HELP! Thinking about quitting the ARE



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    Mollie Pelletier

    I hope NCARB answers this for you.  I am American and struggled with the wording on these tests. Understanding what exactly they are asking is harder than any material covered on any exam.  Many of my colleagues feel the same way as well, and we are all native English speakers. So I can't imagine trying to take these tests as a foreign architect.  NCARB should have a path to licensure for foreign architects that doesn't include these exams.

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    Margarita Bedmar Gonzalez

    Thank you so much for sharing this, it does makes me feel better and i totally agree with you.

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    Carolina Glas Roditi

    Join Bootcamp, you'll be practicing and practicing questions until they become much easier to handle.
    I had the same problem and Michael Riscica's Bootcamp has been the solution. Not only you get to go over a tonnnnn of questions, but you discuss them with other people and learn from them how to interpret what they're asking.

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    Margarita Bedmar Gonzalez

    I appreciate your recommendation but i do not have the money for a bootcamp which is highly expensive, it does not seem fair to me that i need to throw money and money to pass these exams instead of being able to learn from the material, since the material is not clear or concrete at all. I wish NCARB would provide better material to study and test people base on knowledge.

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    I can definitely sympathize with your experience with the ARE. There are a lot of convoluted questions on this exam that require 'time' and thought' and there just simply isn't enough 'TIME' in my opinion. So maybe the boot camp program is the way? But it sure is pricy and my firm is like yours- they dont pay for employee licencing and could care less about that. Im half way through the tests and am having a he'll of a time passing PA. I've taken it now 5 times and the last 2 times I took it I walked out of the testing center thinking I passed only to wake up to the opposite. It's insane! I think if I got 15 out of 95 wrong I failed but who the heck knows (unless I'm willing to waste 300$ to find out) what a racket! So enough of my venting, but I simply understand your frustration and would like to encourage you to perhaps take a few months break from the exam (like me) and come back to it after all there's really no rush- you have 5 years right ? lol

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    I'd also like voice out to ncarb- PLEASE UPDATE THE HANDBOOK With new material for us 50 percenters. It's been 2 years and it's hard to study the handbook when you've memorized all the questions!

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    Philip Crosscup (Edited )

    Wow!  The exams are challenging, must be especially challenging in a second language.  Hang in there!  I did my internship in Barcelona, so I feel for you.  I have never been fluent in a second langue, so its hard for me to say, but I can only imagine it will get easier as you study and test.  I would recommend many  practice exams as well.  Also sounds like you are an architect not a foreign architect/architectural designer even though you can't stamp in that particular state/ country? 

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    Kenneth Barrett


    To many of us native English speakers, the ARE exams also feel as if they are written in a foreign language. I recently passed my last exam but it took 2.5 years and included 3 failed exams. I transitioned from ARE 4.0 to 5.0 but continued to find the 4.0 exam guides very useful. I mapped out the differences between 4.0 and 5.0 using the NCARB transition calculator and used the corresponding exam guides. They are free! 

    For example,

    ARE 5.0 Practice Management = ARE 4.0 Construction Documents & Services + ARE 4.0 Programming, Practice, & Practice


    Here is the 4.0 to 5.0 transition calculator:

    Here are the links to the 4.0 exam guides:









    Hopefully NCARB keeps the 4.0 guides up forever.


    Good Luck!

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