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National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations


Title XI of the Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act (FIRREA) of 1989 required all state certified appraisers to successfully pass an examination administered by a state or territory that is issued or endorsed by the Appraiser Qualifications Board (AQB) of The Appraisal Foundation (TAF). As a result, in 2008 the AQB launched the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations.

Periodically, TAF conducts an “Occupational Analysis,” also called a “Job Analysis.” The analysis is done in consultation with the psychometricians on staff with the AQB’s contracted examination developer and involves surveying appraisers to determine what tasks they perform in their profession and the relative importance of each of those tasks.

In February and March 2014, surveys were sent to a random group of 23,729 appraisers in the United States who represent three appraiser classifications: Licensed Residential, Certified Residential and Certified General. From the responses received, AQB Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) worked with the examination developer to create new Examination Content Outlines (ECO’s) that identify what appraisers should know and be tested on to qualify as competent professionals.

Currently, PSI is the AQB’s examination developer and works with the Board to develop and maintain the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations. Annually, PSI, the AQB, and professional appraiser volunteers that serve as SMEs, work together to develop and maintain a current and well-vetted item bank of thousands of questions.

The AQB developed equivalency guidelines that can be used by states or vendors who wish to develop their own exams. These exams, if developed, will be reviewed by the AQB to determine if they are equivalent to the national exams. Currently, there are no equivalent examinations and the AQB-developed examination is being used in all states and territories.

Exam Design, Content and Timing


The National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations test a candidate’s ability to apply the knowledge and experience they have obtained. For sample exam questions, click here. For information on how the examinations are scored, please click here.

The Exam Content Outline (ECO) contains broad conceptual topic areas, which are related to the Required Core Curriculum modules (topics) established by the AQB for each real property appraiser classification. Guide Note 1 in the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria includes suggested subtopics for each educational topic area required. Although candidates for an appraiser credential are not required by the AQB to obtain education covering each subtopic area, Guide Note 1 was issued to provide topics that would likely appear on the exams.

For a summary of the changes to the 2015 examinations, please click here.

Exam Administration

State appraiser regulatory agencies and/or examination vendors can apply to become AQB-approved administrators for the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations. A complete packet of information, titled “Examination Administration Information,” can be downloaded by clicking here.


Equivalent Examinations

State appraiser regulatory agencies and examination developers may use the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations or develop “equivalent examinations.” Equivalent examinations must be reviewed and approved by the AQB before they can be administered to candidates for a state appraiser license or certification.

Download the Exam Equivalency Guidelines.












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