Matt Mathes PLA

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    Matt Mathes PLA


    Congrats on your great analysis – yes, a few candidates like you who can read a list of CLARB recommended books then pass the exam by only adding the right 1 study guide. In assisting candidates  now licensed in US and Canada, it’s clear many candidates need a wider array of prep resources including a proven success strategy for passing on first attempt. Most candidates have a wide variety of learning styles, regional bias factors, varied time since graduation, a current job role unmatched to the exam format, or need to diagnose and then break a pattern not resulting in a passing score, along with needs for motivation, reassurance and confidence.

    Fortunately, wider aspects have been packed into one economical LARE live instructor prep workshop format made available by ASLA Chapters committed to serving Emerging Professionals.

    For most candidates – adding 1 study guide for $35, 1 panel discussion for $100, or one 50 minute webinar is just not enough, but this upcoming Fall, 2016 event serves a wide array of needs described above:

    LARE Prep Session – Saturday October 8, 2016 – Milwaukee

    Hosted by Wisconsin ASLA Chapter, this prep session has 3 tracks – Full day for all 4 sections, or Section 1 & 2 in AM, or Section 3 & 4 in PM including lunch.

    Here’s the event and sign-up details:

    Matt Mathes PLA

    LARE Prep Session in Chicago – Illinois Chapter ASLA 

    Friday Feb 28, 2014

    Saturday March 1, 2014


    Section 1 is 1PM to 3PM and Section 2 is 3PM to 5PM on Friday.

    Section 3 is 8AM to Noon and Section 4 is 1PM to 5PM including mid session breaks on Saturday.

    The successful format is a fast moving session including drilling from slides, best use of books plus selected handouts for problem solving practice by candidates during each session. Content is based on the overview of exam specifications for each section. Site analysis and site planning included in Section 3. Construction methods and materials, details as well as grading, drainage and storm water management included in Section 4. Instructors are Erik Sweet, PLA, ASLA and Matt Mathes, ASLA, PLA who will lead sessions as subject matter experts and authors of Professional Publications, Inc. books.

    Hosted by Bartlett Trees, ILASLA Chapter Education Series Sponsor. 

    For event information, pricing, sign-up incentives and registration, go to:

    Matt Mathes PLA

    Here’s a suggestion in the Chicago area:


    Fall LARE Session in Chicago – Illinois Chapter ASLA

    Saturday October 26, 2013
    8:00 AM – 5:00 PM

    IIT College of Architecture
    3360 S. State Street
    Chicago, IL 60616

    Illinois Chapter ASLA Education Committee is pleased to announce two tracks for the Fall LARE sessions for Great Lakes region emerging professional needs. The Fall LARE session schedule includes an innovative format:

    Sections 1 & 2 is a roundtable discussion 1PM to 3PM among candidates and emerging professionals who have been successful with LARE.

    Section 3 is 8AM to Noon and Section 4 is 1PM to 5PM including mid session breaks.

    The format includes vignette scenarios for drilling from slides, books and handouts for problem solving practice by candidates during the session. Content includes exam specifications covering site analysis and site planning for Section 3 and construction methods and materials, details as well as grading, drainage and storm water management in Section 4. Matt Mathes, ASLA, PLA will lead Section 3 & 4 sessions as a LARE subject matter author, a volunteer instructor since 1995, currently serving on the ASLA LARE Subcommittee and as the Water Conservation PPN Chair. Books used at the session by Professional Publications, Inc. include:  

    • LARE Review, Section C Vignettes: Site Design (LACV2), 2nd Edition 
    • LARE Review, Section E Vignettes: Grading, Drainage, and Stormwater Management (LAEV2), 2nd Edition

    For more information, pricing options and registration, go to:


    Matt Mathes PLA

    Illinois Chapter ASLA – 2013 LARE Review & Prep Session

    • Friday Feb 22, 2013 1PM to 5:15PM Section 1 & 2
    • Saturday Feb 23, 2013 8AM to 5PM Section 3 & 4

    Location:  Chicago, Illinois – (West of Downtown – facility location TBD)

    The ILASLA Education Committee is pleased to invite Emerging Professionals and LARE Candidates to participate in a fast moving session for reviewing the content for Section 1 & 2 Friday half day as well as Section 3 and 4 Saturday full day. The format enables candidates to view strength and weakness, to preview problem styles, experience drilling, discover success factors as well as hear an over view of exam content to enhance overall exam performance. The session features slides, allows for discussion and individual questions, plus supplemental handouts and post session follow-up via email. The session uses a proven, affordable format featuring one book of study materials per section published by PPI, Inc. The proven course format has helped over 250 successful candidates since 2008 offered by Washington, Louisiana, Tennessee, Prairie Gateway and Sierra (CA) Chapters, with instruction by landscape architects Matt Mathes, PLA, ASLA and Erik Sweet, PLA, ASLA. The instructors both speak nationally as published authors and recognized experts on LARE content. Matt serves on the ASLA LARE Subcommittee, co-presented Section 4 at the 2012 annual meeting and serves as Water Conservation PPN Chair. Erik previously served on the LARE Subcommittee and is a sports facility design expert, including a Chicago Bears project.

    Section 1 & 2 Sessions Friday Feb 22 (1PM to 3PM, 15 minute break 3:15PM to 5:15PM) includes the following format starting at 1PM for Section 1 and at 3:15PM for Section 2:

    • Overview of LARE Exam Specifications
    • Basic Problem Types, Exam Trends & Success Factors
    • Drilling on basic problem types and vocabulary of 75+ key terms
    • Individual Prep Plan based on Strengths and Weaknesses

    Section 3 Session (8AM – Noon, include 15 minute break) includes:

    • LARE Section 3 Overview of Exam Specifications
    • Basic Problem Types, Exam Trends & Success Factors
    • Technical topics
    • Other Resources & Individual Prep Plan based on Strengths & Weaknesses

    Section 4 Contents (1PM to 5PM, include 15 minute break) includes:

    • LARE Section 4 Overview of Exam Specifications
    • Basic Problem Types, Exam Trends & Success Factors
    • Technical topics
    • Construction Materials & Assemblies
    • Construction Documents (order, sequence, content)
    • Bidding and Construction Administration procedures
    • Other Resources & Individual Prep Plan based on Strengths & Weaknesses

    For sign-up and session pricing options, go to:

    Kenon Boehm, ILASLA Education Committee Chair

    Matt Mathes PLA

    Take a close look at travel costs, session time and registration fees of the 4 courses.

    The philosophy and focus of each prep course varies. Some offer what is arguably basic instruction (12 hours per section), yet other sessions provide a refresher type review in a few hours.

    So – traveling to a next door region could make  sense, depending on your needs. There are regional “blind sides”  uncovered just by stepping outside of the region of your college program and familiarity.

    “knowing what you don’t know” plus a plan to uncover “unknown unknowns” are 2  challenges in reaching your goal of passing Section E.

    Matt Mathes PLA

    Overall, the PPI document series is holding up well out in the marketplace. This includes reviews by faculty in accredited programs and ASLA sponsored prep session workshops where LARE instructors are using PPI documents.

    There are a lot prep variables – what books to buy, use 1 book only, buy all books out there, use a book plus prep session, teacher of the session, how much prep time before and after a prep session, what candidate thinks is key in problem vs. what grader determines is key, etc.

    Looking at all 3 questions taken together, candidates could be tempted to bring pre-concieved info (even from reliable study guides) into the exam setting, then apply it rather than using a standard provided in the manual. Generally , the manual prevails.

    Matt Mathes PLA

    LARE Review Study Sessions
    Multiple Choice Sections – A, B, and D
    Saturday, August 22, 2009 – Hunt Hall, University of California, Davis, California

    We can’t solve all the problems candidates might encounter in a prep course although ASLA CA Sierra Chapter is hosting review sessions for the upcoming LARE exam for Sections A, B, and D on Saturday, August 22nd from 9:00 a.m. to 2:15 p.m. at UC Davis Hunt Hall.

    The sessions are taught by Matt Mathes, ASLA, and Erik Sweet, ASLA (PPI authors of Section A and Section B study guides used in 49 states).

    Each session is offered at the amazing price of $60/each for ASLA CA Sierra chapter emebers, and $100/each for non-members. This cost also includes the review book for each section published by Professional Publications, Inc:

    LARE Review Section A Practice Problems: Project and Construction Administration (LAAPP2), 2nd Edition;
    LARE Review Section B Practice Problems: Inventory, Analysis, and Program Development (LABPP2), 2nd Edition;
    LARE Review Section D Practice Problems: Design and Construction Documentation (LADPP2), 2nd Edition

    Session Schedule:
    Welcom & Sign-In: 9:00 a.m. – 9:05 a.m.
    Section A: 9:05 a.m. – 10:35 a.m. (1 hour 30 min)
    Section B: 10:45 a.m. – 12:15 p.m. (1 hour 30 min)
    Lunch Break (on your own): 12:15 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. (1 hour)
    Section D: 1:15 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. (1 hour 30 min)

    Contact: Lea Allen, ASLA at for sign-up sheet, directions, and more information.

    R.S.V.P. by Friday, August 14, 2009 to Lea Allen at

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