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Dear Young Architect,
I am considering beginning my ARE journey and am preparing myself by reading through others’ comments, exam experiences and starting to look at the ARE Study Guides.
However, with is the ARE 5.0 approaching. According to the NCARB, if you “mix” 4.0 and 5.0 together, you will only need five exams. Would it be easier to wait until 5.0 starts and not have to get stuck in the middle of the exams?
Do you have a suggestion about preparing the materials? Should I still have the current Review Manuals? Or wait for the new Study guides?
-Confused ARE Candidate
Thanks for the email!
The short answer is: No, start taking the ARE’s right now.
The long answer is: Start now and take these three exams first:
- Construction Documents and Services (CDS)
- Programming Planning and Practice (PPP)
- Site Planning and Design (SPD)
After you have these three exams under your belt, you will only have to take two more of the new 5.0 exams called: Project Planning & Design and Project Development & Documentation. You should be able to start taking the new ARE 5.0 Exams at the end of 2016, if everything goes smooth with the transition on NCARB’s end.
For the people in the middle of the transition, NCARB is compressing the:
- Schematic Design (SD)
- Structural Systems (SS)
- Building Design and Construction Systems (BDCS)
- Building Systems (BS)
…into the new Project Planning & Design and Project Development & Documentation exams.
One advantage to taking the CDS, PPP and SPD exams right now is that there has never been this much ARE study material ever. Aside from just studying traditional textbooks there is currently plenty of Audio content, Videos and online software to help you prepare for the ARE 4.0.
The ARE tests from a very large body of knowledge. Whether it’s sliced up into seven exams or five exams in my opinion is irrelevant. It will take the publishers some time to catch up with creating the new ARE 5.0 content and all the multiple choice ARE 4.0 study materials will still be useful in preparing for the 5.0 exams.
I shared all the ARE Study materials in a 3 part blog post I wrote called the Ultimate List of ARE Study Materials. In Part 1 I recommend resources I used for all the exams. Part 2 I discuss what I used to study for each exam individually, and Part 3 is all about the vignettes.
If anything I would think you would be at an advantage starting with 4.0 then waiting. There are a lot of really good new study materials that I wished I had when I tested. Using that information, building momentum and already being in the thick of it will be much more valuable then waiting. There is no advantage to waiting.
Hope this helps.
For additional reading about ARE transition also check out:
- How To Pass The Architecture Registration Exam
- 6 Tips to Pass The ARE In 2016
- 10 Things to Consider While You Prepare for Your First Architect Exam
- The ULTIMATE List Of ARE Study Material (Part I: Study Material Overview)
- Poor Man’s Graduate School (aka The Architect Exam)
- Confidentiality and the Architectural Registration Exam
- ARE 5.0 Transition Explained
- 5 Lessons I Learned Studying For the Architect Registration Exam