For anyone who desires to work in creating loans as a mortgage professional must be licensed to do so. To be licensed, one must pass the NMLS, or National Mortgage Licensing System. It’s a very standard exam that has about a hundred questions that are computer generated and have to be taken in a time limit of three hours. If you have your heart set on becoming a mortgage professional, here is a list of ten tips to help you pass the NMLS.
1) Take Live Classes
There are many people who take online classes because it’s easier and they can do so from the comfort of their home. While that may be more convenient, you are also surrounded by multiple distractions. Phones, TV, visitors, social media, etc are all at your fingertips while you’re supposed to be focusing on the task at hand. There is no better way to be prepared for the exam than to go to live classes that remove all distractions.
2) Get Enough Sleep
This may be common sense to you, but there are a lot of people who shrug off this step. They are either up late cramming or out on the town, but missing that big party is worth making sure you are clear-headed and awake for the early morning test. If you fail the test because you weren’t adequately prepared, you must wait a whole month before retaking it.
3) Prepare to Use All Allotted Time
You may have heard someone share about how they successfully completed the test in an hour or so. And that’s great! You may be able to do the same, but it’s best to plan for using the whole three hours and not just a portion of it. This is important especially if you’ve made plans for right after and the test takes longer for you than you expected. Then you’re in a huff to finish, your mind is distracted, and those don’t bode well for a successful completion. Take your time.
4) Cram the Vocabulary
Read as many books as you can before the exam, learn the “lingo” and vocabulary of the mortgage industry. Review the vocabulary the night before and the day of the exam. This will help to ensure you understand the questions being asked and all of the answers. Often times this is the biggest secret to doing well on multiple question exams. There are a plethora of fantastic reading choices available on Amazon for very cheap prices. Here are a few of my suggestions below:
5) Carefully Read Questions
Don’t just skim over the wording of the questions. Read them carefully and even twice to make sure you know what they are saying. Test questions can be known for being tricky. That’s why its a great idea to understand all of the vocabulary and their definitions. Understanding the topic can help eliminate false answers quickly. You may want to consider reading this book about test-taking strategies that go in a little bit more depth about this strategy.
6) Quickly Answer
Be sure to answer each question you’re sure about in a quick manner. By doing so, you have the opportunity to register the ones you are sure about and can go and give the tougher ones a second glance. Trusting your gut instinct is statistically prove to be a very effective test-taking strategy. If you spend too much time considering your options there is a very good chance you will talk yourself out of a correct answer while also wasting a lot of your time.
7) Watch Out for Wording
Keep an eye on the wording to each question. They will often time be phrased “everything other than”, “everything but”, etc. Be careful that you don’t overlook certain words that change the whole dynamic of the question. You will find yourself answering it wrong and failing because you failed to identify the right meaning. I know that I have said it multiple times, but it is extremely important that you understand the meaning and definitions of the vocabulary so that you are less likely to fall for these common tricks.
8) Don’t Skip Questions
Even if you don’t know the answer to a question, leaving it blank is the same as a wrong answer. So you have a chance of either getting it 100% wrong by leaving it blank or 25% chance of getting it right by choosing one even if you’re unsure. As you are going through the exam alway check your best guess and make a note to come back to it later.
Its very easy to get distracted by another test taker tapping their pencil or coughing. Do your best to practice concentrating while you are taking the exam. Try taking a few practice exams in an open coffee shop with background noise. Many testing centers will also allow the use of earplugs like these from Vibes.
10) Don’t Panic
You may find that you are over-thinking the questions, breathing harder than usual, and unable to focus on specific sentences. This is very normal at the beginning of this type of exam. All of the studying and preparation can lead to higher than usual stress levels. While stress is a natural reaction and can be helpful in some ways, don’t allow it to derail your success. Some people swear by the use of essential oils to help alleviate some of that stress and calm your mind. I personally use this roll on oil by UpNature.