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Courses /Exam Prep

Prepare to take the NMLS license exam

Test prep classes and study tools designed to help you pass the SAFE MLO national exam the first time.

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Exam prep for mortgage loan officers (MLOs)

The NMLS exam is not easy

According to the National Mortgage Licensing System (NMLS), only 55% of people pass the MLO exam on their first try.* Study and prepare early-on with our exam prep tools and courses.

Learn what to expect

Study the right topics

Gain confidence to pass

Exam prep solutions to study for the NMLS national exam

1200+ practice questions

8 simulated exams

800+ interactive flashcards

Start studying with Prep xL

Built to help you study for and pass the MLO exam.

Study smarter

Identify your strengths & areas that need improvement with quizzes, tests and more.

Personalized study plans

Adaptive learning technology allows for a customized learning experience.

Real-time data & reports

Track your improvement over time with analytics to see where you should focus your attention.

Extended access

Keep your access to Prep xL for a year to ensure you are ready for the exam.

Exam prep built to help you pass

Be ready to pass the NMLS mortgage exam with a study booster like Prep xL or register for a webinar session to get study tips from an industry expert.

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Prep xL

Covers all exam sections

Online self-paced format

Personalized study plans

Practice exams and quizzes

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8 hour webinar

Covers all exam sections

Live webinar format

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NMLS-approved new license training for mortgage loan officers

Available formats

Absorb concepts faster by choosing an exam prep format that best suits your learning style.

Online Self-Paced (or OSP)

Prep xL is our online self-paced study tool, which means you will study independently and learn at your own pace without help from an instructor.

Webinar

Our fast-paced exam prep webinars are taught by live instructors who have taken the exam before. Webinars allow you to interact with the instructor and ask any questions about the NMLS exam.

“Passed my first attempt with 86%! Without these practice tests I don't think I could have done it.”

— Vincent C, Studied with Prep xL

Studying for the NMLS exam

Important information to know as you prepare to take your test.

What to expect

The SAFE MLO national exam is made up of 120 multiple-choice items that cover 5 content areas: federal mortgage related laws (24% of the test), uniform state content (11%), general mortgage knowledge (20%), mortgage loan origination activities (27%) and ethics (18%).

To find out what may be covered on the exam in more detail, the NMLS provides a handbook and a national test outline that you can use to study. Keep in mind that the outline is not intended to be a full list of every topic and subtopic that will be covered. Be sure to review chapter 7 of the handbook to familiarize yourself with what to expect on your test day.

Cost

The cost to take the exam is $110. Once a test enrollment request has been submitted and payment has been processed, you will have a 180 day enrollment window to complete the exam. Learn more about the testing process in chapter 2 of the handbook.

Passing score

You must score a 75% or better to pass the exam. Scores below 75% will be considered a failure by the NMLS and will require you to re-take the test (and pay the testing fee again).

How to prepare

To give yourself the best opportunity of passing on your first attempt, we highly recommended using Prep xL alongside your pre-licensing education. Practice often and test your understanding of topics and questions that could be on the exam. Learn more about Prep xL in this video:

Common questions

Get answers to the most commonly asked questions about the exam.

Register for the NMLS national licensing exam by following these steps:

  1. If you have not already done so, create an NMLS account.
  2. Pay for an enrollment window with the NMLS. This is a payment you will make online directly to the NMLS.
  3. Accept the Candidate Agreement.
  4. Schedule your exam within the NMLS website or on Prometric's website.

It is important to remember that the pass rate for the exam is very low and it is quite common to fail on your first attempt. To retake the exam, you will need to pay the required fees and wait at least 30 days before you are able to try again. If you fail again, you will be required to wait at least 180 days until you are able to take it again.

Most importantly, don't be discouraged if you don't pass on your first few attempts. If you purchased an exam prep tool like Prep xL, your access lasts for a full year from the time of purcahse. So, use your waiting period wisely, keep studying the material and you'll position yourself for success on your next try.

Once you receive a passing score on the exam, you'll need to apply for your mortgage loan originator license through the NMLS website, authorize background checks, a credit check and pay any state-specific application fees.

To learn more about the steps to complete your MLO application, read our step-by-step guide.

Visit the Prep xL login page to access your Prep xL study tools. Your login information may be different from your OnCourse Learning training login.

You can reset your password online or give us a call at 1-888-801-1900.

Helpful Articles
  1. How to become a mortgage loan originator
  2. A day in the life of a mortgage loan officer
  3. Five behaviors of effective mortgage loan originators