They usually have material available that helps you study.
In my opinion, it seemed best to take the exam as early as possible after completing my NMLS and state required education when I prepared for this career 4 yrs ago.
In NC, you will not be able to work on your own or manage a branch until you have 3 yrs. experience originating loans. You might even find that your Educator would have some leads for you as far as who is hiring. Give me a call if you'd like.
I was fortunate enough to have found the best people who took time to help me grow my business and gain the experience that allowed me to build a solid foundation in the new Era of Lending. There is a lot of opportunity in this Industry right now.