ARE 5.0 Testing/Studying Strategies

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    Kevin Griendling

    Hi Ann,

    Those are great observations to share with everyone from your research. I absolutely suggest studying Project Management and Practice Management together. The other four make for a REALLY large chunk of knowledge and may be more than the average candidate can chew at once. If it seems to be too much for you I might suggest Construction Evaluation and Planning and Analysis could potentially be somewhat isolated.

    My general suggestion is to study the way projects are developed. So breaking it into 2/4 groups is appropriate. On a more personal note, I couldn't wait to learn more about the higher levels of architectural practice, so doing Practice Management first would have really appealed to me. Additionally, I like to front load the harder tasks (like unfamiliar topics) so the ones at the end feel easier (senioritis). It really is up to you.

    In terms of compacting your schedule, I explain a series of methods for streamlining your study schedule in this excerpt from my ARE 5.0 Practice Management course:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrQAPGOil94 

    I am developing these courses in the same order NCARB presents them, with Practice Management first. I found there was a lot of merit to it.

    All the best to you in your testing!

     

    Kevin Griendling

    www.pluralsight.com

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    Ryan NCARB

    Interesting recommendation from Amber Books.  Studying for four exams at once is AN approach, but that also seems like a lot to take on.  I agree with Kevin's recommendation that PcM and PjM pair well together.  I also think that PPD and PDD pair well together.  That leaves PA and CE, which don't really pair as closely as the other sets, but could be taken near each other or separately.

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    Ann O'Connell

    I agree that 4 tests at once is quite a lot to take on, and you both have some good recommendations on where to begin my studying and pairing exams. To summarize, it sounds like there are four different "study focuses," which could be taken in any order based on a candidate's individual preferences:

    - Programming & Analysis

    - Construction & Evaluation

    - Project Planning & Design + Project Development & Documentation

    - Practice Management + Project Management

    Thanks Kevin and Ryan for your input!

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    Daniel Spilman

    Ann, 

    I'm in the same boat as you and have asked the same questions haha! I've basically decided to just take the exams in the order that NCARB has presented them in (the chronological path of an architectural project), since there does not appear to be an outstanding strategic order that is greater than any other. So I'm studying for Practice Management currently, and planing to take it in late November or early December. 

    Let me know of any updates on your progress. When are you planning on scheduling an exam for? 

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    Ann O'Connell

    Hi Daniel,

    I agree, there doesn't seem to be any over-arching strategic order for taking the exams!

    My personal preference is to knock out one of the groups of exams, move on to the single exams afterwards and then lastly the second group of exams. I've gotten a lot of experience at my firm with PPD + PDD, so that is the logical first choice for me - NCARB always recommends planning your testing strategy based on work experience. After that, I'll follow the progression of a typical architecture project and take Programming & Analysis, followed by Construction & Evaluation, leaving Project Management and Practice Management for last.

    I'm currently focusing on LEED accreditation to warm up my study skills, and I'll start testing ARE 5.0 in January!

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    Beau Tanner (Edited )

    It seems like, at the moment anyway, that I'm the only one in my area prepping for the ARE, so I don't have a strategy per se.  I've decided to use Architect Exam Prep as my study guide source, so I suppose that my strategy will be to study for each module as they release the study material.  I'm starting with Project Planning & Design.  Between high school, the Marine Corps, college, the Navy, and now practicing professionally, I think that I'll be ok.  Architecture and design is all that I've ever done.  It's just a matter of battening down the hatches and studying.

    Whatever strategy one chooses, here's to success!

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    Richard Wilson

    I have been tracking testing strategies on my website here: Study Strategies for Success. I hope this is helpful.

    As far as exam approach: I studied for 15-20 hours/wk for one month, and then took Practice Management.That way I got a solid attempt and a good feel for testing. I intend to just take the exams in order, since the standard practice of architecture is in the same order as the ARE. I also ripped into the exam - I was very critical. 

    Study Strategy # 3 - Testing Interval

    • For one month: read, review your own flash cards and sketch notes, watch supporting online videos - repeat.
    • Then dive into the practice materials provided by PPI (or other resources), and schedule that exam while practicing. Basically one-month testing intervals.
    • Why one month? Because the amount of information to study is tremendous! You may already be experienced in architectural practice, but that doesn't mean you've been doing it the way that NCARB has constructed the exam, and you may miss large chunks of useful professional guides.

    I intend to finish by November of 2017.

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    Allie Povall

    Just took PcM.  I used the Ballast O'Hara PPi study material.  If you're like me you cut the review manual up into sections so you don't have to carry the whole thing around.  My suggestion is that when you do that, take the PcM section and THROW IT IN THE TRASH then go and drop another $200 on The Architects Handbook of Professional Practice and study it.

    Well, maybe that's a little drastic, but seriously you will find success in studying AHPP.

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    Beau Tanner

    If it's a sound testing strategy, it might not be that drastic, Allie...

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    Austin Griffis (Edited )

    All,

    I'm currently studying for practice management and project management, with the intent of grouping my studying and testing as mentioned in the posts above. I will also have to take the California Supplemental Examination (CSE) and was wondering whether anyone has experience with this exam, and how it could grouped or ordered with other tests?

    Any insights would be appreciated!

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