How to Survive the LARE

| January 23, 2017 | 0 Comments

For the past 2 years I have been going through the pain staking process of becoming a Licensed Landscape Architect.

On February 20, 2016, I officially became that Licensed Landscape Architect. Lucky 957 in the State of Nevada.

Going through this process, I have learned a few things… more than just landscape architecture and how to pass it. This isn’t a post on what material to concentrate on or any quick references to pass these exams. There is no such thing! This is how to survive the process of LARE.

1. Congratulations!!

Why Congratulations?? This is the first step in furthering your career! So yes, congratulations on making that decision and initiative to do this process.  This is a huge deal! So many people graduate and go into the field, but don’t take that extra step to become licensed for various reasons.

2. Breathe!

When you sign up for your first test and you see your credit card statement with that $300-$550 charge (depending on what you sign up for), that’s when it will hit you… SH*T just got real! No going back now!

3. Remember, this is a marathon not a sprint

I’m sure you’re not surprised I put a runner reference in here! But it’s true. This can take 1-2 yrs (if not longer) to complete. DO NOT get discouraged. When you sit down with the books for your first test, it will look overwhelming but given proper time management it is very doable.

Open that first book, open your notebook and just start. We all have our methods of studying… the important thing is to start. Remember, you are committed now, that bank account is missing a chunk of money!

4. Your daily routine will change

When you get home from work, do you usually watch TV for a few hours? Go to the gym? Play video games? Not to say you still won’t be able to do those things, but you will have to fit lots of studying in. Don’t be afraid to have your spouse (if you have one) help pick up on the duties you usually do. This is a huge time commitment, some things will definitely change. You will find a routine that works for you, but be prepared for changes.

Trust me… it is all worth it in the end.


Yes! Take a break!! You will burn out and quickly! Especially if you are studying something you are not particularly into and is quite boring. For me, Test 1, dealing with contracts, specs, etc was putting me to sleep every night. But… it is a necessary evil in our industry and you have to suck it up and get through it.

This is one I wish I would have taken more seriously… I burned myself out quite a few times. Even if you walk away for an hr or even a day and come back.


Yup… keep breathing… now you are getting closer and closer to that exam date. If you are like me, the stress is higher than ever.


When you pass a section, celebrate those small victories. When you finish all the sections, party your a$$ off! You deserve it!!

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