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How to Get Your Firm to Pay for ARE Prep Resources

As a team member at an architecture firm, you have the passion and drive to reach your career goals. One of which is taking — and passing — the ARE 5.0, a major step for all budding architects. Black Spectacles offers the resources and support necessary to ease the ARE 5.0 study process so you can prepare for each section of the exam with confidence. But the test prep fees to get you there don’t have to come from your own wallet. ARE Test Prep is a great opportunity for your firm to provide continuing education for its designers. Here are a few tips on how to approach your boss and get your firm to pay for a Black Spectacles Firm Membership that will lead both you and your firm down the path of continued success.

What's in it for you?

Before we dig into why your firm should support you by offering ARE 5.0 test prep material, it’s important to clarify why you should take the ARE 5.0 and why you need test prep in the first place. Here are the key benefits for you:

  • Build a strong resume and portfolio by passing the ARE 5.0. To impress at future interviews, increase your chances of passing all divisions of the ARE 5.0 and adding 'licensed architect' to your resume with a Black Spectacles membership.
  • Be fully prepared by taking advantage of our resources and support. Since the exam covers everything from case studies to multiple choice questions, you need prep material tailored to each division of the exam. In order to maximize your study time, there are a variety of learning material types, such as video lectures, flashcards, and practice exams, included in the Black Spectacles membership.
  • Advance your career options. With great performance on the ARE 5.0, you will have the knowledge you need to take on greater projects and open more doors in your career.
  • Save your time and money. Find all the test prep materials you need in one place and get your firm to willingly pay for it.

What's in it for your firm?

Before you forward the bill to your boss’s inbox, it’s important to have a strategy. The good news is: if your firm pays for your Black Spectacles ARE Test Prep Membership, it benefits both of you. This means that it will be easier to get your firm’s support once they are aware of these mutual benefits:

  • Builds a stronger, more knowledgeable team. The more each employee knows, the more the firm knows as a whole. Building a strong team means that any employee can jump in on a project when necessary, making the firm flexible and reliable.
  • Competitive edge when bidding on projects. A fully licensed team gives your firm the credibility needed to back up your bid.
  • Builds employee loyalty. If employees know that the firm supports their goals, then those employees will support the goals of the firm with pride and gratitude.
  • Creates a desirable working environment. A team thrives in a supportive, knowledgeable, and passionate atmosphere.
  • Great marketing and sales tool. Working hard to pass the ARE 5.0 won’t go unnoticed — especially if it’s used in your firm’s marketing and sales ventures to attract more clients.
  • Firm membership saves money.  A membership for the firm means the ability to utilize the prep material to pass the ARE 5.0 the first time around with a higher success rate.
  • Convenience of simultaneous users. Having simultaneous users is especially useful for larger firms that have more than one employee that wants to take advantage of the test prep material.

How to encourage your boss to pay for ARE 5.0 Test Prep

You know you need good test prep materials to get you ready for the optimal ARE experience, and you know you want your firm to pay for your test prep membership. So, how do you approach the decision maker of the firm with this information? Just like every creative is different, so is every firm — and its leadership. An email to your boss about the test prep you need may not be the best channel of communication (when was the last time your boss checked their inbox?). Instead, plan for a professional meeting where you present your desire to take the ARE 5.0 and introduce Black Spectacles ARE 5.0 Test Prep Membership options in a way that leaves your boss feeling motivated to support you and, hopefully, any other aspiring architects at your firm.

Step 1: Research and prepare

Focus on the benefits of preparing for and taking the ARE 5.0. Include relevant facts and statistics to get your firm’s attention. Taking the time to create a short presentation or having a printout of your points may help prove to your firm that you are worth every penny. Be upfront about the membership costs to your firm, and focus on the benefits for everyone involved. Here are the key points you should bring to your boss:

  • The fact that 27 of the top 50 architecture firms use Black Spectacles because it has the NCARB stamp of approval for all 6 divisions.
  • Research about, and examples of, other firms in your area who pay for their employees’ ARE test prep.
  • The statistics about Black Spectacles being the best way to go — these prep materials mean higher pass rates for all 6 divisions.
  • Firm vs. Individual pricing information. Explain why firm memberships are better in the long run. Individual pricing means paying $279 a month for 12 months, while firm memberships mean paying a set amount per year and providing a more flexible option for firms who have more than one employee preparing for the ARE 5.0.
  • Reinforce the overall benefits for your firm: builds a stronger team, gives the firm a competitive advantage, creates a great work environment,  saves money, and allows for simultaneous users.

Step 2:  Impress your boss

Check your boss’s schedule and confirm a time to talk with them about preparing for and taking the ARE 5.0. Once you’ve made an appointment with the head or heads of your firm, make sure you walk into that meeting feeling prepared, confident, and dressed your best. Take yourself and your goals seriously so they will too.

Black Spectacles is on your side. You deserve more than out-of-date, hand-me-down notes. Black Spectacles is the only NCARB-approved online test prep provider for all six divisions of the ARE 5.0 exam. If you present the firm membership as an investment instead of a burden, you have a much better chance of being prepared for the ARE 5.0 without having to pay for the study material out of your own pocket. For an in-depth look at our ARE 5.0 test prep materials, schedule a demo with one of our Firm Member Experts.

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