The purpose of the initial licensing class is to prepare you to take the national exam. You will become familiar with legal terms and other real estate terminology. Typically the course does not teach how to operate a business but there will be opportunities for that once you join a brokerage. Passing the national exam is actually relatively easy, it's passing the state or DC exams that's harder because there are fewer questions so a percentage of wrong answers count heavily. The Virginia exam is quite hard so you will hear considerable pride when it's passed on the first try. You don't have to take all exams on the same day but people usually do, might as well as long as you're already there. I attended an excellent VA prep course given by Weichert so even though you may have taken an accelerated course for the national exam, there's still more study for the other areas. If you pass the national but fail the VA/DC, you may retake the failed tests. Each test costs money so keep that in mind when considering whether to just take a stab at it. Keep in mind the cost of setting up business about $1000 because you will pay licensing fees to however many jurisdictions you want to be licensed in, for access to data (MRIS) and for access to lockboxes. I work with someone who skipped the last two and leaned heavily on "friends". Very unprofessional. I love my broker and hearily recommend Realty Direct. I'd love to tell you about it.