Failed again...should i even bother becoming licensed at this point?

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10 comments

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    Benjamin Norkin

    Kathleen,

    Yes, you should bother to get licensed! Are you on any kind of deadline? Maybe stepping away for 6 months or a year might be good for you. Forget about the exams for a while. Refresh, get your motivation back and come up with a new plan for how to get through this.

    You have been working hard, but obviously something just isn't clicking, or something is being overlooked. Don't start studying again without a real deep look at why you think you failed. And don't go about preparing for your next exam the same way you have been. Think about changing your study time, or number of days, or hours per day, or resources or study locations. If you watch videos, read books. If you highlight books, make flashcards. If you study in a group try by yourself.

    And definitely do NOT feel worthless. Lots of people don't pass, you're in good company.

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    Hang Cho

    Reward yourself, Kathleen - you worked hard & deserved regardless pass/fail.

    Takes some break - week, month or so - till your inner voice encourage you to resume !!!

     

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    Katie Merten

    Kathleen, 

    I know of someone who failed a single test 10 times before passing.  What's important is that you don't quit!  Take a break if you need.  Another suggestion is to try out the Young Architect Bootcamp.  Plenty of people in your position take the bootcamp and come away successful.  Don't beat yourself up.  You can do this--we all can!

  • Avatar
    Clarissa Hoskison

    Kathleen - 

    YOU GOT THIS! KEEP GOING! Studying and learning material is never a waste! It's going to help you in the long run with practicing architecture. Take a breather. Come back to it. Figure out what motivates you to get it done. Is it a feeling that you've finally finished your education? Is it to get a promotion? Is it to prove to yourself that you can get licensed? For me - my motivation is that I still feel like an intern even though I have a few years experience. Getting my license will be the key to me feeling like I am finally a professional in the industry. Find your motivation, write it down everywhere, and use it to propel you forward. 

    Best of luck! 

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    Kathleen Hogan

    thanks everyone for your kind words. I reviewed my test results and my results are opposite of my first time taking CE. In my first attempt i passed in Objectives 1 and 3, failed Objectives 2 and 4. During yesterday's exam i passed Objectives 2 and 4, and failed in Objectives 1 and 3! it's just absolutely frustrating especially when i'm studying for these exams and get better at sections that i failed previously, but then fall back in areas where i was better in before. 

     

    it's hard to not think of this as a waste of money, but it does feel like it.

  • Avatar
    Clarissa Hoskison

    In the long term, you'll reap the financial benefit, but it definitely hurts the pockets now. I hate how expensive the exams are, and I totally understand the feeling. I have also failed exams and it's very frustrating. 

    Is there a study group in your area you could join? There are likely others in a similar position. 

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    William Denman

    What has helped me more than anything is work experience in an office. Actually applying concepts and finding solutions to problems, working with others including contractors and owners, as well as people in the industry who have far more experience than I, this is what has really been able to support me when I get hit with a question I may not be ready for. All of the others almost feel like gimme questions because I've encountered it in the office or drawn a similar detail many times. I find the exams very difficult, but having had to apply so many of these concepts gives me the confidence that I either answered correctly, or I was able to take an educated guess.

    Where are you in terms of your work experience?

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    RJ

    I failed each division twice before I finally made my 1st pass. Ironic though, I didn't think that first Pass would've been a Pass either and the other one's that I thought I passed I failed. It's a test in patience and mentally not losing it. 

  • Avatar
    William May

    My goodness, failed 10 times on one test.  Is it just me or is this utterly asinine?  At $235 a pop that's $2350.  Not to mention that when you consider you can't test more than 3 times a year for any one test tha's nearly 3 years.  AND with the rolling clock, it's likely that the person will need to start over.

    I feel your pain, disgust and frustration but you should not feel worthless.  I personally will not tell anyone that I am testing; not the people at work, not the family, not friends.  The negative vibes seem to tell you that it's all your fault.  It's not.  The process of becoming a licensed architect is flawed, not you personally.

    That being said, each test is supposed to determine your fitness to practice as a licensed architect.  The questions are not straight forward.  The questions are written to screw you up, not to be nice.  You need to understand what the test is checking for.  You need to practice taking a lot of questions because of how questions can be worded.  I'm a terrible test taker.  I can design and draft just about anything.  I can market and meet people and figure out that I need to pay bills and staff and all the things that you need to do and know to run a business.  But to take a timed test, I fail.

    As I was recently told, NCARB doesn't care if you pass.  The tests weren't written so that you would pass, the ARE doesn't care if you pass or not.  Colleges and universities don't care if you pass the ARE.  And even if you do pass, there is no guarantee that you will reap any financial reward. 

    But, it can be done, passing the tests.  And as far as those people who say that they passed all 6 tests in 5 months, that's nice, but for most people, it's not realistic.  This is a fist fight.  A bloody bare knuckle fist fight.  It's MMA.  Your opponent is a machine, not human.  So prepare yourself.  Get mean, nasty and think.

    Best wishes.

  • Avatar
    William May

    Kathleen,

    I started back in 1977 as a draftsman.  I worked for 13 years and went to college.  I didn't major in anything but managed to earn a bachelor equivalent in general studies.  I got into Vocational Education, earned my teaching certificate and taught architectural drafting and design over a ten year period.  I left teaching and continued to work in offices for and with architects.  I found out that there are two paths to licensure; the traditional path is 5 years in a degree program, go thru the apprenticeship program and sit for the test.  The non-traditional path, the path I took, was to work in architectural offices for 6 years and then go thru the apprenticeship program, then sit for the test.

    It's been a struggle.  I have been told by principal architects that while my experience, skill, ability and knowledge are very good, I'm too old to hire.  Both times, I was called, and was told.  The first time i was shocked.  I couldn't believe it.  The second time I was mad but I realized that it wasn't me, it was them.

    I'm good at what I do.  It's not bragging or arrogance.  It's knowing that what I do is what other people do with no more or less than what they provide to clients.  When I went thru IDP I worked with 4 different architects.  I did the activities to complete IDP and in doing that I learned what licensed architects provided to clients and how to run an office.

    And now, I'm taking the tests.  I failed the first test.  It's terribly frustrating.  The questions were written in such a way that caused me great aggravation.  The more questions I saw, the madder I got.  And I started wondering what the heck I was doing.  I got distracted.  I am paying the penalty for that.  

    Even with the forum, I feel alone and isolated.  But I want this.  I solve problems on a daily basis for my clients.  The test is just another problem to be solved.  Examine your knowledge.  Use as many questions to check your understanding as you need to determine what you know and what you don't.

    I don't know if it's possible to actually speak over the phone or to write thru personal email.  Best wishes. 

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