Landscape Architecture for Landscape Architects Forums PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE L.A.R.E. – COMPLAINTS AND PETITION FOR CHANGE…..

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    Jennifer de Graaf

    I passed the LARE and earned my license, but I must agree that the availability of useful preparatory materials is severely lacking. I passed all of the sections the first time, so I never participated in the review process.

    I did not have a problem with the physical experience of the exam, the test site, time allowed, etc. I may have been unusual in that I was fortunate enough to be able to “screen out” the noises of other exam candidates. The people around me were mostly non-disruptive, but not always. The proctors didn’t do anything about those who were restless/vociferous enough to be disruptive.

    I do remember writing in some unfavorable (I’m being nice) notes on exam questionnaires about clearer wording (especially on AB and D), clearer objectives on the performance sections, and better writing in general.

    Hope this helps, I know there are a lot of people who feel that LARE does an intensely inadequate job of offering pre-exam materials….I am certain that my passing had everything to do with the review classes I took and months of study, none of the materials for which came from the powers-that-be.

    Jason T. Radice

    This is not an ad, but a testimonial. I, too, dislike how the exam is given and graded. Let alone that until recently, there really was no good way to study for the exam besides the review classes, if you are lucky enough to be in an area that has them. I took a review class and it did help, but what really sealed the deal were the PPI books. I credit them with helping me PASS the first time out. They are WELL worth the $175 just not to go through the hell of that exam again. Sometimes you can find them used (check the message boards here). I have alredy sold mine, otherwise, I’d offer them up. The books for the vignettes are dead on to the actual exam, plus, they teach you HOW to take the exam…namely, all the little stuff the graders look for. Why these are not published by CLARB themselves is beyond me.


    Was that the Northeast Philly airport James? That’s where I took a couple of the multi-choice sections. That Prometric company seems to specialize in the pilot’s licensing stuff. I don’t remember noise being an issue. Maybe the building was well insulated.


    Yeah, I had my struggles with that section and passed it on the 3rd try. Some of the comments you get back on redlines can be infuriating. If you don’t do grading regularly, it will be tough to get it done in the given time period. I felt that they should offer more time as there were occasions when I realized I was heading in the wrong direction about 45 minutes into a grading problem and had to start over. They’re not testing for your economic viabilty, so why have a time limit? Maybe you work in the public sector where efficiency isn’t as much of an issue. The best advice I can offer is to get hold of as many practice vignette problems as you can and do them as fast as you can. Check your times. Do them over after a few weeks. You need to be able to look at a problem and start on the correct grading solution right away. Check all spot elevations. Compare your solutions to others’. Read the directions thoroughly, then read them again after you finish the design to see if you covered everything.

    J. Waldron, RLA

    I too took the UGA review session. While it helped with the multiple choice section, I felt the thing that helped me the most on the graphic sections was locking myself in the spare bedroom office for 3-5 hours a day for a couple months, if not more.

    That prep didn’t prepare me for one of the more difficult E problems. My experience in the home building industry and engineering field helped me realize that I was looking at a basement foundation on the site, from there it was gravy.

    With that said, to pass C and E, you MUST find any and all vignettes, new and old, and do them two and three times. You will catch the problems and common mistakes you are making. More importantly, you will get your timing down and understand the mental checks you must go through when attacking each problem. For example, when I first started on some sample C problems, I was drawing drive isles and radii just off scale. When your site it tight as a tick, you can’t afford to give up space,or even worse, start over.

    Practice, practice, and more practice….and when you think you’ve practiced enough, take a break for a few days and do it all over again. In the words of my favorite professor at Clemson, Prior Preparation Prevents Piss Poor Performance.

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