How to Pass the ARE Podcast

A few months after passing my exams, Marc Teer and Mike Newman from Black Spectacles asked me to be on a podcast to talk about the methods I used to pass the ARE, along with Charlie Klecha (of the 7 exams in 7 days fame) and Jennifer Rittler. Everyone has their own way of studying, but items I found useful:

  1. Rewarding yourself after every exam – it’s stressful as hell so why not do something nice or fun for yourself? In my case, I played with Legos and drank a cider or gin. I’m completely ok being a near 35 year old man with Legos in his apartment.
  2. Don’t beat yourself up if you fail one. I made this mistake (damn you PPP vignette) and beating myself up meant not taking another one for close to 8 months. Keep your momentum going even if you fail. I still hate you, PPP vignette.
  3. Schedule your exams. Don’t plan on studying before you schedule one, because life will get in the way.
  4. Ask around the office – while we had printed material, some of the best advice came from architects who have passed the exam previously. We’re always open to questions.
  5. Take a break – if you are studying and feel it isn’t sinking in, go for a walk or do something else then come back to it. When I was studying, most times it was go through the material once, let it sink in over a week or so, then review again before the exam. I got my license so it must have worked, right?

Hopefully these tips help you as much as they helped me. Keep in mind, it is a series of exams and once passed will open up doors for you in your career. Embedded below is the podcast. Enjoy!

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Josh Mings

Architect and painter. Columbus, IN born, New Orleans educated, Chicago living and trying to leave the world better than I found it.