top of page

ARE Series: Construction & Evaluation CE

Updated: Apr 1

Let's break down the ARE (Architecture Registration Exam)! In my ARE Series I am taking you through each exam, how I studied, what I found useful, and how to pass. The third in the series is all about Construction & Evaluation (CE).

If this is your first post, I recommend starting with some of my other videos first. How to Get Through the ARE is a great starting point. I give you a rough idea of the entire exam process, what order to take the exams in, and most importantly what to do if (when) you fail. Start here and then come back when you're ready for CE!

Watch my Practice Management video here.

Watch my Project Management video here.

Now let's talk about Construction & Evaluation


Join the Mind Over ARE waitlist now to get first access to my next group coaching.


CE is considered the 6th exam because it covers the last phase of the design process. However, I recommend taking it right after PcM and Pjm since it's part of the pro-practice series. These three exams are similar because they involve more than just design, they involve contracts, business, and in-office topics that sometimes have no relation to design.

There are construction details that are important for CE, but the exam is heavily focused on contracts and responsibility which are also on the other 2 exams. Since this information is fresh in your mind from studying for those exams, take the three pro-practice exams first.

exam Sections

SECTION 1: Preconstruction Activities 17-23%

  • Understand project delivery methods and how this affects the roles and responsibilities of the different team members

  • Understand contracts, project costs, and contractor selection in order to help advocate for your client and minimize risks

SECTION 2: Construction Observation 32-38%

  • What is the architect's role during construction, and what is outside your responsibility?

  • This is important to minimize risk and not accidentally take responsibility for something that is outside your jurisdiction.

  • Learn to determine project progress and ensure it is being built how you designed it.

  • Understand details so when you're walking a site you know what to look out for.

  • Ex: waterproofing, sheet metal, parapets, etc.

SECTION 3: Administrative Procedures & Protocols 32-38%

  • What additional documents are you responsible for?

  • When and how do you administer additional documents (certificate of payments, submittal evaluations, change orders, etc.)

SECTION 4: Project Closeout & Evaluation 7-13%

  • When is a project complete?

  • Know your role as an architect during the finishing phase of construction.

Important to Remember

  • Not every exam is the same.

  • Some might be all about contracts, some might not. Some might have a ton of construction details, others might not. This is why it's important to study a little bit of everything, but if you get a wildcard exam (AKA an exam from hell), try not to stress it. If you don't pass the first time, you'll get it the next time!

  • Know your details!

  • You have to understand construction details in order to know what you're looking at when you're in the field. If we're supposed to comment on whether the waterproofing is done correctly, we need to understand what we're detailing. So, get familiar with details. These are a little harder to study because knowledge comes from in-field experience.

  • I highly recommend Building Science Fight Club to learn waterproofing and other details. If you don't use Instagram, you can sign up for her newsletter or even take her class. Her information will be extremely helpful for the design exams as well (PPD, PDD), but for now, if you just want to follow her content on social media, it will be useful.

  • Healthy Buildings

  • The most important thing as an architect is that we design healthy buildings. We need to make sure we protect the HEATH, SAFETY, + WELFARE of the general public. So, when thinking of construction details, we want to make sure we are properly handling water/moisture, air, fire, and anything else that might be harmful to our buildings and their occupants.

  • REMEMBER: Water is a building's biggest enemy!

    • Whenever you're being asked to create a detail, think of what the water will do - how can you keep it out?!

  • How do materials transition from one to the other? Again...think about water!

  • Get onsite!

  • CE is more than just studying. You need to get out in the field. So, if you are working for a firm, ask them if you can get onto a construction site.

  • Don't have access to any construction sites at your firm? No problem! There are "naked houses" (as my daughter likes to call them) everywhere. You'd be surprised how comfortable contractors are with letting you walk through their sites if you tell them you're studying for your exams. Even if you can't get inside, a lot can be observed from outside. Do what you can to get yourself in front of some real construction. 

  • Filler Words

  • Read the exam questions VERY carefully. They will try to add extra information or filler words in the questions just to add noise to your head. Cross out any information that isn't relevant to what they are actually asking. Don't get bogged down by unnecessary information.

  • Hold Yourself Accountable!

  • Schedule it, create an incentive for yourself, join a study group (Mind Over ARE) anything to hold yourself accountable. It's so easy to put off taking the exam, so design a way to make it harder for yourself to push it aside.

At this point, you know what to expect when taking an exam. You now know it really can go either way - pass or fail. So, feel confident in the fact that you've continued on the journey, that's the most important thing!

As always, I go into a lot more detail in my video/podcast episode, so make sure to check it out! Please reach out with any questions as you move through your studies, and please let me know if this has been helpful.


As a special thank you, we're giving you ARE® 5.0 practice problems from our Activity Book for Architects... completely FREE! Download your ARE® homework here to take your studying to the next level.


Download my free list of resources here

*Note: Some of the reference links are affiliate links. This means if you purchase through the links it will help my small business. You won't pay a penny more, but we'll get a small commission. Every recommendation is there because I have personally used, tested, and highly recommend it. You will never find a recommendation solely for monetary purposes. Thank you for your support!



Want More?

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page