Preparing for the Exam
Preparing for the Architect Registration Exam (ARE) is a serious process. You must pass all divisions of the exam in order to become an architect. There are numerous study tools available in the market for you to purchase. However, many architectur programs, architecture firms and chapters of the AIA organize study groups and provide mentors to help you study.
The purpose of the ARE is to test your cumulative knowledge of architecture and professional judgment in topics that were included in a degree program (structural engineering, architectural history, etc.) and through direct experience as an intern in a professional setting (construction documents, materials and methods, etc.).
You will not take all ARE divisions at one time. Therefore, you do not need to prepare for all divisions at once. For many interns, the exam is taken over several years.Steps for Exam Preparation
Obtain the exam basics: For exam overview and basic information, visit the NCARB Web site and click on "ARE." Read and download all topics shown in the left column.
Know thyself: Assess your strengths and weaknesses.
Gauge and improve your reading speed and comprehension.
Knowledge Base - You are expected to have basic knowledge in many areas within architecture and engineering. Determine which areas need the most work.
Collect your resources: In addition to the books in the reading lists above, purchase or borrow from your firm or the local AIA component an ARE preparation book available from several publishers and companies providing exam prep. The AIA publishes numerous resources to assist emerging professionals.
Develop a study plan: Do you study best in a group setting or self study? Is a holistic or division by division study plan best for you? Contact other candidates to discuss their approach for taking the exam. Increased amount of work experience makes the test easier. You may want to increase your study time for less time spent in an office setting.
Create a timetable for taking the exam: Do not let procrastination prevent you from starting your exam preparation. Create a realistic time frame to study and take the exam.
Look on the exam as a valued personal goal. Earning licensure will add to your professional recognition, usually leads to an increase in income and will allow you greater freedom and additional opportunities in your career.