I Passed CDS!

Yes! Finally, I passed Construction Documents and Services 4.0. I went in to take the test last Saturday morning, confident and relax. WITH DOUBTS about how I did, I expended the rest of the week logging into my NCARB account checking if the results were posted. It wasn’t until Wednesday that I saw my first big blue PASS. YES!!!!

It took two attempts and a reconfiguration of my study strategies to kill this test. I figured that if I wake up early and study before going to work, I understood the material and it will remain in my head longer than studying after work. Still, I did study before and after work. More than two hour every weekday. On weekends, I tried to study as much as I could while also trying to have relax time. (The brain needs a break after all).


I added study material for the second attempt. Since NCARB gives you which area you need to improve if you fail a test, I looked into which material I needed to cover those voids. Here is a list of what I used to study for this test –I believe they could be used for ARE 5.0 Construction and Evaluation, but DO NOT quote me on this- :


NCARB Exam Guide

This is the first document you will need to look for before any other study material. It gives you a good understanding what are the concepts and topics a test will cover. Also, NCARB provides a multiple-choice practice exercise and a list of reference books you should check out. https://www.ncarb.org/pass-are/are4/prepare



Practiced all quizzes it provides on each chapter.




Architect Exam Prep

Loved this product! This was my main study material source. They give you written content by module including an audio companion. I studied their written content first at home and listened the same material while commuting to work and repeated a track if necessary.


Construction Documents and Services ARE Mock Exam by Gang Chen

Repeated the practice test at least three times and verify each question I got wrong. It helps to develop a “how-to-read ARE questions” skill and how to answer properly.


AIA The Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice

I recommend getting this guide. It explains what an architect does during a practice lifetime.


I plan to start studying for Programming, Planning and Practice next. I know CDS material overlaps with this division as Site Planning and Design as well. I hope this helps you to keep moving forward on your ARE goals too.

J. Fraticelli


  1. Jose Rivera
    August 12, 2017

    Congrats my friend! I’m going to start studying for the ARE 5.0. I”ll let you know about my experience.

    Keep working hard!

    Jose Luis

    1. J. Fraticelli
      August 14, 2017

      Thanks!!! Keep me posted!

  2. Nestor Camacho
    August 14, 2017

    Congrats!!! Really happy for you and hope you keep at it.

    Best regards,

    1. J. Fraticelli
      August 14, 2017

      Thank you so much!!


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