Since I am often speaking about the importance of becoming a licensed architect, I have put together a list of the best architect exam prep resources.
UPDATED: April 15, 2019.
The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) is a multi-division exam used to assess your knowledge and skills regarding the practice of architecture. Developed by NCARB, the exam is accepted by all U.S. jurisdictions and is a key step on the path to earning a license.
So here is my list of the best architect exam prep resources currently available.
The Best Architect Exam Prep Resources.
ARE 5.0 Study Guide: New Edition
The ARE 5 Review Manual (often referred to as simply the "Ballast" study guide) is an 860 page behemoth of a book that contains all you need to know to pass the exams. It also happens to be the book I personally used to pass all of the ARE's.
Successful exam preparation requires the best resources, and ARE 5 Review Manual gives you the power to pass all six divisions of ARE 5.0. This one book provides you with a complete and comprehensive review of the content areas covered on ARE 5.0 divisions. It includes subjects that are new to ARE 5.0 and covers recent developments in project delivery, sustainable design, pre-construction activities, and many other areas of architectural practice.
Prepare to pass all six divisions of ARE 5.0 with
a thorough review of the content areas covered
hundreds of tables and figures
advice, tips, and strategies on how to take the exams
exam preparation guidelines
ARE 5.0 Divisions Covered
Programming & Services
Project Planning & Design
Project Development & Documentation
Construction & Evaluation
The ARE 5 Review Manual and its companion products are published by PPI. PPI is recognized as the leading publisher of professional licensing exam review materials. More than 3 million professionals have relied on PPI to help them prepare for their licensing exams.
I have since partnered with the publishers so that my readers now get 15% off any order (excluding the bundles).
Enter the Promo Code ARG15 at checkout to get the immediate discount.
Check it out here:
Architect Exam Prep
Are you struggling with all of the choices for materials that are available for preparing for the Architect Registration Exam (ARE) administered by NCARB?
Are you so overwhelmed, you don’t know where to begin?
Well, relax and take a deep breath. You just discovered the most fun, engaging, and interactive resource on the internet for preparing to pass all of your ARE exams.
ARCHITECT EXAM PREP is to the rescue!
David & Eric have put together the ultimate packages to help prepare you for your success. In fact, they aptly named them, the Ultimate Whole Enchilada.
They have crafted and produced the Ultimate Whole Enchilada for EACH division of the AREs which consists of a Multiple Choice Study Guide, Audio Companion, Flashcards, and access to the Online Multiple Choice Exam Simulator (Omces).
They have created the best deal in town (and out of town too!) by assembling all of the above items into one convenient package that is available for INSTANT DOWNLOAD so you can begin studying right now.
They offer their Ultimate Whole Enchilada Packages for the ARE 5.0 in all 6 divisions.
Project Planning & Design (PPD) is an exam that tests your ability to design sites and buildings. It should be called “Schematic Design.” You’ll get scenario based questions to generate design alternatives that combine environmental, cultural, behavioral, technical and economic issues. This exam is five long hours of you applying all of your critical design thinking to show that you can properly design a project.
Project Development & Documentation (PDD) is an exam that tests your understanding of construction documents. Expect to get scenario based questions related to the integration and documentation of building systems, structural systems, material selection & performance, and construction assemblies. This exam is five long hours of you applying all of your technical knowledge to show that you understand how to properly document a project.
Programming & Analysis (PA) is an exam that tests your understanding and application of project requirements, constraints, and opportunities. Expect to get scenario based questions on issues related to programming, site analysis, and zoning and code requirements. This exam is four hours of you applying all of your critical evaluation skills to show that you understand how to properly collect project requirements.
Construction & Evaluation (CE) is an exam that tests your understanding of the construction and closeout process. It’s really covering the Construction Administration phase. You’ll get scenario based questions related to construction contract administration and the construction responsibilities of the Architect, Contractor & Owner. This exam is four hours of you applying all of your legal and communication skills to demonstrate your understanding of managing construction.
Project Management (PjM) is an exam that tests your ability to juggle and manage projects. It’s not based on your own experiences, but on proposals, contracts, and consultant management. Expect to get scenario based questions on office standards, forming a project team, and overall control of the client, the fee, and managing risks. This exam is four hours of you demonstrating all of your management skills to show that you understand how to properly manage a team and a project.
Practice Management (PcM) is an exam that tests your ability to operate and successfully run an architectural firm. It’s not based on your own experiences, but on staffing, setting fees, and operations. Expect to get scenario based questions on management of an architectural practice, including professional ethics, fuduciary responsibilities, and legal issues and regulations. This exam is 3-1/2 hours of you demonstrating all of your leaderships skills to show that you understand how to properly own, operate and manage a practice.
Includes 6 ULTIMATE STUDY GUIDES
• Over 1500 Pages
• Over 325 Diagrams
• Sections based on NCARB’s ARE Exam Guide
• Read on your iPad or Android Advice
ULTIMATE 3 CASE STUDY GUIDE
• 12 Case Studies
• 315 Questions
ULTIMATE AUDIO COMPANIONS
• Over 80 Hours of High Quality Audio
• 28 Albums
• 120 Individual .mp3s
• Add to your iTunes library
• Listen on iPod, iPhone, iPad or Android devices
• Listen to our Study Guide Anywhere
• Over 1350 Flashcards
• Formatted for Easy Printing & Cutting
ONLINE MULTIPLE CHOICE EXAM SIMULATOR (OMCES)
• 30 Days of Unlimited Access for each division!
• Mimics the actual exam!
• 2000 Test Question Bank!
• 18 Unique Tests (just like the real NCARB Exam!)
• Test with Feedback or Without!
• Results display percentages by Module!
• Practice online, iPhone, iPad or Android devices!
• 6 Audio Commentaries with Eric and David
• Audio Walk-Thrus of the AIA Contracts
• PDFs of the AIA Contracts
Get started now!
I hope this list of the best architect exam prep resources has been helpful. If there is a particular product you found useful, let me know in the comments below.
I hope this list of the best architect exam prep resources has been helpful.
If I left something out that you have found particularly useful please let me know in the comments below.
Thanks for reading, see also my posts on:
Brandon Hubbard, AIA, NCARB, LEED AP BD+C