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Took the Certified Residential Exam a 3rd time yesterday...

Michigan CG

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HONDROS LEARNING - The best materials out there.
Sorry, but no. The best materials out there are Appraisal Institute classes. There is no comparison. Hondros tries to teach passing the test. The AI makes you think.

The problems with passing the test is mostly on the MENTOR. Many trainees are being trained by people who have no business training. Does the trainee really understand Highest and Best Use? Can they write a narrative Highest and Best Use so they understand it?

Does the trainee understand how to derive GRMs and apply them correctly or reconcile them correctly? Has the MENTOR explained USPAP and how it pertains to every section of the report? Most ignore the "summarize" in SR 2-2.

Trainees today need to think that what they were taught by their mentors might be completely wrong and from of the reports I have read over the last years that is my conclusion. But no worries, the AMC idiots will accept those reports.
 

DCD62318

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I retake it December 14th. My supervisor said that these PSI exams are a lot of "luck of the draw" my coworker who took it with me the second time passed without studying. Said the exam was more like what he studied out of the Practice Examination Questions for Real Estate Appraisers from the Appraisal Institute. In the 3 times I've taken the exam, I've improved by 1 point. I feel like the exam I've taken has been the exact same with very little difference.
 

Alsie35

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Sorry, but no. The best materials out there are Appraisal Institute classes. There is no comparison. Hondros tries to teach passing the test. *SNIP*
With all due respect, passing the test IS the point of this thread. Our friend who started it isn't concerned about debating "how many comparable sales can be regressed to the head of a pin", but is concerned about passing the @!$& cert exam, which is not easy. "Teaching passing the test" IS what all good prep courses do - whether you are talking Bar Exam or Appraisal Exam. ;)

My conviction re: Hondros stems from my own experience of taking Bruce Legg's seminar, which uses them. I took the Cert. test 16 years after becoming an appraiser and 9 years after taking the 50 upgrade credits. (By which time I had little memory of the earlier classes and coursework). In addition, my math skills are, shall we say, not the best and leave it at that. Using Hondros I passed the cert. test on the first try. So yes, I will swear by it. The certification test was - BY FAR - the most difficult exam I have ever taken in my life (and I have passed the Bar Exam, which is no joke either).
 
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The Warrior Monk

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With all due respect, passing the test IS the point of this thread.
FWIW, the ONLY reason I passed my CG exam is due to having taken the AI (formerly SRA/AIREA) courses in the past. If you take these courses, then you don't have to worry about studying for the exam in the first place. After taking these courses, the licensing tests are simply another test at a lower level than is expected of anyone that takes the AI courses.

The tests that are currently being given emphasize application, and those deficiencies in knowledge can't be made up for when taking a review course whose goal is to simply pass a test.
 

alebrewer

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It also may be helpful to remember that there are folks who, no matter the preparation, struggle with the testing environment. If that is the case - OP - it might not be a bad idea to take a course on how to become a good test taker. That just doesn't come naturally to some folks. I'm certainly not implying that you're one of those, but just a thought.
 

Alsie35

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FWIW, the ONLY reason I passed my CG exam is due to having taken the AI (formerly SRA/AIREA) courses in the past. If you take these courses, then you don't have to worry about studying for the exam in the first place. After taking these courses, the licensing tests are simply another test at a lower level than is expected of anyone that takes the AI courses.

The tests that are currently being given emphasize application, and those deficiencies in knowledge can't be made up for when taking a review course whose goal is to simply pass a test.
And I am guessing that the "application" that you refer to is next-to-never relevant to most appraisal assignments, nor is used by most appraisers in their daily practice.* What most appraisers need is a review/study course that will give them practice, practice, practice in solving these (basically) "for-test-only" esoteric math formulas and applications. Bruce Legg guarantees that if you take his course (with the Hondros materials) you will pass the test. It worked for me, so I am just trying to "help a brother out". ;)

*BTW, the EXACT same argument applies to Bar Examinations. You learn stuff to pass the Bar that you immediately forget and never have to use again in your real life law practice. And the way you pass those too is by doing review classes and unending thousands of practice questions.

But - not all "Review classes" are created equal. I ought to ask Bruce for payment as much as I am 'pimping' his seminar on this thread, but he is simply the best.
 
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Alsie35

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Just wanted to add one thought to my last reply. The only reason I took the Certification test was to "expand my work pie" so that I could get access to FHA loan appraisals, as well as clients that require any appraisers they use to be certified. That's it. Not to use any of the 'higher knowledge' required to pass the CG test. I decline anything too complicated just as before, not because I can't do it but because it is inefficient from a business model standpoint. So knowing all the complex Cert. stuff for real-world purposes was never my goal. Learning how to pass the exam was. Thanks to Bruce (and my wife, who painstakingly walked me through the math as I studied), I succeeded. And now I never have to take a single @%#&! professional test of any kind ever again. :giggle:
 

The Warrior Monk

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Just wanted to add one thought to my last reply. The only reason I took the Certification test was to "expand my work pie" so that I could get access to FHA loan appraisals, as well as clients that require any appraisers they use to be certified. That's it. Not to use any of the 'higher knowledge' required to pass the CG test. I decline anything too complicated just as before, not because I can't do it but because it is inefficient from a business model standpoint. So knowing all the complex Cert. stuff for real-world purposes was never my goal. Learning how to pass the exam was. Thanks to Bruce (and my wife, who painstakingly walked me through the math as I studied), I succeeded. And now I never have to take a single @%#&! professional test of any kind ever again. :giggle:
I got my CG certification mainly to expand my residential practice. Some of the more common issues I run into are residential properties not being used at their highest and best use, subdivisible properties, or properties that either contain large agricultural easements, or interests in a common agricultural area. For me, it is far more efficient to do, say, one $3,000 residential assignment, versus six $500 assignments. One client, one inspection, on report, versus 6x that in the other scenario. Plus the competition is far less.

Obviously, for run-of-the-mill GSE assignments, the "higher knowledge" really isn't necessary because one isn't going to be offered these types of assignments in the first place.
 

Alsie35

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California
I got my CG certification mainly to expand my residential practice. Some of the more common issues I run into are residential properties not being used at their highest and best use, subdivisible properties, or properties that either contain large agricultural easements, or interests in a common agricultural area. For me, it is far more efficient to do, say, one $3,000 residential assignment, versus six $500 assignments. One client, one inspection, on report, versus 6x that in the other scenario. Plus the competition is far less.

Obviously, for run-of-the-mill GSE assignments, the "higher knowledge" really isn't necessary because one isn't going to be offered these types of assignments in the first place.
My calculation is similar to yours, but with a different result: Let's say one pain-in-the-neck 1025 for $700 vs 3 "cookie cutters" at $400/per - I'll take the "bedroom community" "cookie cutters" every time. I am ridiculously efficient at doing those in our area.
 

jay trotta

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Feb 8, 2004
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Certified Residential Appraiser
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Connecticut
Got my results today. Still didn't pass. Only improved by 1 point. It seems as though the areas I'm struggling in are Real Estate Market, Sales Comparison Approach, and Cost Approach. I've got the Practice Examination Questions for Real Estate Appraisers Book from the Appraisal Institute, Steve Williamson's software, and other study materials. I can assure that I've been putting in the time and effort, but I'm at my wits end now.
Sorry to hear that; are you overthinking ?? RE Market Sales Comparison Approach (stop and re-read the questions) IMO you are trying to blow thru the exam, do not take that approach.
Cost Approach; go over that with your mentor, a few more times, again take the time to review the Question (twice on a minimum, s l o w l y)

A few years ago went and took an RE exam to get my license back (1980's last held it) an old associate was teaching classes, after a few classes he said, go take the exam you got this; my comment was, there is a language difference between appraising & RE Sales (language), so I pursued a few more weeks to get a grip on those differences. I was in the class with several people that were recent college grads, 2 noted they were on their 5th attempt (not that you should look forward to that). I did a pre-exam and a couple of weeks later went for the big one. Passed 1st time, not that I'm special (I am terrible at exams), but took the time to read & re-read the questions; actually finished the exam before time elapsed, so you should have time to re-read.
Just a thought or two for you, Good Luck
 
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