. Section 17-101. Better known as the Maryland Real Estate Brokers Act. For this reason I recommend going straight to the black letter law and reading it.

  1. Click Business Occupations and Professions
  2. Click Real Estate Brokers
  3. Click Subtitle 1 and then read through Subtitle 7

I do not recommend Googling the Maryland Real Estate Brokers Act to find a PDF. Many of the versions I found online are out of date. I recommend looking up the Maryland Real Estate Brokers Act yourself or purchasing the up to date 2018 version of my outline.

Practicing for the Maryland Real Estate Exam

After reading through your outline of the brokers Act a few times, it’s time to take a bunch of practice exams and get as many questions wrong as possible. Then study why you got those questions wrong. For the Maryland portion I do not recommend using prepagent because the questions are not difficult enough. I recommend using realestateprepguide.com.

How To Study For The Maryland Real Estate Broker and Salesperson Exam In a Nutshell

National Portion

  1. Study Terminology (prepagent)
  2. Take Practice Exams and Get a Bunch of Questions Wrong (prepagent)
  3. Understand Why You Got The Questions Wrong

Maryland Portion

  1. Study Maryland Real Estate Brokers Act (Make your own outline of the MD REBA on Lexis)
  2. Take Practice Exams and Get a Bunch of Questions Wrong (realestateprepguide.com)
  3. Understand Why You Got The Questions Wrong

Good Luck!


I hope you enjoyed How to Study for the Maryland Real Estate Broker and Salesperson exam like an attorney. However, this method may very well not work for you especially if you’re not an attorney. Use this method at your own risk!

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