What Others Are Saying About “Building Design and Construction Systems (BDCS) ARE Mock Exam”…

“Great study guide for broad range of BDCS Exam

“This was a great resource supplement to my other study resources. I appreciated the mock exam questions the most, and the solutions offer an explanation as to why the answer is correct. I will definitely check out his other ARE exam resources!

UPDATE: Got my PASS Letter!”

Sean Primeaux


“Add this to your ARE study

“This was a very helpful practice exam and discussion. I really appreciated the step-by-step review of the author’s approach to solving the graphic vignettes. The BDCS is a challenging test and I believe that every bit of help finding the right solutions to the vignettes was necessary for me to make passing solutions within the allotted time. If I had made any other mistakes I would have been in real trouble. As I studied it last before taking the test Gang Chen’s book probably made the difference for me.”

—Dan Clowes (“XLine”)


“Excellent resource!

“This publication was very helpful in my preparation for the BDCS portion of the Architectural Registration Exam. It contained a mock exam with 85 multiple choice questions, followed by the answers and brief explanations to the answers. Also included, and most beneficial, were the overall strategies and tips for the ramp, stairs, & roof vignettes. Each practice vignette was solved step-by-step in a logical manner. The most valuable information for me were the “notes on NCARB traps”, a list of common errors made by test takers, and a “summary of critical dimensions”, which is a checklist of compliant dimensions to have in mind while taking the exam. There are also many websites referenced that add to the experience of studying for this exam…Good Luck on your exam!

UPDATE: Received PASS letter!”

—Doug Bentzinger (“Doug”)


“Good supplemental mock exam

“I found the mock exam to be very helpful, all of the answers are explained thoroughly and really help you understand why it is correct…Also the introduction and test taking tips are very helpful for new candidates just starting the ARE process.”

Bgrueb01 (Quoted from Amazon Customer Review)


“Great Study Tool for ARE-BDCS Exam

“This is a great study tool to use when preparing for the BDCS exam. I highly recommend. I used Mr. Chen’s CDS Mock Exam book and found it very helpful. I also Passed the CDS after utilizing Chen’s book. After reading the BDCS Mock exam book I found it to be setup the same way as CDS. Which has helpful tips for taking the exam both MC and Graphics portion. I like how it is similar to the way that NCARB asks questions on the exam and give explanation of why the answer chosen is correct or wrong.

I HIGHLY RECOMMEND this book for those going to take the BDCS exam. I would say this is the best study material out there!!! I hope that Mr. Chen would write books for BS, SS, PPP, & SPD. Thanks.”

James Lushbough


“Essential Study Tool

“I have read the book and found it to be a great study guide for myself. Mr. Gang Chen does such a great job of helping you get into the right frame of mind for the content of the exam. Mr. Chen breaks down the points on what should be studied and how to improve your chances of a pass with his knowledge and tips for the exam and practice vignettes.

I highly recommend this book to anyone that is taking the BDCS part of the ARE Exams as it is an invaluable tool in the preparation for the exam as Mr. Chen provides a vast amount of knowledge in a very clear, concise, and logical matter.”

Luke Giaccio


“Wish I had this book earlier

“I used Mr. Chen’s CDS mock exam, which was invaluable to me for passing CDS on my first attempt. Unfortunately, the BDCS mock exam wasn’t out prior to my taking that exam, on which I did not fare so well. After having looked at the BDCS book, I know that I would have done better, much better, if I had it to study. Nevertheless, the vignette walk-throughs are particularly helpful in navigating NCARB’s notoriously difficult software by proposing a logically ordered sequence and showing where inefficiencies could be eliminated to save time and perfect solutions…The questions are written like the NCARB questions, with various types…check all that apply, fill in the blank, best answer, etc. The answer key helpfully describes why the correct answer is correct, and why the incorrect answers are not. Take it from my experience, at half the cost of other mock exams, this is a must buy if you want to pass BDCS the first time you take it.”

—Domiane Forte (“Vitruvian Duck”)



“He does a good job of taking you through the vignettes in particular and the test questions are a fair approximation of what you might expect to encounter. Highly recommended.”

—Gary Leivers (“ukarch66”)


“Highly recommended for A.R.E. candidates!

“The material presented in the BDCS ARE Mock Exam book is excellent. It is presented in a manner which students or candidates for the A.R.E. can understand and gain conceptual knowledge. The practical vignette design solutions are great. It helped me prepare for the BDCS exam with confidence.”

—Stephen Bent (“bentarchitect”)


“BDCS ARE Mock Exam — Great for Vignettes

“This prep book is a great way to prepare for the Building Design and Construction Systems ARE. The author takes you through all three of the vignettes and gives step by step instructions on how to find the solutions– including graphics. Also, there are summaries of the key dimensions that you need to know.

I recommend using this book to prepare for the exam– especially if you’ve had trouble with the NCARB software in the past.”

Christine Williams


“Good Mock Exam

… The mock exam is very useful as a tool to estimate how well you know the material. It’s tougher than the NCARB practice tests, making it more realistic. He does a good job pointing you in the right direction for study materials (what documents to read, etc.)…”

—Penelope Marvel (penny “penny”)


“Good Study Guide

“I am using this as a supplemental study guide for the BDCS ARE Exam and the step by step instructions on how to tackle the vignettes has been very helpful. The multiple choice mock exam was very helpful for discovering where my weaknesses were as well. I would highly recommend this as part of your study material for this exam.”

—Bryan Bell (“bell1658”)


“BDCS – Gang Chen ARE Study Guide

This is a great addition to the long list of study guides for the ARE BDCS exam. I used the practice exam as an additional preparation for this exam. Just found out that i passed BDCS! I recommend this guide to other ARE candidates!”

—Brian Fracasse (“BFracasse”)


“Love it

“This is a good book to start studying for the BD&CS Exam..especially the vignette instructions, it gives a step by step guide to solving them. With illustration from the NCARB practice program. I have never seen any other book showing them which makes it a lot easier how the software works.

The multiple choice questions are good in helping you prepare to some of the style of questions that the real ARE exam will be.

Overall, I am pleased in getting this book in helping me with my studies.
Thank You!!!”

Phoebe Lee


“Great additional resource for passing the BDCS exam!

“For architectural interns seeking to decipher the cryptic nature of the NCARB Architect Registration Exam’s Building Design and Construction Systems, Gang Chen’s Mock Exam book helps to clarify things. The essential component of this guide is the step-by-step manner in which the graphics portion of this exam in delineated with the accompanying support images. The majority of the commercially available resources do not provide this kind of dispensement of information. This edition is invaluable for this reason. I am currently still in the process of going through my other study materials for the written content portion of the exam and reserve comments regarding the multiple choice portion of this guide, but at a cursory review, seems to cover the breadth of the exam

Jeff Koo


“Chen’s Book Helped me prepare for the A.R.E

“I took my time going through the book and comparing it to the other study guides that I have for the exam. Chen’s book is very helpful in preparing for the graphic drawing portions of the exam. The questions in the mock exam, just like on the real exam, are thrown at you in different styles: pick all that apply, select the best two, choose the incorrect statement, etc. Which I felt was good practice for the exam. Some of the questions come very close to the questions on the actual test. I would recommend this guide as another useful tool in preparing for the A.R.E.”

—Troy Bettridge (“Archtulsa”)


“BDCS: ARE Mock Exam

“The book starts off with an overview of the Architecture Registration Exam. In this chapter gives important information on understanding the who what when where and why of the Intern Development Program (IDP) and the Architecture Registration Exams (ARE). If you’re just starting out with your tests and you don’t know where to start, this chapter condenses enough information to at least point you in the right direction. He answers some questions that a lot of people want to know about testing times, exam formats, and other various tips for all 7 of the tests, not just BDCS.


Chapter two dives into the exam content of the BDCS test. He lists various resources you should consult in your studying for this exam, which I believe to be vary valuable. With the other two tests I’ve studied for (CDS and SPD) I felt lost as to what books actually covered the material, always fearing that I’ve left something out. Along with the book list also comes tips on how to use the vignette software specifically for the vignettes on this test. The book includes screen shots of the lovely graphics software we are forced to use on the ARE’s which help explain the steps to take to solve the vignettes. As another reviewer pointed out, there is a definite focus on how to pass the vignettes, whereas the multiple choice is presented in a way for you to “test” yourself in a mock exam setting…All in all I would recommend this book as yet another way to expose yourself to NCARB like questions before taking the real exam and get another perspective on how to conquer the vignettes for this test.”

—Nicholas Allen


“Very Helpful!!!

“This book has been a great help in preparing for the Building Design and Construction Systems ARE Exam. The book gives a very detailed explanation for each of the vignettes as well as a step by step guide on how to complete each one within the exam format. The author goes to great lengths to identify tips and potential mistakes for each vignette.

Unlike many practice guides and books that are generic and focused on multiple exams, this one is extremely detailed and directed specifically for the BDCS exam. It includes a practice exam that surpasses all others. I found the practice exam (85 questions) to be invaluable for my preparation. In addition the author also offers many test taking, studying, exam order, and reference material guidelines and tips.”

Dusty Eaton

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