Just an Intern

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    ARE Day 025: Just can't stop studying?!

    Hi Archinect,

    Wow! Has it really been 25 days already? I lost count of the days while studying EVERYDAY! I still haven't set a day for my CDS exam yet, but it will probably be some time next month. So I have been studying for about six weeks now, and I have developed a strategy to tackle all these readings we have to do (seriously it's a lot!). I will share it with you here and I want to know how you study for the ARE too!


    I study when I get home from work almost every night after dinner, and a couple hours on the weekends. Probably since I don't have much experience with contract documents, I spent most of my time reading through them.

    One quick tip: I find it easier to understand from reading the actual AIA contract documents with the commentary than reading Kaplan abstractly talking about the contracts.


    I am kinda of crazy about rainbow colored I made a different color label for each section in my folder. The folder contains all my study materials, and I divided them into 5 categories:

    1. Exam guide: the NCARB exam guides that you can download for free online. 
    2. Documents: all the AIA contract documents that I printed from their website.
    3. Kaplan: a copy of the book.
    4. Notes: the famous Jennifer's and Caroline's notes that are circulating around online and some quick notes that I write down.
    5. Sample: some sample questions / mock exams that I can get my hands on.

    ​Plus the FLASHCARDS! They are extremely useful (and colorful) when I just want a light read in my bed. AIA contracts are actually pretty easy to read in bed too...


    I read, use my favorite pencil to high light things that are important, then type it up in word. Sometimes I make little diagrams so I can understand the super complicated concepts graphically (you can probably see it on my screen in the picture). I will share them once I am done taking notes for this exam.

    Now I will go back to studying. But share with me your study strategy! It would be interesting to see what everyone does when they are studying.

    Thanks for reading!



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Documenting the life between our graduation from architecture school and becoming a licensed architect. They say it's the journey that matters, so here we are experiencing the joy of being a great intern. All full posts are available at

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