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ARE Exam Prep Books (Architect Registration Exam)

See posts at the lower portion of this page for tips on the easiest way to pass the ARE  exams and more information on our ARE books.

The following are our published books on ARE Exam Prep:
1. Project Planning & Design (PPD) ARE 5.0 Mock Exam (Architect Registration Examination): ARE 5.0 Overview, Exam Prep Tips, Hot Spots, Case Studies, Drag-and-Place, Solutions and Explanations.

ISBN: 9781612650296  

2. Project Development & Documentation (PDD) ARE 5 Mock Exam (Architect Registration Exam): ARE 5 Overview, Exam Prep Tips, Hot Spots, Case Studies, Drag-and-Place, Solutions and Explanations

ISBN: 9781612650258

3. Construction & Evaluation (CE) ARE 5.0 Mock Exam (Architect Registration Exam):

ARE 5.0 Overview, Exam Prep Tips, Hot Spots, Case Studies, Drag-and-Place, Solutions and Explanations

ISBN: 9781612650241

4. Construction Documents and Service (CDS) ARE Mock Exam (Architect Registration Exam): ARE Overview, Exam Prep Tips, Multiple-Choice Questions and Graphic Vignettes, Solutions and Explanations

5. Building Design and Construction Systems (BDCS) ARE Mock Exam (Architect Registration Exam): ARE Overview, Exam Prep Tips, Multiple-Choice Questions and Graphic Vignettes, Solutions and Explanations. ISBN: 9781612650029.  In stock. Usually ships in 1-2 business days.

Click on here to purchase BDCS Mock Exam on

6. Building Systems (BS) ARE Mock Exam (Architect Registration Exam): ARE Overview, Exam Prep Tips, Multiple-Choice Questions and Graphic Vignettes, Solutions and Explanations.

ISBN: 9781612650036. In stock. Usually ships in 1-2 business days.

Click on here to purchase BS Mock Exam on

7. Schematic Design (SD) ARE Mock Exam (Architect Registration Exam): ARE Overview, Exam Prep Tips, Graphic Vignettes, Solutions and Explanations

ISBN:   9781612650050. In stock. Usually ships in 1-2 business days.

8. Programming, Planning & Practice ARE Mock Exam (PPP of Architect Registration Exam): ARE Overview, Exam Prep Tips, Multiple-Choice Questions and Graphic Vignettes, Solutions and Explanations

ISBN-13: 9781612650067     

9. Site Planning & Design ARE Mock Exam (SPD of Architect Registration Exam): ARE Overview, Exam Prep Tips, Multiple-Choice Questions and Graphic Vignettes, Solutions and Explanations

ISBN-13:  9781612650111

10. Structural Systems ARE Mock Exam (SS of Architect Registration Exam): ARE Overview, Exam Prep Tips, Multiple-Choice Questions and Graphic Vignettes, Solutions and Explanations

 ISBN-13: 9781612650012  

11. Mock California Supplemental Exam (CSE of Architect Registration Exam): CSE Overview, Exam Prep Tips, General Section and Project Scenario Section, Questions, Solutions and Explanations

ISBN: 9781612650159     



How to qualify for the ARE?

A candidate needs to qualify for the ARE via one of NCARB?s member registration boards, or one of the Canadian provincial architectural associations.

Check with your Board of Architecture for specific requirements.

For example, in California, a candidate must provide verification of a minimum of five years of education and/or architectural work experience to qualify for the ARE.

Candidates can satisfy the five-year requirement in a variety of ways:

* Provide verification of a professional degree in architecture through a program that is accredited by NAAB or CACB.  


* Provide verification of at least five years of educational equivalents.


* Provide proof of work experience under the direct supervision of a licensed architect


Copyright    Gang Chen    2017, non-exclusive rights granted to Amazon

How much time do I need to prepare for each ARE division               

You need about 40 hours to prepare for each ARE division. You need to set a realistic study schedule and stick with it. Make sure you allow time for personal and recreational commitments. If you are working full time, my suggestion is that you allow no less than 2 weeks but NOT more than 2 months to prepare for each ARE division. You should NOT drag out the exam prep process too long and risk losing your momentum.  


ARE exam prep and test-taking tips  

You can start with Construction Documents and Service (CDS) and Structural Systems (SS) first because both divisions gave a limited scope, but you may want to study building regulations and architectural history (especially famous architects and buildings that set the trends at critical turning points) before you take other divisions. 

Do mock exams and practice questions and vignettes, including those provided by NCARB?s practice program and this book, to hone your skills. 

Form study groups and learn the exam experience of other ARE candidates. The forum at our website is a helpful resource. See the following link: 

Take the ARE exams as soon as you become eligible, since you probably still remember portions of what you learned in architectural schools, especially structural and architectural history. Do not make excuses for yourself and put off the exams. 

The following test-taking tips may help you:

* Pace yourself properly: You should spend about one minute for each Multiple-Choice (MC) question, except for the SS division. You should spend about one and a half minutes for each Multiple-Choice (MC) question for the SS division.

* Read the questions carefully and pay attention to words like best, could, not, always, never, seldom, may, false, except, etc.

* For questions that you are not sure of, eliminate the obvious wrong answer and then make an educated guess. If you do NOT answer the question, you automatically lose the point. If you guess, you have a chance to gain the point...


* You really need to spend time practicing to become VERY familiar with NCARB?s graphic software and know every command well. This is because ARE graphic vignette is a timed test, and you do NOT have time to think about how to use the NCARB?s graphic software during the test. Otherwise, you will NOT be able to finish your solution to the vignette on time.

* ARE exams test a candidate?s competency on providing professional services to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. Do NOT waste your time on aesthetic or other design elements not required by the program. 

ARE exams are difficult, but if you study hard and prepare well, combined with your experience, IDP training, and/or college education, you should be able to pass all divisions and eventually be able to call yourself an architect.  



What others are saying about Construction Documents and Service (CDS) ARE Mock Exam (Architect Registration Exam)??


?I PASSED!!! Having Gang Chen's book helped out greatly the second time around. I did not have this resource the first time taking the exam. So, I would highly recommend it for those who are preparing for the ARE - CDS exam. The book gives helpful study tips and pointer to preparing for the exam. The sample mock exam is great because it asks questions in an equivalent format that the actual exam would. What also is great is there is a detailed explanation of all the answers right or wrong and where to look it up. Overall this book helped. It is a must have for study material. Thank You, Gang Chen.?

--- James Lushbough


?Great Study Guide

?The ARE CDS Mock Exam provided realistic exam-based review questions which had a positive impact on my results. This review along with ARE Forum deserve credit for preparing me for my final exam. I am now a registered architect in my jurisdiction. Wouldn't have done it so soon without this valuable tool. Thanks again Mr. Gang Chen.?

--- John Schaaf


?Excellent book!

?When used in conjunction with solid study materials, this mock exam was invaluable to me for passing CDS on my first attempt. For the vignette, the walk-through was particularly helpful in navigating NCARB's notoriously difficult software by proposing a logically ordered sequence and showing where inefficiencies could be eliminated to save time and perfect solutions. The MC questions are well written, and although a couple of typos are present, the meaning is obvious, and doesn't outweigh what makes this a 5 star book. They're written like the NCARB questions, with various types...check all that apply, fill in the blank, best answer, etc. The answer key helpfully describes why the correct answer is correct, and why the incorrect answers are not. At half the cost of other mock exams, this is a must buy if you want to pass CDS the first time you take it.?

--- Domiane Forte


?Very helpful

?I certainly recommend this book to everyone who is preparing to take this exam. It is very helpful, easy to read and understand. It covers various areas of the actual exams and gives you the information that you need to solve the MC questions and the vignette section. I liked the Mock-up practice exam in this book which is very beneficial and is similar to the type of questions that you would encounter in the real exam.?

--- Seta Ohanesian


?A great supplemental study guide

?This book by Gang Chen is a great supplemental study guide for the ARE exam preparation. The overview is thorough and a great compliment to Ballast and Kaplan. This is a must have study guide as the practice questions are comparable to NCARB's. I will also be using the Building Design & Construction Systems's (BDCS) study guide by Gang Chen for my next exam.?

--- Brian Fracasse


?Invaluable Practice Test

?This is an amazing resource for studying the CDS portion of the ARE. After studying for months on my first exam trying to find a concise list of information that I should study from, I went into my first exam blindsided by the level of difficulty that the multiple choice questions had. This time around I wasn't going to take any chances. This book contains a step by step studying plan for this portion of the test and contains a full sample test for you to practice and see how your studying is progressing. It's nice to have some practice for those dreaded choose the best three answers out of the seven listed. After you go through the practice exam, there is a detailed explanation of all the answers to help give you some closure with the questions that just drive you nuts (compared to the real exam where you will never know what the correct answers to the questions really are).

Overall a great book that is definitely worth every cent I paid.?

--- Michael Scott



?An absolute necessity to understanding the practice of the construction/design industry at a practical level!

The text is an essential supplement for the study of Architecture License exams as it provides another dimension of information to other study material currently on the market.

Quick references to contract documents, official AIA, NCARB sites, and other texts for necessary information helps to reinforce answers to Mock exam. Even phrasing of questions, be it intentionally or poor editing, gets your mind into the right exam mode.

In addition, many answers to questions that arise even in your daily journey to licensure are addressed, many of which I personally have not seen printed in any study material to date.

A must-have!?

--- Julie Babikian


?Highly recommended book - Construction Documents and Service (CDS) ARE Mock Exam by Gang Chen

?This book is essential for the ARE candidates. It provides step by step instruction for the best vignette solution. The mock up exam's questions were similar to the actual exam. I personally find it really helpful to have taken this mock exam in preparation for my actual exam. Highly recommended!?

--- Pooi Lee, who passed ARE CDS division on his first try.


?Very easy to read

?This book is very easy to read and it gives you extra information that I haven't found in other resources. It also gives you a very good insight for the vignettes. The mock up exam is very good
Thank Mr. Chen!?

--- Paulina Mancilla


?It allows one to understand the Architectural field

?Mr. Chen has evidently thought of this book as a means of providing information that would more than just allow someone to pass the ARE CDS exam. It allows one to understand the Architectural field and all the issues behind Construction Documents and Services.?

--- Manish Kalantri


?Very helpful for preparing for the exam

?This book gives a good overview of the actual CDS ARE test. It is a decent complement to other study materials when preparing for the ARE. It has overall lots of information, which are very helpful for preparing for the exam. I would suggest reading the entire manual at least twice before you take the CDS exam.?

--- Ruchi Dhar


?Pretty Insightful

?I found Gang Chen's CDS review to provide another level deeper than my Ballast Book which is also good. I definitely recommend this book and he gives a couple very special insights on the vignette that nobody else does. He is to the point and clear, just the way I like it.
An easy and fast read. Thank you!?

--- Demetrios Christopoulos


What Others Are Saying About ?Building Design and Construction Systems (BDCS) ARE Mock Exam?...


?Great study guide for broad range of BDCS Exam

?This was a great resource supplement to my other study resources. I appreciated the mock exam questions the most, and the solutions offer an explanation as to why the answer is correct. I will definitely check out his other ARE exam resources!

UPDATE: Got my PASS Letter!?

?Sean Primeaux


?Add this to your ARE study

?This was a very helpful practice exam and discussion. I really appreciated the step-by-step review of the author's approach to solving the graphic vignettes. The BDCS is a challenging test and I believe that every bit of help finding the right solutions to the vignettes was necessary for me to make passing solutions within the allotted time. If I had made any other mistakes I would have been in real trouble. As I studied it last before taking the test Gang Chen's book probably made the difference for me.?

?Dan Clowes (?XLine?)


?Excellent resource!

?This publication was very helpful in my preparation for the BDCS portion of the Architectural Registration Exam. It contained a mock exam with 85 multiple choice questions, followed by the answers and brief explanations to the answers. Also included, and most beneficial, were the overall strategies and tips for the ramp, stairs, & roof vignettes. Each practice vignette was solved step-by-step in a logical manner. The most valuable information for me were the "notes on NCARB traps", a list of common errors made by test takers, and a "summary of critical dimensions", which is a checklist of compliant dimensions to have in mind while taking the exam. There are also many websites referenced that add to the experience of studying for this exam...Good Luck on your exam!

UPDATE: Received PASS letter!?

?Doug Bentzinger (?Doug?)


?Good supplemental mock exam

?I found the mock exam to be very helpful, all of the answers are explained thoroughly and really help you understand why it is correct...Also the introduction and test taking tips are very helpful for new candidates just starting the ARE process.?

?Bgrueb01 (Quoted from Amazon Customer Review)


?Great Study Tool for ARE-BDCS Exam

?This is a great study tool to use when preparing for the BDCS exam. I highly recommend. I used Mr. Chen's CDS Mock Exam book and found it very helpful. I also Passed the CDS after utilizing Chen's book. After reading the BDCS Mock exam book I found it to be setup the same way as CDS. Which has helpful tips for taking the exam both MC and Graphics portion. I like how it is similar to the way that NCARB asks questions on the exam and give explanation of why the answer chosen is correct or wrong.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book for those going to take the BDCS exam. I would say this is the best study material out there!!! I hope that Mr. Chen would write books for BS, SS, PPP, & SPD. Thanks.?

?James Lushbough


?Essential Study Tool

?I have read the book and found it to be a great study guide for myself. Mr. Gang Chen does such a great job of helping you get into the right frame of mind for the content of the exam. Mr. Chen breaks down the points on what should be studied and how to improve your chances of a pass with his knowledge and tips for the exam and practice vignettes.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that is taking the BDCS part of the ARE Exams as it is an invaluable tool in the preparation for the exam as Mr. Chen provides a vast amount of knowledge in a very clear, concise, and logical matter.?

?Luke Giaccio


?Wish I had this book earlier

?I used Mr. Chen's CDS mock exam, which was invaluable to me for passing CDS on my first attempt. Unfortunately, the BDCS mock exam wasn't out prior to my taking that exam, on which I did not fare so well. After having looked at the BDCS book, I know that I would have done better, much better, if I had it to study. Nevertheless, the vignette walk-throughs are particularly helpful in navigating NCARB's notoriously difficult software by proposing a logically ordered sequence and showing where inefficiencies could be eliminated to save time and perfect solutions...The questions are written like the NCARB questions, with various types...check all that apply, fill in the blank, best answer, etc. The answer key helpfully describes why the correct answer is correct, and why the incorrect answers are not. Take it from my experience, at half the cost of other mock exams, this is a must buy if you want to pass BDCS the first time you take it.?

?Domiane Forte (?Vitruvian Duck?)


?He does a good job of taking you through the vignettes in particular and the test questions are a fair approximation of what you might expect to encounter. Highly recommended.?

?Gary Leivers (?ukarch66?)


?Highly recommended for A.R.E. candidates!

?The material presented in the BDCS ARE Mock Exam book is excellent. It is presented in a manner which students or candidates for the A.R.E. can understand and gain conceptual knowledge. The practical vignette design solutions are great. It helped me prepare for the BDCS exam with confidence.?

?Stephen Bent (?bentarchitect?)


?BDCS ARE Mock Exam -- Great for Vignettes

?This prep book is a great way to prepare for the Building Design and Construction Systems ARE. The author takes you through all three of the vignettes and gives step by step instructions on how to find the solutions-- including graphics. Also, there are summaries of the key dimensions that you need to know.

I recommend using this book to prepare for the exam-- especially if you've had trouble with the NCARB software in the past.?

?Christine Williams


?Good Mock Exam

?... The mock exam is very useful as a tool to estimate how well you know the material. It's tougher than the NCARB practice tests, making it more realistic. He does a good job pointing you in the right direction for study materials (what documents to read, etc.)...?

?Penelope Marvel (penny ?penny?)


?Good Study Guide

?I am using this as a supplemental study guide for the BDCS ARE Exam and the step by step instructions on how to tackle the vignettes has been very helpful. The multiple choice mock exam was very helpful for discovering where my weaknesses were as well. I would highly recommend this as part of your study material for this exam.?

?Bryan Bell (?bell1658?)


?BDCS - Gang Chen ARE Study Guide

?This is a great addition to the long list of study guides for the ARE BDCS exam. I used the practice exam as an additional preparation for this exam. Just found out that i passed BDCS! I recommend this guide to other ARE candidates!?

?Brian Fracasse (?BFracasse?)


?Love it

?This is a good book to start studying for the BD&CS Exam..especially the vignette instructions, it gives a step by step guide to solving them. With illustration from the NCARB practice program. I have never seen any other book showing them which makes it a lot easier how the software works.

The multiple choice questions are good in helping you prepare to some of the style of questions that the real ARE exam will be.

Overall, I am pleased in getting this book in helping me with my studies.
Thank You!!!?

?Phoebe Lee


?Great additional resource for passing the BDCS exam!

?For architectural interns seeking to decipher the cryptic nature of the NCARB Architect Registration Exam's Building Design and Construction Systems, Gang Chen's Mock Exam book helps to clarify things. The essential component of this guide is the step-by-step manner in which the graphics portion of this exam in delineated with the accompanying support images. The majority of the commercially available resources do not provide this kind of dispensement of information. This edition is invaluable for this reason. I am currently still in the process of going through my other study materials for the written content portion of the exam and reserve comments regarding the multiple choice portion of this guide, but at a cursory review, seems to cover the breadth of the exam

? Jeff Koo


?Chen's Book Helped me prepare for the A.R.E

?I took my time going through the book and comparing it to the other study guides that I have for the exam. Chen's book is very helpful in preparing for the graphic drawing portions of the exam. The questions in the mock exam, just like on the real exam, are thrown at you in different styles: pick all that apply, select the best two, choose the incorrect statement, etc. Which I felt was good practice for the exam. Some of the questions come very close to the questions on the actual test. I would recommend this guide as another useful tool in preparing for the A.R.E.?

?Troy Bettridge (?Archtulsa?)


?BDCS: ARE Mock Exam

?The book starts off with an overview of the Architecture Registration Exam. In this chapter gives important information on understanding the who what when where and why of the Intern Development Program (IDP) and the Architecture Registration Exams (ARE). If you're just starting out with your tests and you don't know where to start, this chapter condenses enough information to at least point you in the right direction. He answers some questions that a lot of people want to know about testing times, exam formats, and other various tips for all 7 of the tests, not just BDCS.


Chapter two dives into the exam content of the BDCS test. He lists various resources you should consult in your studying for this exam, which I believe to be vary valuable. With the other two tests I've studied for (CDS and SPD) I felt lost as to what books actually covered the material, always fearing that I've left something out. Along with the book list also comes tips on how to use the vignette software specifically for the vignettes on this test. The book includes screen shots of the lovely graphics software we are forced to use on the ARE's which help explain the steps to take to solve the vignettes. As another reviewer pointed out, there is a definite focus on how to pass the vignettes, whereas the multiple choice is presented in a way for you to "test" yourself in a mock exam setting...All in all I would recommend this book as yet another way to expose yourself to NCARB like questions before taking the real exam and get another perspective on how to conquer the vignettes for this test.?

?Nicholas Allen


?Very Helpful!!!

?This book has been a great help in preparing for the Building Design and Construction Systems ARE Exam. The book gives a very detailed explanation for each of the vignettes as well as a step by step guide on how to complete each one within the exam format. The author goes to great lengths to identify tips and potential mistakes for each vignette.

Unlike many practice guides and books that are generic and focused on multiple exams, this one is extremely detailed and directed specifically for the BDCS exam. It includes a practice exam that surpasses all others. I found the practice exam (85 questions) to be invaluable for my preparation. In addition the author also offers many test taking, studying, exam order, and reference material guidelines and tips.?

? Dusty Eaton


What others are saying about "Building Systems (BS) ARE Mock Exam (Architect Registration Exam)"?


?Great Practice Exam

?In my opinion, the Building Systems (BS) test is one of the most difficult of the ARE Exams. For me, it was difficult to not be overwhelmed by the amount of content covered by the Exam. This Mock Exam is the perfect tool to keep you focused on the content that matters and to evaluate what you know and what you need to study. It definitely helped me pass the exam!!?

?Michael Harvey (?Harv?)


?Great resource for the BS exam

It is a guide that gives you the exact information you need before you start taking the tests and more specific information for the BS Exam. The BS exam section breaks it down into the specifics you need to know and what you should not waste your time on. One of the hard parts of the exam is trying to figure out where NCARB gets its material from.


The book gives you tips on what books the diagrams and MC questions in NCARB's study guide are similar to. It also references websites and PDF's throughout the book, which is very helpful. The exam section emphasizes the need to not read everything, but to concentrate on the specifics (i.e. diagrams, images etc.) and emphasizes this several times throughout the book. The graphic vignette section was extremely helpful and its importance in the book clarifies the need to make sure you know the graphic section in order to pass the exam (a very helpful hint).


One of the best features of the book was the practice questions. It is hard to find many books that give good questions that are more in line with what NCARB will be asking and it is also good to have an extra set of questions to study from. The book goes further than a conventional study/exam guide. It explains the profession of architecture and goes more into the professions future. Overall this book is a great resource not just for the exam review, but also for the general knowledge of becoming an architect and what to expect, in a very concise, step by step, and easy to read format.?

?Rebecca Rubinow (?R?)


?Great resource

?Building Systems is easily the hardest exam of the ARE's in my opinion. For preparation, there is nothing that prepares you more than questions. There is an overload of information out there, you tube, online resources like Wikipedia, MEEB, etc., but a lack of real questions. Answering the questions through practice is the best way to study, as opposed to reading the entire MEEB book-which I did as well. The questions in this book are very similar to the exam (took it twice). Also, the ARE exam questions try to trick and throw you off. These questions also do the same thing, and he explains in his answers why. There are over a 100 questions, including insight and tips on passing the vignette. Highly recommended...?

?Andrew Consigli (?Nate?)


?Great ARE BS Practice Exam

?This is a comprehensive mock exam with a very detailed answer explanation for each questions and reference materials to look up that covers other relevant areas. Personally, I have taken most of the other available mock exams prior to this, and I found the questions in this book more similar to the official NCARB sample questions in comparison (but contains great explanations that the NCARB questions clearly lacks). The book also includes a section of a step-by-step instruction on solving the vignette that is easy to understand and helped me improve my speed greatly. Highly recommended.?



?Great study resource!

?It's always a great study tool to have Practice exams like this one! Seems to be very comprehensive and includes a little bit of everything that you need to know for the exam! Great supplemental resource!?

?Sean Primeaux


?Great Mock Exam Exercise!

?One of the best things I like this book is how the author have included some of his insights and utilized online resources into the introduction of the book. He provided some Youtube links or online regulations references that readers could refer to about specific topics. The book provides detail answers for each mock exam questions. The mock exam becomes very helpful in reminding the readers their weaknesses in certain topics and provides an opportunity for readers to go back and revise areas they are not familiar with.


There were a couple of questions did show up in a similar format in my actual ARE exam experience. For candidates who have difficulties in understanding the formula and calculations for certain topics, the book provides simple and easy to understand questions that helps readers to practice the formula and be familiarize with the calculations. The book not only includes one mock exam it also have guidelines and one practice question for the graphic vignette. Personally I will suggest to post your practiced vignette in the ARE forum for review and comments. Since there is not many ARE mock exams published in the market, it is one of the very useful study materials to have for the BS exam.?

?Rose Hung


?Building Systems (BS) ARE Mock Exam (Architect Registration Exam)

?Excellent study guide with study tips, general test info, and recommended study resources. Hands down one of the best practice exams that I have came across for this exam. Most importantly, the practice exam includes in depth explanations of answers. Definitely recommended.?

? Taylor Cupp


?Great Supplement!!

?This publication was very helpful in my preparation for my BS exam. It contained a mock exam, followed by the answers and brief explanations to the answers. I would recommend this as an additional study material for this exam.?

? Cynthia Zorrilla-Canteros (?czcante?)


How to Use Construction Documents and Service (CDS) ARE Mock Exam (Architect Registration Exam 

We suggest you read Construction Documents and Service (CDS) ARE Mock Exam (Architect Registration Exam at least three times: 

Read once and cover Chapter One and Two and Appendixes and the related FREE PDF files and other resources. Highlight the information you are not familiar with. 

Read twice, focusing on the highlighted information to memorize. You can repeat this process as many times as you want until you master the content of the book. Pay special attention to the following AIA documents: read them at least three times. You may have many real ARE CDS division questions based on the following AIA documents listed in bold font: 

A101?2007, Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Contractor where the basis of payment is a Stipulated Sum (CCDC Document 2)

A201?2007, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction

B101?2007 (Former B141?1997), Standard Form of Agreement Between Owner and Architect (RAIC Document 6) 

After reviewing these materials, you can do the mock exam, and then check your answers against the answers and explanations in the back, including explanations for the questions you answer correctly. You may have answered some questions correctly for the wrong reason. Highlight the information with which you are not familiar. 

Like the real exam, the mock exam includes all three types of questions: Select the correct answer, check all that apply, and fill in the blank. 

Review your highlighted information, and do the mock exam again. Try to answer 100% of the questions correctly this time. Repeat the process until you can answer all the questions correctly. 

Do the mock exam about one week before the real exam, but at least 3 days before the real exam. You should NOT wait until the night before the real exam and then do the mock exam: If you do not do well, you will go into panic mode and you will NOT have enough time to review your weakness. 

Read for the third time the night before the real exam. Review ONLY the information you highlighted, especially the questions you did not answer correctly when you did the mock exam for the first time. 

One important tip for passing the graphic vignette section of the ARE CDS division is to become VERY familiar with the commands of the NCARB software. Many people fail the exam simply because they are NOT familiar with the NCARB software and cannot finish the graphic vignette section within the time limit of the exam. 

For the two building section vignettes, we include step-by-step solutions using NCARB Practice Program software with many screen-shots so that you can use the book to become familiar with the commands of the NCARB software, even when you do NOT have a computer in front of you. This book is very light and you can carry it around easily. These two features will allow you to review the graphic vignette section whenever you have a few minutes. 

All commands are described in an abbreviated manner. For example, Draw > Finished Ceiling means go to the menu on the left hand side of your computer screen, click Draw, and then click Ceiling to draw the ceiling. This is typical for ALL commands throughout the book. 

The Table of Contents is very detailed so you can locate information quickly. If you are on a tight schedule, you can forgo reading the book linearly and jump around to the sections you need. 

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