We know that month after month, less than 50% of students pass the Florida Real Estate Exam. What are the reasons that students don’t pass the exam on their first try? Let’s take a look at a few common scenarios.
Susie is getting her real estate license. She is a traditional student and comes into class the first day. She doesn’t know anybody there, and doesn’t quite understand something. A lot of her classmates didn’t understand it either, but they either didn’t know they didn’t understand it, or were hoping that somebody else would ask. Getting no feedback from the class, you move on to the next topic.
Would Susie benefit from having online review material?
Yes. With online review material, Susie can go back home, work on some practice questions, and if she misses them, now she knows that she should review the material. And, now she understands what you meant. She can ask her classmates questions. She can answer her classmates questions from her home. Just like on Facebook. Her teacher sees that there were some questions that came up, and goes over it again in class the next day. Now Susie, and all of her classmates “get it”. On to chapter 2.
Scott is getting his real estate license. He doesn’t have time to go to class, he is a busy guy with better things to do. So he purchases an online class from you. Scott skims through chapter one, answers the end of the chapter questions, and just barely answers them. He starts to realize that this isn’t much fun, and goes to work on other things for a few months. Then, a few months later, he hurries through the entire material so he can finish up. He guesses through the answers, and finishes. Did he pass the state exam? If he even bothered to go take it, you already know that he didn’t.
Would Scott benefit from having online review material?
Yes. With online review material, as soon as Scott realized that he wasn’t really understanding the online class, he could switch over to see how you would have taught him the material. Sure, it’s not the same as being in class, but when Scott is ready to take his 45 hour post-licensing class, who do you think he’ll go to? That’s right: you.
Jenny doesn’t speak or even read english that well. She didn’t grow up here. She has an electronic translation dictionary she brings with her everywhere. She hardly understands every third word you’re saying in class, but, there’s only so much you can do about that. She takes the state exam about 12 times, did she pass? Not yet.
Would Jenny benefit from having online review material?
Yes. With online review material, Jenny can review the material again at her own pace, as many times as she needs. She can keep up with the class by working harder than everybody else, to overcome her language issues.
Jerry hates math. He just barely got out of high school with the minimum number of classes required. His dad always told him to just focus. He’s just not a math person. He takes the state exam, sees a math question and shuts it out. He gets a 0 out of 10 on the math questions, and fails by 10 points.
Would Jerry benefit from having online review material?
Yes. With online review material, Jerry can specifically focus on subjects he struggles with. He can work through practice math questions until he gets it. We’re not asking him to prove Einstein’s General Theory of Relativity. Just some prorations, and other things he should understand as an agent. With some work, he can get this, but he needs private tutoring that he can’t afford, and more time than you have to spend on the topic in class.
Karen did fine in a traditional class. She followed through chapter by chapter, did all of the assignments, and passed the class test with a good score. But, when she got to the state exam, she found that they asked all of the questions in a different way. Sometimes she missed the question because she didn’t read it carefully enough. Other times, she missed the question because they asked it in a different way than it was discussed in the textbook. If they had only asked it on the state exam the same way they ask it in the textbook, she would have been fine.
Would Karen benefit from having online review material?
Yes! With online review material, Karen can go through the material again in a rapid manner. She’s already been through the class, she mostly knows it, but, she doesn’t quite know it that well yet. It’s a lot of material. She needs to review. The state exam asks things differently to see how well she knows it. We can’t give her all of the questions on the state exam for her to study so that she won’t be surprised or confused. And reading things carefully will be an important skill for her as a professional who represents buyers and sellers in negotiation. Reviewing and studying helps her to really get it, so that she can answer the question no matter how the exam words it.
Knowing the material is the best way to pass the state exam. How many students do you have that fit the above descriptions? How many of them are falling through the cracks, or just taking the exam multiple times guessing until they pass by luck? Makes me nervous.
Of the students that don’t pass the state exam the first time, we would venture to say that the majority of them would fall under one of these reasons. Sure, you occasionally get the student who really is in the class for the wrong reasons. Perhaps that student will eventually grow up. Perhaps this just isn’t the right career for him, I certainly couldn’t tell you which it is.
But for everybody that is coming to you to start their career, the knowledge that you’re teaching them is the foundation upon which their professional career is built. Helping a student to pass the exam with confidence in their knowledge means that more of them will feel that they’ve gotten value from you as their instructor, that you have prepared them for this first step into their careers, and will refer their friends to you and be back for more of your courses. It’s good for the industry. It’s good for your business.
At Ninebricks, we’d like to see more people passing the exam on their first try, wouldn’t you?
Ready to talk about how we can help you make this happen?
At first glance, it seems like there are a lot of real estate schools out there offering an online classroom. However, upon closer inspection, we believe that there’s not actually a lot of choice – at least not the right kind of choice. Most schools out there are offering a product that actually doesn’t do a great job of preparing students for the real estate exam offered by the State of Florida. We know that only half of students taking the Florida real estate prelicensing exam pass it – we believe that quality instruction makes a difference.
What should you look for in an online classroom? We think that there are a few things that you should keep in mind.
Who’s teaching the class?
Taking a look at most real estate schools out there, you’ll notice that there’s actually nobody teaching them. Should students be expected to learn simply from reading a wall of text and paying for this privilege? We think that it should be clear to a student that they’ll be learning from an experienced instructor.
How does the class use technology to improve understanding?
When you’re in the classroom, students and instructors have the opportunity to get and give feedback to each other. We think that great online classes can do the same thing by constantly engaging the student through doing short comprehension questions at regular times to gauge understanding regularly before students get to the final exam. A great online classroom should give the student a chance to interact both with the instructor as well as with each other.
We’ll be coming back to this topic more in the future, but we believe that a great classroom starts with a great teacher who is focused on student understanding, and that that translates whether it’s on location or online.