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The Secret to Passing the NMLS Exam on the First Try

You are ready to study, advance, and succeed in your career. We applaud you and your initiative! Taking the NMLS exam is the next logical step to a more satisfying career path in mortgage lending, real estate, and a variety of related fields. The Secure and Fair Enforcement (SAFE) for Mortgage Licensing Act sets national standards for mortgage loan officers. Passing the NMLS SAFE exam is an excellent goal in order to take your career to the next level. We want to help you achieve that.

The first-time pass rate for those taking the NMLS SAFE Mortgage Loan Originator exam is 58 percent. What if you don’t pass and have to take it again? The pass rate drops by a whopping fifteen percent! The second-time pass rate is 43 percent. Obviously, one of the keys to passing the NMLS exam on the first try is to use quality study materials. But, what are some other important tips? They include the following:


Study for the Exam


The number one reason people did not pass the NMLS exam on the first try: they failed to study for it. A life-changing and career-enhancing exam like the NMLS isn’t easy and requires preparation. There is a 20-hour course that can be done in segments over time before being licensed. Each state has their own state-specific licensing requirements and it is important to be familiar with those.


In addition to the 20-hour pre-licensure course, what else is needed to prepare for the exam? People who have successfully passed the NMLS SAFE exam on the first go-around recommend the following:


A minimum of 15 to 20 hours of study time. There is no getting around putting in a quantity of study time, not just quality time studying. Your mind needs the time to be exposed to, absorb, and process the information that is being inputted into it.

Frequent review of content. Studying for the test is most effective if topics are gone over again and again and not in one cram session. Setting aside a regular time and place to study for several weeks leading up to the exam is a good way to ensure you review the needed materials adequately.

A variety of prep materials and tools. Finding the right mix of test content, study guides, online quizlets, and web-based practice tests is important to making sure that you are exposed to all aspects of learning to help in retaining the crucial information.

Taking practice exams. One of the most recurring tips from successful test takers is taking as many practice tests as you can. Taking a practice exam gets you used to the format and the length of time to take it. You will need some mental stamina, so it’s important to exercise that in advance. Going over your answers and learning why you got a question right or wrong is also key.


Using Comprehensive Test Prep Materials


It’s important to choose the right exam prep course. There are many test prep materials on the market, but not all offer the same level of preparation. The content outline and reference lists used should match NMLS-produced content like our prep materials do.

Our exam prep products have been designed to mirror what you will see on the actual licensing test. Our prep materials include:


● Two complete practice exams

● As many questions as the actual test

● Each section properly represented

● Every test topic covered

● Insightful breakdown of each correct answer

● MLO keywords and definitions

● Similar four-option multiple choice questions just like the actual test


Learning From Up-to-Date Study Guides


A key to passing the licensing exam is studying from up-to-date materials. You can check the NMLS Resource Guide to see current content outline and topic lists to guide you as you prepare.

Our detailed study guide includes:

● Dissection of every exam topic

● Breakdown of the entire NMLS content outline

● Current national and state-specific mortgage-related laws


Other Tips


You want the odds to be in your favor when you go in for your NMLS SAFE licensing exam. Once you have gotten comprehensive study materials from us, put in the recommended study time, and devoted yourself to absorbing and understanding the coursework, you want to keep in mind a few last minute tips, like:


Get enough sleep the night before the exam. Being well rested with a clear mind is helpful to staying focused during the test and recalling all the information you will need. Celebrate after the test, not before!

Don’t leave an answer blank. Answer every question, even if you are unsure about it. Blank answers are 100 percent wrong. If you have to guess, you have a 25 percent chance of getting it right.

Read the question twice. Successful test takers recommend reading the question two times before answering it. NMLS test questions can be tricky and sometimes use negatives to ask the question in a different way. Take the time to read it twice before answering.

Go through the test twice. The first time, answer all the questions you immediately know the answer to and get them out of the way. The second time, tackle the questions that you need more time to figure out.


Our goal at Bova Books has always been simple: create insightful guides that will help you get a great grade and lead you to a better career. And that is what we’ve done. The exam prep materials available to you have helped hundreds of people successfully pass their licensing exam and move on to better careers.

When you have in-depth test prep materials, you can study better and retain more. You can walk into your licensing exam confident and prepared. Passing the NMLS exam on the first try isn’t just a good goal, it’s an attainable one with Bova Books test prep materials!