Studying for the Architectural Registration Exams 4.0 – On-Line?
Just recently I heard that, "When you do something significant, you need to do the task in a group with a support system." I totally agree, and taking the Architectural Registration Exams (A.R.E.) is something significant.
I have also been told that studying for the A.R.E. is better accomplished in a group; however with daily challenges of on-going projects at work and having a family, it is hard to establish a study group with a set schedule to meet and study. And so this dilemma has, I have heard, about three alternate ways to study in a group for the A.R.E.
The "1ARE2" program or the "One Architect Registration Examination Every Two Months." There are very few prerequisites for using this program on-line:
- You must be an Associate member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA)
- Purchase and install the A.R.E. Kaplan Architecture Flashcards app for iOS device (iPhone or iPad). This app is now only 49.99 price dropped from 79.99 in January, which is a great price since the alternative Archiflash iOS app is $149.99.
- Install and register to use Skype (http://www.skype.com). Skype is a free and easy voice and video internet program.
Several promising future architects group together virtually on-line via Skype every Saturday between 2pm and 4pm and quiz each other. Schedules are set to cover different sections and topics built around the Kaplan Flashcard. Each section is typically about 200 cards and before the Saturday study session you try and learn 25 to 35 cards every day. Craig Hammond the AIACC Associate Director for South Region breaks up the students and creates manageable study groups.
If you are interested in participating please contact Craig via e-Mail, HammondHabitat@gmail.com.
The AIA Central Valley Chapter started a new study program last year and has had great results. It is the Funkaar Studios A.R.E. 4.0 Ready Course that will be restarting this year on September 29, 2012. This is a 3 month study "crash course" program to take all the A.R.E. sections within the same 3-months. Funkaar Studios who offers this program throughout the country, introduced this program at the last AIA Associate meeting with a single selling point, "Because it should really only take 3 months..." Personally this scared and interested me. This method will be an intense daily study program where you meet as a group ever Saturday then take the exam the following Monday.
Funkaar explained that the A.R.E. 4.0 share the same questions and topics and that by separating the exams over several months to study can actually be a disservice to you. This program is somewhat pricey, about $2,000, but please checks the website for the up-to-date pricing. Another hesitation of mine was the passing rate, only 30% of the students who take the course actually pass all the exams. Over the next few weeks I will be talking to some of the students who took last year's course and hopefully they will be able to provide additional input.
The last alternative method, which in my opinion is the easiest option is the AIA Podnet, which provides podcasts that often have A.R.E. exam taking strategies. I have listened to several of these and for several days afterwards on a separate website, AREFourm.org, an entire forum gets developed around that single podcast topic. Additionally, you can find small one-time study groups in your area to study for one-particular exam. I have tried this method and it has been a great way to meet other promising architects in my area in a study group situation without the heavy burden of a continual meeting schedule.
It definitely helps to share your frustrations with someone as you study for several hours every night. And starting in April 1 will be trying the "1ARE2" method and I hope to have a promising review by end of the month.