Why is failure seen in such a negative light?
When you fail, it SHOULD make you better apt in not making the same failure again, right? We should not strive to fail but when it occurs we should analyze why and what steps need to be put in place to prevent or at least limit the chances of that same failure. This can be associated with pretty much any type of work project in most professions.
"...but at that moment I set it in stone that I'd finish all seven exams before I announce anything to anyone!"
These words ran through my mind the moment I received my first and thankfully my only exam failure letter. The Architectural Registration Exam (ARE) already has a mental exhaustion characteristic associated with it. There's no sense adding to your misery. My advice is think a minute on who you announce your ARE journey to. The below is a synopsis of my pledge of secrecy during my testing period.
In June of 2010 I embarked on a major step in my professional career: The ARE. I was uneasy about how the experience would be. From the Prometric facility, the difficult multiple choice questions or the lack of user-friendly CAD program, I knew this was going to be a tough battle. After two months of studying, I scheduled and took my first exam. At the time, there were no digital exam results so my uneasiness only continued further following the exam with a 4 week minimum wait period.
After weeks of pacing the door awaiting the snail mail, it came. With shaky fingers I opened it. Reading the words "FAIL" almost brought me to tears. I didn't know what my next step would be but at that moment I set it in stone that I'd finish all seven exams before I announce anything to anyone!
Hello and I welcome you to my second blog post on my new website. My first post was linked to a much needed discussion on Equality in Architecture. You can read it here: Architecture: Open to ALL. Moving on- I felt this post I wrote for NCARB was ideal to refresh with some new information for new test takers. I am an architect and also a husband and father. This post touches on important factors of my life and advice to encourage others. Please enjoy.
Whether you’re called an architectural intern, architect in training, designer, or just intern, tackling the ARE requires sacrifice. Even more so when you have a family of your own. According to National Council of Architectural Registration Boards, pass rates for 2014 were between 62% and 77%. Here are a few tips to help you master the ARE while still maintaining your sanity—and allowing time to enjoy the nuances of marriage and parenthood.
Make It Count
NCARB's five-year Rolling Clock can approach very quickly. When you have a family, it may not be feasible to test every month or even two months. So make your study time count. Only schedule and attempt exams when you feel fully prepared. The new 60-day retake policy is far better than the previous six-month rule, but can still be detrimental to your plan if procrastination sets in. Set a schedule and try to stick to it. But don't kill yourself if you have to reschedule an exam.
Don't Let Work Get You Down
Generally speaking, architectural staff members work long hours, leaving little time for family before the nightly bedtime routines commence. Sometimes reviewing enough material to keep the topics and concepts fresh in your mind will suffice. Going long periods of time without studying can sometimes mean starting over. Remember, a little at a time can add up.
Be a Weekend Warrior
Weekends are usually spent out as a family, and you probably won’t get to sleep in. This means the weekends can end up being just as busy as the work week. Setting aside large blocks of time to study can be difficult. Similar to weekdays, dedicate an evening or morning to studying. A quiet hour or two can make a difference.
Embrace “Free Time”
Free time and children, young children especially, seem to be an oxymoron. When that precious time does pop up, use it wisely. Though you'd rather catch up on sleep, watch television, or take on a hobby, you may be better off reviewing study materials. As written by Amy Spencer at RealSimple.com, you have to outsmart procrastination. You will never get done if you do! Remember, these scarifies won’t last forever—the length of time it takes you to complete the exams is ultimately up to you.
Jared W. Smith
My life as an architect, photographer and family man trying to stay positive in a negative world.
BLOGS I FOLLOW:
1. Life of an Architect
3. Young Architect
5. Little Miss Architect
7. Coffee with an Architect
8. Architecture Career Guide
9. Equity by Design
10. Defragging Architecture
11. Emily Grandstaff-Rice
12. L2 Design
Click the image below to see the archive from my old blog.