Perhaps the most arduous part of every aspiring architect’s career is the built-up doom and gloom that surrounds the process of mentally preparing, and actually taking, the Architect Registration Exam- also known as the ARE. What ideally should be more of a process that tests real-world application and knowledge about the practice itself, has slowly evolved into a mentally exhausting challenge of sourcing highly specific information just to survive each exam. The only thing harder than studying for the exams themselves, is navigating the increasingly saturated array of online practice tests, advice forums, one-off study guides, and rogue tips that seem to shroud the six-part quest for licensure in more mystery than provide any sort of clarity or guidance. Fortunately, the woes of needing to know exactly what lives on each ARE have been solved for and compiled into one easy-to-read book. Desk Crits, written by Tess McNamara and Sam Zeif, two Yale School of Architecture graduates who are currently licensed and practicing at Atelier Ten and Herzog & de Meuron, respectively, have created the ultimate one-stop ARE study guide. After experiencing the rigor of their own ARE journey, and impressively completing all six exams in six months, they decided to share what they had learned with those in the process of earning their license too.
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