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, in conjunction with significant changes to the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria (Criteria), the AQB commenced the process of developing the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations.
Periodically, TAF develops an “Occupational Analysis,” which is essentially an appraiser job analysis. The process involves surveying appraisers to determine what tasks they perform in their profession and the relative importance of each of those tasks. The Appraisal Foundation sends surveys to a random group of appraisers nationwide that represents three appraiser classifications: Licensed Residential, Certified Residential and Certified General. From responses received, the AQB creates new Examination Content Outlines (ECO’s) identifying what appraisers should know (and be tested on) to qualify as competent entry level practitioners.
Additionally, the AQB uses an examination developer to create the examinations. Currently, PSI is the AQB’s examination developer and works with the Board to develop and maintain the National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations. PSI, the AQB, and professional appraiser volunteers that serve as Subject Matter Experts (SMEs), work together to develop and maintain a current and well-vetted item bank of thousands of questions.
The AQB has 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.
State appraiser licensing and certification examinations offered prior to January 1, 2008, essentially tested a candidate’s ability to recall information learned in qualifying educational offerings. The National Uniform Licensing and Certification Examinations offered as of January 1, 2008, test a candidate’s ability to apply the knowledge and experience they have obtained. This difference may be best illustrated by looking at examples of the type of questions that could appear under each exam:
Pre-2008 Exam Example
1. The anticipated income from all operations of the real property after an allowance is made for vacancy and collection losses is known as:
A) Gross Income
B) Net Income
C) Effective Gross Income
D) Residual Income
Post-2008 Exam Example
An appraiser is asked to appraise an apartment complex consisting of 120 units broken down as follows:
Thirty (30) 1-bedroom units, renting for $500 each
Sixty (60) 2-bedroom units, renting for $750 each
Thirty (30) 3-bedroom units, renting for $1,000 each
The complex has historically had a vacancy and collection loss expense of 3% and operating expenses/replacement reserves of 35% of effective gross income. Assuming the vacancy rate and all expenses are forecast to remain constant in the foreseeable future:
1. What is the Potential Monthly Gross Income for the complex?
2. What is the Effective Monthly Gross Income for the complex?
3. What is the Net Monthly Income for the complex?
For more sample exam questions download the National Examination Sample Questions.
As stated above, the process for developing new exam content includes surveying appraisers to create an occupational analysis, which is used to create new Examination Content Outlines (ECO’s).
See the ECO's for the 2008 examinations to the right.
The ECO’s are broad conceptual topic areas, which are related to the Required Core Curriculum modules (topics) established by the AQB for each real property appraiser classification. To provide additional detail on what might be expected in the exams, the AQB issued Guide Note 1, which includes suggested subtopics for each educational topic area required. Although candidates for an appraiser license or certification credential are not required by the AQB to obtain education covering each subtopic area, Guide Note 1 was issued as a listing of the information that would likely appear on the exams.
Guide Note 1 can be found in the Real Property Appraiser Qualification Criteria handbook.
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 to the right.
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.
For additional technical information, please see the White Paper on the AQB National Uniform Examinations.