The first factor to consider is whether you are currently taking a specific architectural training program. Many professionals prefer to take a general education course in architecture that does not include a specific coursework. In fact, some people find taking a general coursework in architecture is actually better for their career than taking an exam specific to architecture.
For others, particularly those who already have a specific subject matter, taking the architectural exam may be the best option. Some people also choose to specialize in a certain area of architecture such as residential architecture.
It is also important to think about the types of exams that will be required and in particular areas of your training. For example, most schools require all students to take at least one architectural exam before graduation, but there are some that do not.
You also need to decide if you are taking courses in different types of subjects, such as math or chemistry. Most exams are written on a specific topic such as structural drafting, so if you do not have a background in these subjects, you may have difficulty passing. Also, you may want to consider taking general architecture and then specialize later in your career on certain areas of that specialty.
The next thing to consider when choosing an exam is to choose one that allows for ample time for practice and review. Most students choose an architectural exam that takes only four hours of class time. This is usually enough for a student to understand the concepts behind the design and to pass the examination, but does not give them sufficient time to research and prepare for the exam in depth.
Another important aspect to consider is whether the examination requires the student to submit sample projects and designs to help with the examination. If so, this will allow the student to become familiar with the tools and methods they are using and how to approach the design process.
The key to passing any successful architectural exam is to remember to have a good foundation in the area of study that you plan to take. Also, it helps to have a good idea of the types of questions you will be required to answer on the exam so that you can prepare accordingly.
One way to prepare for the actual exam is to complete a general study guide. This guide should cover the topics you will need to answer on the examination but should include additional information to give you ideas about which questions to answer, and how to approach the problem based on the information you have learned. An architectural review guide should cover every aspect of the architecture field, including basic construction techniques, environmental considerations, and structural analysis.
Many of the better-known architects and firms publish architecture and building study guides for their clients to use as a starting point. A popular and effective guide is the AIA (American Institute of Architects) publication. Another helpful guide is The American Society of Structural Engineers’ guide to structural engineering.
The Architectural Record is another good source for information on the subject. There are also many books available that outline all aspects of architectural design, including architecture for the layman, which provide more specific information for specific areas of your chosen specialty.
There are even courses offered online on specific area of the architecture curriculum that provides comprehensive information on topics related to your chosen specialty. You can get general information about a specific area by looking online or contacting your state’s architectural licensing board.
Take a careful look at all of your options and decide on the exam and coursework that work for you. Take some time to consider the questions to see if this will provide you with adequate knowledge to pass the exam. Also, think about which topics are best suited to the type of architecture you wish to practice.