Best Real Estate Exam Prep in California 2023
This article is part of a larger series on How to Become a Real Estate Agent.
The best California real estate exam prep courses fully prepare you for the 150-question test by including a mix of study materials and structured courses so you can successfully pass the California real estate exam. Most of the courses offer scheduling flexibility, while others allow you to study with a live instructor via scheduled webinars. To help you find the best exam prep course, we evaluated the top six exam prep courses for agents and brokers in California based on cost, money-back guarantee, study materials, and other key criteria.
- PrepAgent: Best overall for Californians looking for comprehensive national and state-specific exam prep with interactive study materials
- Real Estate Exam Scholar: Most affordable real estate exam prep that covers both national and state-specific portions in a self-paced format
- CA Realty Training: Top choice for students wanting intensive California real estate crash course and access to local real estate experts
- CompuCram: Effective for agents seeking self-study prep materials such as flashcards, webinars, e-books, worksheets, and practice tests
- Colibri Real Estate: Ideal for students wanting easy-to-follow exam prep course with multiple customizable exams
- Kaplan: Recommended for aspiring salespersons and brokers looking for diverse study formats either via self-paced online, livestream, on-demand video, or home study
Best Real Estate Exam Prep in California at a Glance
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Choosing the right real estate exam prep is the first step in a successful real estate career. Start by taking our quiz to see which provider is the best fit for you:
Which California real estate exam prep provider is right for you?
Things you need to know before enrolling for your California real estate license education:
Along with education requirements, there are additional steps to completing your real estate licensure. Check out our step-by-step guide to becoming a real estate agent in California to help you get started.
PrepAgent: Best Overall for Comprehensive National & State-specific Exam Prep Course
- Multiple interactive course features
- Study aids include video and audio
- National and state-specific exam portions
- Money-back guarantee
- No chat customer support
- Live webinars and audio library not accessible in the Basic package
- No in-person exam prep classes
- Basic Package: $59, accessible for one week; includes national and state-specific questions and money-back guarantee
- Deluxe Package: $79, accessible for one month; includes everything in the Basic package plus exam prep videos, audio lessons, interactive flashcards, and exam prep e-book
- Premium Package: $99, accessible for one year; includes everything in the Deluxe package plus vocabulary worksheet and live and recorded webinars
- Real Estate Crash Course: $69, includes three to four hours of live study sessions with experts focusing on a different portion of the exam
PrepAgent is our best overall provider of California real estate exam prep course because of its comprehensive content that covers both national and state portions, as well as interactive self-study tools that supplement your learning experience. The school offers the largest variety of study aids on this list at an affordable price to ensure you succeed in real estate. You can even choose from packages offering access for a week, month, or year, which is perfect for aspiring realtors who need scheduling flexibility.
Each exam prep package is tailored to varying levels of preparation needed for the California (CA) real estate exam. You can get access to exam prep audios and videos, as well as interactive flashcards and an exam prep e-book. If you opt for the one-year package, you can join exclusive webinars five times a week covering various exam topics, as well as recorded webinars with a replay of chats. Students who just want a quick refresher can review both national and state-specific questions for one week.
Additional PrepAgent Features
- Live online group webinars: Chat with a live instructor and join other members in a live webinar covering various topics of the real estate exam.
- Money-back guarantee: Students can request a refund within 120 days from the purchase date if they are unsuccessful in their state licensing exam.
- Free practice exam: Try PrepAgents’ easy-to-use practice test system with sample questions for the national portion.
- Real Estate Crash Course: Join an interactive cram-style study session on various real estate topics led by experienced private tutors. Crash courses cover national, state, and real estate math questions.
- One-on-one Private Tutoring: If you need a personal instructor to help you overcome your learning struggles and build effective study habits, sign up for a private tutoring session with real estate experts.
- Other real estate courses: PrepAgent offers prelicensing as well as continuing education (CE) for license renewal, in 14 states, including California.
PrepAgent has received a review rating of 4.4 out of 5. Most of the positive reviews testified of passing their state exam on their first attempt to obtain a real estate license. Materials were said to be organized and thorough in covering the topics found on the state tests. One positive review found PrepAgent’s content to be “more relatable and easier to understand” than programs from other schools. Some students also liked the flashcards, practice tests, and video learning resources.
There were several negative reviews of the exam prep program. One student was dissatisfied after failing the exam multiple times. Another agent discovered several “incorrect” answers to practice questions and had a hard time asking for a refund. Most negative reviews were disappointed with the poor customer service that was unresponsive to customers’ emails or phone messages. While PrepAgent provides several interactive study tools, it doesn’t offer in-person classes like CA Realty Training.
Real Estate Exam Scholar: Most Affordable CA Real Estate Exam Prep
- Affordable pricing
- Pass guarantee
- Multiple exam prep materials
- No livestream course format
- No phone support
- Course accessible for only 6 months
- No direct access to real estate expert
- California Salesperson: $39 covers both state-specific and national portions, includes flashcards, full terms glossary, videos and audios, animated explainer videos, unlimited practice exams, premium email support, and pass guarantee
Real Estate Exam Scholar is a national online real estate school specializing in providing low-cost real exam prep courses in all 50 states. At $39, you can enjoy a self-paced exam prep course that covers both national and CA-specific portions. What’s more, if you’re aspiring to be a licensed broker, Real Estate Exam Scholar provides a broker exam prep course in California. Though you won’t have direct access to real estate instructors, you can contact their team via email to assist you with your learning experience.
What we love about Real Estate Exam Scholar is the plethora of study tools already included in your one-time course fee. Upon signing up, you can immediately access over 3,500 up-to-date questions, unlimited exams, explainer videos, exam videos, exam audios, and flashcards for six months. The course also includes a full vocabulary glossary, reference library, emailed grades, secret tips to pass the exam, and a pass certificate. These resources are valuable in gaining confidence when taking the exam.
Additional Real Estate Exam Scholar Features
- Fully responsive course design: Exam prep courses are compatible with any device and can be accessed from Mac, iPad, iPhone tablet, Samsung tablet, Android phone, and Kindle Fire. Course materials are also compatible with all browsers and operating systems.
- 100% Delighted Pass Guarantee: If you don’t pass the exam or are unsatisfied with the course, you can ask for a refund within 365 days from the sign-up date.
- Dedicated email support: A remote team will answer every question you have regarding your course materials via email within 24 hours or less.
- Timed and untimed practice tests: While most of the practice tests are untimed, the platform also provides exams with a timer to mimic the actual licensing exam. This enables you to develop test-taking strategies to successfully pass the exam.
- Free real estate practice exam: To see if Real Estate Exam Scholar’s California real estate exam prep course is right for you, check out their free real estate practice exam video that contains sample exam questions and explanations to answers.
Real Estate Exam Scholar Reviews
At the time of this writing, there are no online reviews for Real Estate Exam Scholar from third-party review sites. However, based on the customer testimonials on its website, students who took the Real Estate Exam Scholar’s course passed their exam on the first try. One student liked the quizzes and mock exams that helped her identify her weaknesses. Some also found the easy-to-navigate platform to be effective for drilling materials. Most students enjoyed the explanations of each question, which helped them comprehend concepts better.
While there are no negative online reviews, Real Estate Exam Scholar lacks live phone and chat support, which could delay assistance for students with immediate concerns. Additionally, the school doesn’t offer livestream courses to those who want real-time interaction with experts.
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CA Realty Training: Top Choice for Intensive California Crash Course & Access to Local Experts
- Multiple course format variety
- Access to local real estate expert
- Two-day intensive crash course
- No a la carte study materials available
- Pricing can be more expensive than other exam prep courses
- Online State Exam Prep: $50+ includes vocabulary, flashcards, helpful study tips, and state exam application assistance; add $100 to upgrade to Video Crash Course
- Video Crash Course plus State Exam Prep: $150+ includes Online State Exam Prep plus crash course videos, PowerPoint slides, unit quizzes, and downloadable crash course packet
- Live Crash Course plus State Exam Prep: $175+, includes a two-day intensive crash course by a realtor, access to State Exam Prep, PowerPoint slides, unit quizzes, and downloadable crash course packet; add $50 to access the Video Crash Course
For aspiring agents looking for the best California real estate exam crash course, CA Realty Training is your best choice. Its crash course and exam prep packages contain unlimited and customizable practice exams, vocabulary flashcards, and study tips. CA Realty Training is also the only school on this list that provides state exam application assistance to its students, making the licensing process easier. With a 90% passing rate, CA Realty Training prepares you for the exam, so you pass it on the first try.
You can choose from three exam prep packages as shown in the table above. The Video Crash Course will give you two-month access to video lessons and a six-month access to self-paced learning materials. The Live Crash Course connects you to local realtors in a two-day intensive cram course that you can attend via webinar or in-person training. You will also get two-month access to online crash course materials and a downloadable crash course packet to take notes in—a great combination of self-paced and live education.
Additional CA Realty Training Features
- Pass Guarantee: If you don’t pass your state exam on your first attempt, you can get a full or partial refund if you meet the qualifications required by CA Realty Training.
- Proprietary student portal: Students have access to a platform containing all learning materials purchased with the CA Realty Training licensing plan, as well as a dashboard that outlines course performance and course completion percentages.
- Bonus video materials: Any exam prep package includes access to the school’s YouTube channel with 200-plus videos of learning materials.
- Other real estate courses: Aside from exam prep, CA Realty Training provides real estate prelicensing and broker licensing courses, as well as continuing education for license renewal in California.
- Job assistance: Students who are enrolled in CA Realty Training’s exam prep and licensing courses can get job assistance through its partnerships with select brokerages.
CA Realty Training Reviews
CA Realty Training has received a 4.8 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot. Agents love the experienced and knowledgeable instructors who motivated them throughout the course. Students particularly enjoyed the opportunity to connect with local instructors for any questions that came up throughout their online learning. Another satisfied student found the course content to be up to date and materials well organized on the platform.
However, there were a few students who were not satisfied with their instructors. One negative review mentioned the frequent change in instructors and that each instructor had different ways of teaching. An agent also complained of technical issues when accessing the online training programs. Another agent found the six-month course access to be short. If you need longer than six months to access your exam prep materials, we recommend PrepAgent.
CompuCram: Best for Self-paced CA Real Estate Exam Prep
- Interactive study materials
- Self-paced course format
- Pass guarantee
- Course is mobile-, tablet-, and desktop-friendly
- Lacking in course format variety
- No direct access to instructors
- Course accessible for only 180 days
- CA Real Estate Exam Prep: $105 includes real estate vocabulary, interactive flashcards, matching, and fill-in-the-blank, unlimited real estate salesperson practice exams, pre-assessment, and money-back guarantee
For busy students looking for California real estate exam prep online, along with multiple self-study materials,CompuCram offers a course that you can complete as your schedule allows. Unlike other schools in this list, CompuCram is a real estate platform dedicated exclusively to exam prep. Its comprehensive exam prep course provides California-specific and national materials, such as unlimited simulated exams, practice exams, flashcards, and study vocabulary.
A unique feature of CompuCram is its Readiness Indicator. The Readiness Indicator tracks your progress with the study vocabulary, practice tests, and simulated exams. This enables aspiring real estate agents and brokers to know when they are ready to take the California real estate exam based on a pre-assessment practice test and continuous exam practice. Furthermore, tracking your progress will allow you to master content and questions that you will most likely encounter in the licensing exam.
Additional CompuCram Features
- 100% Pass Guarantee: If you don’t pass your exam, you will have your money back once you send a copy of your exam results within 14 days of the failed exam attempt. You will be eligible if you achieve over 80% at least three times in the Simulated Exams area within seven days before your exam attempt.
- Free practice test: CompuCram provides a free real estate practice exam to build your confidence and expertise before you get your license. Free practice exams are also provided for other real estate experts, such as brokers, home inspectors, and contractors.
- Exclusive Pre-assessment exam: To gauge your learning, CompuCram provides a pre-assessment exam before you start your course so you can identify the areas you need to focus on.
- Mobile- and tablet-friendly: You can access your course on an easy-to-navigate interface to review content on any mobile device anytime, anywhere.
- Other real estate exam prep courses: Aside from the salesperson exam prep, CompuCram provides exam prep courses for students who want to take brokerage, appraisal, mortgage lending, home inspection, title insurance, securities, and contractor licensing exams.
With a rating of 4 out of 5, CompuCram students were satisfied with the easy-to-use platform and Readiness Indicator that boosted their confidence when they took the California real estate exam. One review noted that the course taught her everything she needed to know to pass the exam. Another student who passed on the first try said that practice tests are closely similar to the actual test.
However, some students were not very satisfied with their CompuCram course. According to one “slightly disappointed” review, several questions on the state portion were not covered in the exam prep materials. Another student said that the course is good, but the material lacks clear explanations for exam questions. Moreover, CompuCram doesn’t offer livestream courses. If you prefer direct access to an instructor, try CA Realty Training, PrepAgent, or Kaplan.
Colibri Real Estate: Ideal for Easy-to-follow CA Exam Prep With Multiple Customizable Exams
- Self-paced format
- Multiple practice exams
- Pass guarantee
- No tiered course plans available
- Lacking in course format variety
- No access to live instructor
- Exam Prep for CA Salesperson: $99 includes progress exams, final exams, custom exams, digital flashcards, and pass guarantee
Colibri Real Estate offers self-paced real estate exam prep in California, which is perfect for aspiring agents looking for supplemental study materials that they can complete at their own pace. What’s great about this exam prep course is the multiple exams, including progress exams, final exams, and custom exams, that you can tailor based on your desired topics. This is effective in gauging the knowledge you gained from your licensing course.
If you’re also checking out licensing courses, Colibri Real Estate offers CA prelicensing courses in self-paced and livestream formats. You can choose from tiered packages based on your budget and learning needs. If you opt for higher plans, you can enjoy live question-and-answer (Q&A) sessions and Live Exam Crammer Series webinars. These interactive course features give you direct access to real estate instructors and are hyper-focused on passing the exam.
Additional Colibri Real Estate Features
- Multiple exams: The course includes 10 practice exams, two national and three state final exams, and customizable exams to make sure you’re fully prepared for the licensing exam.
- Results breakdown: A breakdown of your results by topic can be viewed at the end of the exam to identify areas that need improvement.
- Exam Prep with audio playback: If you subscribe to the Exam Preparation prelicensing package, you can access Exam Prep Master with audio reviews that cover commonly missed exam topics.
- Course extension: If you need more than six months to complete the course, extend your course access at a cost for seven, 30, or up to 60 days.
- Digital flashcards: Review key terms and definitions by topic by creating decks of flashcards.
- Pass or Don’t Pay Guarantee: You are eligible for a money-back guarantee in case you don’t pass the exam on the first try. However, you need to score at least 80% in all your Progress exams and Final exams and take the licensing exam within 30 days after completing the course.
Colibri Real Estate Reviews
Colibri Real Estate received a rating of 4.1 out of 5 from Indeed, showing how students are satisfied with the quality education that helped them pass the exam on the first try. Agents liked the self-paced format as they could complete the courses at their convenient time. One agent also commended the affordable pricing of Colibri Real Estate’s courses. Additionally, students like the user-friendly content, which enables them to fully prepare for the licensing exam.
However, some students were disappointed in not being able to reverse the flashcards for further learning. Another student mentioned they would have liked more interaction within the courses, instead of just reading and trying to comprehend the materials themselves. Since Colibri Real Estate only offers a self-paced exam prep course in California, you might want to check Kaplan’s or CA Realty Training’s livestream classes for more interaction with real estate experts.
Kaplan: Best for Multiple Exam Prep Course Formats for Salespersons & Brokers
- Course format variety
- Exam prep courses for salespersons and brokers
- Access to live instructor
- Course packages can be expensive
- PassProtection Retake Policy only covers live online courses
- Interactive study groups only available in licensing courses
- Course accessible for 6 months only
Kaplan offers course packages and individual courses for aspiring salespersons and brokers.
- CA Real Estate Exam Prep Package: $199; available in on-demand and live online formats; available for salespersons and brokers
- Real Estate Study Package: $99
- CA Real Estate Drill and Practice Qbank: $69.00; available for salespersons and brokers
- Modern Real Estate Practice Flashcard Review: $42.00
- CA Real Estate Flashcards: $42.00; available in homestudy format; available for salespersons and brokers
- Real Estate Math OnDemand Course: $29 to $35.00; available for salespersons and brokers
- CA Real Estate Terms and Definitions Audio MP3: $29.50 available in a homestudy format; available for salespersons and brokers
For aspiring salespersons and brokers who are looking for various real estate exam prep courses, we recommend Kaplan. What sets Kaplan apart from other competitors is its home study option, in addition to other course formats, which include on-demand, live online, and self-paced instruction. Aside from exam prep packages, Kaplan also offers individual courses and study materials that fit your budget and exam prep needs. This includes drill and practice Qbank, exam prep workbooks, real estate math, and practice flashcard review.
Kaplan’s California real estate license exam prep courses feature state content and hundreds of multiple-choice questions with rationales designed to mirror the licensing exam topics and subtopics. If you opt for live online real estate classes in California, you will have access to focused, instructor-led national and state concept reviews, along with an online pre-test and post-test to gauge your learning progress and preparedness for the exam.
Additional Kaplan Features
- Exam prep aligned with CA test topics: Kaplan promises exam prep content that mirrors the real estate topics and subtopics outlined in the California examination content.
- Study by topic: Exam prep content is sectioned by topics so you can focus on specific areas you need more mastery. This makes it easier to understand crucial concepts and get better results in the exam.
- Review questions: All multiple-choice questions are written by real estate professionals, with in-depth explanations to answers.
- Performance tracker: Kaplan’s performance tracker will enable you to identify the areas where you excel and need improvement to ensure complete confidence on the exam day.
- Real estate math course: This course enables you to review the calculations for determining a commission under different circumstances, a seller’s net from sale and price based on a specified seller’s net, and calculations necessary to establish the amount a property has appreciated or depreciated.
Kaplan received a 4.3 out of 5 rating on Trustpilot. Reviews show that students are satisfied with the school’s excellent teachers, comprehensive content, and flexible learning formats. Agents praise Kaplan’s responsive, knowledgeable, and highly professional instructors who guided them in passing the real estate exam on the first try. Students also recommend the exam prep courses from Kaplan, which equipped them with the knowledge necessary to get their license.
However, some students were dissatisfied with some outdated content and several system glitches they encountered while completing their course. A student mentioned experiencing an unresponsive platform, which did not save his work and made him restart the section. Kaplan’s pricing is also the most expensive on this list. If you’re looking for more affordable CA exam prep, we recommend Real Estate Exam Scholar and PrepAgent.
How We Evaluated the Top Real Estate Exam Prep in California
To help aspiring agents successfully get their license, we evaluated several real estate schools that offer California real estate exam prep courses. We looked into the features and pricing of the exam prep courses to make sure they provide high-quality learning tools without sacrificing your budget. Customer reviews and expertise were also factored in as they gauged the effectiveness of the learning experience.
At the end of our evaluation,PrepAgent was determined to be the provider with the best California real estate exam prep. Its course format variety provides effective learning options to students with different study styles. Additionally, the school has interactive study aids that complement the practice exams covering national and state-specific questions. Students particularly like how PrepAgent presented its course content in a thorough and organized manner.
Following are the criteria we used to find the best real estate exam prep courses in California:
25% of Overall Score
Pricing is based on the cost and availability of pre- and post-licensing, continuing education courses, and exam prep for each online institution.
20% of Overall Score
We reviewed the type of learning format that each course is delivered in (livestream, self-paced, video, audio) as well as the length of course availability from purchase.
20% of Overall Score
Consist of various formatting and learning styles for each course to meet the specific needs of the agent as well as ease of course accessibility.
15% of Overall Score
Based on customer feedback for each program, with particular attention given to reviews of the product and popularity of the provider, to certify the course meets user satisfaction.
10% of Overall Score
Expertise in the field and firsthand experience with the providers allow us to evaluate the standout features, value for the money, and ease of use for each school.
10% of Overall Score
We looked into the convenience and attainability of customer service for technical support and instructor assistance.