How to Get Licensed by Summer

Pass the ARE by summer with our Black Spectacles ARE Test Prep and our free ARE resources.

Summer is quickly approaching, which means days at the beach or by the pool, barbecues, weekend getaways, and impromptu bar crawls (we’re not here to judge). Wouldn’t it be great if you could indulge in all of that without the stress of studying for the ARE? We thought so, so here’s what you can do to pass the ARE before your summer social schedule starts filling up.

Save the date

No, not to one of many weddings you probably have this summer. Save the date of your exam, and make it official with NCARB. We get a ton of feedback from architects that say scheduling the exam gave them extra motivation and focus. Make an appointment for the division or divisions you’re aiming to pass and commit to studying. Whether you opt for online proctoring or in person at a center, get it on the books so you can open your proverbial books and start preparing.

Invest in the best materials

Invest in some serious ARE test prep, because you want to eliminate the probability of having to retake an exam. Black Spectacles is the first and only NCARB-approved online test prep provider for all six divisions of the ARE. This means our ARE test prep aligns with NCARB’s objectives that arise on the ARE. Offering weekly, live Virtual Workshops, Practice Exams that are the closest to the real deal, Video Lectures taught by experts in the field, Digital Flashcards to highlight and master key terms, and Practical Application videos with testimonials on how this all applies to real-world scenarios, you’re set up for success in each division. In fact, we’re offering an ARE Guarantee if you use our Expert membership to the fullest; check out the qualifications.

Free extra credit 

Our free resources that will give that extra boost to your studies are aplenty. From podcasts to blogs to downloadable resources, make sure to check out all of our expert tips to give the cherry on top to your Black Spectacles membership.

Carve out time

We have seen that a commitment of 10-15 hours per week of studying is where ARE candidates find success. How the heck do I fit that into a 50 hour a week work schedule? Great question and we’ve asked it to many a designer studying for the ARE. Some found knocking it out in the morning was best, waking up an hour or two before getting online or commuting, whereas others preferred making it a 5-9 endeavor after logging off from their 9-5. Of course, there’s always the weekend, splitting it between Saturday and Sunday or dedicating a whole day to getting through your prep work. Whatever you do, make the dedicated time on your calendar for accountability purposes. Our Virtual Workshopsare live, in-depth group exercises held for each division at 2p Central every Sunday. Clearly, that’s by design, so you can create a habit of studying for those two hours every week. 

Dangle a cookie

Gamify the whole experience to keep your motivation level high. When you conquer one division, will you treat yourself to a special night out, gift yourself a camera you’ve always wanted, take a trip with your family? Aside from the allure of self-reward, we know that fully licensed architects make more than non-licensed ones, per the AIA salary calculator. You also have more opportunities to leverage your new licensed status for career advancement, whether it’s moving up in your existing firm or taking on projects that allow you to hang your own shingle.

Have a good time

Working, studying, or just studying for an exam with such high stakes is stressful (we don’t have to tell you). Make sure to enjoy it; we assume you set out to be an architect because it’s been a dream of yours for many years, and you are so close that you can taste it. Enjoy the people you meet in communities, like our ARE Community, the mentors you find, and the networking you do, like on Spectacular. Per NCARB, the ARE “is a multi-division exam used to assess your knowledge and skills regarding the practice of architecture.” Your knowledge and skills have gotten you this far, so let them carry you across the finish line!

If you’re ready to pass the ARE, find the Black Spectacles Membership that will get you licensed.

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