FAQ and study materials for ARE exams

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    How Many Questions Do I Need Correct to Pass?

    Each division of the ARE measures different content knowledge areas. The difference in knowledge areas and the relative difficulty of the questions that make up that content area vary between divisions; therefore, expectations around how many questions you will need to answer correctly also changes from division to division.

    • Project Development & Documentation and Construction & Evaluation require the lowest percentage of scored items to be answered correctly to pass. You need to answer between 57 – 62 percent of scored items correctly on these divisions to pass.

    • Practice Management and Project Management require a slightly higher percentage of questions to be answered correctly to pass. You need to answer between 62 – 68 percent of scored items correctly on these divisions to pass.

    • Programming & Analysis and Project Planning & Design require the highest percentage of questions to be answered correctly to pass. You need to answer between 65 – 71 percent of scored items correctly on these divisions to pass.”

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    Waterproofing and flashing in buildings by GreenExamEducation.com: Metal coping, moisture barrier/building paper, flashing, drip edges, sill pan, weep screed

    https://youtu.be/8iP4k-iKhOU

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    Can someone at NCARB review my above post and release it? It is about my YouTube video on waterproofing and flashing, and is held up again for no reason since 20:04 on Saturday, 6/12/21. Thanks!

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    NCARB

    Hi Gang,

    Your post is now visible. It was caught by the Community spam filter. 

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    Expansion joints on the bridge at Jeffrey Open Space Trail. Please note that the railing is completely separate at expansion joints also. Some designers forget to separate the railing. Remember: Everything at the expansion joins has to be separated. 

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

     

     

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    An analogy of an architect license and a driver license:

    I think an analogy of an architect license and driver license will help ARE candidates understand what NCARB is looking for in the ARE exams:

    • A driver license test is testing you the minimum knowledge and skills to be able to drive a car from Point A to Point B safely without getting into an accident.
    • It does NOT guarantee you will be a car race champion or ability to make fancy move or driving fast and furious to impress people.
    • You can prepare for a driver license test by reading the basic traffic rules and guidebook and become familiar with the road test route.
    • The ARE exams are testing you the minimum knowledge and skills to design a building to house people and property safely without leaking or structural failure.
    • It does NOT guarantee you will be the next I.M. Pei or Frank Gehry or ability to design the next world-famous masterpiece.
    • You can prepare for the ARE exams by reading the most fundamental information related to life safety or property protection, or become familiar with the route of the ARE “road test”, i.e., what an architect does everyday in an architect’s office, schematic design, design development, CD, CA, and dealing with client and governing agencies, etc.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen (Edited )
    Do NOT spend too much time looking for obscure ARE information because the NCARB will have to test you on the most common architectural knowledge and information. At least 80% to 90% of the exam content will have to be the most common, important and fundamental knowledge. The exam writers can word their questions to be tricky or confusing, but they have to limit themselves to the important content; otherwise, their tests will NOT be legally defensible. At most, 10% of their test content can be obscure information. You only need to answer about 62% of all the questions correctly. So, if you master the common ARE knowledge (applicable to 90% of the questions) and use the guess technique for the remaining 10% of the questions on the obscure ARE content, you will do well and pass the exam.
    On the other hand, if you focus on the obscure ARE knowledge, you may answer the entire 10% obscure portion of the exam correctly, but only answer half of the remaining 90% of the common ARE knowledge questions correctly, and you will fail the exam. That is why we have seen many smart people who can answer very difficult ARE questions correctly because they are able to look them up and do quality research. However, they often end up failing ARE exams because they cannot memorize the common ARE knowledge needed on the day of the exam. ARE exams are NOT an open-book exams, and you cannot look up information during the exam.
     
    The process of memorization is like filling a cup with a hole at the bottom: You need to fill it faster than the water leaks out at the bottom, and you need to constantly fill it; otherwise, it will quickly be empty.
    Once you memorize something, your brain has already started the process of forgetting it. It is natural. That is how we have enough space left in our brain to remember the really important things.
     
    It is tough to fight against your brain's natural tendency to forget things. Acknowledging this truth and the fact that you cannot memorize everything you read, you need to focus your limited time, energy and brainpower on the most important issues.
     
    The biggest danger for most people is that they memorize the information in the early stages of their exam preparation, but forget it before or on the day of the exam and still THINK they remember them.
    Most people fail the exam NOT because they cannot answer the few “advanced” questions on the exam, but because they have read the information but can NOT recall it on the day of the exam. They spend too much time preparing for the exam, drag the preparation process on too long, seek too much information, go to too many websites, do too many practice questions and too many mock exams (one or two sets of mock exams can be good for you), and spread themselves too thin. They end up missing the most important information of the exam, and they will fail.
     
    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)
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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    Building exterior details: Balcony wall, drip edge, exhaust vent, and control joints, etc.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=opdzIAW2pJA

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    Can someone at NCARB approve my post above? The content of the video is related to ARE exams: Balcony wall, drip edge, exhaust vent, and control joints, etc. 

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    Materials of a building under construction: OSB, insulation, building paper, roof felt, etc.

    https://youtu.be/Q_bcHmRERMQ

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    A question for the ARE candidates:

    Which of the following is the best choice as a backing for decorative metal panel on an exterior furred wall subject to moisture?

    1. Gypsum board
    2. DensGlass
    3. Plywood
    4. OSB
    5. Type X Gypsum board

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    No one can answer? :)

    I'll give out the answer in a few days.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Zahidul Khan

    DensGlass appears to be able to handle the moisture issue better than all other given options.

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    Gang Chen

    You got it.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    If you can consolidate  a 2-inch-thick spec book in one sentence, what will it be?

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    Does a roof hatch need guardrails?

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    I am very happy to get an encouraging note from one of the NCARB ARE forum readers, Ted.

    See below:

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    Gang Chen

    To make things easier for everyone, I decided to combine my two threads into one, here is the link to "Question of the Day":

    https://are5community.ncarb.org/hc/en-us/community/posts/4407099860503-Question-of-the-Day

    I'll put the question of the day under the "FAQ and study materials for ARE exams" thread in the future.

    Can anyone answer the two questions above? If not, I'll put out the answer soon.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Yanina Mauro

    The roof hatch only needs guardrail when is located within 10 ft from the roof edge

     

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    Correct. This is how the guardrail looks like:

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    Which of the following material call-out is wrong:

    1. Plaster with fine sand finish
    2. Dark bronze aluminum window painted
    3. Clear anodized storefront
    4. None of the above

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Diane Colucci (Edited )

    answer 2. Because the description seems unclear... aluminum window painted dark bronze sounds more correct, but i'm not sure.

     

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    Gang Chen

    Your answer is correct but for the wrong reason. Anyone can explain the reason correctly?

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    Diane,

    This is a very common error in material call-out, even some senior people make this mistake. Some of the materials are pre-finished, such as aluminum windows, vinyl windows, storefront, garage doors, roll-up doors, metal canopies, metal panels, etc. It is very important not to use “paint to match” or “painted” in call-outs for these kinds of materials.

    The correct way to call out these kinds of materials is to go to the manufacturer’s website or catalog, and select the proper colors from their color chart to match the schematic design colors.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    Still no one can answer this question? Here it is again:

    If you can consolidate  a 2-inch-thick spec book in one sentence, what will it be?

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    Can someone at NCARB approve my post above? It was approved and posted, and then I edited a few typo, and posted again and it was locked up.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    For a 6” bearing metal stud wall that is 12’ high, which of the following statements is correct?

    1. It needs to have fixed bottom connection, and slip track top connection.
    2. It needs to have slip track bottom connection, and slip fixed connection
    3. It needs to have fixed bottom connection, and fixed top connection
    4. It needs to have slip track bottom connection, and slip track top connection.

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    A door in a 1-hour rated wall needs to be:

    1. 1-hour rated
    2. 45-minute rated
    3. 30-minute rated
    4. Non-rated with an automatic closer

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen (Edited )

    IBC Section 507, Unlimited Area Buildings, includes the follow types of buildings that could have unlimited area:

    1. One-story buildings
    2. Two-story buildings
    3. Three-story buildings
    4. Both a and b
    5. a, b, and c

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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    Gang Chen

    A 3-hour rated building separation wall needs to have:

    1. A parapet that is at least 30” high
    2. Roof areas that are 3-hour rated within 4 feet of the separation wall
    3. Roof areas that are 2-hour rated within 4 feet of the separation wall
    4. Roof areas that have no openings or penetrations within 4 feet of the separation wall
    5. a or b
    6. a or d
    7. a or c

    Gang Chen, Author, AIA, LEED AP BD+C (GreenExamEducation.com)

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