How I passed ARE Exam 2, Practice Management, on my first try


This is a report from Olivia Theriot on the ARE 5.0 Community.

She studied for about 4 months, although she thinks that was overkill.

For this exam, she used the Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, the 2017 AIA contracts, and Tatyana‘s study guide.

She disliked Black Spectacles and Brightwood.

For more information, check out my guide to studying for the ARE Exam 2, Project Management, or read below for the original post.

Original post

Hello all!

This is my first post here on the ARE community. Since I’ve been reading many of the posts over the last few months to help with the exams, I figured it was time I participate. 🙂

I passed PcM in June, waited a little while to start studying again, and just passed PjM last week, both on my first try. Yay! I am a bit of an over-studier and gave myself ample time to go over the material. I’d like to shorten the timeframe between exams from here on out, so I plan on taking CE by the end of this year (this seems to be the next recommended exam after PcM and PjM, from what I’ve read).

When starting the exam process, I found it difficult to know what study material to use. Ultimately, I think it’s important to use the reference material that NCARB recommends. Anything else should just be used as reinforcement/review. However, I do like to study a variety of content (you never know what will make the most sense for you) but here is a list of what I found to be most helpful for this exam:

  • AHPP – if you’re not reading this, you should be for this exam and PcM. I was familiar with a lot of the content on the exam because of this book. Additionally, I used this study guide to break down the content into more manageable sections.
  • 2017 AIA contracts – be very familiar with the 2017 AIA contracts, the ones listed as references for this exam. I read these multiple times along with listening to the Schiff Hardin lectures.
  • Audio course by Kevin G on Pluralsight – I used these over my last few days of studying to reinforce the concepts that I had learned.
  • Practice quizzes by Designer Hacks – I like taking practice quizzes before any exam. I took these quizzes over my last few days of studying. I found these helpful once again for reinforcement of key concepts.
  • Tatyana Aksamentova’s study guide for review, found here.

Resources that I did not find helpful:

  • Black Spectacles – way too broad, in my opinion.
  • Third party material from Brightwood – not specific enough to the exam content, just a reorganization of 4.0 material.

A few last thoughts as you study for this exam:

  • I felt that this exam focused heavily on contracts, as the target percentage in the handbook indicates. It is important to know what party is responsible for what and the pros/cons of the various project delivery methods.
  • Understand what is included in the project costs, cost of the work, soft costs, etc.
  • Understand various types of project scheduling.
  • Have a comprehensive knowledge of what an architect would be responsible for during the different phases of the project.

Overall, I thought this exam was pretty in line with sections listed in the handbook for areas of concentration. There were maybe one or two questions with content that I was unfamiliar with based on my studies. Thanks for reading, and I hope this helps! On to the next one. 🙂

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