Architect Exam

“Should I become a registered architect?”

In each state and territory of Australia, it is a legal requirement that any person using the title ‘architect’ or offering services to the public as an architect, must be registered with the Architects’ Board in that jurisdiction
— Architects Accreditation Council of Australia
Pictured: Kiril Petrov (left) and Patrick Smardon (right)

Pictured: Kiril Petrov (left) and Patrick Smardon (right)

While there are many benefits and career opportunities when progressing from a graduate of architecture to a registered architect, frequent tales of a frightful process that is both long and tedious can be enough to make any graduate think twice.

So to find out what it is really like, we sat down with two of our newest registered architects, Patrick Smardon and Kiril Petrov to find out about their experiences through the process.

Q: What motivated you to take become a registered architect?

Patrick: “It was about finishing what I started when I began architecture at university. Becoming a graduate of architecture did not feel like I had fully achieved what I began, but now becoming registered does have that feeling of completion.”

Kiril: “The biggest motivator was the support Guymer Bailey Architects provided and the Practicing Architecture (PARC) course I attended. This really helped me get through.”

Q: Is the exam process as intensive as they make out?

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Patrick: The exam is serious, but those of us from the office that undertook it participated in a night course to prepare for it. Having done the preparation, the exam is not as bad as it is made out to be.

Kiril: “There is a lot to read and absorb in a relatively short time. I think this can be very difficult if you have not experienced things first hand. I have been putting the registration off for a while until I felt I have the right kind of experience.”

Q: What do you think are the greatest benefits of being a registered architect?

Patrick: “The pay rise...no…well yes that’s great, but being registered was that next step in my growth for the past two years. Now that I have reached that target I can pick a new target so that I can continue to grow and develop.”

Kiril: “It’s the natural progression and final step to be able to use the title Architect and not have ‘graduate’ next your name anymore.”

Q: What was the most challenging part of the registration process?

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Patrick: “Many people say the interview, but well, mine was mostly talking about myself, and I have no issue talking about myself! I think the most difficult part was waiting for the results. They really know how to make you wait.”

Kiril: ”This will likely differ from person to person. Some find the actual paper quite difficult, while others find the interview very daunting. The written exam was particularly difficult this year. For me, the interview went pretty well.”

Q: What advice would you give those who are contemplating whether or not they want to become a registered architect?

Patrick: “First, do it; and second, undertake a preparation course. I undertook the Practicing Architecture (PARC) course. They do a fantastic job not only preparing you for the exam but preparing you to become a confident architect in day-to-day work life.”

Kiril: “It is vital to be exposed to a variety of projects, contract types and have the opportunity to be involved with a project from conception right to completion of defects. Only then you appreciate the theory and things start to click in terms of real practice.”