The End is Nigh: Finishing the AREs

February 20, 2015

I’m still not sure how it happened, but last weekend I took my seventh (but not final) ARE, bringing me up to all seven exam attempts in the span of one year. The good news is that I passed, which means I have only one exam left to pass! In all, I’m pretty pleased with my progress; aside from failing Site Planning, things have gone relatively smoothly, although it’s been a grueling and painful experience. I don’t think there’s a better way to do it, though, and I’m glad I pushed myself to get it done in a year, rather than drag it out over a longer period of time.

Here’s the original schedule I set myself, which would have had me complete everything last year:

And here’s the schedule I actually followed:

The delay was partly due to a lack of available test dates on weekends (after taking SPD and SS on weekdays, I vowed to take all the other ones on Saturdays to lower my stress levels), and mostly due to my decision to take a break over the holidays. I didn’t study at all in November or December, and then started back up in January this year for the final two. This gave me a much needed mental break, and I’m glad I spaced it out. I also needed more time to study for BDCS than I initially thought - it was a pretty difficult one.

I’m finally starting to think about what I want to do once the exams are over, and it’s hard to decide! There are so many interesting projects I could tackle now that I have my weeknights back. I just hope that I can motivate myself to spend my time well, rather than languishing on Facebook as it’s so easy to do.

To my architecture friends who are still on the journey, I wish I had some humorous wisdom to dispense, now that I’ve taken all the tests, but I think the fun has been beaten out of me. Here’s the best I can do to sum up my recommendations: