California real estate exam prep includes a mix of study materials and structured courses that prepare students to take and pass the real estate licensing exam. We reviewed 10 options, landing on the top six based on the cost, money-back guarantee, study materials, and other important criteria.
Best California Real Estate Exam Prep
(Best Overall) Agents needing instructor-led prep via on-demand video and in-class instruction
Students wanting a California-based exam prep class with online and in-person components
Future agents seeking affordable, timed practice tests for exam prep
Students needing state-approved coaches to answer prelicensing questions
Aspiring agents needing math-focused exam prep study and coursework
Agents seeking self-study prep materials such as flashcards, webinars, e-books, worksheets, and practice tests
How We Evaluated California Real Estate Exam Prep
Many aspiring real estate agents struggle to pass the California real estate exam—in part because they don’t have the right exam prep materials. In order to help students find the most affordable and effective exam prep options, we evaluated the best ones based on price, course types, study aids, delivery methods, and availability of faculty and staff.
Here are the six criteria used to evaluate the best California-specific real estate exam prep courses:
- Money-back guarantee
- Courses and topics
- Study aids
- Course delivery methods
- Instructors and faculty
Given these criteria, we found that the best provider for exam prep materials in California is Kaplan. Its exam prep is both affordable and comprehensive with instructor-led courses, extensive study materials, and options for on-demand video, streaming video, and in-classroom course formats.
Best Overall California Real Estate Exam Prep Provider: Kaplan
What it is: Kaplan is a complete online real estate school that helps potential agents study for and pass their licensing exam.
What makes it great for aspiring California real estate agents: Kaplan offers exam prep courses in the largest variety of formats, including on-demand, online, live online, and home study textbooks.
Instructor-led course available
Exam prep flashcards and study aids require an additional fee
Includes assessment tests before and after the course
Higher prices than exam prep options
Extremely in-depth course material
- California real estate exam prep course is $199
- Study aids for agents range from $24 to $59
- Full refund within 30 days of starting your course
- Courses offered in the most format variety: in-person, online, on-demand, and live online
- California exam prep courses can be purchased individually
- Exam prep course includes a beginning and ending assessment of your understanding in all topics
- Individual prep course on real estate math
- Large online question bank, flashcards
- Real estate terms and conditions audio file
What Students Say About Kaplan
Reviewers on ActiveRain and Trustpilot indicated that Kaplan’s on-site course and online review materials were key to passing their real estate exam. A few users commented that the cost of the course is higher than other exam prep options.
Best for California-focused Online & Classroom Prep: CA Realty Training
What it is: CA Realty Training is a California-based real estate school with exam prep to aid prospective agents in studying for and passing their licensure exam on the first try.
What makes it great for aspiring California real estate agents: CA Realty Training stands out by offering an exam prep course that includes 16 hours of video training and live, two-day classes taught by licensed, local real estate agents.
CA Realty Training Pros
CA Realty Training Cons
California-specific video content
No money-back guarantee
Courses offered live and online
Does not offer a la carte study aids
Affordable options include instructor access
CA Realty Training Pricing
- Online exam prep courses range from $50 to $100
- Live exam prep courses range from $125 to $175
CA Realty Training Features
- Online, video, live, and hybrid course options
- Unlimited practice state exams
- Two months of access to crash course videos
- One year of access to study prep material
- Over 1,000 practice questions
- Over 3,000 flashcards
- State-specific real estate information
- Live crash courses include access to a California real estate professional
What Students Say About CA Realty Training
Over 100 reviews on Facebook, 50 reviews on Yelp, and 80 reviews on Trustpilot praise CA Realty Training for its real estate exam prep. The one negative comment noted that a year was not enough time to finish the prelicensing course, but this is the maximum completion time required by the state of California due to changes in course requirements.
Best for Affordable Practice Tests: Real Estate Exam Scholar
What it is: Real Estate Exam Scholar is an online-only national real estate school.
What makes it great for aspiring California real estate agents: It uniquely offers a six-month, subscription-based program with 25 practice tests covering more than 1,000 questions for only $29. Agents who want to spend time on practice tests will find Real Estate Exam Scholar a good choice.
Real Estate Exam Scholar Pros
Real Estate Exam Scholar Cons
Money-back guarantee that you’ll pass the exam on the first try
No video or audio components
Most affordable exam prep option
Only available online
Most practice tests of any exam prep provider
No instructor access
Real Estate Exam Scholar Pricing
- One-time fee of $29
- Six months of course access
- Money-back pass guarantee
Real Estate Exam Scholar Features
- 95% pass rate
- Unlimited timed practice tests
- More than 1,000 practice questions
- 25 different practice exams
- Flashcards and study tools are included in the one-time price
- Practice exams are printable and accessible on all devices
What Students Say About Real Estate Exam Scholar
The reviews on the Real Estate Exam Scholar website were glowing with praise; comments like “no-brainer purchase” and “confidence builder” illustrate students’ love of the platform. We were unable to find any negative reviews about Real Estate Exam Scholar.
Best for State-approved Coaches: Real Estate Express
What it is: Real Estate Express is an online school for students who need to take prelicensing classes and get study aids to help pass their license exam.
What makes it great for aspiring California real estate agents: Real Estate Express offers multiple exam prep package options and is the only school with a package that offers real estate coaching.
Real Estate Express Pros
Real Estate Express Cons
Access to California real estate coaches with Master program
Exam prep course and materials only available in a pre-licensing package
Multiple exam prep packages
Packages are the most expensive on this list
Pass or don’t pay guarantee
No in-person course options
Real Estate Express Pricing
- Individual exam prep course is $99
- Exam Prep packages with prelicensing range from $225 to $449
- Frequent discounts offered
- “Pass or Don’t Pay” Guarantee
Pro tip: Start your real estate education today with a special offer for our readers from Real Estate Express. Use promo code FSB25 for 25% off your purchase.
Real Estate Express Features
- All California exam prep materials and courses are online
- Individual exam prep course includes progress exams, final exam, and digital flashcards
- Packages include instructor support and additional real estate e-books
- Ultimate Learning package includes instructor question and answer sessions, one year of professional development courses, 90-day boot camp, and a real estate dictionary
- Courses include over 900 practice questions
- 12 different practice tests on national real estate concepts
- Three practice tests on California-specific material
What Students Say About Real Estate Express
Most online reviewers stated that the repetition of the materials in Real Estate Exam Prep Master makes it easy to pick up concepts and reinforce learning. Some reviews on Indeed noted that they had to spend extra money on study aids to feel prepared.
Best for Math-focused Study: Mbition
What it is: Mbition is an online real estate school offering exam prep courses and study aids to aspiring California agents.
What makes it great for aspiring California real estate agents: What sets Mbition apart is the inclusion of a class specifically focused on real estate math, called MathMaster.
Specific course material teaching real estate math
No instructor access
Affordable package options
No video components
Practice tests utilize predictable learning to help you improve
- Exam prep courses range from $49 to $129
- Frequent discounts available
- Money-back guarantee if you don’t pass your exam
- This exam prep class is perfect for agents who are lacking in math skills or need to brush up on financial concepts for the exam
- Eight timed practice exams
- Practice tests include training and testing mode
- Question bank with over 1,000 questions and explanations
- National flashcards
- Upper-level exam prep package includes a recorded review
What Students Say About Mbition
There are limited third-party reviews that specifically mention Mbition by name due to their recent merger with CareerWeb School and rebranding. However, Mbition is a subsidiary of OnCourse Learning and does offer a money-back guarantee, however, so you can try it out with confidence.
Best for Self-study Materials: PrepAgent
What it is: PrepAgent is an online real estate exam prep membership for prospective agents in California who need a variety of study aids.
What makes it great for aspiring California real estate agents: PrepAgent is distinct because it offers the largest variety of study aids at an affordable price.
Study aids include audio and video
Only upper-level package includes all study aids
Live webinars from an instructor
Basic package only provides one week of course access
- Basic package is $59
- Deluxe package is $79
- Premium package is $99
- Full refund within 120 days of your purchase
- Get a promo code for 30% off here
- Basic package offers seven days of access
- Deluxe package offers one month of access
- Premium package offers one year of access
- Interactive flashcards
- Hours of audio lessons
- More than 75 videos
- Exam prep e-book
- Live webinars
What Students Say About PrepAgent
PrepAgent is highly regarded on Facebook, with over 500 5-star reviews applauding its real estate exam prep materials. It was difficult to find any negative comments; most users praised its practice tests, videos, and audio lessons.
Tips for Studying for the California Real Estate Exam
The California real estate exam has 150 questions, and you need a score of at least 70% to pass. The exam is largely a memorization test, so you won’t need to use critical thinking, but you will need to be confident and prepared with the right information.
Make sure that you choose a time to study when you can focus on the material. It’s better to study for short periods of time over a few months than to try to learn all of the information over a few days. Many students feel that the best way to feel prepared is by taking practice tests, which is why the number of practice exams and questions is such an important factor in choosing a real estate exam prep program. Read more tips to ace your real estate exam.
Top-rated California Real Estate Exam Prep Resources
Real estate exam prep courses can thoroughly equip you to take the exam, but that is not the only way to build your confidence. You can learn even more California real estate exam prep tips and information by reading any of the following highly rated books:
- The Complete Guide to Passing the California Real Estate Salesperson License Exam the First Time!
- 2020 California Real Estate Exam Prep Questions and Answers: Study Guide to Passing the Salesperson Real Estate License Exam Effortlessly
- Four Practice Tests for the California Real Estate Exam
The best California real estate exam prep courses help potential agents pass their licensing test by using study materials and both online and in-person courses. We reviewed the best options―based on cost, guarantees, topics covered, study aids, course delivery, and availability of instructors―to find the six best, including the best overall.
After considering 10 schools, we found Kaplan to be the overall California real estate exam prep provider based on highly rated, instructor-led courses offered in a variety of formats. For just $199, students can get access to the Kaplan exam prep course, which provides everything they need to pass the licensing exam on the first try. Learn more about Kaplan by visiting their website.