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Tuesday, 05 January 2021


There are six exam divisions in the current format of the ARE (Architect Registration Exam): Practice Management, Project Management, Programming and Analysis, Project Planning and Design, Project Development and Documentation, and Construction and Evaluation. 

There is a logical sequence in this order as it follows the path from getting licensed to developing a professional practice to planning and developing a building commission for construction and then, subsequently, completing and closing out the building project. 

The exam divisions are always presented in this specific order in NCARB’s material and timeline tracking progress for completion. However, when taking the ARE, it is not necessary to take the division exams in the order in which they are listed. In fact, the division exams can be taken in any order. This sparks the question: what is the best order for taking all divisions of the ARE exam? 

This is a major topic that garners a lot of opinion and attention from exam candidates on discussion boards and the like. The discussion boards serve as a great tool for exam candidates to share information and there are many testing strategies being passed around. 

One common suggestion is to take the division exams with the highest pass rate first. Another is to take the ‘big ones’- Project Planning and Design and Project Development and Documentation - early and get them out of the way. Everyone has their process and success stories which vary from one individual to the next. Of course, I have my own opinion as well. 

Preferred Exam Division Order

Personally, I think it is important not to forget the division sequence. Even though the division exams can be taken in any order, in my experience, I recognized why the divisions were developed in the order listed. Each division builds upon the last and content from one division exam may show up in subsequent division exams. In my opinion, the order does, for the most part, matter. 

For this, I have two recommendations for the best order to take the division exams. The first recommendation is to take the division exams in the order that they are listed per NCARB - with one exception. I took Construction and Evaluation before Project Planning and Design and Project Development and Documentation. Construction and Evaluation has the highest pass rate and a close association with other divisions. Plus, there was the added bonus of not having to take another exam after I had completed the two hardest and longest division exams. Mentally, that was huge

Many people fail a division exam on the first attempt. There is a waiting period before that division exam can be retaken but keep going! My second recommendation is not to wait to retake the failed division exam before moving on but to move on and go back to it later - do not lose progress or lose time (especially with a rolling clock!). Keep taking the division exams and reschedule failed exams as soon as you are able to take them again. 

Again, this is what worked best for me. I started the process with some bumps but, once I followed this plan, I became comfortable with the process and earned my license.

EduMind Inc at 09:14

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