Hi I’m an architect. Well, almost…

This is the unfolding story of my adventure through the rigors of preparing for and taking the Architect Registration Examination (aka the ARE). There are seven of them, covering the issues that architects face in professional practice. Important concerns like how design decisions impact the health, safety, and well being of people. Also, contracts…and other legal stuff they never teach you in school. Administered via Prometric as computer based multiple choice and vignette drawing examinations, sweaty palmed test takers can at least rejoice that days of smudging scan-trons are over.


Start from the beginning here


To be licensed 20 years after my initial spark of interest in the profession. Armed with a family and boyfriend who offer a mind-boggling amount of unconditional love and support (and for that do not deserve to be inundated with incessant arch-babble and code speak), this blog is a place to document the entire process from day one. Good and Bad. WTF’s and Woohoos.


What began as a narrative through the the exam process naturally developed into a resource for interns around the country preparing for their own ARE. As I went into each exam I posted my guides for others to use with the thought that they may be useful to someone else. Known as “Jenny’s Notes” they’ve been used by countless interns across the US. The way I see it, we’re all in this industry together and we only get better by sharing our knowledge. I plan to take this with me going forward in my career.


It’s been a whirlwind of an experience, and one that I realize is truly just beginning as I enter this new phase of my career.  As I look back on the ARE process I realize that the exams have made me a more thoughtful designer, and more holistic in my approach to architecture.  While my ARE journey is complete, I know the excitement of learning is far from over.