My key to passing the exams

Hi guys-
I passed the ARE in 2005, so it was quite a while back- version 3.1. There were 9 exams at the time, and yes they were all computer tests- I’m not that old :).

If I were to put forth the 1 thing that helped me get through them all, it was to schedule and buy the tests in advance. I actually booked all 9 tests in September of 2004, to occur 2 weeks apart from each other, (3 weeks for structures because I was intimidated by those exams). This was the best way to put pressure on myself and my co-workers and family to show them that I was truly committed to studying and taking these tests. I think there was a penalty to reschedule so I knew that I would feel pain if I had to reschedule (which I never did because I didn’t want to pay).

This approach totally worked for me, it put me in a zone, and I just kept going. Eventually I failed one of the tests, but since I already had other tests scheduled I had no choice but to keep going. I couldn’t get sad and distracted by failing one test, because I had another one coming up in short order.

The other benefit was that there was overlap between the tests, so it helped with keeping the content in your brain. And I didn’t have to keep re-learning any of the protocols of the testing center, or any of the best practices for taking standardized tests. Since I was on a roll, all of those things stayed top of mind.

Also, everyone just plain knew what I was up to, so it wasn’t a surprise that I was studying during lunch at work, or it wasn’t a surprise that I wanted to study after work- in fact my wife and a buddy and I all got in a routine of going to a local library a few times a week. I studied while they did work and/or read. The routine was a great asset.

That’s what worked for me, I hope it helps & I wish all of you the best of luck with the tests!