Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 88 total)
  • Author
  • #177054
    Heather Barber

    The whole LARE is a mess. I seem to be in the same boat as many who have commented and it seems to me to be an endless hemorrhaging of funds to no avail. The multiple choice examinations were not completely relevant, but negotiable. I am struggling with the graphics portions of the exams which happen to be my strengths in practice. Yes, the 30% average pass rate indicates there is a strong disconnect between CLARB and the examinees, both of us duly responsible….and here comes the but, but one would think that the LARE would be altered to fit the scope of responsibilities Landcape Architects face in practice.

    Any advice would be greatly appreciated…


    Phil Doncaster

    Here is the BIG question…
    Has having a certificate from LARE or CLARB or whoever increased your work load? Brought in new clients?
    Thought not.
    I get my house re-decorated from a guy who I can trust, charges a reasonable rate and who’s previous work I can see and judge, not how many tests he has passed.

    We are supposed to be designing gardens, not practicing law or being health and safety officers!


    Rob Rosner

    Phil, I disagree with you. I am a licensed landscape architect in two states. Having the license has increased my business tremendously. It has brought me new clients. I am also a planner. So, I am able to sell planning services which require no license and landscape & irrigation design services which do require a license. Since moving to Florida, I went about 2 years without a license. As soon as I got my Florida license, my workload increased. I was able to sell more services to my existing clients and get referred to new clients as well.

    As landscape architects, we design much more than just gardens. An yes we are practicing to protect the health safety and welfare of the public. That is the whole point of licensing.

    Phil Doncaster

    I must apologize. I am a landscape designer, not a landscape architect. I am more concerned with aesthetics and plant care then engineering. And yes, I do understand the reasoning behind a license!

    Keven Graham

    Phil perhaps you are only interested in decorating gardens, but for many of us we are far more involved in design services that do require law, have a significant impact of health and even protect and provide safety and security. Our profession is very diverse and yes DOES require and should require competency in the core areas of health, safety and welfare. Rob is most definitely correct and raising the bar of professionalism is a priority.

    Ray Freeman

    With regards to the LARE, it’s important to recognize a few “facts of life” with regard to the profession and the exam.

    1. Licensing authorities are set up for one reason: to protect the public from individuals doing stuff they shouldn’t be doing…either through malfeasance or lack of competence. The exam reflects that reality.

    2. Landscape Architecture is a mind-bogglingly broad profession which requires an immense breadth of knowledge. The exam has, to the extent possible, to test much of that breadth. What individuals do in practice probably does not cover 50-60% of what the profession does. I haven’t done master planning, stormwater management design, storm drainage design, wetland mitigation or subdivision design in over a decade. But you need to know the principles of each for the LARE.

    3. The multiple choice test sections are reasonable, and at least familiar in form, but are hardly a slam dunk. Section D is particularly difficult, precisely because CLARB has jammed so much subject matter into it.

    4. The graphic sections present canned problems which are much simplified versions of what one might do on a real world project. They are difficult to pass because they have tight parameters and tight time constraints. Anyone here ever taken a math or science SAT achievement test, or worse a GRE achievement test? I’m talking about the specific tests, not the general one. They are really nasty! On the LARE, you have to do 4 complete problems in 5 hours, not one design over a period of months. The problems in their current form may be maddening, but at least they can be evaluated more objectively than say the 1980 version was.

    5. You gotta respect the “Code” (The LARE Reference Manual and the instructions on each vignette). If you don’t, you are road kill.

    6. My primary beef with CLARB is that the feedback given (sans a review) for the graphic sections is inadequate. I believe, that with not much more effort on their part, more complete and focused feedback could be given.

    david j bockman

    “Licensing authorities are set up for one reason: to protect the public from individuals doing stuff they shouldn’t be doing…either through malfeasance or lack of competence.”

    No, I’m sorry I don’t think that’s true.

    ann gilkey

    Guys, I’ve been out of school and work for 10 years (kids). I’ve got tons of regurgitated and new study material and have been to last years preps. My problem is that the lare is a moving target and I am trying to do this with dwindling funds. I am studying A now and everywhere I look, new issues pop up that require hundreds of dollars to gain access to the information. What the hell is the Brooks Act anyway, and do I need to purchase the Sustainable Landscape Construction book ($40+) or could I read the draft for the Sustainable Sites Initiative. I feel like I am in a leaking boat….a very expensive leaking boat going no where fast.

    Tanya Olson

    I’m in the same situation – off work to raise kids now finally getting down to my exams.
    My recommendation is to read the books they have listed on the study materials. I wouldn’t bother with the study materials that you can buy from Amazon (published by ppi). I got them and they are way harder than the tests – probably a waste of money. I don’t know about the study materials you can get from CLARB for the multiple choice, but it seems like a better bet.
    I got most of my books through inter-library loan. Your local library will be able to get them from nearest Universities – then you don’t need to buy them!

    Chris Loftus

    I agree that taking the LARE is an expensive and challenging process. However, I feel that the exam should be somewhat rigorous. Public safety and welfare are important aspects of landscape architectural practice. As previously mentioned, the LARE tests for a minimum level of competence. Diluting the content or lowering the exam standards would subsequently lower the standards of professional practice.

    Fortunately, I passed all five sections on my first attempt. I would recommend working on projects that help prepare you for the exam vignettes. If you’re planning to take Section E, focus on grading and drainage projects at work if possible. Solicit feedback from more experienced landscape architects. If you’re unemployed or in an office that lacks these skills, practice with peers outside of work. Use CLARB’s free practice vignettes. Time yourself and make sure you’re meeting CLARB’s stated requirements for each problem. Good luck!


    hahaha, some funny responses.

    I haven’t had a problem.
    I passed 4 of 6 the first go, passed site planning this past December on my second try and taking D in March for the second time. They aren’t the easiest but if ya study and work with stuff daily you should be able to pass them.

    I have some digital study material if anyone needs it.
    I had to pay some ass for it but I’m willing to email it out for free.


    I’m studying for A, B and D…ANY help, tips, materials would be awesome!!!! and greatly appreciated!! There are SOOOO much conflicitng advice on what to study, which programs, books etc…to put your effort into….

    ann gilkey

    I don’t think anyone is suggesting that the licensing process should not be rigorous; only that the appropriate information be accessible and commensurate with the investment one makes in it. Those of us who have not worked in a mulit-disciplinary broad service firm or who have been out of work have to rely heavily on accurate, available information. I hope it’s not too late for interlibrary loan. That’s a helpful idea.


    Read the study guides closely and do as many study vignettes as possible. When you run out of vignettes, do the same ones over and over until you can finish them in less than 45 minutes. The site planning and the grading and drainage portions are usually what gives people the most heart ache. This is where you should invest the most of your study time.

    My best advice is to forget about what you’ve learned in the office. Before you start a portion relax, take a deep breath, READ THE INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY and then begin. Keep it movin’! Don’t get bogged down on one problem and not be able to finish. Also having nice tidy and neat drawings should be the least of your concerns. After you finish a section if there’s time left you can clean up your drawings.

    Good Luck!


    The answer is yes, they make my head spin and I have to step back and come up with a response to this later b/c I don’t even know WHERE to begin! ooo I hate clarb……

Viewing 15 posts - 16 through 30 (of 88 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.

Lost Password