I'll admit, I'm new to all this ARE stuff. I've been involved for 41 years with architecture. I started my career on Monday February 7 1977 with one of the largest engineering firms doing conduit and cable schedules. That was when you could smoke in an office building and we used Leroy Lettering templates on mylar.
Now after 41 years, and still learning, I'm eligible to sit for the test. And from what I have read - it just doesn't matter. What other people have done, we're talking about thousands and thousands of people, it's almost a crap shoot.
By now, almost everyone has a story of how they passed or failed. Read 10 stories of passing and you get 10 ways to pass. Read 1 failures and you get 10 different failures. It just doesn't matter.
I read that a person had less than 3 years of experience yet passed on the first try for each section attempted. I read that another person with 5 1/2 years passed all 6 divisions in 7 months. I've read about failures in every division and passes in 6 months.
The more I read I see that college did little to prepare people and that real work situations aren't much better. I read that Black Spectacles, Kaplan, Ballest, the Architectural Graphic Standards and the Architect's Handbook and the AIA Contracts and ready, set, go - pay $210 and hope for the best.
It just doesn't matter.
People with degrees from any college or university passed AND failed. People with 3 years and over 10 years passed AND failed.
It is absolute, it just doesn't matter. Regardless of whether you have passed any divisions are are just starting, the test is filled with questions that few people have really faced in real practice. Questions that have 5 possible answers and somehow one is the best answer.
It just doesn't matter. Six divisions will cost you $1,260. And then, come October 2018 the cost becomes $1,410. It is shown that By the Numbers - 20,000 people took at lease one division while roughly 4,300 people completed the ARE.
I have to wonder if some college or university will create and devote an entire semester to passing the ARE. I have to wonder if IDP or AXP really helps to make better architects. When you consider that the average cost of a professional degree is about $170,000 and it doesn't help you pass the entire test.
It just doesn't matter.
So, plan on spending $4,000 to $5,000 on passing the ARE.
Read the various books, practice taking the test, use as many 3rd party materials, listen to the Youtube videos and don't give up - it's not personal.
And remember - "It just doesn't matter".
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