MATERIALS & RESOURCES
- Problem Seeking (Chapter
- Sun, Wind, and Light (Focus on having a good understanding about different design strategies for different climate)
- Site Planning and Design Handbook (Ch. 1-10, appendix A)
- Architectural Graphic Standards (Focus on accessible design)
- ADA Standard for Accessible Design (Chapter 2 - 6)
- International Building Code 2015 (Chapter 3, 5, 6, 7, 10)
- Building Codes Illustrated
- Designers Hacks: questions are way easier than the real test but a good way to memorize terms and definitions.
- designerMASTERCLASS: little harder than Designers Hacks, it’s useful but If I have to choose between this and Designers Hacks (DH), I’ll go with DH since DH access is permanent while designerMASTERCLASS is only for 60 days.
- Black Spectacles: This is a very close simulation of the real ARE exam (in term of interface). The questions are fairly hard, about 60% are useful and close to the real test. The rest are very irrelevant. Still recommended. I took all 4 BS practice exams.
- Ballast ARE5 Practice Exam: Very in-depth and tricky. Strongly recommended.
- Erik Walker’s Walking the ARE PA Practice Exam (Sold as PA Practice Exam on Hyperfine): In my opinion, hardest PA practice exam so far. However it’s quite low tech, it’s a PDF (instead of a quiz platform like the 3 above) so you’ll have to either print the whole thing out (about 130 pages) or you have to go back and forth between questions, supplements, case study references. Still highly recommended. This practice test has a strong focus on environmental design. I got a lot of questions on that.
- The Amber Book (Videos)
- Review NCARB ARE Handbook to have a good understanding of the scope of the test
- Study feedback on PA study/testing experience on NCARB ARE 5.0 Community & The ARE Facebook Group
- Take a Black Spectacles practice exam to examine your strength and weakness
- From the analysis and research conducted in Step 1-3, establish a study schedule that fits you the most.
- Take an introduction course/read to have a good grasp of the body of knowledge you need to conquer. This can be done by either
- Watch Pluralsight
- Watch The Amber Videos
- Read Ballast
- Others “overview/introduction” resources (typical a 3rd party provider)
* I personally watched Pluralsight and Amber.
- Take another full-time practice test again to see how much you improved after taking these introductory courses/read (Black Spectacles practice exams recommended).
- Read the primary sources listed by NCARB. The most important sources, in my opinion, are
- International Building Code 2015
- Building Code Illustrated
- ADA Standard for Accessible Design
- Sun, Wind, and Light
- Site Planning and Design Handbook
- Take practice exams
- Repeat Step 7 and 8
Use this link for my tips on other tests that I passed:
Please sign in to leave a comment.