Title XI of the FIRREA requires all licensed and certified appraisers to successfully pass an examination that’s issued or endorsed by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) of The Appraisal Foundation. That examination is known as the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Exam. Once you’ve completed your education requirements, you must pass the national exam as the final step toward earning your appraisal license.
Prepping for the national exam? Use McKissock’s Appraisal Exam Prep packages and pass your exam the first time.
Who needs to take the exam?
Anyone looking to become a licensed or certified real estate appraiser must take and pass the national exam. There are actually three different exams—one for each license level. To become a licensed residential appraiser, you’ll need to take the Licensed Residential Examination. To become a certified residential appraiser, you’ll need to take the Certified Residential Examination. And to become a certified general appraiser (also known as a commercial appraiser), you’ll be required to take the Certified General Examination.
What education requirements do I need to fulfill before taking the exam?
Before you can take the exam, you must meet the AQB’s qualifying education requirements for your specific license level. The requirements are summarized in the following table:
Real property appraiser qualification criteria
What’s on the exam?
The National Uniform Licensing and Certification Exam contains broad conceptual topic areas established by the AQB. The questions are designed to test your understanding of the subject, as well as your ability to problem solve situational and real-life appraisal scenarios.
What is the exam format?
Each certification exam is comprised of 125 questions. 110 of those questions will be scored; the other 15 items are pre-test questions and will not be scored. You’ll be allowed up to the following length of time to complete each of the three examinations:
- Licensed Residential Examination: 4 hours
- Certified Residential Examination: 4 hours
- Certified General Examination: 6 hours
Is the national certification exam difficult to pass?
Yes. According to The Appraisal Foundation exam statistics for 2015-2019, more than 1 in 3 people fail the Licensed Residential exam the first time, more than 1 in 4 people fail the Certified Residential exam the first time, and more than 1 in 4 people fail the Certified General exam the first time.
Need courses? McKissock is the industry leader in appraisal licensing education. Shop course packages.
How can I prepare for the exam?
McKissock offers Appraisal Exam Prep packages for both the Licensed Residential Examination and the Certified Residential Examination. The packages are specifically designed to help you pass your exam on the first try. Here’s what’s included:
- Over 2,000 exam questions
- Over 400 vocabulary terms
- 8 topic-based progress exams
- Customizable flashcard exams
- 5 final exams weighted to mirror the national exam
- Interactive performance dashboard
- Unlimited exam options
- 180-day unlimited access
Editor’s note: This blog post was originally posted on November 12, 2019 and updated on September 25, 2020.