Best way to prep for LARE?

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    Jay Smith

    I’m in Florida and looking to take the exam for the first time. I can’t afford to register for all of the sections, but I was thinking of starting with C and E. I have two questions for anyone who is so enlightened as to answer them:

    1) If I can only take two sections, does it really matter which two I start with?

    2) What is the best way to prepare? Any particular study guides in particular? Are the prep courses a necessity? (I noticed florida only seems to have one, whereas Georgia looks to have a better course).


    Jay Smith

    3-year rule? doesn’t sound good. What do you think the hardest ones are? I figure the two graphic ones would be the toughest. Those are the two I’d like to take first. I wish I could afford to take all of them now, but its a ton of money, and I’m out of work.

    You are right, there are a lot of study aides out there. I wish I knew which were the best.

    Ray Freeman

    Section E is the most difficult, generally followed by Section C. However, last december the pass rate for C was higher than for D, which was unusual.

    The 3 year rule (or 3 fail rule) generally applies only in Jersey or Massachusetts. Don’t think you have a limit in Florida, but obviously you can research this yourself.

    In my opinion, you are better off taking the easier sections first…but this may vary from person to person based on what your experience and predilictions are like.

    As for prep resources, the range available is considerable. I’ve no personal experience with either the Georgia or Florida reviews, but I believe that they are pretty general. I think Georgia offers a somewhat more intensive review for C&E once a year and their other review is more of an overview. Florida’s appears to be an overview.

    The reviews I do in Northern California are as intense as they get, outside of the grading class at Cornell, which is ten days long and very expensive.

    As for the study books, the PPI series is pretty good, if out of date relative to the current exam specs. (Exceptions: Acomb’s book and the newer (4 vig) section C exam which I believe are up to date). Morrison is kind of questionable, and useless for the performance sections. IMO the vignettes in Chaffee’s book from Wiley are way too easy.

    Eric Gilbey

    Jay, I too provide LARE Review Sessions and am about to do another one next week in Omaha, Nebraska. In the almost 10 years which I have been conducting review sessions, I have found that each candidate has a different hardest section that they just can’t get past. Traditionally they have a better chance at passing A & B their first time…though that comes with a fairly good understanding of the professional practice and contracts and responsibilities (Section A). Section D is half/half…candidates get a little too confident in what they think they know about materials, their attachements and uses. The graphic sections are a skill of being able to master the requirements (explicit and implicit) within the allotted time…the time can make this the most challenging, and thus the reason a prep course or review session with mock exams is very important. Sounds like you will not be able to get into the June Graphic sections, since you haven’t made a choice as to which to take…it is likely too late to get enrolled to sit for the June exam. I will be at the FLASLA annual meeting and can give you more insight to prepare for the sections…let me know if you want to meet up then and I can bring some info with me to the conference.

    Since your first chance to apply and get enrolled for the exam will be for the MC sections in Sept, take A & B first. This should help build up your confidence and then Section C in December. Then next March take D and then next June take E.

    Check out CLARB’s exam content where it tells you the percentage of topics and subtopics and critique yourself for your knowledge skills and abilities in these topics, then most importantly talk to your colleagues and contracters and pick their brains about what you feel less confident about.

    Kenn Bates, ASLA


    You can also post your question over in the Florida Chapter, LARE Discussion and receive answers specific to the Florida Review. It is being monitored by a member of the Chapter’s Education Committee.

    Jay Smith

    Thanks everyone for your replies. I’m in the process of gathering all of my information about the test, the good news is there seems to be plenty of help out there.

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