Passing or testing over 40?

Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby AngerIsAnEnergy » Fri May 08, 2015 10:15 am

Archigeezers unite...! Glad to see I have some older company. I'm just starting to study and test, and am well past 40. I did pass two exams under a previous version -- but those are of course long gone. So I am starting over.

I was trying to get back into the testing mode a few months ago and made some posts on this forum -- then some "life" happened... but I am ready to get back at it.

I'd be interested in hearing from my fellow old farts -- what are you looking for as a result of passing the ARE? What will the license do for you and your career?
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby roaaia » Fri May 08, 2015 10:41 am

AngerIsAnEnergy wrote:Archigeezers unite...! I'd be interested in hearing from my fellow old farts -- what are you looking for as a result of passing the ARE? What will the license do for you and your career?


Hello
Glad to see you here as many are in their 40s and I too am beyond that! I have this personal goal all my life to be an architect so the main reason is for ME. The second goal would be to work on my own when I retire . I do freelance design work now in addition to working full time as a code compliance manager. A license may help me where I am somewhat but if not that is ok too. I'm not looking to make big bucks (although it wouldn't hurt). I have to work through the fear of the exams.
"Just because you feel fear doesn't mean you can't do it. Do it afraid." Joyce Meyer

Regards
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby rifkamattman » Fri May 08, 2015 6:16 pm

roaaia wrote:
AngerIsAnEnergy wrote:Archigeezers unite...! I'd be interested in hearing from my fellow old farts -- what are you looking for as a result of passing the ARE? What will the license do for you and your career?
Make me feel like I accomplished my goals that I set many years ago. It doesn't help in my career in one bit in my opinion. Maybe I can ask for more money though. We'll see. I just like the fact that I am what I say I am..... an architect.


"Just because you feel fear doesn't mean you can't do it. Do it afraid." Joyce Meyer] I may borrow this quote for life in general.
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Passed and Done at 52!

Postby mariavista » Mon May 11, 2015 10:38 am

The third time was a charm for PPP and I was sure I failed. Those lines were jumping around like crazy.

I feel like I have slid into home and when I tell people I started this in 2009 they look at me like I must enjoy punishment.

My path included:
Expired SD
Two attempts at SS - David Thaddues! Wooo!
The thing about this one is to be above the math.
Three attempts at PPP
I know you know.... :brick:

My advice to you is to take it one step at the time and resist looking at the big picture. Focus on each test and LEARN from it! Remember this is your passion and approach it with a smile. There is no end to what an architect needs to know so be grateful for the knowledge you are picking up.

One last thing...upon passing the final exam I kept it largely to myself and told only those were directly affected by my study schedule. It was such a big part of my life that I did not want to "cast my pearls before swine".

Good luck my Young Warriors.

Love,
Maria
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby AngerIsAnEnergy » Mon May 11, 2015 2:56 pm

mariavista -- what a great post, and congratulations! What an accomplishment. Thanks for the inspiration!

Hey, what's next for you?

BTW, on this thread, it's more like "young at heart" warriors...!
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby jokermtb » Mon May 11, 2015 4:11 pm

johnny rotten pil? anger is an energy ^^^?

Yes, procrastination, life getting in the way, and plain ol' fear of failure (what if I don't know jack shit? what if everyone finally knows that I'm a hollow shell masquerading as an architect?), etc. is what's common to us +40's. Then again, all that life experience means that you're just not that intimidated by many things anymore. As for me, passing all the exams - when I got the little piece of paper from the state saying "architect", it was as if I'd passed thru this imaginary mind-forged portal that I'd constructed a long time ago. It's an extremely satisfying feeling that many of you already know, or will get to know. To those embarking on their quest, I say to keep plugging away - you know more than you think you do, so just put in the couch time and get it done.

I will say that it's a strange sort of accomplishment when you finally get it at what some might consider an overly ripe age for such things. I'm still a bit leery about the whole thing, as if to avoid the whole conversation "what took you so long"? Quite an unconventional story arc, of which you are most familiar.....which places you all in a unique fellowship. I'm sure I'll get over that, but still, it lingers. My wife threw a party for me upon finishing, invited all my close friends who nudged me forward over the years to get going, and it was wonderful - I felt like they were really sharing in finishing the long road along with me, for they truly were. It's nice to know friends are there to share in your f'ed up accomplishment, and hoist a brew in your direction. I only hope that you all have had similar occurrences.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby roaaia » Fri May 29, 2015 7:35 am

never give up.jpg
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby robinkw » Tue Jun 16, 2015 11:16 am

Well I will jump into this crowd as well, as possibly the oldest among you (over 50! gasp). In returning after a 20-year hiatus to finish graduate school I was older than most (but not all) of the students as well as most of the professors. And yup, learned to draft by hand many years ago... which serendipitously was the reason for winning a portfolio prize at school. The judges were just so happy to see something done the old-fashioned-ey way, on actual paper, rendered by hand.

And in those 50+ years, having lived a pretty full life already, and now with children raised and off at university, want to make the most of the next 50 years. I agree with the comment above that studying for these exams is developing knowledge and skills we'll need in the field anyway. ok maybe not the dopey NCARB software itself, but all the other information. Have passed four exams on the first go so far; will take BCDS in a week, followed by SS and CDs shortly. We'll see if age becomes an issue/limitation when I am sitting on the boards [do they still even call it that?] next to other interns half my age, but so far it hasn't. For anyone older or younger, clarity of our larger purpose here will go a long way...
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby roaaia » Tue Jun 16, 2015 12:01 pm

Welcome Robinkw!
Yes 50+ is crazy. I've always thought I was the oldest and I may be. I'll be hitting 60 this summer myself. I'm attending workshops now and there are a few rare others close to my age but I def look the oldest. Now if I can just get through my first exam. I went to the Center for my first exam on June 4 and found out the power was out. They rescheduled me for July 28. It seems like forever.
Good luck and thanks for sharing.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby jthulan » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:10 am

roaaia wrote:Welcome Robinkw!
Yes 50+ is crazy. I've always thought I was the oldest and I may be. I'll be hitting 60 this summer myself. I'm attending workshops now and there are a few rare others close to my age but I def look the oldest. Now if I can just get through my first exam. I went to the Center for my first exam on June 4 and found out the power was out. They rescheduled me for July 28. It seems like forever.
Good luck and thanks for sharing.
Roaaia

Glad to see I'm not the only one on the north end of this particular age spectrum. Good luck on your first exam. I think that is the day I am scheduled to take my (hopefully) last exam.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby roaaia » Thu Jun 18, 2015 8:38 am

Good luck on your first exam.


I have since booked July 8 SD. Good luck on yours! Which one is it?
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby jthulan » Fri Jun 19, 2015 10:09 am

SS is my last exam.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby roaaia » Fri Jun 19, 2015 6:38 pm

Keep us posted!
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby iDefy » Sat Jun 20, 2015 8:32 am

Thanks for this post jokermtb. It lifted my spirits today when I really needed that. Back to preparing my second last exam BS. I have been preparing with Mike Ermann and everything else on the planet but I am so afraid of failing this one as I have already failed it twice after the blackout. Which means that if I fail this time, I'll be locked until the 1 year mark from my first BS exam. I shouldn't have failed the one in May, but I did. I have never felt as defeated in my life.
Yesterday, I forced myself to take an exam date on July 14, as I know that delaying it won't make the preparation any easier.

jokermtb wrote:johnny rotten pil? anger is an energy ^^^?

Yes, procrastination, life getting in the way, and plain ol' fear of failure (what if I don't know jack shit? what if everyone finally knows that I'm a hollow shell masquerading as an architect?), etc. is what's common to us +40's. Then again, all that life experience means that you're just not that intimidated by many things anymore. As for me, passing all the exams - when I got the little piece of paper from the state saying "architect", it was as if I'd passed thru this imaginary mind-forged portal that I'd constructed a long time ago. It's an extremely satisfying feeling that many of you already know, or will get to know. To those embarking on their quest, I say to keep plugging away - you know more than you think you do, so just put in the couch time and get it done.

I will say that it's a strange sort of accomplishment when you finally get it at what some might consider an overly ripe age for such things. I'm still a bit leery about the whole thing, as if to avoid the whole conversation "what took you so long"? Quite an unconventional story arc, of which you are most familiar.....which places you all in a unique fellowship. I'm sure I'll get over that, but still, it lingers. My wife threw a party for me upon finishing, invited all my close friends who nudged me forward over the years to get going, and it was wonderful - I felt like they were really sharing in finishing the long road along with me, for they truly were. It's nice to know friends are there to share in your f'ed up accomplishment, and hoist a brew in your direction. I only hope that you all have had similar occurrences.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby roaaia » Thu Jun 25, 2015 11:23 am

I went to a workshop last weekend and I think there was a woman there who was older than me...I didn't get to talk with her but will try at the next workshop. Many of the attendees look like they are 30 or younger.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby vtmtbkr » Mon Sep 14, 2015 11:51 am

PASSED! at 40.5 years old

I thought about the most appropriate place to post this...and 40+ seemed to be it. So I graduated in 1998 and have been employed in traditional architecture firms for the past 17 years. I finished all the paperwork for IDP in 2006 and got my authorization to test, started studying and was within weeks of scheduling my first test, but then soon after met my husband, got married and had 2 kids(now 2 and 5).

I have been an unlicensed project architect since 2003, taking the lead role for construction documentation/coordination/and construction administration. I just didn't see the need for the license, I didn't need the money that was offered after licensure and was happy with my position and responsibility.

So what changed after 16 years to get me licensed??? A position with an old colleague that allowed me to have more flexible hours, working from home options, and a 10 minute commute. To me, I had found what I was looking for as a working mom, the only stipulation with my new position was I had to get my license within 18 months of being hired. So I finally had to do it and had substantial enough reason for getting it done. So maybe I didn't have the drive when I was in my 20s/ early 30s, and maybe I'm not the person now that wants to be a lead designer and I'm ok with that, but I can put a building together and find it's constructability flaws on paper and in the field. So now I'm a mom first and an architect second and I'm perfectly ok with that. So that's my back-story.

It took me just over a year to take and pass all seven sections. Fortunately, our firm had a workload lull that allowed me to study in the office most of the time. I passed the first 6 sections with about 2 weeks of studying each...then came structures. It had been too long since college to remember any of that and real world experience with structural coordination didn't make up for any of it. So I failed...twice. Had it not been for Thaddeus I would have never passed.
Here is my order and dates
CDs - 8/8/14
PPP - 8/20/14
SD - 9/8/14
SPD - 10/7/14
BS - 2/13/15
BD - 3/8/15
SS - 3/24/15 FAIL
SS - 6/30/15 FAIL
SS - 9/1/15 PASS!!!

It feels good to have it behind me, but does it really change anything in my current job aside from more respect from clients and peers....not really.

Thanks COACH for this forum and all the help it gives! It's priceless!
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby gumption » Mon Sep 14, 2015 1:14 pm

Great story,vtmtbkr... thanks for sharing. My goal was to finish my exams before turning 40 this February and I passed my last one last week. Took me four years total, with several failures in the beginning. But I plowed through and conquered the last six within the past nine months.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby rifkamattman » Mon Sep 14, 2015 2:07 pm

congratulations vtmtbkr! I knew that your SS fails were just a temporary setback. welcome to the club. so glad that all of my AREcoach study partners are done or almost done with this thing! I miss you all though.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby vtmtbkr » Tue Sep 15, 2015 4:39 am

Thanks rifkamattman and gumption, it does feel good to be done and able to give or throw all my study material away!
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby roaaia » Tue Sep 15, 2015 10:11 am

vtmtbkr wrote:Thanks rifkamattman and gumption, it does feel good to be done and able to give or throw all my study material away!


What are you giving or throwing away?
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby how0425 » Sun Sep 27, 2015 7:25 am

Another 40.5 here. Just received my last pass. 7 for 7 in 10 months. English is my second language, a five-year-old boy, not so forgiving wife and a demanding full time job. I started late because of my foreign degree and had to go through Arizona. I kept pushing it off thinking its nothing more than a "credential" since I would never be able to stamp drawings in my home Stae, then kid, immigration issue, near divorce and great recession all got in the way. I decided to pick it up again because my AZ application was about to be closed and in the mean time it started to feel strange when I wasn't able to call myself project architect when younger staff architects on my team are licensed.
As others had mentioned, the biggest challenge I found associated with age is not being able to focus both during the study and in life. I had all kinds of thoughts going through my mind even when I got big chucks of time on weekends and constantly reached out to my phone or switched to other apps if I was reading my ipad. Real world experience on the other hand did help me a lot on some of the MC questions. I found that I was more efficient with short, intense study one week before the exams to combat both distractions and memory loss.
The unintended consequences I found after finishing the exams in a few short days is I don't get some quiet moments by myself (to study) anymore and started arguing with my wife more often, but even that is better than going through ARE! Good luck to everyone and you can do it because don't forget that you are seasoned professionals and you deserve to be called architect!
Last edited by how0425 on Mon Sep 28, 2015 5:59 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby roaaia » Sun Sep 27, 2015 10:15 am

how0425 wrote:Another 40.5 here. Just received my last pass. 7 for 7 in 10 months.
Good luck to everyone and you can do it because don't forget that you are seasoned professionals and you deserve to be called architect!


Congratulations how0425!
I have started very late and I am not giving up, I am 60. I hope to take all no later than 2016. I have passed SD so far. Life and health do get in the way, memory for me is a big issue.
I hope the best for you in your professional career!
PS your English is very good.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby Candidat1 » Tue Oct 06, 2015 10:32 am

I am almost 50, and losing my exams one by one because of the rolling clock. But I was just reading about the transition to ARE 5.0, and decided I'll use the new format as an incentive for a new chapter. Motivation is the biggest hurdle to conquer. I have been working on my own for about 20 years, doing residential work, I have a partner that is licensed (and have a worthless European license) - i.e. I don't really need a license. But it will really bring closure to a life dedicated to architecture - and to show my kids I am not giving up. Great thread! Inspiring! Thank you, Coach!
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby Stuart01 » Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:38 pm

I started under 3.1 when I was 29. Passed 6 out of 9, went through the 4.0 transition, and eventually lost all six due to the rolling clock. Then several life events, moves, countries, and a few children later I received my last PASS on my 43rd birthday! That was almost two weeks ago, and I'm still celebrating! And I plan on doing so straight into 2016!!!

For the last three exams (BDCS, SP, BS) I changed how I studied. I took and passed them all over the course of 14 months. In addition to the regular study materials, I read (ARE Secrets, Google, blogs, etc.) about how to be a better test taker and that made all the difference. On a daily basis, I read as many posts on here and the ARE 4.0 Google Community as possible. And I analyzed and critiqued as many vignettes as possible to make sure I didn't make any fatal errors on exam day. Probably two of the most critical pieces of advice I came across were: 1. Don't study the day before the exam. Give your brain a break. This was so helpful because before, I was literally looking over material up until I walked into the test center. Taking the day off from studying before the exam allowed me to be more relaxed. 2. Try to answer the questions without looking at the answers. Most of the time, you will come up with an answer close to the correct one. But by looking at the answers first, you dilute your thinking.

Bottom line, if this is important to you, and obviously it is, don't give up! Don't ever give up.

Stu,
:ugeek:
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby dpatriota » Sat Dec 19, 2015 11:19 am

Thanks for this message. I feel the same as you did...it was like me writing...
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby gtehan » Mon May 23, 2016 11:17 am

50...taking my last (hopefully) exam on June 1st...passed all but BDCS on the 1st try.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby artb4house » Sun Jun 12, 2016 5:40 am

I passed my final ARE exam in April, 2010.
It took me 6 years to pass them all - I started with version 3.1 then the rolling clock and 4.0.
My final exam was SS - the combined version! Working with a study group, studying over the course of 2 1/2 months, I and every other person in the group all passed on our first try! Quite a triumph! I was 62 then.
I STRONGLY recommend omega3 fish oil capsules as they support the brain's memory functions. I know from personal experience!
Good luck - you can do it!
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby iDefy » Sun Jun 12, 2016 7:33 am

Hi guys, I passed all a few weeks ago and I am 43. Thanks a lot for this thread, I literally hung on to it. Here is the ordeal
viewtopic.php?f=3&t=41966
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby patarch » Mon Aug 01, 2016 11:03 am

I just took my final exam (BDCS) two days after I took my SS exam and passed both...ONE DAY BEFORE MY ROLLING CLOCK EXPIRES!!!
Finally licensed. I hand it to work experience, and of course God's grace :)

Finished M.Arch at 30.
I'm 40.

Keep it going!!!
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby AVITWeb » Sun Aug 07, 2016 8:56 am

I'm 44 and I have now passed PPP, CDS, and SPD since February. Honestly, it seems I am a little better at it now than I used to be apparently because even on my first failed SPD I only failed the site design vignette. I am absolutely certain that work experience has helped with this tremendously. Now it's on to the hard ones. I don't think a transition is in my future for a couple of reasons (timeframe, I really don't think NCARB will get it 100% right in November, and, quite frankly, I don't want to wait).
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby gimo » Fri Aug 12, 2016 5:10 am

Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories and showing that lifelong learning has many forms, it stops and starts without regard for time, and only moves forward equal with the effort expended.
At 56, I just passed my seventh exam and could not feel better because of the sense of " going the distance " as Rocky said and not knowing what doors will open with that credential. I do intend to rebrand my Design-Build company and communicate the title "Architect" wherever possible.
Bravo to those who have completed the exams at any age, and to those in the midst of testing, keep moving forward and embrace the journey.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby Sarcasmo » Fri Aug 19, 2016 9:42 am

gimo wrote:Thanks to everyone for sharing their stories and showing that lifelong learning has many forms, it stops and starts without regard for time, and only moves forward equal with the effort expended.
At 56, I just passed my seventh exam and could not feel better because of the sense of " going the distance " as Rocky said and not knowing what doors will open with that credential. I do intend to rebrand my Design-Build company and communicate the title "Architect" wherever possible.
Bravo to those who have completed the exams at any age, and to those in the midst of testing, keep moving forward and embrace the journey.



Hey, congrats Gimo -- great story.
I'm just beginning -- going to go the 5.0 route at an advanced age!
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby jthulan » Wed Aug 24, 2016 8:32 am

roaaia wrote:Keep us posted!

I finally passed the last one! Everyone, keep up the faith. I honestly believe that someone more mature will have the fortitude and determination to continue the process. Yes, we all have things that get in the way (kids, work, life, procrastination....) but just keep pushing thru. I started back in 3.1 and did not pass bld tech. So when they split that one up into the revised 4.0 system, I was forced to start all over again with then all. If it would have happened to me when I was younger, I might not have had the patience to persevere through 19 exams.

Fellow Archigeezers out there, keep your chin up and your nose to the grind stone!
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby tds1spydog » Mon Sep 26, 2016 10:52 am

Thanks for all of the great stories, support and advice!

I'm almost 50. I got into architecture later, currently logging around 12 years. There were many moves from office to office and state to state as a result of the Great Recession. The longest I've worked at one place was 6 years, a mom and pop, multi-discipline that was owned by the same family for over 40 years, kids and then grand kids taking over the management. I was told outright, at the height of the recession that I didn't need and shouldn't get a license there as 2 of the older sibling/owners were licensed and their son was soon to be.
I left, moved on and after finding a larger, stable corporate environment I was met with support and actual mentoring/nurture.
Since January 2016, I have passed 5 exams(previously passing one on in 2015). I take what is hopefully my last on 10/3/2016. It wasn't so much the support of this new firm(which is incredible!) but the personal need to fulfill my path. The new environment. I believe, gave me the confidence and encouraged my esteem in ways the mom and pop couldn't/wouldn't. They were happy to mushroom me at my cube.
Once I got the determination, I've let nothing stop me. My wife is supportive. My friends bug me to get together but I've been laser focused.It is paying off in so many ways.
Keep on and don't let any punks tell you otherwise!
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby tds1spydog » Wed Oct 19, 2016 7:47 am

Notice just came in that I passed SD on 10/3, my last test. Officially done with this exam and grateful! All I can say to anyone in this- stay focused. Once I focused and didn't allow for interference is when I finally beat his thing. Just know you can do it and don't get intimidated! I failed some but was persistent. Remember, "direct action gets the goods"!
Best of luck to all who are testing or thinking of testing -
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby Sarcasmo » Tue Mar 07, 2017 3:48 pm

Well, I wasn't lying -- I've taken on ARE 5.0... C&E was last week, PjM in about three weeks.
Age is just a number. A big, big number...
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby iDefy » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:06 pm

Sarcasmo wrote:Well, I wasn't lying -- I've taken on ARE 5.0... C&E was last week, PjM in about three weeks.
Age is just a number. A big, big number...


Way to go Sarcasmo!!!
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby Scarlett » Tue Mar 07, 2017 4:31 pm

I'm so happy this thread I started 4 years ago has gotten so many replies and got so many to contribute their inspiring stories. I'm embarassed to say I still have one exam left SS and pushing 44. I took it for the first time a year ago, failed, and got discouraged. I lost 6 passed exams with transition to 4.0, but picked myself over and started over by passing 6 more in 4.0 with only SS to go. I'm tired of taking them.

I also was in workplaces where being licensed was never required or strongly encouraged, as I was also told there would be no increase in pay, no room for associates/partners, license was just a piece of paper, etc. I regret pushing it to the backburner as long as I did. I was so naive. With age comes more and more responsibilities, caring for children, caring for parents, more responsibility at work, weekends become working on the house/yard/driving children around...etc. I long for the nights I had me time to study without interruption. The older I've gotten the harder it is to carve out that dedicated 2 hours/day.

Thank you all for your inspiring stories. I'm catching up on the thread. Just the motivation I need to get back on the horse and knock my last one out.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby iDefy » Tue Mar 07, 2017 5:50 pm

Scarlett, I am also 44. It was a surreal experience passing all these last year. SS was my biggest nightmare until I realized what BS was like. You are already through BS so I am extremely hopeful that you'll be done soon. Please contact me if you get time. I really want to help you get through this. This thread that you started was (and is) such a support in general.
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Re: Passing or testing over 40?

Postby PEARLDRUMS » Wed Mar 08, 2017 7:12 am

Hey Everyone... I just turned 50 and passed SS 2 weeks ago. I only have BDCS... and then I am finally finished and can start all the "fun stuff" I have been putting off because of these exam.
If I can pass anyone can pass. Just keep pushing.

Good Luck Everyone!!!!
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