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5 things to SMASH your exams in 2021 !!!

(This post gives 5 WAYS TO PREPARE for the Architecture Registration Exams - and asks 5 QUESTIONS to test your knowledge.)

How many of you made a "New Year's Resolution" to pass your #ArchitectureRegistrationExams before the end of 2021?

There are only 2 months left this year - and not to rush you - but 2 months is exactly the amount of time I took to study between my exams.

Which means IT IS A PERFECT DEADLINE to MOTIVATE YOU to Pass that one exam that has been troubling you!

1. We facilitate STUDY GROUPS.

I have said it before - Study Groups are VALUABLE.

Comment below and let us know which exams you would like a group study session for and We will make it happen. We encourage you to send us your questions in advance for these sessions so we can be prepared with resources to direct you to and examples to test you with. We will continue to organize and lead study groups to site members twice a month based on demand.

Hearing someone else's way to remember information can add to or reinforce your method of understanding that information.

2. Brain connections are KEY to remembering.

Active recall is a principle of efficient learning, which creates the need to actively stimulate memory during the learning process.

You ever hear a song from way back - and think back and remember all the details of the time and place you were when you first heard it? That is Active Recall. Basically, create "tricks" for your mind - If A relates to B then seeing B makes me remember the definition of A! (or something like that.)

What I am saying is, thinking deeper about a subject or the bigger picture can trigger your mind to follow a connection and lead you to recall the information on a certain subject.

Ben and I used to give each other a subject and ask the other person to tell them everything they knew about it - and then bounce related ideas off each other during the conversation.


Clearly, Archizam is a site created to give you another practice exam option.

We are always crafting new questions based on real-life experience and subject matter we KNOW applies to the #AREs. Just yesterday, I was in a presentation about schematic site planning and design that reviewed basically all the items that you need to know for the PA Exam - That blog post will come soon.

4. Submit YOUR QUESTIONS to Archizam - and we will help you with them!

We believe in the age-old adage of "if you want to learn something - teach it!" One of the things we love most about running an ARE Practice Exam site, is the constant learning and testing our knowledge. We truly enjoy helping you search the resources, read, and make your own determinations (and connections) in the process of solving the problems.

I can write cute articles encouraging you and offering you tips all day. But what I really want to do is help you study answers to pressing questions or topics that you struggle with.


PPD and PDD are REALLY TOUGH - We can not recommend Hyperfine study guides enough. We both used Hyperfine study guides as not only a learning tool, but a bit of a schedule to hold ourselves to with his lesson books.

There are lots of podcasts about architecture if you learn better by listening.

I used to watch Youtube videos when I was too tired to read, or wanted to see someone else walk me through the process to find a solution. I found these videos incredibly helpful on HVAC systems, plumbing, site drainage, and the refrigeration cycle.

I used Flashcards to quiz myself while my kids played on the playground. Flashcards are great primers on subjects. Sure, eventually you will know all the answers to the flashcards, but once that happens, change the question. Instead of reciting the answer - think to yourself what the alternatives to that answer are.

(COMMENT BELOW with links to podcasts, or youtube videos you found useful)


AS PROMISED here are 5 QUESTIONS to stimulate your ARE brain:

(plus a 6th bonus question so I have one from each exam covered)

  1. What is the Difference between a Mezzanine and an Atrium? How many floors can each of those encompass? Are sprinklers required to have either? (PPD)

  2. What are the 6 Canons of the AIA Code of Ethics? What should you do if your boss asks you to do something illegal while executing a project? (PcM)

  3. Name the Project Delivery Methods. Which of the main types of Project delivery methods promises the fastest project schedule but may allow the owner the least involvement? (PcM, PjM, CE)

  4. What is a Grade Beam? Is there a typical construction type for a grade beam? What is the minimum dimension of cover for the reinforcing required by a grade beam? (PDD)

  5. How many stories can a 5B construction type building be? How do you determine how many Stairs your 5B building requires, and the minimum width of those stairs? (PA, PPD)

  6. What is a Bid Security and what is a Performance Bond? What is the amount of a Bid Security? When is a performance bond typically required? Who pays out on a performance bond claim? (CE)

(COMMENT BELOW with your answers, and which resource you used to answer)

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looking for a study group for pjm and pcm


1.) A Mezzanine is a partial story similar to a balcony that looks onto an area below. It typically forms a composition with a space below it. Atriums are indoor courtyards connecting two or more stories, enclosed by a skylight system. (CHING ' Visual dictionary of architecture') Mezzanines can be on multiple stories, where as Atriums are at some base floor level which is open to above. A Mezzanine is part of the building structure and access so sprinklers are required. An Atrium is an open space that would not be required to have fire sprinklers as long as the connected building is separated by fire rated walls. (Google - 2012 IBC handbook section 404 Atriums -pdf)

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