By Andrea Cohen, Tests.com Contributing Writer
The Landscape Architect Registration Exam (LARE) is required to license landscape architects in 49 states. The exam is offered by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) and sets minimum standards for skills, knowledge and ability of landscape architects in order to protect the public safety, health and welfare. The exam is just one portion of obtaining licensure as a landscape architect. Each state registration board has its own specific requirements for licensing, including minimum educational requirements, satisfying a certain amount or type of experience, and displaying knowledge of specific local laws and practices.
LARE Exam Format
The LARE is made up of five sections. Three sections are multiple-choice questions and are computerized, and the other two sections are comprised of graphic vignettes which require drafted solutions. The multiple-choice sections include Project and Construction Administration (70 questions), Inventory, Analysis and Program Development (90 questions) and Design and Construction Documentation (120 questions). The graphic sections include Site Design (4 vignettes) and Grading, Drainage and Stormwater Management (4 vignettes). The multiple-choice sections of the exam have time limits of between one hour and forty-five minutes and three hours. The graphic sections of the exam each have a five-hour time limit.
LARE Exam Registration
For multiple choice sections of the exam, CLARB establishes registration deadlines, but for graphic sections that are administered by state boards, the individual state determines its own registration deadlines. Registration should be made directly to either CLARB or the state registration board, depending on which is administering the exam.
LARE exams are administered on specific dates determined by CLARB and are on the same dates in every state. The multiple choice sections are given at computer testing centers, and the graphic sections are administered by state registration boards or by CLARB at CLARB test centers. Candidates should contact their local state registration board for accurate information about locations and schedules. Graphic section exam dates are usually in June and December, and multiple choice section exam dates are in March and September.
Fees for the multiple choice section of the exams are $192, $227 and $317 for different sections. Fees for CLARB-administered graphic sections of the test are $407 per section. Fees may vary for graphic section exams administered by individual state boards.
Candidates must bring one form of current and valid identification that includes a photo and signature and has the exact name as the one that was used on registration materials. Candidates may also bring a calculator, sketch paper and a smooth drawing surface.
Multiple-choice questions are all equally weighted and no points are subtracted for incorrect answers, so it is best to answer every question. Scores for multiple choice sections are available online about four weeks after the exam. Scores are reported as pass/fail only and if a candidate fails, more information is given about where they need to improve. Multiple-choice section scores are not automatically sent to licensing boards, but candidates may request that they be transmitted.
The graphic sections of the exam are manually scored by licensed landscape architects during a grading session. All graders are provided with evaluation criteria and attend a training session. Each exam is graded independently by two separate graders. Then a specific score is determined to decide pass/fail criteria for each section. It takes about 10 to 12 weeks for graphic section scores to be sent to individual licensing boards, who will then forward scores on to candidates. Scores in this section also are reported as pass/fail only, and if a candidate fails, more information is given about where they need to improve.
Interested in becoming a licensed and registered Landscape Architect? Check out our Landscape Architect Registration Test Directory for information about LARE Exams and test preparation services.