Why Can’t I Pay My License Transition Fee Online?

Good question! Every day, hundreds of Illinois real estate licensees call to ask us about this. The IDFPR created different application and payment processes for the two transition options: Proficiency Exam and Transition Education. 

Transition by Proficiency Exam
Licensees who transitioned with the Proficiency Exam are allowed to submit their payment online because the state was automatically sent their results. As a reminder, this state-based exam is no longer available.  The last date to take the exam was March 15.

Transition by Transition Education and Exam
For the 30 and 45 credit-hour transition courses, the IDFPR does not accept online applications and payments.  Why, you ask?  Schools are not permitted to report transition course completions directly to the IDFPR.  Instead, students are responsible for providing proof of their course completion to the state.  This means you must mail a paper transition/renewal application with your fee and course certificate of completion. 

If you wish to mail the application to the IDFPR immediately, you may visit our website to print a copy of the required license transition application:  http://www.InstituteOnline.com/Illinois-Real-Estate-Transition-Resources.asp

Additional instructions with answers to frequently asked questions about the license transition and renewal process are available here:  www.InstituteOnline.com/NextSteps.

Deadline Approaches for Illinois Real Estate Proficiency Exam

If you plan to take the proficiency exam (state-based transition test), make sure you schedule your test NOW.  All students enrolled for the proficiency exam must test by March 15, 2012.  There are no extensions to this IDFPR deadline!

Exams must be taken at approved real estate pre-license schools.  Test times are limited, so contact your school immediately to schedule your exam.  Real Estate Institute has opened additional test times to accommodate our students.

Real Estate Institute is also offering students additional time and testing convenience to meet the state license transition requirements.  Real Estate Institute students who are currently enrolled for the proficiency exam may transfer their registration to our ALL-in-ONE transition education program. This gives our students an extra 45 days! We will apply the full cost of their previous enrollment with our school toward the cost of this more flexible transition solution.  If you are a Real Estate Institute student who would like to take advantage of this exclusive offer, please contact us at 800-995-1700.

Instructions for Completing Your Illinois Real Estate License Transition Application

What does it take to really complete the license transition? Many agents believe that once they’ve completed the education requirements, they are finished. This misunderstanding may cost you dearly. Completing the education requirement is only the first step in the process.

Step 1
Either complete a transition education program or pass the state proficiency exam. If you are unsure whether you have satisfied this requirement, please contact the state-approved school where you enrolled. If you passed the proficiency exam, the school was notified and should have contacted you. If you completed a transition education program, you should have received a certificate of completion from the school. You will need this certificate to complete Step 2.

Step 2
Send in your new license application. All applications for license transition must be received by the Illinois Department of Financial & Professional Regulation (IDFPR) no later than April 30, 2012. To apply for your new license, choose the scenario that applies to you:

Scenario 1: You completed a transition education program.
You must apply for the new license using the state’s paper transition form and pay the state fee.

  • Real Estate Institute students received an envelope with their certificate of completion, state transition application form and even an envelope addressed to the IDFPR. Don’t forget to include your check or money order for the transition fee.
  • Students from other schools must go to IDFPR RE Transtion and click on “Transition Forms.” You must include your certificate of completion (provided by the school) and payment.

Scenario 2: You passed the proficiency exam.
You have the option of applying for the new license online or on paper. Your results have already been transmitted to the IDFPR by the state’s testing service (AMP).

Scenario 3: You are a broker and do not want to transition to the new managing broker license.
You are not transitioning to a new license type and will lose your ability to self-sponsor or manage other licensees; therefore, you do not need to apply for a new license. You must complete 12 hours of continuing education before your license renewal.

READY, SET, TRANSITION! IDFPR Applications Are Now Available

This week, the applications that are required to complete the Illinois real estate license transition became available from the IDFPR.  The online and paper applications can be accessed at the department’s website:  http://www.IDFPR.com/REtransition.

Please note:  The online / electronic application is only available to licensees who elected to transition by completing the proficiency examination.  Licensees who opted to complete the transition education program (which we strongly recommend) are required to submit the paper application. 

The obvious question that follows is … WHY?  The paper form is necessary because there is currently no process for approved schools to electronically report transition course completions to the IDFPR.  As a result, licensees are required to submit an original copy of their certificate(s) of completion to the IDFPR with their paper application.  Without a copy of the certificate(s), it won’t be possible for the department to verify that the transition requirements were satisfied – so don’t forget to provide this additional paperwork when submitting your application!

The IDFPR has established an electronic reporting process for proficiency exam completions.  This one was a bit easier because all of the reporting comes from one vendor – Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP), the company responsible for creating, maintaining, and grading the proficiency exam.  It’s not clear how often AMP will be reporting course completions to the IDFPR, so you may not be able to file your online application immediately after passing the proficiency exam.   (We’ve already heard from some students who ran into this “roadblock.”)

As a reminder, we offer convenient self-study programs that allow you to satisfy the transition requirements.  Call or visit our updated transition website today!

Striking Results – How You Study Really Does Matter

Pass The ExamIn case you missed the recent article in the New York Times and the research published online in the journal Science, both discussed important findings about adult learning.  According to the New York Times, “students who read a passage, then took a test asking them to recall what they had read, retained about 50 percent more of the information a week later than students who used two other methods.”  Those other methods were reading the passage multiple times and making detailed notes and diagrams. 

According to the Times, many cognitive scientists and educators found these research results striking. Marcia Linn, an education professor at the University of California, Berkeley, told the newspaper that students who take tests as part of their studying process ”recognize some gaps in their knowledge” and “might revisit the ideas in the back of their mind or the front of their mind.” 

We only wish they had contacted the Real Estate Institute for a comment.  For years, the approach of having students use a study guide to read the material followed by taking practice tests has been our mantra.  Through our PREP-to-PASS programs, we have even taken it a step further by assessing students’ performance after they take the practice test and directing them back to the section in the study guide that they need to review again.   Thousands of licensees have successfully passed their licensing exams with our comprehensive exam preparation programs. 

For more information about these articles, please click on the following links:

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/01/19/science.1199327.abstract

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/21/science/21memory.html

Inside the Illinois Proficiency Exam Pilot

 During the month of November, the Real Estate Institute helped Applied Measurement Professionals (AMP) test the Illinois Proficiency Exams for the upcoming real estate transition.  As part of the amendments to the Real Estate License Act of 2000, licensees will have a choice of facing the proficiency exam or taking coursework to earn the right to transition to the new license titles.  A passing score on the exam will allow licensees to transition without taking the 30-hour or 45-hour post-license education courses.   The exam is expected to be available to all licensees in January 2011. 

Keeping You Honest
The purpose of the proficiency exam pilot program was to verify the suitability of the exams for use as the Real Estate Transition Proficiency Examinations for both the salesperson-to-broker transition and the broker-to-managing broker transition.  Real Estate Institute participated in the pilot with the cooperation of about 140 brave licensees. 

According to Alan Toban, founder of the Real Estate Institute, the reactions of the test takers were mixed.  “I heard people say that it was a little difficult for them, but seemed like a fair exam for a current licensee.” 

Deborah Hammersmith, Real Estate Institute receptionist, observed the crowds after the exam.  She noted, “After the exam, the test takers congregated to ask each other how they responded to particular questions.  They discovered that they all did not have the same exam and that questions varied.  They all acted like this was a big surprise!”

Years in the Business – No Guarantee
At the other end of the spectrum, Alan said, “A few seasoned salespersons and brokers found the exam very challenging and questioned whether they will pass. They were stunned that, after being in the business for so long, they didn’t know everything!” 

Clearly a passing score is not guaranteed by your years in the business.  Alan further explains, “It’s been a long time since some of these folks studied for their license, and a lot has changed. The additions that were included this year alone caught many agents off guard.  Do you know the differences among a ‘broker,’ a ‘managing broker,’ a ‘sponsoring broker’ and a ‘broker who manages’?”

PREP-to-PASS
The exams, which were given on paper, will now be scored by AMP, and any comments about particular questions from those who took the exam will be reviewed. (Later, the Real Estate Institute will make the exam available online for instant scoring.)   AMP will also check for any questions that seem to create a problem for a disproportionate number of candidates.  The bottom line is: Don’t think you are going to waltz into this test and ace it.  According to Alan, “You do need to be proficient.”

The reactions of the pilot test takers confirmed Alan’s suspicions that test preparation would be beneficial.  “With only one opportunity to pass the proficiency exam, I recommend a good exam prep tool to refresh your knowledge and, in some cases, introduce you to new laws that you may not be aware of.”