I am just starting to study for the LARE in New York State and am wondering what people recommend to use as resources for studying.

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I'm hoping someone else answers this, since I'm wondering the same thing. Let's keep the discussion at the top of the list by commenting.

CLARB seems to have a lot of free stuff and even a few practice tests. I've seen study guides on Amazon, but they're kind of expensive. Maybe the best thing to do is find other people in your town to start a study group with. Then you can share the cost of a study guide and just make copies for everyone.

that'd be great; I see Sean is also taking it in NYS, but probably not WNY...

For A and B, I read: Construction Contracts by Hinze, Project Management by Ramroth, Ready, Set, Practice by Sharky, and Site Analysis by LaGro.  If these books are not at your local library, see if they participate in book loan program with cities/universities.  For just a few $, I got these four titles.  IMO, none of the books need to be collected.

For construction D,  I had the good fortune of operating a shovel in the field for many years.  I helped another coworker by putting together a mockup of each potential fastener (wood, sheet metal & lag screws, carriage & hex bolts, lead & plastic anchors, redheads, etc) used in landscrape construction, so she could see the difference between all at once.  I even used a piece of broken concrete so she could see why lead anchors would suck over time where vibration/movement might occur.

For C and E (as well as the other three tests) I went to the UCLA Extension prep courses on the recommendation of a coworker, and then studied my arse off for at least 3 hours every night for 7 weeks prior to taking those two tests on consecutive days.  I even put in 5 hours (the length of each test) to do 4 or more problems, one day each weekend.  The CLARB/LARE free stuff was paltry compared to what both classes provided.

I passed each test the first time I sat for it, and completed all 5 tests in less than a year.

I know the tests have been changed and consolidated, but it still requires you to know grading & drainage, design, and construction detailing/methods.  But understand this: in my opinion, what is in the CLARB/LARE tests (especially design) is not related to the real world or anything that you think you know !  It is a different logic that the tests require - one that is often in conflict with the real world.

Those tests are not cheap, and neither were the classes.  But in the end, I can say that it was well worth the money so that I never had to take any of those tests ever again.

Here are the cleaned up notes for Site Analysis.  I might have other stuff on the comp at work.


I absolutely refuse to look at the LARE youtube vid, only because of the horrible, horrible memories of studying.  Horrible, I tells ya !  Seriously, I took C and E consecutively only so I didn't have to get back into 'study mode' six months after the first test.


Thanks for the insight and the site analysis notes, Toby.  I'm sure there are plenty of people here that would be interested in any other tips or notes you might be willing to share;  I certainly would be!

Agreed. Thanks, Toby.

more stuff...none of these notes are valuable by themselves.

Read the books first without taking notes, then go back and reread them to take notes.  Interrupting the 'story' will hinder the learning process.

Project Management notes were taken for chs 1, 2, 5, and 11.  The other chapters did not seem to apply.

CSE notes are how everything applies to the study guide.  Many of the column notes in each Task are word for word what is in the associated KSAs.  I wrote them out to help commit it to memory.




and finally...


Toby, thanks so much for all of the useful input and notes.

Toby thank you!

Good info, thank you.


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