I took the California Broker’s Exam today, admittedly for the second time. As the proctor handed over the sealed test results while instructing me not to open it until outside the building, it felt especially nice to say “Thanks, but I passed. Sometimes you just know.” The experience was a sharp contrast to the stereotypical laid back California style. The Bureau of Real Estate knows how to administer an exam! In contrast to my one visit to the California DMV, the high security (not even allowed to bring in your own pencil) exam center was surprisingly efficient. Upon check in, the test takers are given a clearly numbered wireless mouse and directed to the corresponding numbered computer station. There, one MUST (or will be executed) have your ID placed immediately next to the number on the surface of the station. A monitor that effectively sits in your lap is immediately below the plexiglass surface while nothing of your own besides the ID is permitted on top. I have no understanding of why, but only the provided and carefully placed tablet-sized dry erase board with one marker, one tiny eraser, and one basic calculator rest on the right side of each station. Yet, not one math question. To complete the package, a squad of soft-shoed proctors pace the entire room for every minute of the exam and only the constant sound of mouse clicks fill the air. It felt tense in there, but at least the chairs were pretty comfortable!
The format of the test was incredibly simple – two sections of 100 multiple choice questions each with an allotted 2 1/2 hours of time and a one hour break in between. On break, I met two fellow test takers on the roof of the parking structure and we shared our distaste for the poorly (or trickily) worded questions. I don’t take tests that often, but it truly seemed as though I spent a disproportionate amount of time deciphering and interpreting the questions as opposed to answering them. Positive results aside, I am very pleased that there is no reason for me to take the exam a third time. As the results are settling in tonight, I am feeling extra motivated to kick off our west coast division. More on this soon.