Why ARE Practice Exams are the Best Way to Study for the Exams

are practice exams

Here at Designer Hacks, we think using ARE practice exams is the best way to study for the ARE exam. Ok, we may be slightly biased, but there’s plenty of research to back us up. Don’t you think the best way to be prepared for any situation is to know what to expect? Not only do ARE practice exams familiarize you with the content and structure of the real thing, but many studies have shown that practice tests can increase your final score. The way you set up your study environment may even help you recall information.

are practice exams books

Studies researching practice exams for students taking the SAT have shown that even taking one practice exam can improve their test score by 30 points. If these students continue taking practice exams, particularly focusing on areas they need improvement on, they can raise their scores by 100-400 points. *AHEM* That’s why we give you individual category scores at the end of each practice exam you take. Taking ARE practice exams will have the same benefits because you are testing your knowledge using the same structure of the actual test. You can also hone in on areas that you may need more help in, and spend extra time studying those areas. Without taking a practice exam, you may never know which areas you should study more for.

Getting the Most out of ARE Practice Exams

A study by D. R Godden revealed that if you study in an environment similar to the one you’ll be testing in, you will be more likely to recall more information. Sure you won’t be able to blast your favorite album or light any candles on the day of the test, but there are small things you can replicate when taking a practice exam. Wear the same perfume when you study or eat a specific kind of candy when you study and then have the same thing right before you take your exam. This will make your mind associate the smell or taste with what you are studying, and make recalling information on the day of the test easier.

studying are practice exams

If you already know what the testing environment is going to be like, try creating a similar environment when you sit down to take a practice exam. To mimic the same vibe as a testing center at home, try sitting at a table or desk and keep the noise level low. Recreating a similar environment when taking a practice exam will better prepare you for what to expect, and it will help you recall all of that hard-earned knowledge.

Similarly, a “mood” experiment done in 1989 demonstrated that being in the same mood you were while studying will also help you recall more information. Try to put yourself in the same mindset you hope to be in before the exam- which we hope is relaxed! Treat your practice exams just like you would treat the real exam. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself, make sure you are well rested, and you’ve had something to eat (on the test AND when you practice). This will train your body and mind ahead of time to be ready for the exam and it will make your study time more effective.

Check out these other tips to see how you can get the most out of your studying!

are practice exams mouse and keyboard

There are a lot of great study techniques out there, but researchers have discovered that taking practice is exams is the best way to study. Simply taking ARE practice exams will set you up for success by testing your knowledge and preparing you for what to expect on the day of the exam. By controlling your environment, you can make study time even more beneficial. So what are you waiting for? Start practicing! Practice makes perfect after all.


  1. allstarcarpetandtiles June 24, 2019 at 10:31 am #

    Great tips. I’m bookmarking this page. Its a great resource to keep. Thanks for sharing.

  2. hamzakhan17826 May 19, 2019 at 7:16 am #

    Ok sure, I will follow your steps before going to do exams. I hope your article will help me more.

  3. karlmistos May 14, 2019 at 10:41 pm #

    Thanks for sharing this. I’ll definitely share this with my classmates at de la salle zobel.

  4. classboat01 October 17, 2018 at 7:37 am #

    Hello there and thanks for your information, I have certainly picked up allot new info from right your post. You are also provided information about best tips for exam,Which is very helpful to me and other people also.

  5. mikemoreno September 5, 2018 at 3:48 am #

    thank you very much, verry helpfull…

  6. jogesh12345 August 14, 2018 at 1:55 am #

    Very effective and informative article.Thanks for sharing such an important tutorial.

  7. FLMIMA August 11, 2018 at 9:20 pm #

    Really helpful website

  8. Rumi July 15, 2018 at 7:16 am #

    I feel very grateful that I read this. It is very helpful and very informative and I really learned a lot from it.

  9. RJennings April 28, 2018 at 6:12 pm #

    Thank you for this website. The practice questions are helpful.

  10. Scott March 22, 2018 at 1:50 pm #

    Taking this test on Saturday. Last 4.0 exam to complete for the trio, then on to 5.0. This site is my go-to place when organizing what materials I’ll be studying

  11. shozab January 30, 2018 at 2:22 pm #

    Hi , very good article.

    thanks for sharing, keep up the good work

  12. dyba January 27, 2018 at 1:08 am #

    Good advice. Best of luck to all!

  13. KendraShirley January 16, 2018 at 4:04 pm #

    This is my favorite site for practicing for my tests! Great advise and super helpful.

  14. reximagetrim January 16, 2018 at 10:37 am #

    Nice post to read. A complete guide that can help all of us.

  15. tylerstockholm December 17, 2017 at 9:37 pm #

    Nice one… very helpful! Thanks!!!

  16. Aartiwalvekar November 21, 2017 at 8:56 am #

    Nice post

  17. Aartiwalvekar October 9, 2017 at 9:45 pm #

    Great post!

  18. Tony August 30, 2017 at 7:07 am #

    In the NCARB ARE 5.0 handbook they reference Fundamentals of Building Construction: Materials and Methods in both of their example questions for cost estimating. Unfortunately there isn’t a specific chapter on cost estimating, it’s woven throughout the content.

  19. Spencer August 30, 2017 at 1:15 am #

    What is the best reference for cost estimating for PDD.

  20. Amy July 26, 2017 at 3:24 pm #

    Thanks! Great advice

  21. Tony June 29, 2017 at 7:23 am #

    Deciduous trees should only be used for shade (especially in temperate climates). Deciduous trees lose their leaves in the fall and will have little protection against wind in the winter when it is most needed. Likewise, the leafless trees allow solar heat gain in the winter when it is desired, and shade in the summer.

    Coniferous trees are only to be used to block wind and views. Since they don’t lose their needles, they work great for these two items year-round.

  22. Shahid Logan June 28, 2017 at 4:50 pm #

    Hello. My name is Shahid. This comment is for anyone who would like to reply. On the Siteplanning test. To block the wind, can you use a Deciduous tree or must you use a Coniferous tree?

  23. Mike January 4, 2017 at 11:04 am #

    Hi Tony,

    I need to take 5.0 PPD & PDD. Do you plan on posting notes such as “Caroline’s Notes” that you had posted for the various 4.0 exams for either of those sections? I found those notes to be some of the best resources in studying for the 4.0 sections. If so any idea when? Thanks

  24. Stephen October 17, 2016 at 9:30 pm #

    Hi Tony,
    Any updates on the SS exam ? If there’s an expected release date ? Thanks

  25. DesignerHacks October 4, 2016 at 12:11 pm #


    We are releasing practice exams for the SS exam later this fall.


  26. Paige October 4, 2016 at 11:34 am #

    Will you have SS questions on here at some point?

  27. Daniel September 9, 2016 at 8:47 am #

    Great post, very helpful with the lists of suggested materials, I just passed CDs in July and am taking PPP in November so I definitely needed the list.

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