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How Do I Pass the National Test?

Why do 34% of the students that take the NMLS National Test with Uniform State Content fail? Additionally, why on a second take, is the fail rate over 50%?

We have identified 5 reasons why this may be happening and what you can do to successfully pass the NMLS National Test with the UST successfully…the first time.

1. Pick the Right Format for Your Learning Style

The amount of material covered in the 20 hour course has increased over 35% since its inception. The course itself is still 20 hours because it's based on what is written in the SAFE Act. However, 20 hours quite simply is not enough time to fully prepare for the National test. 20 hour courses can be delivered in 3 different formats- live classroom, live webinar or online instructor-led. When you take a live or live webinar class with Diehl, the trainer uses acronyms and examples to increase comprehension and improve retention and both formats allow for direct interaction with the trainer throughout the course. We have heard over and over from students who said this direct interaction is very effective and helpful.

2. Take the Time to Study

What you do after the 20 hour course is just as important as what you do during the class. We think that every hour a student spends in a live class or interactive webinar probably replaces 2 1/2 to 3 hours of studying on their own. The online courses are a very good option for anyone that cannot attend class at a specifically scheduled time. Those students have to dedicate the time necessary to be fully prepared for the test, making sure they understand the material without immediate confirmation from the instructor.

3. Use the Right Support Tools and Studying Strategies

Using a proven test prep tool can be a big help. Diehl’s National Test Prep Tool is designed to uncover areas that you might benefit from spending more time in and provide you practice with a variety of questions at various levels of difficulty. If you're new to this industry, you need to make sure that you take the time necessary to learn all of the concepts covered in the course that you will see on the test. If you've worked in the industry many years, you need to realize that although you may know the working knowledge of the federal regulations, there are simply many facets that you're likely to see on a test that are well above the basic level. Keep in mind that up to 40% of the exam will be dedicated to questions about the federal regulations of which include basic, intermediate and advanced level questions. So with 115 scored questions on the National test, approximately 46 questions (40%) would focus on federal regulations alone.

4. Avoid Getting Sidetracked

We have found over the years that professionals who have experience in the industry read the questions and based on their broad experiences may suffer from “analysis paralysis”.  They may read into the information that does not exist.  Sometimes they just have an issue with the question itself. Although this is completely natural, it does not help them to prepare for the test.  We remind our students to read the question, not read “into” the question.

5. Plan Your "Game Day" and Reduce Test Anxiety

On the day of the test, arrive at the testing facility at least a half hour before your appointment. If traffic or weather could be an issue, allow even more time. If you arrive early, use the extra time to do a final review of your notes in the car before entering the facility. Know that you will be required to remove everything from your pockets and you'll need to show photo ID at the testing facility. Lockers will be available to store your personal items or you may choose to leave them in the trunk prior to entering the facility. Once you are seated at the computer, you can watch a tutorial showing you how to take the test (that doesn't count towards your test time). Use this time to not only get familiar with the system, but also to get ready for the challenge ahead. We have not heard from anyone that went into the testing facility, quickly blew through the test, and then rapidly exited. Knowing that it's more of a marathon than a sprint, be sure to take some deep breaths if that helps you to relax so that you're ready to stay focused for the entire time.

Finally, don't rush through the test. Take your time and don't get sidetracked by any questions that you feel are particularly challenging or confusing. You can mark any question and go back to it. The ultimate goal is to maximize the number you get right.  At the end of the day you need to pass by 75% and there's no extra credit for higher scores.

Passing the test and getting your license is a great achievement whether you are new to the industry or already have a lot of experience. Your clients will have an added level of comfort knowing they are working with a licensed Mortgage Loan Originator. Stay focused on the big picture and make sure that you spend the time necessary to be fully prepared.
For more information on all of our training classes, check out our website at www.diehl1.com

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20 Hour Pre-licensing NML Approved Course

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