Getting Started with ArchiPrep
As an emerging professional in the architecture industry, you have a relatively wide variety of options to choose from when it comes to selecting study materials in preparation for taking the ARE. Household names include Architect Exam Prep, PPI from Kaplan, and Black Spectacles, but the AIA’s new software offers another option. Enter ArchiPrep, an online study resource that’s available exclusively to Associate AIA members.
Getting started with ArchiPrep is a pretty easy process. The ARE Prep section of the AIA website points you to directly to the new software offering that’s a product of the AIA’s collaboration with BenchPrep – another big name in the resource material world. Subscriptions are available in one- or six-month offerings, with the six-month package costing $175 – or about $29 per month. This is right in line with Black Spectacle’s standard offering, but significantly less expensive than their premium options.
Once you’ve payed for your access, you’re brought to a pretty basic launch portal that shows you all of your progress in one place. Modules are broken down by the type of study material into four categories – Resources, Flashcards, Study Questions and Quizzes. The units have nearly 800 questions, over 100 flashcards and over 50 quizzes.
The course begins by asking you to select the date for your next exam that you’re hoping to take. Don’t worry – if you’re studying without a date set yet, you can change your study plan at any time. Once you’ve set your time frame, the software rolls into a series of mini-tutorials to teach you the basics. This was helpful, as the dashboard within the course itself has a lot of information to digest.
One of the two main features of the study software that I think will be most beneficial as I work my way through it, is the Study Plan. By setting a date for a specific test, the software develops a daily study plan to keep you on track towards your test goal. Changing the date automatically adjusts your daily plan, making it easy to tackle little goals bit by bit, instead of trying to cram large amount of information at one time.
Overall, the new ArchiPrep software seems like a concise and intuitive option for emerging professionals to jump into study prep.
The second feature that seems pretty helpful is the confidence level rating. Each module requires you to select a confidence level – high, medium or low – to help yourself keep track of what sections and topics you might need to revisit in the future. You also can bookmark lessons to refer back to or take notes directly in the software to remember thoughts and questions about specific items. When you’re back at your main dashboard, you can then search back through your resources for bookmarks or specific notes that you might have taken.
The overall course breakdown is based on acquiring a certain number of “knowledge points”, ranging from 514 to 647 depending on the size of the module. Your daily goals are further broken down into earning a small dose of knowledge points to help you chisel away at the larger numbers. For example, my day one goal was to earn 37 knowledge points. Doing a set of practice questions for 30 points and taking a mini-quiz for 20 points was enough to satisfy my goal for the day.
Overall, the new ArchiPrep software seems like a concise and intuitive option for emerging professionals to jump into study prep. The software is easy to setup, and with a few exploratory clicks you can quickly get yourself on track for the specific exam you’re looking to study for. For Associate AIA members looking for an alternative to other previous study offerings, ArchiPrep might be just what you’re looking for.
Editor’s note: The author is the 2020 Associate Representative on the AIA Wisconsin Strategic Council. Through this role, he provides insight into and feedback for the path to licensure and the AIA Associate member benefits strategy.