If you’re looking for ARE Exam prep for Construction Documents & Services (CDS) this is the place. When I was studying for the CDS exam I kept track of all of the resources I came across and listed them here.
First? The pool of multiple choice questions. The questions below are randomly selected from a library of 30 questions. If you enjoy this quiz and find it helpful you may want to look into the CDS exam bundle. You can use the quiz to gauge where you’re at or use it as a study tool itself. If you do poorly you should look into the additional resources below.
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As I come across additional resources for the Construction Documents & Services exam I will add them below Note that these are prep for ARE 4.0. The resources here will be valid until 2018 when ARE 5.0 is implemented.
ARE Exam Prep CDS Books & Literature
To help guide you I’ve located [$] below for any links that lead to paid resources.
[$] means less than $50
[$$] means between $50 and $100
[$$$] means over $100
Kaplan: Construction Documents & Services Study Guide [$$] – A pretty easy read considering. It has a lot of graphics which help move it along and reinforce concepts.
Ballast: CDS: ARE Sample Problems and Practice Exam [$$] – Has 123 sample problems in the same format of the exam. It also includes a sample vignette to prepare you for the graphic portion of the test. It also includes an additional 100 problem practice exam and vignette.
How to Pass the ARE [$] – Ebook or Audiobook – If you’re starting to go through the ARE this is a great resource for you to get in the right mindset. It doesn’t go over exam specifics (aka it’s not a study resource), but it will help you know what to expect and give you strategies for overcoming hurdles.
NCARB Recommended References
Video Playlist on Construction Documents & Services
Online Resources & Downloads for the ARE Construction Documents & Services Exam
NCARB: CDS Exam Guide – Right from the horses mouth. Gives you an overview of the test, what to expect, and some sample multiple choice questions.
NCARB: Practice Program – The CDS graphic vignette is hard to study for without the software. Download the software and take it for a spin. You can post your solutions to be reviewed at ARECoach.com
Caroline Joseph’s Study Notes – Mirror 1 – Caroline used Kaplan to compile these notes. It’s a pretty comprehensive 50 pager.
Rich’s Study Notes – Much shorter than Caroline’s but not organized as graphically. Some of the pages of bullets look a little daunting.
Black Spectacles: Video Course [$$$]- If you’re like me and hate reading you might want to consider taking a video course. The guys over at black spectacles do a great job at explaining everything but it comes at a $100/mo pricetag. They have some sample videos up you can check out before buying. Their blog also has webinars which have a lot of information as well.
Candy’s ARE we there yet? blog – Candy shares help on specific selections or snippets of the CDS exam. It’s really neat to see how the exam weaves into her life. Being on her blog makes it feel like you’re taking the exam with her and her visualizations of the exam are simply stunning.
Free AIA Contracts through NCARB – You can download some of the AIA contracts directly from NCARB to use in your studies. It’s probably safe to say you should be focusing on the contracts they provide you with.
AIA Document Commentaries – All of the major AIA contracts directly from the source. The NCARB contracts are free, but the commentaries here will help give background to everything. Although I think the Lecture series does this as well.
Architect Exam Prep Downloads & Courses [$$$] – If you’re willing to drop some $$ they have a bunch of addons. I’ve never used it, but it’s an option.
Architecture Lecture Series Audio – An entire course of lectures about the legalities behind the profession of architecture. It’s all free and each lecture has PDF notes for download as well.
Mixed Bag of CDS ARE exam prep resources