How do I start studying for the ARE?

The hardest part is getting started!

Here are a few things to consider if you're just starting your ARE journey.

  1. Grab a Friend! We think taking these exams is so much easier if you can do it with a partner in crime, or a full team! Your friend(s) will hold you accountable (and vice versa), and if you ever start feeling stressed or anxious, you’ll have someone else to keep pushing you forward. Decide on an order and schedule with your team so you’re all on the same timeline.
  1. Make a schedule. Figure out the test order that makes the most sense for you (we have thoughts on this here and in Desk Crits!), and then make a schedule for your whole testing journey. Try to stick to this schedule, but be realistic! Tell family members, friends, and coworkers about your schedule, what you’re embarking upon, and your goal to finish the exams. You can lean on these people when you need support, and they will remind you why you are doing this!! At some point you might need a break, and that’s totally fine! But having the schedule established at the beginning will help keep you on track.
  1. Sign up for your first exam. Seriously, do it! You can give yourself some time (more on that later) but you’ll never start without knowing you have a test date coming up. 
  1. Get your books. Get your hands on all of the books you will need for the exams. If you can, I would recommend getting them all at once so you can keep rolling right into each exam without waiting for a book to arrive. We have a whole post on the books you actually need for the exam here – and much more insight in Desk Crits itself. We breakdown what you need from each resource for each test so you don’t even need to think about it, you can just get down to the learning part!!
  1. As soon as you pass your first exam, book the next one! Like on that same day! Keep it moving, keep it rolling. Get these exams in your rear view mirror! 

As we always say, if we can do this, you can do this. So grab your copy of Desk Crits and knock out the 5 steps above and you’ll be on your way!!