Updates from ASLA

ASLA 2019 Professional General Design Honor Award. Glenstone, Potomac, Maryland. PWP Landscape Architecture >

Dear L.A.R.E.y—Finding the Resources you Need

Studying for the licensing exam? L.A.R.E.y has the answers. Brought to you by the ASLA LARE Prep Committee, including seasoned professionals, LARE Prep instructors, and recent and current test-takers, L.A.R.E.y’s answers will reflect the committee’s collective insights and experience. Please note that ASLA only endorses resources and materials provided by ASLA and CLARB.

Dear L.A.R.E.y,

I am getting ready to begin studying for the exam, and I am looking for a review course. I know that some chapters have offered review sessions in the past. How will this change due to COVID-19 social distancing?

Patrick in New York

Dear Patrick,

Organizations around the world are shifting their onsite learning to online platforms, and L.A.R.E. reviews are no different. Earlier this year, the Michigan ASLA chapter hosted an online forum to give exam candidates the opportunity to ask questions about the exam. The University of Georgia (summer) and UCLA Extension (fall) are preparing to shift their regular sessions to online learning this year. Visit the ASLA LARE Prep resources page for the latest listing of review courses.

Best of luck as you get started.


Dear L.A.R.E.y,

I graduated this year from an LAAB program and plan to accept a job offer in a state that allows graduating students to take L.A.R.E. exams. What advice do you have for graduating students in my situation who want to take the L.A.R.E. soon after graduating?

Bill in South Carolina

Dear Bill,
Fortunately for you and other students in your situation, electing to take the L.A.R.E sooner rather than later after graduation offers significant benefits. "In fact, CLARB's research shows that candidates' performances—and success rates—on Sections 1 and 2 of the L.A.R.E. got worse the longer they waited after graduation. Additionally, if graduates from accredited programs use practice problems when studying for Section 3, they tend to perform better on the L.A.R.E.

On the other hand, research also shows that your performance on Section 4 can be improved by gaining diversified experience in a landscape architecture practice—with every month of work experience adding an average of seven percentage points to the candidates' scores.

If you think about it, it makes sense. Why not take advantage of the effort you have already spent taking timed formal exams like midterms and finals that test your comprehensive understanding of basic principles, depth of knowledge, and its application using multiple choice questions like those in the L.A.R.E.? You have already conditioned yourself to score well in timed test contexts, your knowledge acquired from LA classes is still fresh, and you may still have your study material and notes from classes. With this background, you can fully concentrate on filling in the gaps in your knowledge and understanding of basic principles, familiarize yourself with L.A.R.E.’s multiple choice questions, and practice L.A.R.E’s Hot Spot and Drag and Drop question formats.
L.A.R.E uses two types of multiple choice questions:

1) One Answer—where candidates select a single answer usually from four possible choices
2) Multiple Response—where candidates select two or more answers from up to nine possible choices.

L.A.R.E. also uses two kinds of additional testing methods:

1) Hot Spots—where the candidate selects the most appropriate location by clicking directly on the plan
2) Drag and Place—where the candidate chooses the appropriate project element(s) and place(s) the element(s) on the site.

Good luck on your new position and the L.A.R.E.


Watch for new installments of Dear L.A.R.E.y in future LAND issues. Would you like to ask L.A.R.E.y a question? Send your questions to

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