A Comprehensive Guide To Passing The ARE Exam From Harlem To Hollywood

August 21, 2023

Taking the Architectural Registration Exam (ARE) is one of the most crucial steps for architects en route to becoming licensed professionals.

Preparing for this challenging and detailed exam can be a stressful experience, with a wide range of topics to digest in an ever-shifting landscape of standards and regulations. But don’t get discouraged just yet! With the right strategy and attitude, passing your ARE becomes an achievable goal. Let’s get started!

Understand the Structure of the ARE Exam

Are you considering becoming an architect in the United States? Then, you’ll need to take the ARE. The test is a seven-part, multiple-choice exam that consists of six divisions and one practice vignette. The six divisions are:

  • Practice Management
  • Project Management
  • Programming and Analysis
  • Project Planning and Design
  • Construction and Evaluation
  • Structures and Sustainable Design

Each division has its own set of topics, and it is important to understand the scope of each one before you begin preparing for the ARE. A good place to start is the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) website. Generally, each division has a time limit ranging from three to four hours, and you’ll need to score at least 75 out of 125 possible points to pass.

Utilize Test Prep Resources Available for the ARE

If you are serious about passing your ARE, it is important to find the best resources and materials available. NCARB offers a variety of test prep material that can be accessed directly from their website. This includes sample exams, flashcards, practice quizzes, and other helpful resources. Or maybe you want to opt for study sessions with Amber Book, which offers a comprehensive preparation program for the ARE exam — all in the comfort of your home. There are tons of options out there to help you get better acquainted with the material and pass your test.

Develop a Study Plan

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle of daily life and lose track of time. That’s why it’s so important to develop a study plan that works best for you. Here’s how you should get started with your routine:

Set Realistic Goals and Objectives

The best way to prepare for the ARE is to break down your studies into manageable chunks. Make a plan that outlines when you’ll cover each section of the exam, and how much time you’ll need to dedicate to it.

Utilize Technology

We have so many amazing tools at our fingertips — make sure you use them! Sign up for one of the many online study groups or apps to help you stay organized and motivated.

Take Practice Tests

As already mentioned earlier, taking mock exams is a great way to gain confidence in your knowledge of the material before taking the real exam. It’s also an effective tool in identifying any areas that require more attention or need further review.

Get Set-up and Ready for Test Day

Now that you have a plan in place, it’s time to make sure you’re set up for success on test day. Here’s how.

Be Prepared Physically and Mentally

Having physical strength can be just as important as having mental strength when taking the ARE. Make sure to get plenty of rest the night before, eat a nutritious breakfast on test day, and stay hydrated throughout. Also, take some time to relax and calm your nerves; it will help you focus better during your exam.

Dress Comfortably

You want to be comfortable while taking the ARE, so dress for success! Wear clothes that are breathable and comfortable. Avoid wearing items that could be restrictive or uncomfortable during the long test hours.

Understand the Testing Environment

Familiarize yourself with the exam’s format and the testing center’s rules and regulations. The better you understand the environment you’ll be testing in, the less likely you are to be surprised or confused on the day of the exam.

Review Materials the Day Before the Exam

While it’s important not to cram, reviewing key concepts and formulas the day before the exam can refresh your memory and boost your confidence.

Arrive Early at the Testing Center

Make sure you arrive early at the testing center to avoid any last-minute rush. This will also provide you with enough time to adjust to the environment, take a few deep breaths, and mentally prepare yourself for the exam.

The strategies outlined above are aimed at equipping you with the necessary tools and resources to navigate this path effectively. Remember to utilize the plethora of resources available, develop a strategic study plan, and take care of your physical and mental well-being as you prepare. And most importantly, keep a positive attitude — every architect before you have faced this challenge, and so can you. So go ahead, buckle up, and get started on your journey to becoming a licensed architect!

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