Getting it Done: Tips to Shorten Your Time to Licensure

Tips to Shorten Your Time to Licensure
 Written by: PPI

The road towards licensure is exciting, humbling, and full of unexpected surprises. However, as daunting as the task may seem, there are ways to shorten the duration and ease stress as you go from wide-eyed architecture student to stamp-carrying architect. Follow these tips to get ahead of the pack and shorten your time to licensure.

Know the Basics

1. Know the Basics

Learn what lies ahead. The maze of educational and experiential requirements you must navigate before becoming a licensed architect is long and complex. Know these requirements like you know your shoe size. Then plan accordingly.

Education requirements vary depending on where you acquire your degree. If you’re at all confused about whether or not your degree path sets you up for early licensure, refer to this resource from NCARB. Consider how long it will take to receive an accredited degree before settling on an institution to complete your architecture education.

Also, there are ways to start earning those valuable AXP credits before you venture from your college campus. Engaging in internships, design competitions, and volunteering for a charitable organization can provide you with supplemental credits to add to your IDP portfolio.

Once you start earning post-education experience credits, be sure to cling to your initial plan. Communicate with your mentors and superiors to stay on track of your categories, and no matter what you do, don’t allow your 5 year rolling clock expire. And when you finally gear up to start taking tests, be sure to gather the best study materials you can get your hands on.

Don't Waste Time

2. Don’t Waste Time

When starting your career, it’s easy to lose track of your IDP hours, let alone stay on top of reporting those hours. Set a time each week to sit down to document and report your hours and be rigorous about sticking to your plan. NCARB offers easy ways to track your progress via free iPhone and android apps. Use them, and don’t forget to report to NCARB if you change employers.

Follow the Path of Least Resistance

3. Follow the Path of Least Resistance

The biggest advantage you have is the ability to take the division tests in any order you please. Understand your strengths and weaknesses, and focus on the easier tests first. Getting a few out of the way can boost your confidence and create momentum as you gear up for the trickier sections. Start here if you’re just beginning to wrap your head around the exams.

The second biggest advantage you have is the help of your peers. Talk to people in your office about the path they took to pass the exams. Third party advice is an invaluable resource - just so long as you make sure it will work for you. Understanding the components of each exam will ensure your ability to match them best with your strengths.

Ultimately, as long as you create a plan that builds in as many of these shortcuts as you can maintain, you’ll be setting yourself up for a faster track to licensure. Keep a steady application of pressure on the process, and work diligently to be prepared for each division of the exam. Do this, and you can have your license in as little as 2-3 years once you acquire your accredited degree.