Can I ask what your goal is?
I do real estate investing and too many times do I have people ask me about how difficult it was to get my license. Funny thing is I don't have a license. If you are looking to sell real estate under a broker then you'll need a license, but the truth of the matter is you don't need a real estate license to do real estate. In many ways selling as a licensed agent is probably the worst way to make money in real estate. It just depend on your goals and what you want to do.
There are several options for breaking into this market that do not require a license. I'm a wholesaler for example. I locate distressed properties or problem properties (properties people are desperate to get rid of), lock them up under my own contract, then assign that contract to some one from my investors list for several grand a pop. The last deal I did (closes in 2 weeks). I found a probate property just from an ad I put on craigslist (said Cash For Your House). A couple responded to my ad. Their mom passed away and they had an inherited property that was costing them money and it was an old piece of junk in a not so good neighborhood. Plus to settle the estate it needed sold. If it were up to par it would sell for $40K in this market. I locked it up on my contract for $8K knowing it needs $5-10K in repairs. I flipped that contract to an investor for $12.5K. I pocketed $4500 in a matter of a couple hrs and some gas when all is said and done. I used no cash and no credit. Everybody is happy. They got rid of their problem, investor has a sweet investment with instant equity and cashflow, I made a few thousand for my "troubles".
This is just one example of my latest deal. You can flip forclosures, rent to own, sandwich lease, wholesale, lease option, mortgage assign, etc all for little to no cash out of your pocket! I like these types of real estate better because I can do it on my own time and I make way better money. Not sure what it's like in NY but here the selling agent makes 3.5% and the closing agent makes 3.5%. That means if you sold this deal through traditional license you'd made $280. LOL. Not to mention all the money you pay to the brokerage you fly under. In our state you have to be under a broker for 2 years before you can work on your own!
If your goal is to become an agent and sell properties then by all means take the exam. They offer 2 day courses. If your goal is to actually make money in real estate and get to know the business for little out of your pocket then I would look at other options. I work strictly with investors because I know eventually I'll be buying and developing real estate. That's where the passive income is (do the work once it pays you forever). By wholesaling I can learn and earn at the same time. I really don't care about the money from the business. I care about the knowledge I get by working with millionaire investors on their deals. I send great deals like this their way and they send their friends my way asking for deals. Its the old saying. Pigs get fed... Hogs get slaughtered. I leave plenty of meat on the bone for my investors.
If you like I can send you a word document I put together for a couple older gentlemen I mentored for awhile in real estate. It outlines wholesaling. I can even point you to a guy on youtube that walked me through my first deals. With his videos alone and taking some action you can learn all you need to know to make money in real estate. I actually ended up using him as a mentor to get started after devouring tons of books. Speaking of, if you need book recommendations I can do that too.
Regardless of what I say, getting your license is taking action and I loudly applaud anyone who takes action toward their goals.
Own Your Situation,