I was the first person in the nation to pass the ARE 5.0, I’ve helped more than 10,000 people study for these exams, and I’m ready to share some insights. The key to passing these tests? No surprise: learning the material. Of course, there are test-taking tricks, both general to test-taking and specific to the ARE that can help at the margins—and I’ll cover those in future posts on this thread—but the quickest, surest path to licensure is in owning the content. For most of you, that will mean a good deal of studying. This will be more fun if you are curious, but for both the curious and uncurious, if you are endeavoring to pass these exams, I encourage you to approach them with a measure of gusto, because owning the content—really really really knowing it—is more fun than trying to memorize a test item that was on your last failed attempt (and unlikely to show up again). And truly understanding the subject matter will both make you more likely to pass and will make you a better architect.—Michael Ermann
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