ARE, Site Planning and Design

Day 6 of Studying

I started my day early again, just like yesterday.  Sitting at Starbucks by 9:30 am this Sunday and jumped right in with taking another online exam.  (Finding it hard to attend church and study if I want to make any dent in my study material and still spend time with my family some point in the day.  I’m still working on time management with my studying.)  This time it was the Kaplan (Brightwood) online supplemental exam and I got 31/50 or roughly 62%.  So I have some problems I need to go back and study.  I found that I was guessing on quite a few questions or making some educated guesses no less.  Which actually is what happens when you take the actual exam.  NCARB wants to see you make judgement calls with the information you have on the subject to see what kinds of decisions you would make.

I am studying the following resources:

Kaplan (Brightwood)

Architect exam prep

Lora Teagarden’s ARE Sketches

And Kent Ballast books from

I am cross referencing all of these books and seeing what each says on the same subject, taking notes on each and building my knowledge while referencing all of them at the same time.  I feel like I am getting a more comprehensive understanding this way as opposed to if I was to read them all separately.  This way the subjects I am studying from each resource are studied in context…this helps me to comprehend the concepts and ideas.

I am missing a night out with my girlfriends to study today/tonight.  But as they say, sacrifices need to be made while studying, in order to pass the exams, studying has to come first.  So tonight is the start of my sacrifices. Sucks but it is what it is.

OK back to studying. 37 days till my exam and 398 days till I plan to be licensed.

The fact that my exam is in just over 5 weeks keeps me going and motivated as I want to make sure I am totally prepared by the time I get to the testing center.

ARE, Site Planning and Design

Day 5 – 38 days till I take my SPD Exam.

399 Days till I plan to be a Licensed Architect.

I am starting to get into the groove.  Here I am on a saturday when I have the kids and my husband is home that I break away and come to Starbucks and study…EARLY, no doubt!  Even though I would rather be at home.

I have found that I am much more successful about studying when I leave the house and have very few distractions. I am not tempted to address questions from the kids, to do the dishes or the laundry or randomly start cleaning bathrooms as a way of procrastinating on studying.  (trust me I have done this!)  I find that leaving the house and isolating myself is about the only way I can motivate myself and remove mostly all distractions.

I got to Starbucks this morning a little before 10 am and will plan to study until about 2:45.  That’s 4 hours and 45 minutes of studying under my belt for Saturday, not bad at all.

So I took a practice exam this morning and I got 42 out of 61 correct.  So that is 68%.  Not bad… I know that is still not passing but that is pretty good when you are studying.  I have gone in to take an exam and passed it, but failed the practice exam the day before.  So that being said… I don’t feel bad about my score.

Area’s that I apparently need to work on are:

Soils and Foundations

Stormwater / run-off coefficients

Parking slopes/Streets Drainage

site analysis


Types of streets


sun orientation

…and a few other things.

So at least I know what I need to review.  🙂

Once I leave here I can go play with “My Boys”  Cole, Landon, Nicholas and Brandt!  We are going bowling, one of our favorite past times in the summertime!  🙂