Six Steps to Passing the Real Estate Appraiser License Exam the First Time


A few months ago, one of the trainee appraisers in our office was preparing to study for the state licensing exam. He sent an email to the other appraisers asking for advice. I passed both the state license and state certification exams the first time, so I figured my study strategy was sharing. I created a six step process to follow and send it to him. He subsequently passed the license exam his first try.

I decided to share my six step process with readers of Appraiser Career Center hoping it will help you pass the first time as well!

Here is my method for passing the Ohio licensed and Texas certified exams both the first time (applicable to other states as well):

  1. Review the attached PSI exam booklet. The one I attached is for Ohio but the requirements are all the same. Review the exam outline to understand the kind and amount of questions that will be on the licensed portion along with a few practice questions.
  2. Read, review and complete all practice questions within Fundamentals of Real Estate Appraisal 12th Edition by William L. Ventolo (2015-05-04). It is available on Amazon.
  3. Review test questions on the software from It’s $60 one year of access. The questions on here were nearly verbatim to those on the test.
  4. Get the USPAP manual and memorize what each Standard is and know a little detail about each. These are free questions on the test because they are memory questions. The learnappraising software has practice USPAP questions but I found it easier to learn them from the actual manual then practice via the questions on learnappraising.
  5. Don’t skip the income approach: capitalization, GRM and other methods.
  6. You will need a financial calculator for the math heavy amortization problems. Learn to use the awful, ancient and expensive HP 12C or go modern and easy like I did and use the Texas Instruments BA II Plus.

I studied for two full weeks before taking the test each time; probably about 2 hours each day including the weekends (and sometimes more on weekends). You may need more or less depending on how quickly you can read and review everything.

Good luck and let me know when you pass!

(I included two links to products on Amazon where if you make a purchase through those links I receive a commission on the sale. It’s at no cost to you and you can remove it by searching the product separately in Amazon or your site of choice.)

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