About Me

Hey there!

My name is Mike and I started this ARE Advisor site because I want to help all you prospective architects pass the ARE.

Whether you have just graduated and are ready to take the tests or have decades of experience and for some reason had never gotten around to taking the tests, I’m here to hopefully help, motivate, and guide you through the process.

I want to tell you a little about myself and my journey through taking the ARE.

I grew up (and still live) in the Chicago suburbs. I graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Architectural Studies from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in 2006 and then received my Master’s in Architecture from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 2008.

After graduating in 2008, I got a job with a medium sized architecture firm in the suburbs of Chicago and have been there ever since. Even though the architecture industry took a turn for the worse in 2008 and 2009, I was fortunate enough to keep my job through it all but it made me realize how lucky I was and that I shouldn’t take my job for granted.

Though it had always been a goal of mine to become a licensed architect as soon as I could, I found that getting started was the hardest part because the thought of passing 7 exams is very overwhelming.

By the summer of 2010 I had finally earned enough IDP hours to be eligible to take the ARE in Illinois. I tried to start gathering study information from my employer but I realized there weren’t too many study guides available for the ARE. Anyways, I gathered what I could and started studying for my first exam, CDS.

I won’t go into detail regarding my thoughts on each exam here, please see the ARE Exam Divisions page for my thoughts.

Halfway through my journey of taking the exams I hit a speed bump, my first failed test. Fortunately, I use this failure to motivate me even further and passed the rest of the tests.

All in all, it took me 13 months to pass all 7 ARE tests and I’m very relieved to finally be a licensed architect. Through my journey, I’ve learned a lot of valuable tips and I’m here to share that information with you.

My promise to you is that I will work hard to provide the essential resources, study guides, and tips to help you pass the ARE. I know it can seem like a daunting task when you’re first getting started but I’m here to help everyone.

Please contact me if you have any questions.


– Mike