Candidates for the ARE always think, “the more “real life” experience the better…right?”. Actually, this notion may not be as true as you think.
Of course, having work experience in an architecture firm under your belt is an important asset. However, many candidates forget that the “experiences” they have come across may fall into the category of a-typical situations.
It is important to remember that the questions on the ARE regarding documents, contracts, agreements, and so on, are referring to the topics in a “textbook”-way. When reading an exam question, it is easy to start thinking about your office experience and “what happened that one time on that one job…”.
These work experiences can actually cloud your judgment and stop you from choosing the proper “textbook” answer the exam is looking for.
Furthermore, it is equally important to remember that all “documents” referred to on the exam are the official AIA Documents and Contracts. You may or may not use these in your day to day practice at your firm. Some small firms use their own version of Contracts.
In order to pass this exam, you must study and understand the AIA Documents and Contracts, and refer to them when answering questions.