Study materials - which?

Hey everyone, I have no idea where to go to get study materials, I’m using black spectacles which is nice but there are quite a bit of questions on the exam (practice and actual exam) for practice management than are covered by just the videos.
What do people use? Books, if so which ones?



Hi @erich.raudebaugh & welcome to the ARE Community!

Let’s see if one of our experts can give additional resources. @coachjasongolub do you mind providing some helpful resources?

In the meantime feel free to revisit our previous ARE Lives

Or test your skills with our free ARE Practice exams! New questions added every week!

@erich.raudebaugh I would start with The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice. I think it covers most of what you would need to review. After that I would focus on area that still are unclear and search out other materials.


Yes, I have that but it doesn’t even come close to covering everything, which is why I’m asking. The reason I’m asking is because when you say “search out other materials” that’s exactly what I’m looking for.

Hey @erich.raudebaugh; mind if I chime in? I tagged you on another post, but in case you didn’t see it, here are my rec’s for books:

  • AHPP (sounds like you’ve already got this one. If so, check out the Wiley study guides for free to help narrow down the book:
  • The Project Resource Manual: CSI Manual of Practice. This book was crucial to my studying for the PDD and CE exams. Memorize the chart that explains Project manual vs contract documents vs construction documents, it will be your best friend through these exams
  • Planning and Urban Design Standards. This is the holy grail for PA and PPD. I didn’t discover this until after I was done testing, and oh man. I would’ve saved myself a lot of trouble if I’d looked here first. It’s a big book, but full of some really good information
  • Olin’s Construction Principles, Materials, and Methods. I have never personally used this book, but have heard it recommended a bunch.
  • Mechanical and Electrical Equipment for Buildings (MEEB). Same as above, I haven’t used this book, but have heard great things, especially for the PDD exam.

Obviously there are a ton of books listed for references in the ARE Handbook. It’s my personal opinion that you don’t need to read them all, cover to cover, to pass your exams. When figuring out which resource to use or where to start, I’ve found success in determining what I want to study, then checking out the table of contents of most of the books online (google pages or amazon usually have TOC previews) and honing in on a few choices from there.

Hope this helps!

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@cat.heard9 / @coachpaulmosher

In addition to the AHPP, is the AIA Official Guide to the 2007 AIA Contract Documents any benefit for PcM and other exams? Or, is the AHPP enough to cover the knowledge needed for the exams?

Lastly, does anyone know if there is a newer version to the AIA Official Guide to the 2007 AIA Contract Documents? Being that the forms were updated in the past few years, one would think a more recent book was published.

Thanks in advance for any feedback!

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@coachjasongolub do you mind jumping in?

The AIA Official Guide to the 2007 AIA Contract Documents breaks down the individual sections of the Contracts and explains their proper use. While it is helpful to have a book that gathers all that information into one source, the AIA website also offers the same information for each contract under the “Instructions for Use” link. For example:

The link below leads you to the B101-2017 page.

Once on that page, selecting the “Instructions for Use” link from the list of resources will take you to this page.
Instructions for Use

Using the AIA Contract website in this way, I don’t think you need to buy the 2007 Contract Guide, especially because that book is now out of date.


yes, and the aia website has a plethora (yes a plethora, not a dearth) of helpful explanatory videos!

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