ARE Day 005: What to Take First?

I spent most of first two days researching and grabbing every single study material I could find. There are so many resources between flashcards, books, notes from forums and lectures…I have soon become very overwhelmed. Wouldn’t it be great if they can just give us one big book to cram everything in for the tests? But I guess you can’t just cram for architecture. It’s really about understanding the different concepts. That’s what I love about architecture though - you have to know a little bit about everything. I am actually excited to study and learn about new things in this profession. I do hope the ARE can help me reinforce these vague ideas I have in my head about contracts, technical details, project management etc.

We have the Kaplan and Ballast books and pdfs in our office, so I started studying PPP. Soon I realized how broad the topics are and have become very very confused. I guess there is a reason why people suggest taking CDS before PPP. Since CDS is more specific, I found it easier to understand as my first test.

After reading many suggestions on ARE Coach, and reading all the NCARB exam guides, I think I am going to take my exams in this order:

  1. Construction Document and Services
  2. Programming, Planning and Practice
  3. Site Planning and Design
  4. Schematic Design
  5. Structural Systems
  6. Building Systems
  7. Building Design and Construction Systems

Since CDS, PPP and SPD have overlapping materials, it’s usually recommended to take them together - same as SS, BS and BDCS. It will probably change over time depending on how I do in each exam though.

After my gigantic all-you-can-eat sushi dinner with my co workers, now it’s time to read through a chapter in Kaplan (may be I will pick a short one).

If you are taking the ARE / starting to take one, let us know! I hope you are as excited as I am!

Thanks for reading!

Aspiring architect and graphic designer. I design buildings and write about it. My interests revolve around urban architecture, people, graphics, arts and culture.