I'm so excited to report that I have successfully PASSED all six exams and I'm done with ARE's! Now I just wait for my jurisdiction board (Guam) to approve and certify my exams to be an official RA!
This forum has been such a great source of encouragement and study advice for me through this journey, so I hope I can share some encouragement with everyone else.
I started taking exams while my wife and I only had a 4-year old son. I passed the first exam (PcM) in October 2018, then second exam (PjM) a month later in November. I failed CE twice, moved on to PA and failed once, had another baby boy in July 2019, failed PA again in October 2019, then eventually passed PA in February of 2020. I had planned to continue taking exams until the pandemic shut everything down in March of 2020. I studied on and off and decided to take the last three exams a month apart starting in October before the new test format was rolled out. I failed all three, but my score reports looked like I was close to passing each. I waited until after the holidays, and went into full study mode again in February 2021. I passed PPD in March, passed PDD one month later, then passed CE one week thereafter on April 21.
After 2.5 years, I spent more than $5k on exams and study materials throughout this journey. But the most I spent on was time. Time away from my wife and kids, time away from things I enjoyed doing for months at a time. But for all of you who think it isn't possible, just know that ANYTHING is possible. I don't have a four-year degree in Architecture. I have an Associate's Degree in Architectural Drafting. I spent nine years in an architecture firm as a drafter where I gained experience from people who supported me, spent a couple years in a construction company, and now in an engineering firm mostly for production. I was told by someone who was supposed to be a mentor to me, that because I don't have a professional degree, passing these exams will be almost impossible. Again, ANYTHING is possible!
PcM and PjM - AHPP, Hanahan lectures and contracts, and Black Spectacles.
PA - Hyperfine, SPDH, AEP.
PPD, PDD - ASC, Hyperfine, AEP, Karin's Notes, Amber Book (purchased for 3 months, which really helped me to pass these last 3 exams). ARE 4.0 handbooks and practice quizzes.
CA - AIA Contracts, Hanahan Lectures, Amber Book.
There were other materials I read and reviewed, but these are the ones I used mainly for each exam. You may be different, but use all you can get your hands on.
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