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The Landscape Architect

Registration Examination

A Step by Step Guide

Part 1 – Understanding the L.A.R.E.

September 2008
Attention L.A.R.E. exam candidates:

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step-by-step guide, please take a moment
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Table of Contents
Step One – Applying ................................................................................ 1
When to Apply for the Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.) .... 1
How to Apply for the L.A.R.E. ................................................................. 2
Tools to Help You Apply ........................................................................ 3
Step Two - Preparing for the L.A.R.E. .......................................................... 5
Identifying Your Strengths and Weaknesses ................................................. 5
Non-sponsored Preparation and Review Courses ........................................... 5
Understanding the Content of the L.A.R.E. ................................................. 6
Format .......................................................................................... 6
Using the Content Guide..................................................................... 6
Section A - Project and Construction Administration (70 Items) - Multiple-choice
Section ............................................................................................ 7
Communication (20%) ........................................................................ 7
Standards of Practice (23%) ................................................................. 7
Contract Administration (17%).............................................................. 7
Construction Evaluation (20%) .............................................................. 7
Construction Practices (20%)................................................................ 7
Section B - Inventory, Analysis and Program Development (90 items) - Multiple-
choice Section.................................................................................... 8
Problem Definition (11%) .................................................................... 8
Inventory (29%)................................................................................ 8
Analysis (36%).................................................................................. 8
Programming (24%) ........................................................................... 8
Section C - Site Design (4 Vignette Problems) - Graphic Section ........................ 9
Competencies Tested ........................................................................ 9
Section D - Design and Construction Documentation (120 items) - Multiple-choice
Section ........................................................................................... 10
Design Principles (16%)...................................................................... 10
Resource Conservation and Management (18%) ......................................... 10
Graphic Communication (8%) .............................................................. 10
Construction Documentation (20%) ....................................................... 10
Materials and Methods of Construction (38%) ........................................... 11
Section E - Grading, Drainage and Stormwater Management (4 Vignette Problems) -
Graphic Section ................................................................................. 11
Competencies Tested ....................................................................... 11
Step Three - Taking the L.A.R.E. ............................................................... 12
Introduction ..................................................................................... 12
Multiple-choice Sections ...................................................................... 13
Example 1: .................................................................................... 13
What Materials Will I Need to Bring to the Exam?......................................... 13
Multiple-choice Sections (A, B and D): ...................................................... 13
Required:...................................................................................... 13
Provided: ...................................................................................... 14
Prohibited: .................................................................................... 14
Special Accommodations ................................................................... 14
Frequently Asked Questions About the Exam Procedure................................. 14
Graphic Sections ................................................................................ 15
Problem Statement - Explicit vs. Implicit Instructions ................................ 15
What is Expected? ........................................................................... 16
Completing the Sample Vignette Problems.............................................. 17
Pre-exam Orientation Information ........................................................ 18
The L.A.R.E. Reference Manual ........................................................... 18
What Materials Will I Need to Bring to the Exam?......................................... 18
Graphic Sections (C and E): ................................................................... 18
Required:...................................................................................... 18
Recommended:............................................................................... 18
Prohibited: .................................................................................... 19
Frequently Asked Questions About the Exam Procedure................................. 20
The L.A.R.E. in Metric and Imperial ...................................................... 21
Sample exam item with Canadian reference and Metric conversions: .............. 21
Step Four - After you have taken the L.A.R.E. ............................................... 22
Receiving Your L.A.R.E. Scores............................................................... 22
Multiple-choice Sections (A, B and D): ................................................... 22
Graphic Sections (C and E): ................................................................ 22
Preliminary Scores Available On-line ..................................................... 22
Interpreting Your L.A.R.E. Scores............................................................ 23
Section A – Project and Construction Administration .................................. 23
Section B – Inventory, Analysis and Program Development ........................... 23
Section C – Site Design ...................................................................... 23
Section D – Design and Construction Documentation .................................. 23
Section E – Grading, Drainage and Stormwater Management......................... 24
Review Options Available ..................................................................... 25
Standard Review ............................................................................. 25
Red-line Review .............................................................................. 25
Review Process ............................................................................... 26
Step Five – Getting Your License................................................................ 27
Having Your Exam Scores Transmitted ...................................................... 27
Transmitting your Multiple-choice Scores ............................................... 27
Transmitting with a Council Record ...................................................... 27
Transmitting without a Council Record .................................................. 27
Transmitting your Graphic Scores ......................................................... 28
Transmitting with a Council Record ...................................................... 28
Transmitting without a Council Record .................................................. 28
Appendix 1 - How the L.A.R.E. is Prepared ................................................... 29
Task Analysis Studies of the Profession .................................................. 29
L.A.R.E. Committees ........................................................................ 29
Preparing the Multiple-choice Sections .................................................. 29
Preparing the Graphic Sections............................................................ 30
Evaluation of the L.A.R.E................................................................... 30
Establishing the Raw Score for the Multiple-choice Sections ......................... 30
Scoring the Graphic Solutions.............................................................. 31
An Inside Look at the Grading Session.................................................... 33
The Graphic Grading Process .............................................................. 34
Appendix 2 - Reference Materials for the L.A.R.E. .......................................... 35
The following is a reference material list that has been prepared by the CLARB
Examination Committee. ................................................................... 35
Section A — Project and Construction Administration ................................. 35
Section B — Inventory, Analysis and Program Development .......................... 36
Section C — Site Design ..................................................................... 37
Section D — Design and Construction Documentation ................................. 37
Section E — Grading, Drainage and Stormwater Management........................ 38
Appendix 3 - L.A.R.E. Rules of Conduct ....................................................... 39
Further Examples of Exam Impropriety .................................................. 39
Appendix 4 – The True Cost of the L.A.R.E. .................................................. 41
(Continued from page 2):................................................................... 41
What Does it Take to Produce a Licensure Exam? ...................................... 41
The Total Cost................................................................................ 42
The Cost Per Candidate..................................................................... 42
Is the L.A.R.E. Worth the Cost?............................................................ 43
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Step One – Applying


When to Apply for the Landscape Architect Registration
Examination (L.A.R.E.)
Licensure of landscape architects is career. Requirements are written in terms
controlled by state or provincial government, of duration of experience, but there are
so each registration board establishes the many other variables that will have major
minimum amount of education and work influence on a candidate’s preparedness.
experience required to sit for the L.A.R.E. The quality of the work experience, the
for that jurisdiction. Unfortunately, these diversity of the experience, the natural
standards vary considerably. Some ability of the candidate, the qualifications of
jurisdictions will allow candidates to sit for the supervisor and the extent to which a
the examination upon completion of an candidate continues his or her educational
accredited degree in landscape process outside the office will all affect
architecture, while others require a degree whether and how quickly an individual
and experience under the supervision of a acquires the knowledge, skill and ability
licensed landscape architect. In most required to successfully complete the
jurisdictions, the multiple-choice sections (A, licensure exam. More experience does not
B and D) can be taken upon completion of necessarily mean better preparation. If a
an accredited degree in landscape work setting does not provide exposure to a
architecture and the graphic sections (C and required skill area, the individual may never
E) typically require you to have additional acquire the needed skill, regardless of the
work experience. Obviously, it is important amount of time spent in that work setting.
to determine what the minimum
requirements are in the jurisdiction in which Exam statistics indicate that different
you wish to sit for the exam. The following amounts of experience are required for
link on the CLARB website: different sections of the test. Generally
http://www.clarb.org/documents/BDroster.pdf speaking, the sections that are primarily
will direct you to links to the state/provincial knowledge-based (i.e., Sections A, B and D)
registration boards so you may verify their require less experience than the sections
requirements. that are primarily skill-based (i.e., Sections
C and E.)
Many candidates assume that if they are
admitted to the L.A.R.E., they have enough So, when should you apply for the L.A.R.E.?
education and work experience to pass the Whenever you meet CLARB’s or your
test. This is not necessarily true. board’s minimum standards and you believe
Candidates may satisfy a boards’ minimum that your education and experience have
requirements to sit for the exam, but this provided you with the knowledge, skills and
does not mean that all candidates will have abilities covered in each section of the
acquired all of the knowledge and skill L.A.R.E. You may want to take those
needed to pass the test by this time in their sections for which you feel most prepared

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

first, waiting to take the others until you costly and less frustrating to use other
acquire sufficient experience in those areas. sources of information (such as CLARB
sponsored study materials) for education
The L.A.R.E. is not designed to be a and feedback. More importantly, you need
learning experience, so taking the test to to determine objectively when you are truly
see what it is like or to determine your prepared to take the test.
strengths and weaknesses is not
recommended. You will find that it is less

How to Apply for the L.A.R.E.


The multiple-choice sections of the L.A.R.E. When you apply for the L.A.R.E. through
(A, B and D) are given on computer in your local registration board, you will be
March and September. You must register required to verify your education and
for the multiple-choice sections of the exam experience history. School transcripts,
on the CLARB website. It is strongly employment verifications (from each firm
recommended to check the jurisdiction where you have been employed) and
where you wish to receive initial licensure to references from other landscape architects
see if there are any special requirements are usually required. It is also required that
you must meet before taking the L.A.R.E. all verifications must come directly from the
reference source.
The graphic sections of the L.A.R.E. (C and
E) are given simultaneously in CLARB test There are fees associated with the process,
centers and in board-established test such as application and administration fees.
centers throughout North America in June Since fees vary, you may want to compare
and December. You can apply for the exam all the associated costs of all your options
through CLARB for certain jurisdictions (see so you can make an informed decision
the CLARB website for additional about where to apply and take the exam.
information) and through your local
landscape architectural registration board.
You are encouraged to apply to take the
L.A.R.E. as early as possible as deadlines
vary.

The True Cost of the L.A.R.E.


Students today are exposed to a variety of standardized examinations
throughout their academic career. Most of these tests are administered as a
part of the educational process with the cost paid by the school. Other tests,
such as the SAT, have a fairly modest fee to the student. It is quite
understandable, therefore, that licensure candidates are often surprised at the
cost of licensure exams like the L.A.R.E. The difference in price has to do
with significant differences in the exams themselves and in the population of
candidates taking the exam.

(Go to Appendix 4 to see more on the true cost of the L.A.R.E.)

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Tools to Help You Apply


CLARB’s Council Record can help you http://www.clarb.org/documents/BDroster.pdf
throughout the examination process (see will direct you to links to the state/provincial
inset). Most states/provinces will accept the registration boards so you may verify their
Council Record as the application for the requirements and acceptance of the Council
L.A.R.E. The following link on the CLARB Record for application.
website:

The Benefits of the CLARB Council Record and Certification

In order to sit for the L.A.R.E., you must first provide documented evidence
that you have met the education and experience requirements. This evidence
consists of college transcripts, verification from previous and current
employers and references from licensed landscape architects. Once this
documentation is compiled, it is reviewed against the standards in effect in the
jurisdiction for which you wish to take the L.A.R.E.

The best way to apply for the L.A.R.E. and licensure is to complete CLARB’s
on-line application at www.clarb.org. This is a fast and interactive way to
create a permanent, documented history of your professional development. A
CLARB Council Record contains verified documentation of the education,
work experience, examination history and professional references of a
landscape architect. It provides a single, permanent location for all of the
information required to apply for the exam, and initial or reciprocal registration.
So why should you apply for a CLARB Council Record on-line at
www.clarb.org?

Convenience – Completing the on-line application not only saves time, but
allows you to review your application and determine what portions need to be
finished at a later date.

Flexibility – You can elect to take the exam in board-established test centers
or in CLARB test centers across the United States and Canada.

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Efficiency – The Council Record eliminates the redundancy of verifying


credentials for each jurisdiction in which licensure is desired. Verified copies
of your record are transmitted to registration boards quickly and easily. Some
boards already require the Council Record for reciprocal registration or to sit
for the registration exam.

Security – The Council Record protects against loss of records and the
inability to secure the necessary verifications for application for licensure if, for
example, a previous employer goes out of business. Once established, an
annual renewal fee and update keeps your Council Record current and in an
active status.

Confidentiality – The contents of a Council Record are strictly confidential.


The information contained in the Council Record may only be disclosed to
registration boards as you direct.

Recognition – A Council Record is an excellent way to show prospective


employers that you are committed to your professional development.

Support of Reciprocity – The Council Record helps facilitate and maintain a


uniform reciprocity system. Council Record fees support CLARB’s
committees and activities as we continue to work toward uniform licensure
standards for landscape architects in every jurisdiction.

Special Discounts – Council Record holders enjoy special discounts on the


exam registration. You will also receive updates on important licensure issues
affecting landscape architects.

CLARB Certification – After licensure and upon meeting the standards for
certification, your credentials and commitment to professionalism can be
formally acknowledged. Not only will you receive a special certificate
commemorating your distinction, but you will also be enabled to use “CLARB
Certified Landscape Architect” logos on marketing materials. Certification also
carries CLARB’s recommendation of reciprocal registration in any member
jurisdiction without further national examination.

You can begin your on-line Council Record application at www.clarb.org.


Follow the “Start a Council Record” link.

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Step Two - Preparing for the L.A.R.E.


Identifying Your Strengths and Weaknesses
You may prepare for the L.A.R.E. in several through a combination of education and
ways: such as studying reference materials, experience. Once you have identified the
talking with other professionals, working on subject matter that you need to focus on,
sample problems, attending exam there are several sources that you can tap
preparation workshops, etc. Participation in for assistance. One of these sources is the
these activities should enable you to identify Reference Material List in Appendix 2. This
the areas in your knowledge you need to is a compilation of the resources that the
brush up on. Examination Committee believes would be
most helpful to candidates preparing for the
Reviewing the exam content later in this exam. Keep in mind that this list is not
chapter will help you identify your general intended to be so exhaustive as to
strengths and target areas for further study. encompass every aspect of the profession
For example, Section A – Project and covered by the exam.
Construction Administration will test your
knowledge of communication, standards of Your professional colleagues can also be an
practice, contract administration, invaluable resource for you in your
construction evaluation and construction preparation. Using the previous example of
practices. If you do not write construction writing construction contracts, if there is a
contracts at your office, for example, you colleague in your office who has experience
might determine that you need to find in that area, he or she might be able to give
information on this subject before taking this you insight into that process that you could
section of the examination. not get from reference materials.

The knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs)


tested in the examination are learned

Non-sponsored Preparation and Review Courses


A variety of organizations offer examination course to prepare for the L.A.R.E., you
prep courses or workshops on how to should ask for references, and check with
prepare for and complete the L.A.R.E. colleagues to verify the quality of
Although these courses vary widely, most information offered in that particular course.
will give you tips on how to study for the
exam and review strategies for completing
the performance problems.

CLARB does not offer prep courses for the


L.A.R.E. nor do individuals conducting these
courses seek endorsement or authorization
from CLARB. Before you enroll in a prep

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Understanding the Content of the L.A.R.E.


The Landscape Architect Registration matter found on these portions of the
Examination (L.A.R.E.) tests applicants for examination as well as the percentage of
the knowledge and skill that is required to items that will be included in that subsection
practice those aspects of landscape topic.
architecture that impact the health, safety
and welfare of the public. For additional information about the exam
including requirements to take the test, the
The exam is based on a scientific “Job application process and the scoring
Analysis” study conducted in 2005 in which process, please visit the CLARB web site at
6,000 practicing landscape architects from www.clarb.org. CLARB’s staff is also
across the United States and Canada were available to answer your questions via email
asked to rate a series of tasks, knowledge at info@clarb.org or by phone at 571/432-
areas and competencies needed to provide 0332.
landscape architectural services. Only
those tasks, knowledge areas and
competencies that were identified by these
practitioners as being important for the
protection of public health, safety and
welfare are included in the content of the
L.A.R.E.

Format

The L.A.R.E. consists of five (5) test


sections. Each section is independent of
the others. Sections A, B and D are
multiple-choice sections that are
administered on computer. Sections C and
E consist of 11”x17” vignette problems that
require a drafted solution. The number of
multiple-choice items or vignette problems
for each section is listed after the title for
each section of the L.A.R.E. in the Content
Guide.

Using the Content Guide

The content guide describes the material


that will be tested under each section of the
examination. For the multiple-choice
sections, subsection breakdowns indicate a
more detailed description of specific subject

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Section A - Project and Construction Administration


(70 Items) - Multiple-choice Section
Section A is a multiple-choice examination that will test your knowledge of construction
contracts and the administration of a project. The section is based on the findings in the Job
Analysis that landscape architects need to know how to coordinate and manage design teams.
They must understand construction contracts and the responsibilities of various parties under
such contracts, their responsibilities during construction observation and processes for
assessing and reviewing projects or plans after they are complete.

Communication (20%)

This subsection will assess your knowledge of communication methods and consensus and team
building techniques as it relates to coordinating and managing consultants and design team
members.

Standards of Practice (23%)

You will be required to show an understanding of the code of conduct for landscape architects and
standards of practice as it relates to administering a project. This subsection includes an
understanding of how to resolve ethical dilemmas and professional liability issues.

Contract Administration (17%)

This subsection will test your knowledge of construction contracts. This includes your knowledge of
construction law as it relates to the responsibilities of various parties under the construction contract.
You will also be tested on your knowledge of the landscape architect’s role in the design and bidding
processes.

Construction Evaluation (20%)

You will be tested on your understanding of the construction administration process including
techniques for construction observation, review of shop drawings, approvals or rejections of
materials and evaluation of the substantial completion of a project. You will also need to understand
the reasons for performing post occupancy evaluations as well as the sequencing of design,
approval, permitting and construction activities.

Construction Practices (20%)

The Construction Practices subsection tests your knowledge of the technical aspects of construction
administration. You will be expected to understand construction equipment and technologies, quality
control procedures for construction as well as sustainable construction practices.

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Section B - Inventory, Analysis and Program Development


(90 items) - Multiple-choice Section
Section B is a multiple-choice examination that will test for knowledge that is used in the pre-
design stages of a project. Landscape architects must know how to define a problem through
the understanding of the client’s intentions and needs, determine project user values through
focus groups and surveys and define the project goals and objectives. Landscape architects
are also required to understand how and where to gather information for a project and how to
analyze that information to make design decisions. They must understand how to analyze the
relationships of all of the project elements and formulate the project requirements.

Problem Definition (11%)

Problem Definition will test your knowledge of techniques to elicit client and user intentions and
needs. You will need to understand methods for determination of user values, such as focus
groups and surveys. You will also need to demonstrate your knowledge of a project’s
parameters such as the problem statement, goals, objectives, purpose, needs and outcomes.

Inventory (29%)

In the Inventory subsection, you will be required to demonstrate your knowledge of planning and
land use laws including zoning, development restrictions and design guidelines. You will need
to understand information such as accessibility regulations, natural features, cultural features,
characteristics of plant material, land information sources and the political and regulatory
approval processes.

Analysis (36%)

This subsection tests your knowledge of factors influencing selection of plant materials, human
factors influencing design, natural factors influencing design, patterns of land use and built form,
regional hazard design considerations and social and cultural influences on design. You will be
expected to understand research methods including interpretation, visual resource assessment
and components of site analysis documents.

Programming (24%)

The Programming subsection will test your knowledge of project requirements such as the
relationship and function of elements. You will need to understand how to develop preliminary
project budgets and schedules. You will be required to demonstrate your knowledge of the
process to define relationships among design elements by determining opportunities and
constraints, and the process to develop a design program based on users' needs and clients'
goals and resources. You will also need to show an understanding of how performance criteria
drives a project, such as program and/or project quality level, sustainability or requirements for
water quality.

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Section C - Site Design (4 Vignette Problems) - Graphic


Section
Section C is a graphic response section that will test your ability to produce and evaluate site
design solutions. Landscape architects are expected to develop site or land use plans that take
into consideration the off-site and on-site influences. Landscape architects must consider
various codes, consultant studies and principles of sustainability when creating a site design.
They should be able to evaluate the design solutions of others and possess the ability to create
alternative solutions to a problem.

You will be tested on your ability to develop design, planning and management solutions
considering on-site and off-site influences and convey the information through text and in
drawings. You will be required to incorporate consultant studies into your design and predict the
implications of your design, planning and management proposals on the natural and cultural
systems both within the site and in the larger context. You must be able to evaluate design
alternatives to determine the appropriate solution and create design alternatives to demonstrate
the range of options. You will also be expected to incorporate the design of circulation systems
into your design solutions.

Competencies Tested:
Evaluate design alternatives to determine the appropriate solution
Design circulation systems
Create design alternatives to demonstrate the range of options
Develop conceptual design, planning and management solutions considering on-site and
off-site influences
Predict implications of design, planning and management proposals on natural and cultural
systems both within the site and in the larger context
Synthesize and make connections between aspects of landscape architecture and
disciplines outside of landscape architecture including consultant studies

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Section D - Design and Construction Documentation


(120 items) - Multiple-choice Section
Section D is a multiple-choice examination that tests your knowledge of the design and
construction process. Landscape architects must be able to refine the preferred solution to a
problem and prepare plans and contract documents to ensure the project can be built correctly.
A landscape architect must have knowledge of design principles, resource conservation,
graphic communication, construction documentation and materials and methods of construction
to ensure the project is completed in a safe manner.

Design Principles (16%)

This subsection will test your knowledge of design principles including aesthetic principles of
design, design theory, problem-solving strategies, planning principles, design principles for
safety, security and crime prevention, social responsibility in design and therapeutic aspects of
design. You will be required to understand planting design including the location of plant
material types to meet various requirements, such as strategies for security and crime
prevention.

Resource Conservation and Management (18%)

You will be required to demonstrate your knowledge of resource conservation and management
in this subsection. This includes conservation of natural resources, ecological planning
principles, environmental ethics, floodplain management and land and water reclamation
procedures. You will also need to show an understanding of the relationship between human
and natural systems such as water resource management, habitat restoration and creation,
urban ecology and sustainability.

Graphic Communication (8%)

This subsection will test your knowledge of the roles of visual communication, including
photographic and video documentation and graphic presentation techniques, systems and
symbols including when certain systems are appropriate.

Construction Documentation (20%)

The Construction Documentation subsection will test your knowledge of the administrative
procedures required throughout the construction process. You will be required to demonstrate
your knowledge of the general and supplemental conditions, special provisions and technical
specifications and their organization, including specification types and components for a project.
You must demonstrate an understanding of the construction process, including sequencing,
staging and construction technology. You must have knowledge of the various construction
documents such as layout plans, grading plans, drainage plans, demolition plans, erosion and

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

sediment control plans, planting plans and irrigation plans. You will also be required to produce
construction cost computations such as area calculations, volume, quantity and unit prices.

Materials and Methods of Construction (38%)

In the Materials and Methods of Construction subsection, you will be required to show your
understanding of various construction materials and how those materials are joined together. In
order to demonstrate your understanding, you will need to have knowledge of typical
construction details and site amenities, construction equipment and technologies, design needs
for special populations, elements of circulation systems and their design requirements, lighting
systems, noise attenuation and mitigation techniques, structural considerations and factors
influencing selection of site construction materials.

You will be tested on your knowledge of erosion and sedimentation control, irrigation systems,
biofiltration and other alternative drainage methods, grading, drainage and stormwater
treatment. You will also need to understand utility systems including the relationships of
different systems to each other and how to perform subsurface storm drain calculations and
determine pipe sizes.

Section E - Grading, Drainage and Stormwater


Management (4 Vignette Problems) - Graphic Section
Section E will test your ability to complete grading, drainage and stormwater management
plans. Landscape architects are required to manipulate landforms to convey runoff, meet
design requirements and minimize environmental impact. Landscape architects are also
expected to evaluate the impact of their decisions on existing off-site conditions and develop
strategies for water conservation and preservation of land resources.

You will be tested on your ability to develop grading and drainage plans considering on-site and
off-site influences and convey the information in drawings. You must be able to manipulate
contours to demonstrate your ability to convey water to meet design requirements while
protecting land and water resources. You will be expected to evaluate existing landforms and
drainage systems to locate program elements minimizing environmental or economic impacts.
You will also be required to think three-dimensionally to manipulate landforms to meet design
requirements.

Competencies Tested:
Synthesize and make connections between aspects of landscape architecture and
disciplines outside of landscape architecture including consultant studies
Design for protection and management of land resources (e.g., land forms, grading,
drainage, vegetation, habitat, erosion and sedimentation control)
Design for protection and management of water resources (e.g., storm water, water supply,
ground water)

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Step Three - Taking the L.A.R.E.


Introduction
The Landscape Architect Registration the profession of landscape architecture.
Examination (L.A.R.E.) is designed to These studies, known as “task analyses” or
determine whether applicants for landscape “job analyses,” identify the knowledge, skills
architectural licensure possess sufficient and abilities – commonly referred to as
knowledge, skills and abilities to provide KSAs – required of newly licensed
landscape architectural services without landscape architects in order to perform
endangering the health, safety and welfare landscape architectural services without
of the public. It is prepared and scored by endangering the health, safety and welfare
the Council of Landscape Architectural of the public. A task analysis study is
Registration Boards (CLARB) in accordance performed every five to seven years to
with all current standards for fairness and ensure that the content of the L.A.R.E.
quality of licensure exams. CLARB is a non- remains up-to-date with the current practice
profit association who’s members are the of the profession.
state and provincial registration boards that
regulate the profession of landscape We recommend checking the web site at
architecture in North America. www.clarb.org periodically to find out about
exam improvements, exam adjustments and
The graphic sections of the exam are new resources designed to assist
administered by state and provincial candidates for landscape architectural
registration boards or in CLARB testing licensure.
centers. The multiple-choice sections of the
exam are administered by CLARB using a
national system of computer testing centers.
While the requirements to sit for the exam
vary by jurisdiction, the exam, the
administration dates and procedures and
the passing standards are the same in
every jurisdiction.

The L.A.R.E. consists of five sections. Each


section receives a pass or fail score
independently from the other sections. All
five sections must be passed prior to
licensure.

Each section of the L.A.R.E. is designed to


test for minimum competency in a specific
subject area that is important to the health,
safety and welfare of the public. The design
of the test and the content of each section
are determined through scientific studies of

12
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Multiple-choice Sections
Sections A, B and D of the L.A.R.E. consist other questions. Come back to that
exclusively of multiple-choice type items or question later if you have the time.
questions. Each item addresses one of the
areas of knowledge described in the content After you have decided which of the
of the exam and is worth one point each. answers you feel is correct for a question,
There are two types of multiple-choice items click on the answer box using the mouse
used in the examination. The type most and move on to the next question. You will
widely used is the multiple-choice item with be able to go back to any unanswered
four answer choices. The second type of questions at the end of the test.
item may have up to nine answer choices.
The candidate chooses the answer choice
which best answers the question or
completes the statement.
What Materials Will I Need
to Bring to the Exam?
Example 1:

What is the maximum allowable slope for a Multiple-choice Sections (A, B


ramp?
and D):
A. 3:1
B. 4:1 Required:
C. 8:1
D. 12:1
You must present two forms of valid
The score for each of the multiple-choice identification when arriving at the testing
sections is determined by the number of center. At least one must be an Official ID
questions answered correctly. Points are with a photograph and the other may be a
not subtracted for an incorrect answer and Secondary ID. The name on the ID must
every question is weighted equally, so it is match the name under which you registered
advisable to try to answer every question. If for the exam.
you are not sure of the correct answer for a
question, but can eliminate one or more of Acceptable forms of Official ID with
the choices, your chance of getting the right photograph:
answer is improved. You should examine Driver's license
the answer choices given and select the Military ID card
answer that seems best to you. If Valid passport
necessary, you should guess. State ID card

Use your time effectively, working as rapidly Acceptable forms of Secondary ID:
as you can without losing accuracy. Do not Credit card
spend too much time on a question that is Check, ATM or Debit card
too difficult. Skip that question and go on to

13
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Provided: You may not bring cellular phones,


pagers, devices with a computer
memory chip or any device with an
A calculator will be provided on the
alphanumeric keyboard (e.g., a
computer or a hand held calculator will
language translation tool) to the test
be provided by the test center.
site.
The test proctor will provide a white
board to use as scratch paper.
Special Accommodations
Prohibited:
CLARB follows the standards set by the
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) for
No items including reference material,
reasonable accommodations for disabled
calculators, pencils, pens, paper,
candidates. Should you require special
drafting supplies, etc., will be allowed in
accommodations for a disability, please
the testing room.
contact CLARB as soon as possible to
No personal items (including purses,
ensure that the testing environment will
fanny packs, food items) will be allowed
meet your needs. Requests for special
in the testing room. Personal items
accommodations for a disability must be
must be left with the test proctor for test
made at least 60 days prior to the testing
security purposes, so please limit what
date.
you bring to the examination center.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Exam Procedure


Q. - Are there practice tests available?

A. - There will be a practice exam available


over the internet in the same format as the
L.A.R.E. multiple-choice sections. Check
the Prometric web site at
http://ibt1.prometric.com/index.asp?ibt=905
6512713& for purchasing the practice tests.

Q. - When should I arrive for the exam?

A. - Plan to arrive 30 minutes before the


scheduled appointment to allow time for
check-in procedures. Candidates who arrive
late will NOT be allowed to take the
examination.

Q. - When will I get my scores?

A. - Your scores will be posted on the


CLARB web site approximately 4 weeks
following the last day of testing.

14
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Graphic Sections
For each graphic response section of the important for you to review the L.A.R.E.
L.A.R.E., you will be asked to complete a Reference Manual so that you know where
set of vignette problems in a given period of to find information during the examination.
time. Each vignette problem is very It is not necessary to memorize these
straightforward and is intended as a sketch standards, but you must understand the
problem. Some vignette problems will take concepts given and when they must be
longer to complete than others; however, applied.
you will have about an hour to complete
each vignette. You will be responsible for The L.A.R.E. Reference Manual is available
budgeting your time to complete all of the on the CLARB web site at
vignettes in the given time period. http://www.clarb.org/pages/Exams_Prep.as
p?target=cs.
Each vignette includes a problem statement
that describes the context of the site and An updated version of the manual is made
specific requirements that you must address available approximately two months prior to
in your solution. The first thing to do is to the exam administration. You may print the
read the problem statement very carefully. It document from the web site and review it,
is extremely important for you to completely but you may not bring this copy with you to
understand the problem statement before the test site. A copy will be given to you at
attempting to create a solution. Your the beginning of the test administration by
solution must respond to all of the the proctor for use as a reference source.
requirements stated.
Problem Statement - Explicit vs.
The second source of information that you Implicit Instructions
must incorporate into your solution is the
L.A.R.E. Reference Manual. The L.A.R.E.
Reference Manual provides graphic There are two types of requirements in each
standards for portions of the exam as well vignette problem statement that you must
as zoning and construction standards that address in your solution. Explicit
must be followed when completing all of the requirements are those listed directly on the
vignette problems. This manual is similar to page, in bullet format, that you can highlight
a local zoning code that you would use and refer to as you complete your solution
when designing a project in an unfamiliar to the problem. Implicit requirements are
jurisdiction. Although the standards in the those unstated standards that a minimally
L.A.R.E. Reference Manual may differ from competent landscape architect is expected
your local codes, the exam is evaluated to satisfy. A minimally competent
based on the standards provided in this landscape architect is expected to provide a
manual. Most of the standards are taken solution that not only responds to the
directly from widely recognized codes and explicit instructions given on the problem
standards. All the codes have been statement, but also to factors such as
reviewed to ensure that they are similar to safety, efficiency and code regulations.
most U.S. and Canadian codes. It is

15
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

For example, even though you are not told What is expected of you when you sit down
in the problem statement to provide a safe to take the exam?
design, it is expected that a minimally
competent landscape architect would First and foremost, you must follow the
provide such a design. If a client were to instructions that are given in the problem
give you a project, that client would expect requirements. You should read through the
you to follow codes, provide a safe design problem statement, solve the problem and
and not waste money on an over-designed then go back and check to ensure that you
project. have done everything requested. There are
many times when you see problems fail
Similarly, it is expected that a minimally simply because the candidate failed to
competent landscape architect would apply complete everything required in the problem
the codes in the L.A.R.E. Reference statement.
Manual, even if the problem statement does
not specifically direct you there. You must use the L.A.R.E. Reference
Manual codes when solving the problems.
And some degree of efficiency is expected. It helps sometimes to complete a mini site
For example, you would not place 50 cubic analysis and ensure that you identify all the
yards of concrete in a detail that only codes that may apply. You can even add
requires five. Similarly, you would not place things to your drawings to make sure you
parking for a building on the opposite side of remember the codes. Draw the property
a major road, nor would you compromise setbacks if required. You can even place
the safety of a vehicle passenger by notes under the problem statement if that
designing parking that requires the vehicle helps you remember to incorporate all of the
to back into the major flow of traffic. codes.

It is necessary to satisfy the implicit You must not only follow what is written, but
requirements as well as the explicit ones you must also look to your education and
outlined in the problem statement for each training as a landscape architect to ensure
vignette. that your solution is safe.

Don’t embellish your drawing. This just


wastes time that you could be spending on
other problems and many times will get you
What is Expected? into trouble. Just do what is required. The
exam is testing you on the health, safety
and welfare aspects of practice, not on how
well you draw or on how aesthetically
What is Expected pleasing your design is.
• Follow the problem statement
• Use L.A.R.E. Reference Manual Use common sense. If you are doing a
codes circulation plan, drive through the site in
• Respond in a safe fashion your head. There are many times when you
• Do not embellish see a drive-through restaurant, for example,
• Respond with your training where the circulation is backwards and the
• Use common sense passenger would have to order and pick up
the food. Or where a catch basin rim was

16
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

set so high, that the water could not possibly get into the drain.
to change your solution to include some
Completing the Sample Vignette element you forgot.
Problems Do not try to embellish your drawings with
additional information. Your solution is
One of the leading causes of anxiety for evaluated based only on the required
exam candidates is "fear of the unknown": elements and how you put them together.
unfamiliarity with the test format, testing Adding information that is not required will
conditions and time constraints. It is helpful only take up time that you could spend
to learn as much as possible about the completing other solutions.
exam format and to practice problems under
test-like conditions to alleviate some of After you have completed all of the sample
these concerns. The sample vignette problems, you should review your solutions
problems are in the same format as the and see which areas you may need to
actual exam, and practicing them will obtain additional knowledge in before the
increase your comfort level. To accustom exam. Included in this publication is a
yourself to the time constraints of the actual reference material list. These publications
exam, you should allow approximately an might not contain all the answers that you
hour and fifteen minutes for each vignette. may need, but they can be good resources.
You should also make note of any problem
that takes you significantly more (or less)
time to complete, and target that subject
matter for further review.

As noted previously, it is imperative that you


read and understand the entire problem
statement before you begin your solution. If
you jump directly into the solution before
thoroughly understanding the problem
statement, you are bound to leave
information out of your solution.

The best way to ensure you include all the


necessary information is to simply highlight
the requirements in the problem statement
before you begin. When you are finished,
review the problem statement again to
make sure your solution contains everything
required. Make sure that you have followed
the requested format and provided the
correct number of program elements. Be
sure that you have responded to all site
conditions and any site context. If you take
the time to thoroughly read and highlight the
problem statement at the beginning, you will
save more time than if, at the end, you have

17
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Pre-exam Orientation Information


What Materials Will I Need
to Bring to the Exam?
Approximately three weeks before the
examination date, you will receive a
pre-exam orientation information packet.
Graphic Sections (C and E):
This contains specifics about the testing
site, exam schedule, required drafting Required:
materials and any special instructions or
requirements, such as instructions for a You are required to bring drawing scales
local exam section, if required. to perform each of the vignette
problems.
At this time, you will be instructed to go to You are required to bring whatever
the CLARB web site and download the most drafting equipment you would use to
current versions of the Pre-Exam draw an 11" x 17" sketch type drawing.
Orientation Information and the L.A.R.E. Solutions may be drawn in hard line or
Reference Manual. free hand style.
You are required to bring at least one
The L.A.R.E. Reference Manual No. 2 pencil to complete the score
sheets.
Some of the vignette problems on Sections
C and E of the L.A.R.E. require you to Recommended:
incorporate zoning and/or construction
standards into your solutions. Local codes You should bring a calculator for
vary widely, so CLARB provides a constant computations. You may use a silent,
reference base for all examinees by setting hand-held, non-programmable
the vignette problems in a hypothetical, electronic calculator, but you may not
generic city. The zoning and construction use any other devices.
standards for this “city” are contained in the You should bring sketch paper to
L.A.R.E. Reference Manual. You must complete any rough studies for a
comply with these standards when creating problem; however, you should note that
solutions to the vignette problems, even if all drawings for the graphic response
they differ from your local codes. sections of the examination must be
made on the problem sheets provided at
You can access the L.A.R.E. Reference the time of the examination. Overlays
Manual online at CLARB’s web site prior to will not be considered as part of your
the exam, and you will also receive a copy final solution.
at the exam site for use during the test You should bring a smooth drawing
administration. The manual is updated surface, such as a sheet of cardboard or
annually to reflect changes in the content of a small drafting board. You must check
the examination. with your registration board before
bringing large drafting boards or
electronic equipment such as lights or
electric erasers to determine if the test
site can accommodate these items.

18
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Prohibited:

You may not bring cellular phones,


pagers, devices with a computer
memory chip or any device with an
alphanumeric keyboard (e.g., a
language translation tool) to the test
site.
No reference material will be permitted
in the test room. Any reference material
necessary for any section of the
examination will be provided with the
test booklet at the time of the
examination.
No stamps or press-ons will be
permitted on any of the vignette
problems.
The use of color is not permitted on any
of the vignette problems.

19
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Frequently Asked Questions About the Exam Procedure


Q. - Can I use shades of gray on the the test room specifications. If sufficient
performance tests or is that considered a outlets exist, you may need to bring an
color? extension cord to operate a lamp or an
electric eraser.
A. - You may use pencil and black or gray
markers on the exam. Evaluation of the Q. - When should I arrive for the exam?
graphic communication portion of each test
is based on your understanding of drafting A. - You should give yourself plenty of time
principles such as line weight and overall to find the exam site and set up your
legibility. Rendering techniques are not equipment. The exam proctor will not delay
graded. the administration of the exam to
accommodate latecomers. Many boards
Q. - If I want to highlight a feature on my will prohibit entrance to the testing room
solution, can I use a little bit of color? once the exam has started.

A. - NO. Using any color will cause your Q. - Who will grade my exam?
solution to be failed without further
evaluation. A. - The performance problems are graded
in a national grading session by licensed
Q. - Can I use a highlighter to mark the landscape architects from across the United
requirements in the problem statement? States and Canada. Each grader must
meet stringent eligibility requirements and
A. - Highlighting the problem statement is participate in a complete training program.
acceptable; however, if you use the marker
on your solution, it will cause your vignette Q. - When will I get my scores?
to fail.
A. - The scores are typically sent to the
Q. - Can I use a non-reproducible blue or Member Boards approximately 10 - 12
purple pencil, or is that considered a color? weeks after the exam administration. If you
took the exam through a registration board,
A. - You may use a non-reproducible blue or they will report your score to you. If you
purple pencil to sketch your solution before took the exam at a CLARB test center,
finalizing it with pencil or ink. Anything CLARB will report your score to you. It is
which is drawn in blue or purple pencil that possible for candidates to receive
has not been re-drawn with pencil or ink will preliminary, unofficial scores several weeks
NOT be evaluated by the graders. earlier on our web site at www.clarb.org. A
couple jurisdictions do not permit
Q. - Do I need to bring a lamp or an candidates to view preliminary scores
extension cord to the test location? online. Check the CLARB web site for
details.
A. - Check the information included with this
booklet or with your registration board for

20
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

The L.A.R.E. in Metric and Imperial

The L.A.R.E. is international in scope with equivalents will not be exact conversions,
the U.S. and Canadian registration boards you are warned that converting or switching
participating in the examination process. units within a question to check answers
The examination is therefore produced in may result in an incorrect answer.
the Imperial and Metric dimensional
systems. A standard set of construction U.S. and Canadian examinees are also
codes is also provided. issued the same L.A.R.E. Reference
Manual for use on the exam. This manual
Candidates may prepare themselves for the contains building and related construction
L.A.R.E. using either the Imperial system or codes that will be required to complete the
the Metric system of measurement. In the examination.
examination, questions or problems
requiring a dimension or scale will indicate Sample exam item with Canadian
Imperial values followed by Metric values in reference and Metric conversions:
square brackets ([ ]). References to
Canadian standards will also be presented
in this fashion. Certain vignette problems According to U.S. standards [Canadian
may be presented in both an Imperial scale standards], the minimum width of an
and a Metric scale. You will be required to accessible parking space is
choose the scale you will be working in
when you sign up for the exam. A. 8' [2.5m]
B. 10' [3.1m]
No conversions will be required from one C. 12' [3.7m]
scale to the other. Since the Metric D. 15' [4.6m]

21
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Step Four - After you have taken the


L.A.R.E.
Receiving Your L.A.R.E. Scores
footnotes which may help the candidate
Multiple-choice Sections (A, B and identify areas for improvement.
D):
Graphic Sections (C and E):
Scores for the L.A.R.E. multiple-choice
sections will be available online After the exam has been graded and the
approximately 4 weeks after you have results have been accepted, (see Appendix
completed the examination. This is due to 1) you will receive your official L.A.R.E.
the analysis performed on the exam to scores directly from the organization
ensure that each item is correct, fair and through which you took the exam, (i.e.,
accurately addresses the subject matter either a registration board or CLARB.) You
being tested. CLARB’s testing experts look will also receive an exam information
at the difficulty of the items, the response pamphlet that will help you in interpreting
patterns by candidates and the ability of the your results.
items to discriminate between candidates of
differing ability levels. Preliminary Scores Available On-
line
When this analysis is complete, you will be
sent an email informing you of the
You can access your preliminary “unofficial”
availability of the scores online and
exam scores from CLARB via our web site.
containing instructions on how to obtain
The scores will not have been reviewed,
your scores. CLARB will NOT send paper
approved or validated by any registration
copies of scores to the candidates. If you
authority and convey no rights or privileges
would like a paper copy of your scores for
of any sort. This feature gives candidates
your records, you can print them from the
additional preparation time to retake a
web site.
section, request a Red-line Review of a
solution or continue their preparation for
Exam scores are reported as “pass” or “fail”.
initial licensure. For more information on
Candidates with failing scores will receive
this free service, visit the CLARB website at
additional information regarding the areas of
http://www.clarb.org/Pages/Exams_Results.
difficulty. The score report includes
asp?target=mla.

22
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Interpreting Your L.A.R.E. Scores


All scores for the L.A.R.E. are reported to
candidates as “pass” or “fail.” Numeric Section B – Inventory, Analysis
scores are not used in order to protect the and Program Development
candidate from the unauthorized use of
scores for employment purposes. If you Problem Definition
receive a failing score on any section of the Inventory
exam, the score report includes footnotes Analysis
which may help you identify areas for Programming
improvement.
Section C – Site Design
Each section of the L.A.R.E. is divided into Evaluate design alternatives to
several content areas. The footnotes in determine the appropriate solution
parenthesis after a failing score indicate Design circulation systems
your performance on each of the content Create design alternatives to
areas within that section of the exam. demonstrate the range of options
Develop conceptual design, planning
1 = At or above minimum competence. and management solutions considering
These are the content areas in which on-site and off-site influences
your performance was at or above Predict implications of design, planning
minimal competence. and management proposals on natural
2 = Slightly below minimum competence. and cultural systems both within the site
These are the content areas in which and in the larger context
your performance was below minimal Synthesize and make connections
competence. between aspects of landscape
3 = Well below minimum competence. architecture and disciplines outside of
These are the content areas in which landscape architecture including
your performance was well below consultant studies
minimal competence.
Section D – Design and
The content areas on the score report
appear as follows: Construction Documentation
Design Principles
Section A – Project and Resource Conservation and
Construction Administration Management
Graphic Communication
Communication Construction Documentation
Standards of Practice Materials and Methods of Construction
Construction Administration
Construction Evaluation
Construction Practices

23
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Section E – Grading, Drainage and


Stormwater Management
Synthesize and make connections
between aspects of landscape
architecture and disciplines outside of
landscape architecture including
consultant studies
Design for protection and management
of land resources (e.g., land forms,
grading, drainage, vegetation, habitat,
erosion and sedimentation control)
Design for protection and management
of water resources (e.g., storm water,
water supply, ground water)

For example, a score report for Section B


may appear as F(1,2,1,3). In this case, the
candidate received a failing score. The
numbers in parenthesis represent the
candidate’s performance in each of the four
content areas of Section B. The “1” in the
first and third positions indicate that the
candidate’s performance was at or above
minimal competence in content areas 1 and
3. The “2” in the second position and “3” in
the fourth position indicate performance
slightly below minimal competence in
content area 2, and well below minimal
competence in content area 4. These
content area listings are not indicative of
your future performance.

24
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Review Options Available


Like other parts of the examination process, The Standard Review is an effective
the ability to review failed graphic sections process for many candidates. Most of the
of the L.A.R.E. depends on a number of errors on the problems can be easily
factors. First, exam reviews must be spotted upon review of the evaluation
allowed by the law, rules and regulations in criteria. However, if you do not possess a
effect in the jurisdiction for which the exam certain knowledge about a subject, you may
was taken. Then processes must be want to have the Red-line Review to point
adopted to provide facilities, proctors and out the weakness.
other security measures in accordance with
CLARB standards and schedules. For Red-line Review
these reasons, the availability of review
processes varies by jurisdiction. When you
The Red-line Review provides you with a
receive your official scores, contact your
marked-up copy of your failing vignette
registration board directly to see what post-
problems that indicate areas of weakness.
exam feedback options are available to you.
The red-lining is completed outside of the
grading process to eliminate any bias during
CLARB has developed the following
the grading of exams.
programs for reviewing failed graphic
sections. Exam reviews are conducted in a
The comments provided represent the
secure environment under controlled
advice of the landscape architect reviewing
conditions and require you to travel to the
your solution. They are meant to be
location established by the board or a
educational in nature and do not represent
location provided by CLARB. These
the specific grading criteria or the specific
processes are intended to help you gain
grading of your solution. You should not
insight into your strengths and weaknesses
expect to see the correct solution to the
in the subject matter of the test.
vignette problems.
Standard Review The procedure is more expensive than the
Standard Review, but provides a clearer
The Standard Review is a procedure indication of areas of weakness. You will
whereby you compare your actual failing receive general comments on the weakness
exam solutions with the criteria that was exhibited on each problem. For example, a
used to grade the exams. The Standard circulation design may have a comment
Review is the least expensive process, but near it that reads, “Vehicular circulation
requires you to determine your own conflicts with pedestrian circulation.” Such
weaknesses. You should not expect to see comments are intended to help you pinpoint
any marks on your solutions, nor should you your areas of weakness so that you can
expect to receive the specific reason that better prepare for the next administration of
the problem was failed. You must review the exam.
the evaluation criteria and determine which
of the specific items was lacking in your
solution.

25
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Review Process

So what can candidates participating in


either Standard or Red-lined Reviews
expect? Your board will establish deadlines
and fees for reviews. Requests should be
made as early as possible. Typically,
Red-line Reviews must be requested by the
board before October 12th for the June
exam or April 12th for the December exam.
After signing in for the review procedure you
will have up to one hour to review your
solution in a secure area in the presence of
a board representative. You will not be
allowed to bring any materials with you to
the review, nor will you be able to make
notes or remove any information when you
leave. Standard Review procedures are
permitted for a period of nine months from
the date of exam administration. Also, keep
in mind that if you choose the Standard
Review for an exam section, you may not
make an additional request for a Red-line
Review of the same section.

26
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Step Five – Getting Your License


Passing all the sections of the L.A.R.E. is one component of the process of getting licensed as a
Landscape Architect. The following paragraphs detail the process.

Each registration board has additional requirements for licensure that you must satisfy, such as
earning a specific college degree, achieving a certain amount and/or type of work experience
and demonstrating further knowledge of local laws and practice issues. As you fulfill these
requirements over time, you can submit further documentation in support of your pursuit of initial
licensure.

Having Your Exam Scores Transmitted


Transmitting your Multiple-choice Transmitting without a Council Record
Scores
If you do not have a Council Record, it is
Candidates who have completed all important for you to apply directly to a state
sections of the L.A.R.E. must request that or provincial board before having your
their multiple-choice scores be sent to the scores transmitted for licensure.
jurisdiction in which they wish to obtain
initial licensure. The computer-administered As stated earlier, each board has different
multiple-choice scores are not automatically requirements for sitting for the examination
sent to the registration boards; it is and for becoming licensed. It is important
necessary for every candidate to authorize that you understand the requirements
CLARB to release his or her scores. before directing CLARB to transmit your
scores to a board.
Transmitting with a Council Record Once you have made application with your
board, have passed all three multiple-choice
If you have a Council Record, have sections and are ready to transmit your
completed all sections of the L.A.R.E. and scores to the board, you must complete the
wish to transmit your Council Record, Score Release Authorization document that
please download the Authorization to authorizes CLARB to send your scores to
Transmit a Council Record form to authorize the board. You can download the Score
release of your Council Record to the Release Authorization form at
jurisdiction in which you wish to obtain initial http://www.clarb.org/Pages/Exams_Results.
licensure. You may download the form at asp?target=fp. Once you have completed
http://www.clarb.org/pages/CRInformation.a the form, please send or fax (571/432-0442)
sp?target=psv. the completed form to the Council office.

27
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Transmitting your Graphic Scores

Scores for the graphic section of the


L.A.R.E. are only transmitted by CLARB for
candidates who have taken the exam at a
CLARB Test Center.

Transmitting with a Council Record

If you have a Council Record, have


completed all sections of the L.A.R.E. and
wish to transmit your Council Record,
please download the Authorization to
Transmit a Council Record form to authorize
release of your Council Record to the
jurisdiction in which you wish to obtain initial
licensure. You may download the form at
http://www.clarb.org/pages/CRInformation.a
sp?target=psv.

Transmitting without a Council Record

If you do not have a Council Record, it is


important for you to apply directly to a state
or provincial board before having your
scores transmitted for licensure.

Once you have made application with your


board, have passed all portions of the
L.A.R.E. and are ready to transmit your
scores to the board, you must complete the
Score Release Authorization document that
authorizes CLARB to send your scores to
the board. You can download the Score
Release Authorization form at
http://www.clarb.org/Pages/Exams_Results.
asp?target=fp. Once you have completed
the form, please send or fax (571/432-0442)
the completed form to the Council office.

28
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Appendix 1 - How the L.A.R.E. is


Prepared
minimum of restriction on entry to the
Task Analysis Studies of the profession.
Profession
To this end, CLARB conducts the Task
Analysis Study every five to seven years to
The terms “Task Analysis” or “Job Analysis” provide landscape architectural registration
both refer to a variety of systematic boards with the information that is vital to
procedures designed to obtain descriptive their function of protecting the public.
information about the tasks performed on a
job and/or the knowledge, skills and abilities L.A.R.E. Committees
thought necessary to perform those tasks.

More simply, a Task Analysis is a carefully The development of the examination is the
constructed, scientific study of a profession responsibility of the L.A.R.E. Committees,
that asks two questions: “What do these consisting of landscape architects appointed
professionals do?” and “What do they need by the CLARB President. To ensure the
to know?” widest and most representative viewpoint,
the committee members are selected from
When used in conjunction with a licensure various geographical areas and practice
program, such studies provide an accurate situations, and include both genders and
and legally defensible method of defining various ethnic groups.
the knowledge, skills and abilities (KSAs)
required to safely practice that profession. In addition to analyzing and refining the
These same KSAs form the appropriate Task Analysis Results into an exam
content for a licensing examination, in this specification, the L.A.R.E. Committees
case, the Landscape Architect Registration perform the task of drafting and reviewing
Examination (L.A.R.E.). each edition of the L.A.R.E.

Registration boards need to know what Preparing the Multiple-choice


services the profession is currently Sections
performing and what knowledge and skills
are required to perform those services.
New multiple-choice questions are
They also need to separate those functions
subjected to several reviews and pretesting
that affect the health, safety and welfare of
before they are included in the L.A.R.E.
the public from those that do not.
This process helps ensure that:
There is also a need to identify those tasks
1. The content of the questions is
that a newly licensed individual should be
accurate, up-to-date and relevant to
able to perform. By requiring only this
the knowledge, skills and abilities
minimum level of knowledge and skill,
identified in the exam specification;
boards are able to protect the public with a

29
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

2. The questions are written clearly and Once the final L.A.R.E. has been
in such a way that a “test-wise” assembled, it is reviewed by a professional
candidate would not have an editor for grammar, syntax and other
advantage in responding; and editorial considerations. The editor’s
3. No question content is biased recommendations are reviewed in turn by
against any region, ethnic group, the Exam Committees to ensure that no
race or gender. changes in meaning were unintentionally
made during the editing process.
Questions are selected by category to
ensure that all required subject matter is Evaluation of the L.A.R.E.
covered in accordance with the exam
specification. The statistical performance of
In scoring the multiple-choice and graphic
items is also used to help determine which
response sections of the L.A.R.E., there are
items will be included in the examination.
two distinct tasks that must be
accomplished:
Following a review by the Multiple-choice
Section Committee, some of the new
Raw scores must be established for
questions are chosen to be used as pretest
each portion of the exam. Raw scores
items on the actual examination. These
are the points a candidate earns on
pretest items do not contribute to the score
each portion of the exam.
of a candidate and the candidate does not
Passing levels must be established for
know which of the questions are pretest
each portion of the exam. The passing
items. The statistics gathered from
level is the number of points candidates
pretesting the new items are used to
must earn to pass a given portion of the
determine whether or not they will be
exam.
included as operational items in future
examinations.
Establishing the Raw Score for the
Preparing the Graphic Sections Multiple-choice Sections

The graphic portions of the examination are The raw score for each multiple-choice
prepared in a “vignette” format to give the section is the number of questions a
candidates more than one opportunity to candidate answers correctly. Items that are
demonstrate their ability to perform at a left blank are counted as incorrect.
minimally competent level. The Graphic
Committee is responsible for preparing Establishing the Passing Level for the
multiple vignette problems for each section Multiple-choice Sections
of the examination.
The passing level, or “cut score” for each of
Before they appear on the L.A.R.E., these the multiple-choice sections is based on the
graphic sections are pretested on licensed level of performance expected of minimally
landscape architects. The committee then qualified candidates taking that particular
reviews each item to determine which section.
vignette problems will be used on the
examination. A final review by the There are several steps in the process of
committee produces the final draft of the determining a cut score for a multiple-choice
examination. test. The first step is a cut score analysis

30
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

process completed in the first year of the Scoring the Graphic Solutions
examination.
The vignette problems are evaluated by
Cut Score Process graders who are licensed landscape
• Take Exam architects with at least five years of
• Rate difficulty of the problems experience, working in academic settings
• Process occurs separate from and/or in public or private practice.
grading Representatives from each jurisdiction
• Adjust scoring administering the examination are invited to
• Apply exam results to the new cut serve as graders. The evaluation itself
score takes place at a single grading session
conducted by CLARB where all of the
examinations are scored at one time.
It should be noted that the process for
establishing cut scores occurs without the
The L.A.R.E. Committee is given the exam
knowledge of the candidates’ raw scores.
specifications (the skills and abilities
This avoids any possibility of bias or
designated by the task analysis) and
consideration of passing rates in the
develops problems to test certain items in
process. After the test is administered, the
the specification. The committee then
cut scores are applied to the raw scores to
drafts evaluation criteria for grading the
determine which candidates pass the exam.
problems. The evaluation criteria are
developed so that only the skills and
It is important to recognize that the cut
abilities that the problem was designed to
score is NOT a pre-determined percentage
test will be graded. The committee will
of points, such as a 75%, which candidates
revise the problem if it finds that there are
must achieve. It is simply the minimum
elements in the problem that are irrelevant
number of correct responses required to
to the skills and abilities being evaluated.
pass. This number may vary from section
to section.

The raw score required to pass each


section may vary from exam administration
to exam administration based on the
difficulty of the questions for that particular
section. Cut scores for all editions of the
exam after the first are established using a
process called “equating.” Equating is a
statistical process that ensures that the level
of performance required to pass the test
remains constant from year to year, even
though the difficulty of the exam and the After the exam administration, the problems
ability of the candidates may change. This and evaluation criteria are reviewed by the
process automatically adjusts the cut score Master Grader Committee. Master Graders
up or down depending on the difficulty of the typically are individuals with extensive
test. experience evaluating graphic response
problems. The Master Graders are not
given any information about the intent of the

31
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

problems, and approach the problems as if Each grader applies the evaluation criteria
they were candidates. If they feel that there to assign the appropriate score for each
are items in the problem statement that are vignette problem. The graders must first
ambiguous or unclear, they will modify the ascertain whether the vignette can be
evaluation criteria accordingly. The Master scored. If the solution is blank or does not
Graders then review a number of actual follow basic problem instructions, the grader
exam solutions to ensure that the criteria will not evaluate the solution further. Next,
fairly evaluates all possible responses to the graders evaluate the critical components
each problem. Finally, the Master Graders of the solution. The critical components
conduct a training session to completely would include life/safety issues. If the
explain the grading process and the solution is scoreable and meets all of the
evaluation criteria to the exam graders. critical components of the problem, then the
They are present at the grading session to qualitative aspects of the solution are
resolve questions that the graders might evaluated.
have about unique solutions.
Each vignette receives one of four scores
Before actually evaluating any candidate for the qualitative evaluation: pass,
solutions, graders become completely borderline pass, borderline fail or fail.
knowledgeable about each problem by Solutions that demonstrate at least
reading and studying the problem minimum competence in the KSAs being
statement, reviewing the base plan and tested receive “pass” or “borderline pass”
thoroughly discussing the evaluation scores. Solutions in which the candidate
criteria. All graders attempt to establish a has failed to demonstrate some ability in the
common understanding of the meaning and primary KSAs are scored as a “borderline
application of the evaluation criteria. fail.” Solutions that fail to demonstrate
Several examples of solutions are scored as minimum competence in the subject area
a group until the graders become are scored as “fail.”
comfortable with the application of the
criteria. Throughout the grading session, If the scores of the first two graders are not
Master Graders “correlate” exams to ensure the same for any one vignette, and if the
that all graders apply the grading criteria resolution of that discrepancy could affect
uniformly to all solutions. If any grader the pass/fail status of the candidate, the
starts to deviate from the established vignette is rescored by a Master Grader.
criteria, the Master Grader provides
additional instruction until the grader is back The graders complete a computer-scanned
on track. score sheet for each exam booklet, using
the evaluation criteria for each problem.
During the grading session, each exam The completed score sheet is removed from
solution is evaluated by two different the test booklet and sent through a
graders. Exam booklets are given to computer scanner to record the grader’s
graders randomly. Graders do not know the score before the exam booklet is sent on to
jurisdiction from which the exam originated receive additional evaluations. This process
nor the identity of the examinee. In ensures that no grader will be biased by
addition, the scores assigned by the first marks recorded from another grader.
grader are concealed from the second
grader.

32
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

An Inside Look at the Grading


During the grading session, each exam
Session solution is evaluated by two different
graders. Exam booklets are given to
The L.A.R.E. graphic section grading graders randomly. Graders do not know the
process was developed to be as fair to the jurisdiction from which the exam originated
candidate as possible while ensuring that nor the identity of the examinee. In
the public is being adequately protected. addition, the scores assigned by the first
Each step of the grading process ensures grader are concealed from the second
that every candidate receives a fair grader. If the scores of the first two graders
evaluation. are not the same for any vignette, and if the
resolution of that discrepancy could affect
the pass/fail status of the candidate’s exam,
the vignette is rescored by a Master Grader.

CLARB has structured the grading process


to best achieve the primary goal of ensuring
accurate and fair scoring for every
examination. Accurate score tracking and
reporting is also essential. During one
grading session alone there can be 60,000
scores assigned by the graders. In order to
accurately record every score, CLARB has
The graphic sections of the L.A.R.E. are developed a computer scannable score
graded at Grading Sessions conducted by sheet to record scores, and uses an on-site
CLARB. All graders must be licensed scanner and computerized scoring system
landscape architects with at least five years to record and analyze the scores.
of experience. The evaluation criteria is
drafted by the Examination Committee and Graders make no marks of any kind on the
reviewed and finalized by the Master Grader exam. “We want every grader to focus on
Committee. The Master Graders conduct a the exam,” says CLARB Senior Director of
training session to explain the evaluation Operations and Examinations, Jim Penrod.
criteria to the exam graders. Also, during “The more time graders are asked to spend
the grading session the Master Graders on other tasks such as completing score
supervise the work of the exam graders. sheets and considering candidate feedback,
the greater the potential for inconsistent
scoring.”

With the grading session being the most


expensive component of the exam process,
cost is also an important consideration. The
more tasks that graders are asked to do, the
more graders are required to score the
exams and the greater the exam cost per
candidate. “This,” Penrod explains, “is the
reason that the Red-line Review process is
conducted outside of the grading process
for a separate fee.”

33
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Your Exam Master Graders


Finalize Written
Evaluation
Criteria

Grader #1
Master Graders
Scores Train Graders
Exam
are to Evaluate
Scanned Solutions
into the Grader #2
Computer

Any Scoring
Differences are
Resolved by a
Master Grader

Committee Cut Score


Final Score Assigns Level Committee Committee
P or F is is Compared Necessary to is Directed in Produces Their
Assigned to the Prove Minimal Scientific Cut Own Solutions
Cut Score Competence Score Process to the Vignettes
(Cut Score)

The Graphic Grading Process

34
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Appendix 2 - Reference Materials for the


L.A.R.E.
The following is a reference material list that has been prepared by the
CLARB Examination Committee.
While the committee believes that mastery Candidates are not expected to review all of
of the topics dealt with in the volumes on the books on this list, as subject areas may
this list will be of assistance to you in be covered by several references. CLARB
preparing for the L.A.R.E., no in no way guarantees that the contents of
representation is made that mastery of the these references are accurate.
topics dealt with by these volumes will
ensure a passing grade on the examination, Please note that titles marked with an "*",
and no representation is made that the are not longer in print; however, they may
examination questions will be limited in be available at a local library.
scope to topics dealt with by the volumes
contained on this list.

Section A — Project and Construction Administration

A Concise Guide to Community Planning/Hall & Porterfield


The Architect’s Guide to Law and Practice/Greenstreet & Greenstreet *
Building Construction Handbook/Merrit
Business Law for Landscape Architects/Beery, Boehmer, Crowley, Hoyt & Weatherly, Jr.
Construction Contracting/Clough & Sears
Construction Contracts/Hinze
Construction Contracts and Specifications/Hardie
Construction Law: Principles & Practice/Jervis & Levin *
Contracting Design Services/Karner *
Developing Difficult Sites/Brandes & Luzier
Engineering Contracts and Specifications/Abbett
Guidelines to Professional Practice/Marshall
The Legal Landscape/Smardon & Karp
Plans, Specs and Contracts for Building Professionals/Waller *
Professional Liability of Architects & Engineers/Streeter
Ready, Set, Practice/Sharky
Real Estate Principles and Practices/North & Ring
Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture/Harris

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Section B — Inventory, Analysis and Program Development

Amenity Landscape Management/Cobham


Anatomy of a Park/Molnar & Rutledge
Architectural Graphic Standards, 9th Ed./Ramsey
Barrier-Free Residential Design/Peloquin
Basic Elements of Landscape Architectural Design/Booth
Beazley’s Design & Detail of the Space Between Buildings/Pinder & Pinder
A Concise Guide to Community Planning/Hall & Porterfield
Design with Nature/McHarg
A Dictionary of Landscape Architecture/Morrow
Earthscape/Simonds
Ecology and Field Biology/Smith
Environmental Planning for Site Development/Beer *
Environmental Restoration/Berger
Introduction to Hydrology/Viessman, Knapp, Lewis & Harbaugh
Landscape Architecture, 2nd Ed./Simonds
A Guide to Site & Environmental Planning/Rubenstein
Introduction to Geology/Stokes & Judson
Landscape Management/Feucht & Butler
Landscape Planning: Environmental Applications/Marsh
Managing Our Wildlife Resources/Anderson
Microclimatic Landscape Design/Brown & Gillespie *
Natural Landscaping, Designing with Native Plant Communities/Diekelmann & Schuster
Physical Geology/Hamblin & Howard
Plants in the Landscape/Carpenter
Simplified Site Design/Ambrose & Brandow
Simplified Site Engineering, 2nd Ed./Parker & MacGuire
Site Planning/Lynch & Hack
Site Planning & Design for the Elderly/Carstens
Site Reconnaissance and Engineering/Landphair & Motloch
Site, Space and Structure/Todd
Terrain Analysis: A Guide to Site Selection Using Aerial Photographic Interpretation/Way
Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture/Harris
Time-Saver Standards for Housing & Residential Development/DeChiara
Urban Planning and Design Criteria/DeChiara & Koppelman
Wildlife, Forests & Forestry/Hunter

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Section C — Site Design

Anatomy of a Park/Molnar & Rutledge


Architectural Graphic Standards, 9th Ed./Ramsey
A Concise Guide to Community Planning/Hall & Porterfield
Basic Elements of Landscape Architectural Design/Booth
Construction Methods & Planning/Illingworth
Design for Dignity/Lebovich
Environmental Planning for Site Development/Beer
A Guide to Site & Environmental Planning/Rubenstein
Handbook of Landscape Architectural Construction/Nelischer
Landscape Architecture, 2nd Ed./Simonds
Landscape Architecture Construction, 2nd Ed./Landphair & Klatt
Site Planning/Lynch & Hack
Site Planning & Design for the Elderly/Carstens
Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture/Harris
Time-Saver Standards for Housing & Residential Development/DeChiara

Section D — Design and Construction Documentation

Architectural Graphic Standards, 9th Ed./Ramsey


Beazley’s Design & Detail of the Space Between Buildings/Pinder & Pinder
Construction Equipment Guide/Day
Construction Glossary/Stein
Construction Materials, Their Nature & Behavior/Illston *
Construction Materials, Types, Uses & Applications, 2nd Ed./Hornbostel
Construction Methods & Planning/Illingworth
Construction Specifications Writing/Rosen & Heineman
Construction Materials, Types, Uses & Applications, 2nd Ed./Hornbostel
Developing Difficult Sites/Brandes & Luzier
Dictionary of Architecture and Construction/Harris
A Guide to Site & Environmental Planning/Rubenstein
Handbook of Landscape Architectural Construction/Nelischer
Handbook of Public Playground Safety/US Consumer Product Safety Commission
Lakes and Ponds/Tourbier & Westmacott
Landscape Architecture Construction, 2nd Ed./Landphair & Klatt
Landscape Irrigation: Design and Management/Smith
The Landscape Lighting Book/Moyer
Landscape Plants/Bridwell
Manual of Woody Landscape Plants/Dirr
Native Trees, Shrubs & Vines for Urban and Rural America/Hightshoe
North American Plantfile/Hightshoe & Groe *
People Places/Marcus & Francis *
Planting Design, 2nd Ed./Walker
Pools and Fountains/Aurans *

37
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Shrubs and Vines for American Gardens/Wyman


Simplified Engineering for Architects and Builders/Parker
Simplified Irrigation Design, 2nd Ed./Melby
Site Design and Construction Detailing/Walker
Site Details from Architectural Graphic Standards/Ramsey
Site Engineering for Landscape Architects, 2nd Ed./Strom & Nathan
Site Reconnaissance and Engineering/Landphair & Motloch
Soil Mechanics, 5th Ed./Craig
Soils & Foundations for Architects & Engineers/Duncan
Stormwater: Best Management Practices and Detention for Water Quality, Drainage and
CSO Management, 2nd Ed./Stahre & Urbonas *
Stormwater Management, Quantity and Quality/Wanielista
Timber Construction Manual, 4th Ed./A.I.T.C.
Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture/Harris
Trees for Architecture & Landscape, 2nd Ed./Zion
Urban Soil in Landscape Design/Craul
Wood Reference Handbook/Canadian Wood Council

Section E — Grading, Drainage and Stormwater Management

A Guide to Site & Environmental Planning/Rubenstein


Grade Easy/Untermann
On-Site Stormwater Management/Ferguson & Debo
Simplified Site Engineering, 2nd Ed./Parker & MacGuire
Site Engineering for Landscape Architects, 2nd Ed./Strom & Nathan
Stormwater: Best Management Practices for Water Quality, Drainage and CSO
Management, 2nd Ed./Stahre & Urbonas
Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture/Harris

38
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Appendix 3 - L.A.R.E. Rules of Conduct


If a candidate knowingly violates or attempts take the exam or any portion of the
to circumvent the rules and procedures of exam for you.
the exam, established by CLARB, the Failing to provide acceptable
results of that exam may not be scored or identification.
accepted. CLARB reserves the right to take Obtaining improper access to the exam,
remedial action—including, but not limited a part of the exam or information about
to, barring the candidate from future testing, the exam.
canceling the candidate’s exam scores or Using a telephone or cellular phone
filing of civil or criminal charges. If a during the exam session or during
candidate’s scores are canceled, they will breaks.
not be reported, and the associated fees will Using any aids in connection with the
not be refunded. The candidate will be exam other than those provided at the
notified of the alleged violation(s) and be exam site. For example: pagers,
given an opportunity to provide evidence to beepers, calculators, watch calculators,
the contrary and reasons that the exam books, pamphlets, notes, stereos or
score(s) should not be cancelled or radios with headphones, telephones,
withheld. cell phones, watch alarms (including
those with flashing lights or alarm
Although tests are administered under strict sounds), stop watches, dictionaries,
supervision and security measures, testing translators and any hand-held electronic
irregularities may sometimes occur. or photographic devices.
Candidates are encouraged to contact Creating a disturbance (disruptive
CLARB as soon as possible to report any behavior in any form will not be
behavior that violates exam standards and tolerated; the exam administrator /
may lead to an invalid score. All information supervisor has sole discretion in
will be held in strictest confidence. determining what constitutes disruptive
Phone: 571/432-0332 behavior).
E-mail: Info@CLARB.org Attempting to give or receive assistance
or otherwise communicate in any
Further Examples of Exam manner with another person about the
Impropriety content of the exam during the
administration, during breaks or after the
exam.
The following are examples of exam Removing or attempting to remove
improprieties. This list is not meant to be exam content from the test center.
exhaustive and CLARB reserves the right to Under no circumstances may exam
take action on other items considered by the content or any part of the exam content
Conduct Committee to be an attempt to gain be removed, reproduced and/or
unfair advantage or circumvent the intent of disclosed by any means (e.g., hard
the exam. copy, verbally, electronically) to any
person or entity.
Swearing to or providing false Tampering with a computer.
information on the exam affidavit. Attempting to remove scratch paper
Attempting to take the exam for from the exam room.
someone else or having someone else

39
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Bringing a weapon or firearm into the


exam center.
Bringing food, drink or tobacco into the
exam room.
Leaving the exam center vicinity during
the exam session or during breaks.
Leaving the exam room without
permission.
Taking excessive or extended
unscheduled breaks during the test
session. Exam center supervisors are
required to strictly monitor unscheduled
breaks and report examinees who take
excessive or extended breaks.
Referring to, looking through or working
on any exam, or exam section, when not
authorized to do so, or working after
time has been called.
Failing to follow any of the exam
administration regulations contained in
any Examination Orientation Guides,
given by the exam administrator /
supervisor, or specified in any exam
materials.

40
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Appendix 4 – The True Cost of the


L.A.R.E.

(Continued from page 2): What Does it Take to Produce a


Licensure Exam?
Let us first look at the differences in
licensure exams as compared to exams that Since licensure exams must meet
you took in school. Educational exams are significantly higher standards than
usually considered “low stakes” educational exams, the exam development
examinations in that the actions that are process is considerably longer and more
taken as a result of the exam do not have a involved. Whereas one teacher usually
significant, long-term impact on the public or decides what is on a test, how the test is
the candidate. While such exams certainly written and how it is scored, licensure
affect your grade in a class, their impact is exams involve multiple groups of
usually weighed with a variety of other professionals working over long periods of
measurements such as reports, quizzes and time to make such judgments. In fact, it
homework assignments. It is the sum of all takes more than 18 months and more than
parts of the educational process that have 70 professionals to produce and grade
an overall affect on your career. every edition of the L.A.R.E.

By contrast, licensure exams are “high The process starts by scientifically


stakes” exams in that the result of the test determining the appropriate content for the
has a direct affect on your professional licensure examination. As explained in
options and directly impacts the public. other parts of this book, this takes a formal
Such tests are often a major factor in study known as a “Task (or Job) Analysis,”
determining whether you become licensed involving a panel of licensed professionals
and whether you are legally able to provide and professional consultants. It takes over
professional services to the public. If these a year to prepare the document, survey
tests are poorly prepared, you and the thousands of licensed professionals and
public may be harmed. analyze the results. To ensure that the
exam keeps up with any changes in the
Since the tests have different effects, they profession, this study must be repeated
also have different standards. Educational every five to seven years.
exams are required by the class instructor
or the school and are designed to meet the Once the exam content is known, a panel of
standards of that teacher or school. experts must draft exam questions or
Licensure exams, however, are required by problems to test candidates’ knowledge or
law and must be legally defensible in a court ability in the content areas. These
of law. To meet these legal obligations, committees must be supervised and
such high stakes tests must satisfy supported by testing experts and
nationally recognized testing standards. professional staff. The draft items must be
pre-tested by other professionals and

41
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

revised repeatedly. Final draft items are satisfaction that they get from knowing that
then reviewed by professional test editors their efforts are helping to ensure the future
who check for appropriateness and clarity of landscape architecture.
and ensure that the exams are not biased
against any candidate sub-population. The Cost Per Candidate
The exams are then printed and securely
As in any business, the cost per unit of a
distributed to test centers for administration.
product is equal to the total production cost
Completed exams are collected for scoring
divided by the number of units produced.
and two more rounds of statistical analysis
For the L.A.R.E., the cost per candidate is
and review. Graphic solutions are graded at
equal to the total production cost divided by
least twice and as many as four times by
the number of exam candidates.
licensed professionals.

Another group of professionals meets under Landscape architecture is a fairly small


the supervision of testing experts to review profession as compared to other design
the overall difficulty of the test and to professions like architecture or engineering.
establish the minimum level of performance Similarly, the number of exam candidates
necessary to pass. Finally, the results of for the L.A.R.E. is small. Less than 2,000
the test are communicated to the exam candidates sit for one or more
candidates. When appropriate or sections of the L.A.R.E. in four
necessary, this process is followed by exam administrations each year. This is
reviews or appeals processes. significantly less than the 40,000
engineering students who take the entire
Fundamentals of Engineering exam each
The Total Cost year.

Obviously, the costs for producing a high With the exception of the printing and
stakes test like the L.A.R.E. are significant. scoring of graphic exams, however, the cost
Each edition involves more than 8,000 to produce the L.A.R.E. is not volume
hours of labor to produce and grade. There dependent. That is, it takes the same level
are also costs for consultants, meeting of effort to produce a test for 1,000
facilities, printing and shipping, in addition to candidates as it does for 10,000 candidates.
other indirect expenses such as
management, insurance, interest and other Obviously, when we divide the total cost to
overhead items. produce the L.A.R.E. by the number of
candidates, the cost per candidate should
If added together, the cost of producing be in excess of $2,000, not including the
each edition of the L.A.R.E. would exceed cost for application and administration
$1,000,000! Fortunately for exam expenses. Fortunately, due to the
candidates, the actual cost of producing the significant subsidy provided by the
L.A.R.E. is heavily subsidized by licensed landscape architect volunteers, the actual
landscape architects from across the U.S. cost to the candidate for the L.A.R.E. is less
and Canada. These professionals donate than $1,000 and is in keeping with the cost
their time to work on CLARB committees to of licensing exams for many other licensed
prepare and grade the L.A.R.E. In total, professions.
they contribute more than 3,500 hours each
year. Their only compensation is the

42
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Is the L.A.R.E. Worth the Cost? Licensure is also an important part of your
professional development process. It puts
you on par with other professionals with
The cost to take the Landscape Architect
whom you will interact. It allows you to lead
Registration Examination is significant. You
design teams, to be the decision-maker and
should carefully consider whether you are
to take professional responsibility for your
ready to take the test and you should
work. Licensure allows you to legally call
prepare carefully to do so. In the end, is it
yourself a landscape architect.
worth the time, effort and cost? Most
definitely!
For a person to go through college, acquire
Strictly from a financial point of view, taking the needed practical experience and not get
the L.A.R.E. may be one of the best licensed would be similar to a person not
investments you can make. Studies show getting a degree after completing all but one
that, on average, licensed professionals course in a college curriculum. Given that
make considerably more income each year the cost of the L.A.R.E. is less than the cost
than unlicensed individuals. In addition, of a typical three credit hour course in
licensed professionals have many more college, it is illogical that an individual who
opportunities for employment, advancement is otherwise qualified would not complete
and ownership positions than non-licensed this important step in his/her professional
individuals. Over the course of a development process.
professional career, the licensure process
will return in income many times the amount The bottom line is that the investment in
of money it cost. terms of time and money that you put into
becoming a licensed landscape architect is
one of the best investments that you will
ever make.

43
The Landscape Architect
Registration Examination

A Step by Step Guide

Part 2 – Practicing for the L.A.R.E.


(with sample problems)

September 2008
Table of Contents
Appendix 5 – Understanding the Codes Used on Sections C and E.......................... 1
The L.A.R.E. Reference Manual ............................................................... 1
Codes That Apply to Section C – Site Design ................................................ 2
Setbacks ........................................................................................ 2
Active Recreation Uses ...................................................................... 3
Vehicular Requirements ..................................................................... 3
Codes That Apply to Section E – Grading, Drainage and Stormwater Management ... 4
Curb Ramps .................................................................................... 4
Ramps........................................................................................... 4
Steps ............................................................................................ 5
Appendix 6 – Becoming Familiar with the L.A.R.E. (Sample Items) ........................ 6
Section A – Project and Construction Administration...................................... 6
Section B – Inventory, Analysis and Program Development .............................. 16
Section C – Site Design......................................................................... 27
Practice Problem 1: ......................................................................... 27
Practice Problem 2: ......................................................................... 34
Practice Problem 3: ......................................................................... 40
Section D – Design and Construction Documentation ..................................... 45
Section E – Grading, Drainage and Stormwater Management ........................... 59
Practice Problem 1: ......................................................................... 59
Practice Problem 2: ......................................................................... 65
Practice Problem 3: ......................................................................... 71
Appendix 7 – Now What? ......................................................................... 77
How to Get Prepared........................................................................ 77
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Appendix 5 – Understanding the Codes


Used on Sections C and E
The L.A.R.E. Reference Manual
The L.A.R.E. Reference Manual is a code
book. You should think of it as the zoning
and construction codes that you are
required to know when performing work in a
new jurisdiction. Although you may be
required to design a certain way in your city
due to the local codes, it is critical that you
follow the L.A.R.E. codes to solve problems
on the examination.

You are given a copy of the L.A.R.E.


Reference Manual when you take the
examination, however, you should try to
understand, maybe even memorize the
code before you sit down to take the test.
Even if you simply know what is in the
manual and where to find it, that will help
you when you are under a time constraint in
the middle of the examination.

The codes in the L.A.R.E. Reference


Manual are taken from ADA standards and
various national construction standards, but
are intended solely for use on the
examination. When you are ready to take
the exam, you should go to the CLARB
website and download the most current
version of the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual
that is available.

1
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Codes That Apply to Section C – Site Design


Buffer zones are required between
Codes That Apply incompatible uses. So, if you are required
to design a commercial facility next to a
• 100 - Setback Requirements
bordering property of single family homes or
• 200 - Pedestrian Security/Safety multifamily dwellings, you are required to
• 300 - Vehicular Requirements provide a 25’ buffer on your property, free of
• 400 - Accessible Parking any uses.
• 500 - Accessible Route
• 600 - Curb Ramps

Because Section C will test your ability to


complete site plans and circulation plans, it
is important to be familiar with the codes
that will apply to site design. You will be
required to understand specific setback
requirements for elements in Section 100.
Pedestrian and vehicular codes in sections
200 and 300 and accessibility issues in
sections 400 through 600.

Setbacks
Page 1 of the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual
provides information on various setbacks
that you will need to apply to your solutions.
There are property line setbacks for both
circulation routes and buildings. It is
important to remember that when a property
line is shown along a road bordering the
property, it is considered the roads right-of-
way and requires a larger setback.

You will also see the setback requirements


from site features. Water bodies require a
50’ setback and designated wetlands (or
those actually labeled wetland on the
drawing) require a 100’ setback. Floodplain
restrictions are also shown in this section.
Enclosed structures are not permitted within
a designated floodplain.

2
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

provide drop-off areas, service drives or


Active Recreation Uses drive-throughs, you should avoid placing
parking along these circulation routes or
designing pedestrian systems that conflict
Also on page 1 of the L.A.R.E. Reference with this traffic. When someone is intent on
Manual you will find setbacks for active getting to the drive-through window, they
recreation uses. The intention here is to are not being careful to watch for
protect athletes when they run off the field pedestrians or traffic backing out. In
from running into an object and to protect contrast, someone driving though a parking
pedestrians walking by the use such as in a lot is paying more attention to pedestrians
baseball diamond from getting hit by the crossing the lot and to cars backing out and
baseball. is typically driving at a slower rate of speed.

Page 2 includes additional pedestrian The code for vehicle turning radii, found on
security and safety codes for sports facility page 3, is one that candidates tend to
orientation. Sports fields are usually forget. A vehicle should be able to drive
oriented to protect the participants from through your entire design while meeting
injuries related to glare from the sun. the minimum radius requirement.
Especially important are entry and exit
points where the lack of a proper radius
Vehicular Requirements would force a car into oncoming traffic.

The vignettes which require you to X = 18' [5.5m] Cars; 30' [9.1m] Large Vehicles
Z
demonstrate an understanding of circulation
Y

Y = 27' [8.2m] Cars; 43' [13.1m] Large Vehicles


X

Z = 29' [8.8m] Cars; 45' [13.7m] Large Vehicles


design rely on the vehicular requirements
section of the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual. Front Overhang
Left Front Wheel
Right Rear Wheel
On pages 2 through 5 you will find
requirements for pedestrian and vehicular
circulation systems. Of major importance is
to understand what comprises a primary
circulation route. When you are asked to

3
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Page 4 includes the requirements for around. How would you like to get in a
stacking at a use with a drive-up window. drive through lane by mistake and not be
Typically cars are waiting in line and there able to get out until everyone in front had
must be sufficient space to accommodate placed their order?
these waiting vehicles.
Pages 5 through 10 refer to accessibility
Drop-off/Pick-up areas and service areas codes that are important to incorporate in
are also described in this section. For both your design. These codes are taken from
the stacking areas and drop-off areas, it is the ADA and you should be familiar with
important to remember to place a bypass current ADA guidelines when designing all
around any stopped vehicles. If you were to of your projects.
create a one-lane road, a vehicle stopped at
a drop-off or waiting in line at a window .
would impede anyone else's ability to get

Codes That Apply to Section E – Grading, Drainage and


Stormwater Management
You may be asked to provide vehicular
Codes That Apply access to a site that would need to meet the
• 100 - Setback Requirements vehicular requirements in the manual. It is
• 200 - Pedestrian Security/Safety important to understand accessible routes
• 300 - Vehicular Requirements and the grade requirements for building
• 500 - Accessible Route entries found in Section 500 of the manual.
• 600 - Curb Ramps
• 700 – Ramps
• 800 – Ramp Handrails Curb Ramps
• 900 – Steps You will be required to understand curb
• 1000 – Step Handrails ramps and the maximum slope
requirements necessary to allow
accessibility.
Because Section E will test your ability to
complete grading plans, it is important to be
You will be required to understand how
familiar with those items in the landscape
accessible ramps work. The slopes,
that will affect elevations in your design.
maximum distance for a ramp, landings and
cross-slope. You should also understand
You may be asked to first locate elements
ramp handrail requirements in case you are
on your grading plan that would be required
required to design and grade a ramp.
to follow the setback rules in Section 100.
You will be required to understand the
grade differences required on walls that will
affect the requirements for guardrails in Ramps
Section 200 of the L.A.R.E. Reference If you turn to page 7 of the L.A.R.E.
Manual. Reference Manual, you will find information
on ramps that you will need to apply to your
solutions. It is important to understand

4
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

when a ramp is required. Should your


pedestrian route exceed 5%, you will need Steps
to incorporate all of the ramp standards in
On page 9 you will find the requirements for
the manual.
steps that need to be incorporated into your
design. Risers should be at least 4” high
A ramp cannot exceed 1 in 12 and it cannot
and should be no greater than 7”. Treads
exceed 30’ in length before a landing is
must be at least 11” deep and should slope
provided. The landings must be at least 5’
to allow for drainage. Steps requiring a
square and should be relatively flat. The
handrail should also be designed to allow
landing should be sloped to drain, but
for the dimension of the handrail before any
should not exceed 2% for the cross-slope.
change in direction. If the steps were
You should also design any ramp to designed improperly and the handrail were
accommodate the necessary handrail. A to stick out into an adjacent walk, sight
landing area of at least 1 foot should be impaired individuals might be seriously hurt
provided before a change in direction to by the improper design.
ensure that the handrails do not extend out
into a walk and become a hazard.

5
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Appendix 6 – Becoming Familiar with the


L.A.R.E. (Sample Items)
The following sample items are intended to help you understand the format of the exam and
what is expected on the exam. The items selected are intended to represent a sampling of
items that you will find on the exam, but should not be considered inclusive of all of the
information that you will be tested on. Performing well on the sample items will not necessarily
dictate successful performance on the L.A.R.E. as the problems are different for each
administration of the exam. The sample items selected have been used in previous
administrations of the L.A.R.E.

Section A – Project and Construction Administration


The following is diagnostic information that can help you study for the actual exam. Included
are 30 practice exam items with the correct answer indicated in bold print. Information about
where the item was obtained can be found below each item under “Rationale”. The “Exam
Subsection” category indicates the knowledge area being tested based on the Exam Content
Guide.

Question 1: During the course of construction, the landscape architect discovers an error in
the construction that may cause a portion of the project used by the public to fail. The
landscape architect informs the client, but the client refuses to allow corrections to be made.
The landscape architect should do which of the following?

I. Report the problem to the appropriate building official.


II. Report the issue to the state [provincial] licensing board.
III. Refuse to go along with the client's decision.
IV. Terminate services on the project.

A. I only
B. II and III only
C. I, III and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Code of conduct


Exam Subsection: Standards of Practice

6
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 2: As an agent in the administration of a construction project, the landscape


architect owes all of the following duties to the owner EXCEPT for which of the following?

A. Experience and reasonable care, skill and diligence in performing his/her duties
B. Follow the owner's instructions
C. Maintain the trust and confidence owed to the owner
D. Maintain the owner's position in rendering decisions about disputes with the
contractor

Rationale: Construction Contracts, page 47


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

Question 3: A landscape architect has a part-time job selling construction materials. He


also specifies that company's materials on a public job. This is known as

A. incompetence.
B. a conflict of interest.
C. turn key.
D. performance bonding.

Rationale: Code of conduct


Exam Subsection: Standards of Practice

Question 4: A landscape architect is invited to contribute to a government official's re-


election. The official is indirectly involved in a zoning decision on the landscape architect's
project. The landscape architect should do which of the following?

A. Refuse to contribute
B. Contribute
C. Contribute but inform his client
D. Provide full disclosure and contribute

Rationale: Code of Ethics – payment may be seen as influencing a government official’s


judgment in connection with the project.
Exam Subsection: Standards of Practice

Question 5: When the nature of a project extends beyond the competence and experience
of the practitioner,

A. he/she must engage a qualified consultant.


B. there must be a disclosure of this inadequacy.
C. he/she must proceed with caution and due care.
D. he/she must refrain from encompassing this work.

Rationale: Code of Ethics – a professional may only undertake services that he or she is
qualified by education, training and experience to perform.
Exam Subsection: Standards of Practice

7
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 6: A landscape architect has been out of town and is unable to seal a set of
documents. The landscape architect asks a colleague and former business partner to attend to
this responsibility by quickly reviewing the work and applying the seal. If the colleague carries
out this request, the colleague will

A. breach a rule of professional conduct.


B. be in a conflict of interest.
C. be assuming responsibility for the work.
D. need to fully disclose lack of involvement in this project.

Rationale: Code of Ethics – a professional must have direct professional knowledge and direct
supervisory control to seal a drawing.
Exam Subsection: Standards of Practice

Question 7: Liquidated damages

A. are considered by the courts to be punitive.


B. must have a corresponding bonus clause in order to be enforceable.
C. must represent a reasonable measure of actual damages suffered by the owner.
D. can be set higher than the amount of actual damages to encourage the contractor to finish
the project on schedule.

Rationale: Engineering Contracts and Specifications, Robert W. Abbett


Exam Subsection: Standards of Practice

Question 8: In regard to professional liability, which of the following statements is NOT


true?

A. Liability will increase with increased scope of work.


B. It is governed by general principles of law.
C. A client is more likely to sue if he/she thinks the landscape architect will be paying
the claim rather than the insurance company.
D. Professional liability can be looked upon as inhibiting design.

Rationale: Landscape Architect’s Handbook of Professional Practice, pages 204-205


Exam Subsection: Standards of Practice

Question 9: The basic rights and responsibilities of the landscape architect during the
construction of a project are described in which of the following?

A. General Conditions
B. Special Conditions
C. Division 1
D. Division 2, Part 1

Rationale: Construction Contracts, Hinze, page 149


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

8
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 10: Work that does not conform to the drawings and specifications requires the
landscape architect to

A. stop the work on the project.


B. negotiate a reduced price for the work.
C. notify the contractor.
D. notify the owner of nonconformance.

Rationale: Construction Law Principles and Practice, Jervis and Levin, page 71
Exam Subsection: Construction Evaluation

Question 11: Plans and specifications may contain discrepancies or deficiencies that may
lead to which of the following?

I. Request for information (RFI)


II. Drawing and/or specification correction
III. Change orders
IV. Change in the contract's general conditions

A. II only
B. I and III only
C. I, II and III only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Lessons in Professional Liability, Sheila A. Dixon, page 137


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

Question 12: The phrase "The owner shall pay the amounts being determined by actual
measured quantities" suggests which of the following contract types?

A. Unit price
B. Time and materials
C. Prime and target
D. Guaranteed maximum and shared-savings

Rationale: Construction Business Handbook, page 16-4


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

9
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 13: A construction contract awarded by direct selection and negotiation with a
single contractor could typically offer which of the following advantages?

I. Ensures the best possible price for the work being completed
II. Allows contract negotiations to commence prior to completion of drawings
III. Permits the project to be built with less detailed construction drawings
IV. Reduces the need for construction supervision

A. I and III only


B. II and III only
C. II and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Landscape Architecture: Guidelines to Professional Practice, Marshall, page 102


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

Question 14: At what point in the project does the landscape architect first advise bidders
of bonding requirements?

A. Instructions to Bidders
B. General Conditions
C. Bid Form
D. Contract Award

Rationale: Construction Contracts, Hinze, pages 100-101


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

Question 15: Despite a contract requirement to carry out site investigations prior to
commencement of work, a contractor damaged a gas line. The gas line was not shown in the
consultant's contract documents, but was on the survey plan prepared for the project. Who
would most likely be responsible?

A. The contractor
B. The owner of the property
C. The gas company
D. The consultant and contractor

Rationale: The consultant is liable for omissions to the contract documents and the contractor is
liable for failing to carry out site investigations required by the contract.
Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

10
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 16: Which of the following is the most important factor by which to pre-qualify a
bidder?

A. Bonding capacity
B. Number of subs
C. Previous similar experience
D. Size of company

Rationale: Landscape Architect's Handbook of Professional Practice


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

Question 17: Which of the following are typically included in the bid form?

I. Bid price
II. Completion time
III. Verification that bidder visited the site
IV. Acknowledgement of addenda received

A. I and II only
B. III and IV only
C. I, III and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Business Law for Landscape Architects, Beery, pages 168-169


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

Question 18: Which of the following are conditions for potential change orders?

I. Differing site conditions


II. Design changes
III. Overruns/underruns in quantities
IV. Unavoidable factors affecting time of completion

A. I and II only
B. III and IV only
C. I, II and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Contract Administration and Project Management. HC Lott Jr. P.E.


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

11
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 19: A Construction Change Directive is used

A. when the owner and contractor agree on the changes in the work, adjustment in contract
sum, and contract time.
B. in the absence of agreement on the adjustment in the contract sum.
C. when changes in the work do not involve adjustments to the contract sum or time.
D. in the absence of total agreement on the terms of the change order.

Rationale: AIA Document A201, Article 7.3, page 15. A. is a change order. B. is a contemplated
change. C. is a field change.
Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

Question 20: Which of the following must the contractor submit before receiving final
payment?

I. Affidavit that payroll and material bills have been paid


II. Occupancy permit
III. Surety’s consent to make final payment
IV. Release and waivers of liens

A. I and II only
B. III and IV only
C. I, III and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: AIA Document A201, General Conditions of the Contract for Construction, AIA
Exam Subsection: Construction Evaluation

Question 21: Which type of contract is best used when the drawings and specifications are
not complete at the time of construction contract negotiation?

A. Cost plus fee


B. Unit price
C. Lump sum price [Stipulated price]
D. Percentage of cost

Rationale: Construction Contracting, 6th Ed., page 144


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

12
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 22: Which of the following occurs at substantial completion [substantial


performance]?

I. Owner may occupy the premises.


II. Warranty for project begins.
III. Time for completion is established.
IV. Last progress payment is requested.

A. I and II only
B. III and IV only
C. I, III and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Construction Contracts, Hinze, page 243


Exam Subsection: Construction Evaluation

Question 23: A field change order may be used when

A. a change will not lengthen project duration.


B. a change will increase project costs.
C. a change occurs in the bid documents.
D. a sample fails to meet specifications.

Rationale: Construction Contracts, Hinze, page 181


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

Question 24: The pre-qualification of a contractor for bidding would typically entail
documentation of which of the following types of information?

I. Evidence of insurability
II. A corporate roster
III. Bank records
IV. Construction safety records

A. I only
B. I and II only
C. II, III and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Landscape Architects Handbook of Professional Practice, page 3


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

13
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 25: A general contractor may rescind a bid on a project under which of the
following circumstances?

I. A mistake of great financial error has occurred.


II. Neither party has been injured.
III. An error relating to a material feature of the project has occurred.
IV. A project of much larger value has been awarded to them.

A. I and II only
B. III and IV only
C. I, II and III only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Principles and Practices of Construction Law, White, Nancy, page 152
Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

Question 26: Under which of the following circumstance would a change in work performed
require additional payment by the owner to a contractor?

A. A verbal directive to make the change is given by the owner.


B. Additional work necessary to the success of the project is performed.
C. A waiver of a contractual requirement is made.
D. After a change order is approved.

Rationale: Principles and Practices of Construction, pages 226 and 239


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

Question 27: Who is responsible for producing a punch list [deficiency list]?

A. The owner
B. The landscape architect
C. The contractor
D. Individual subcontractors

Rationale: AIA form 201, AIA


Exam Subsection: Contract Administration

Question 28: Shop drawings are prepared by

A. the contractor.
B. the landscape architect.
C. the owner.
D. the project prime.

Rationale: Manual of Practice, CSI, page FF/010.3


Exam Subsection: Construction Evaluation

14
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 29: A post project or post occupancy evaluation should

A. provide feedback on all aspects of the project.


B. be evaluative and not descriptive.
C. be seen as a learning tool for future projects.
D. be solely based upon expert opinion.

Rationale: A Visual Approach to Park Development, pages 155 and 157


Exam Subsection: Construction Evaluation

Question 30: Evaluating construction for conformance at project closeout includes which of
the following?

I. Observation and punch lists [deficiency lists]


II. Conditional acceptance
III. Maintenance period
IV. Certificate of Compliance

A. I and II only
B. II and IV only
C. I, III and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Landscape Architect’s Portable Handbook, Dines and Brown, page 395
Exam Subsection: Construction Evaluation

15
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Section B – Inventory, Analysis and Program Development


The following is diagnostic information that can help you study for the actual exam. Included
are 30 practice exam items with the correct answer indicated in bold print. Information about
where the item was obtained can be found below each item under “Rationale”. The “Exam
Subsection” category indicates the knowledge area being tested based on the Exam Content
Guide.

Question 1: Which of the following are necessary to determine appropriate plant material
for a project?

I. Hardiness zone
II. Available sunlight
III. Soil conditions
IV. Average rainfall

A. I and III only


B. I and IV only
C. II, III and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Information of all four conditions is necessary for appropriate selection. Temperature
determines hardiness. Sunlight determines light conditions and availability, soil determines pH
and character (organic matter, clay, loam, well drained etc.); rainfall will affect adaptability to
conditions such as too much or too little moisture; while too little can be supplemented with
irrigation, too much can be detrimental.
Exam Subsection: Inventory

Question 2: Specific information concerning geologic substrate of a site would be included


in which of the following?

A. A soil survey
B. A quad map
C. A topographic map
D. An aerial survey

Rationale: Site Reconnaissance and Engineering, 1985, page 3


Exam Subsection: Inventory

16
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 3: What legal document indicates new property lines on a subdivided lot?

A. The city and regional master plan


B. A recorded plat (survey plan)
C. A subdivision master plan
D. An assessment map

Rationale: When searching for a client’s current property lines and/or boundaries, this map is
needed to determine any changes in the property lines.
Exam Subsection: Inventory

Question 4: Transfer of development rights could be used to protect which of the following?

I. Historic landmarks
II. Historic districts
III. Agricultural lands
IV. Natural resources

A. I and II only
B. III and IV only
C. I, II and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Land Use Law, Mandelker, pages 472, 489, 494


Exam Subsection: Inventory

Question 5: For office and residential projects, density can be controlled by defining which
of the following?

I. Percentage of lot coverage


II. Height limitations
III. Frontage requirements
IV. Setbacks

A. I and II only
B. III and IV only
C. I, II and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Land Use Law, Mandelker


Exam Subsection: Inventory

17
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 6: Soil surveys typically do NOT provide information about

A. soil types.
B. historic land uses.
C. soil qualities.
D. topography.

Rationale: Landscape Architecture Construction, Landphair and Klatt, page 26


Exam Subsection: Inventory

Question 7: The site inventory should be a(n)

A. open-ended investigation of the biophysical phenomena on and around the site.


B. investigation of the site's physical features.
C. focused process of collecting and mapping essential attribute data for the site and its
context.
D. investigation and documentation of biophysical and cultural elements around the site.

Rationale: Site Analysis, LaGro, page 68


Exam Subsection: Inventory

Question 8: Which of the following would typically be shown on a topographic survey?

I. Property lines
II. Easements
III. Wetlands
IV. Contour lines

A. IV only
B. I and II only
C. I, II and III only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Site Analysis, LaGro, page 68


Exam Subsection: Inventory

18
A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Question 9: Which of the following types of aerial photography would best be utilized as
part of a large-scale site analysis to detect vegetation under stress due to disease?

A. Panchromatic photography
B. Color [colour] infrared photography
C. Thermal infrared imagery
D. Side looking airborne radar

Rationale: Landscape Planning, Marsh, pages 298-302


Exam Subsection: Inventory

Question 10: Vegetation can affect the perception of air temperatures by reducing

A. air movement.
B. excess particulate matter.
C. humidity.
D. shade.

Rationale: Plants in the Landscape, Carpenter, page 92


Exam Subsection: Inventory

Question 11: Which of the following may be beneficial when engaged in the mapping of
wetlands as part of the site analysis process?

I. Wetland inventory
II. Soils maps
III. Aerial photography
IV. On-site field assessment

A. I and II only
B. I and IV only
C. III and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Site Analysis, LaGro, pages 79, 88, 89


Exam Subsection: Analysis

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Question 12: Which of the following would be requested for a project that proposes higher
densities and mixed uses on some portions of the site and preservation of open space on
others?

A. Spot zoning
B. Variance
C. Planned Unit Development
D. Conditional use permit [site specific zone]

Rationale: Land Use Law, Mandelker, page 41


Exam Subsection: Analysis

Question 13: Sewer and water services on a street would most often be designed to meet
a

A. subdivision regulation
B. development covenant
C. building code
D. health and safety code

Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Residential Development, page 871


Exam Subsection: Analysis

Question 14: Which of the following should be identified to determine surface drainage
characteristics?

I. Watershed
II. Seasonal fluctuations
III. Water table depth
IV. Water quality

A. I and II only
B. II and III only
C. I, III and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Basic Elements of Landscape Architectural Design, Booth, page 288


Exam Subsection: Analysis

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Question 15: Which of the following construction systems is best for use in littoral zones?

A. Precast concrete paving


B. On grade paving
C. On grade wood decking
D. Raised decking

Rationale: Raised decking avoids disturbing the fragile environment


Exam Subsection: Analysis

Question 16: In assessing the potential for flooding on a large site, which of the following
factors should be considered?

I. The number of streams


II. The area drained by the streams
III. The capacity of the streams
IV. The rainfall intensity

A. I and II only
B. I, III and IV only
C. II, III and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Landscape Planning, Marsh, page 167


Exam Subsection: Analysis

Question 17: When assessing the drainage characteristics of a site, the landscape
architect's primary consideration should be to

A. maximize gradient of a new concrete swale.


B. preserve and utilize the natural drainage system.
C. identify ground stabilizing techniques.
D. establish depth of water table.

Rationale: Landscape Architecture, 3rd Edition, page 155


Exam Subsection: Analysis

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Question 18: On the site shown, which location would have the most favorable
microclimate for site development in a hot, humid climate?

A.
B.
C.
D.

Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture, page 220-7. Sitting near the top
of a slope maximizes exposure to breezes. Eastern orientation minimizes solar heat gain.
Exam Subsection: Analysis

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Question 19: Which of the following attributes can be combined to produce a solar
radiation map?

I. Slope
II. Aspect
III. Vegetation
IV. Soils

A. I and II only
B. III and IV only
C. I, II and III only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Site Analysis, LaGro, page 83


Exam Subsection: Analysis

Question 20: On which coastal site would one expect to find the greatest accumulation of
sand?

A. Site A only
B. Site B only
C. Site C only
D. Approximately equal accumulation on each site

Rationale: Landscape Planning, Marsh, page 252


Exam Subsection: Analysis

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Question 21: Which of the following proposed locations would typically be the most
economical for a road system?

A. Along ridgeline
B. Within watershed
C. Perpendicular to contours
D. Along drainage swales

Rationale: Site Reconnaissance and Engineering, Landphair/Motloch, page 186


Exam Subsection: Analysis

Question 22: Which of the following will encourage contact between neighbors
[neighbours]?

A. A common pathway between dwellings


B. A neighborhood [neighbourhood] park
C. A landscaped boulevard
D. Large front yard setbacks

Rationale: Site Planning, 3rd Ed., page 131


Exam Subsection: Analysis

Question 23: A water quality analysis of a watershed should develop data and information
about which of the following?

A. The receiving waterbody


B. Regional weather conditions
C. The upstream watershed
D. Invasive plant communities

Rationale: Urban Runoff Pollution Prevention and Control Planning, page 29


Exam Subsection: Analysis

Question 24: Wetland delineation is defined by changes in

A. vegetative structure
B. soil structure
C. water table
D. elevation

Rationale: Landscape Planning, Marsh


Exam Subsection: Analysis

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Question 25: In colder climates, which of the following is considered the favored site?

A. South facing below an exposed crest


B. South facing on a ridgeline
C. South facing at the toe of slope
D. West facing below an exposed crest

Rationale: Landscape Architecture, Simonds, page 88


Exam Subsection: Analysis

Question 26: In selecting a site for a sanitary landfill, which of the following criteria is the
most critical to consider in evaluating the potential for negative environmental impacts?

A. Presence of trees to screen the facility


B. Location near a major highway
C. Distance from a stream
D. Type of soil available on-site to cap the landfill

Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architects


Exam Subsection: Programming

Question 27: In a temperate region, site selection for residential developments should
consider which beneficial climatic factors?

A. High elevations on windward side of slopes; breeze utilization in cool periods; windbreaks
against NE storms
B. SSE slopes; breeze utilization in cool periods; evergreen windbreaks in NE-SW direction
C. SE slopes; breeze utilization in warm periods; windbreaks against NW winter winds
D. NNE slopes; breeze utilization in summer only; windbreaks against SE storms

Rationale: Design with Climate, Olgyay


Exam Subsection: Programming

Question 28: Which of the following conditions would NOT pose a potential limitation on
the siting of a septic leaching field?

A. Slow rate of permeability


B. Moderate rate of permeability
C. Rapid rate of permeability
D. Shallow depth to water table

Rationale: A. will not allow the leach lines to function properly; C. and D. would allow the
groundwater aquifer to become contaminated
Exam Subsection: Programming

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Question 29: Which of the following sites could reasonably support a tennis club program
requirement of 16 tennis courts, 2,500 ft2 [250 m2] tennis club building and surfaced parking for
50 cars, if no more than 1/3 of the site can be developed into impervious area?

A. 8 acres [3.2 hectares]


B. 10 acres [4.0 hectares]
C. 12 acres [4.9 hectares]
D. 14 acres [5.7 hectares]

Rationale: Tennis = 2.64 ac.; Bldg. = 0.06 ac.; Parking = approx. 0.35 ac.; Total = 3.05 ac. x 3 =
9.15 ac.
Exam Subsection: Programming

Question 30: A gently sloping 60-acre [24-hectare] site was previously a construction
debris fill site with a cover of soil 4’ to 6' [1.2m - 1.8m] deep. Which development program
would best fit the site with the least disturbance to the debris fill?

A. Single-family split-level houses


B. Regional botanic garden
C. Elementary school
D. 18-hole regulation golf course

Rationale: Grading requirements of A, C and D would disturb the debris fill


Exam Subsection: Programming

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Section C – Site Design


Landscape architects are expected to develop site or land use plans that take into consideration
the off-site and on-site influences to development. Landscape architects must consider various
codes, consultant studies and principles of sustainability when creating a site design. They
should be able to evaluate the design solutions of others and possess the ability to create
alternative solutions to a problem.

Site planning is important to the protection of the environment. Locating uses that do not fit the
topography or that disturb the existing environment can be devastating to the ecosystem for
decades to come. Good design also benefits the people using it. Proper site planning impacts
the welfare of the public and encourages safer environments.

Practice Problem 1:

You should download the problem and solve it before proceeding on to the problem solutions.
Download from www.clarb.org/Candidates/ExamResources/Documents/SampleC1.pdf.

Included in this chapter are several candidate interpretations of this problem and how the
solutions might be evaluated. You should compare your solution to these other candidate
solutions to see where you may have a weakness and determine what areas you should focus
on before taking the exam.

This problem is testing two distinct competencies from the specifications for Section C:

Evaluate design alternatives to determine the appropriate solution


Design circulation systems (e.g., equestrian, bicycle, pedestrian, vehicular)
Create design alternatives to demonstrate the range of options
Develop conceptual design, planning, and management solutions considering on-site
and off-site influences
Predict implications of design, planning and management proposals on natural and cultural
systems both within the site and in the larger context
Synthesize and make connections between aspects of landscape architecture and
disciplines outside of landscape architecture including consultant studies

If you look at the soil information first, you can see that soil types 1 and 3 are acceptable for just
about any type of construction. Soil type 2 has organic soil below 3’ that may be problematic for
building foundations. The water table is also fairly high in this soil profile.

You are required to locate two sports fields and a small building. If you remember the
information from the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual, you will recall that there is information
pertaining to sport field orientation and to setbacks for athlete safety. You should look back to
the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual and make sure you understand how to apply those codes.

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If you compare the site to the soil map from the consultant, you will see that the soil type 2,
which had some issues, is generally located below the 285 contour. You should consider this
when placing your project elements.

You are also constrained by the existing facilities and the existing trees. Although you could
destroy trees to make the site work well, it would be better to be environmentally friendly and
conserve as much as possible.

The site topography is generally flat with the exception of a steep slope between the 285 and
290 contour.

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Candidate Solution 1

This candidate must have been concerned with soil type 2. A decision was made to destroy
existing vegetation over constructing any element on soil type 2.

We can see that the candidate must have consulted the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual based on
the notes for the baseball orientation and the 30’ setback from the parking lot.

The biggest problem is that the candidate failed to indicate a vegetation removal zone that
would ensure the 30’ active recreation setback. If a soccer player were to run off of the field, a
potential injury could occur if there were existing tree trunks in the 30’ setback.

Although the baseball orientation is acceptable, the field is not oriented in the E/NE direction
specified in the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual. The soccer orientation is good and the
maintenance building is located in close proximity to both fields.

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Candidate Solution 2

The second candidate chose to avoid removing trees and placed the soccer field and
maintenance building further south on the site. It is also evident that this candidate referred to
the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual and ensured that the active recreation was provided with a 30’
buffer zone.

Part of the soccer field is located on soil type 2 and the maintenance building is right on the
border of two soil types.

Again, the field orientation for both uses is acceptable; however, the baseball is not optimally
oriented per the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual. The soccer has been placed over the steep slope
on the site which will cause excessive grading and increase the costs of the development. A
small portion of the building has been placed on soil type 2. Although only a portion of the
building is located on poor soils, we have determined that soil type 2 will not support a building
foundation. This error would convince a grader that the candidate has not considered the
implications of the consultant’s information that was provided as part of this project.

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Candidate Solution 3

The third solution avoids the existing trees by placing the entire soccer field on soil type 2. The
maintenance building is placed between the fields above the 290 contour along with the
baseball diamond. The baseball field has been oriented towards the existing high school.

The baseball field orientation is the biggest problem on this solution. The problem statement
asked us to optimize the orientation of the sports fields. In this case, the batters would be
looking into the afternoon sun, which could result in athlete injury.

Although this candidate did not dimension or label the 30’ active recreation zone around the
sports fields, the design adheres to the setback and would be acceptable.

The soccer field is located on soil type 2. Although this is not the best soil, it would be
acceptable for a soccer field. There are no foundations that would be required in the poor soil
layer and the high water table would not be disturbed by grading.

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Candidate Solution 4

The fourth candidate solution locates all of the project elements below the 285 contour. The
maintenance building is directly adjacent to the soccer field and all uses have been located to
avoid tree removal.

This solution fails to take the soil information into account. Both the maintenance building and
the baseball grandstands are located on soil type 2. The soil profile indicates that neither
structure will be properly supported in this location.

This candidate has also failed to consider the active recreation setback. A soccer player
running off the field could be injured by running into the maintenance building or into the existing
trees to the north and east of the field.

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Candidate Solution 5

The last solution locates the baseball field and maintenance building north of contour 290, while
the soccer field is located below 285. The candidate has indicated a 30’ active recreation
setback around both fields as per the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual.

This solution works very well. The candidate has oriented the fields properly and incorporated
the other L.A.R.E. Reference Manual codes into the solution. The design considers the soil
information and locates uses based on the existing site constraints.

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Practice Problem 2:

You should download the problem and solve it before proceeding on to the problem solutions.
Download from www.clarb.org/Candidates/ExamResources/Documents/SampleC2.pdf

Included in this chapter are several candidate interpretations of this problem and how the
solutions might be evaluated. You should compare your solution to these other candidate
solutions to see where you may have a weakness and determine what areas you should focus
on before taking the exam.

This problem is testing two distinct competencies from the specifications for Section C:

Evaluate design alternatives to determine the appropriate solution


Design circulation systems (e.g., equestrian, bicycle, pedestrian, vehicular)
Create design alternatives to demonstrate the range of options
Develop conceptual design, planning, and management solutions considering on-site and
off-site influences
Predict implications of design, planning and management proposals on natural and cultural
systems both within the site and in the larger context
Synthesize and make connections between aspects of landscape architecture and
disciplines outside of landscape architecture including consultant studies

You have been given two conceptual diagrams for a regional park office and are asked to
evaluate which solution works better in terms of circulation safety, codes and functional
relationships.

Once you have selected a concept, you will need to draw a final site plan incorporating all of the
code requirements from the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual. Before you start your design, it is a
good idea to think about the codes that may apply to this design.

Applying setbacks will be important to your design solution. You may want to draw them on the
site before you proceed. Circulation must be 10’ from property lines and 15’ from right-of-way
lines such as the property line along Park Road. Buildings must be setback at least 15’ and 25’.
We also have a stream that requires a 50’ setback.

You will want to be familiar with all of the circulation codes, such as minimum turning radius,
intersection offset, parking lot dimensions and the general rules concerning primary circulation
routes. You must provide 12 parking spaces for the park office. Don’t forget to look up how
many accessible parking spaces that you need. You must also locate the park gate and
consider how vehicles can access the park office even if the park is closed.

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Candidate Solution 1

The first solution is based on concept one. The candidate has provided the 12 car parking lot
and has indicated return circulation to show that the parking does not violate the dead end
parking lot code. Visitors can access the parking lot even when the park gate is closed. A turn
around is provided on the park side of the circulation drive as per the given concept.

The biggest problem with this solution is that the candidate chose the wrong solution to refine.
The concept does not allow a vehicle to come into the site and turn around if the park gate is
closed. The vehicle turnaround has been provided on the wrong side of the gate which serves
no purpose when the park gate is closed.

In addition, the concept indicated the park office building too close to the existing stream. The
candidate followed along with the concept and violated the 50’ stream setback required by the
L.A.R.E. Reference Manual. The parking circulation also does not work properly. The radius at
the end of the parking lot does not meet code and will not allow vehicles to turn around. In fact,
because the turning radius does not function and the parking lot circulation is one-way, the
parking lot essentially has been designed as a dead end parking area.

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Candidate Solution 2

The second candidate selected concept two to refine. The solution indicates a one-way parking
lot and a separate drive to bypass the parking.

There are several problems that occur with this solution. A critical problem is that visitors that
enter the site when the park is closed may come to the gate and not be able to turn around to
leave. First they would have to back up to the parking exit only to find that the drive is one-way
out and legally they would not be able to turn around.

Another major problem is that the parking lot aisle is not wide enough. Even though the drive
meets the minimum road width for one-way travel, in a parking lot, 11’ is not sufficient for a car
to be able to back out of a space. One-way circulation is okay in a parking lot as long as the
aisle is wide enough for a car to back out - 20’ minimum.

The extra travel lane in front of the building provides a pedestrian/vehicular conflict because the
pedestrian crossing is not in an expected location. The lane may have been shown to provide a
drop-off location for the building, but at one lane width, a stopped vehicle would back up traffic
which violates the codes on primary circulation routes.

The entry at Park Road also joins without the required 18’ minimum radius. Exiting cars would
be forced into oncoming traffic when leaving the site.

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Candidate Solution 3

The third solution is based on the correct concept and provides the required 12 parking spaces.
This candidate chose to locate the parking spaces directly on the park access road and located
the park gate right at the end of the parking lot.

The biggest problem here is that cars are forced to back into the major traffic flow entering and
exiting the park. This violates the rules concerning primary circulation routes. As per the
concept, parking should be pulled off of the primary circulation route to provide a safer vehicular
traffic pattern. Because the parking is directly on the entry road, the parking also becomes a
dead end lot when the gate to the park is closed.

This solution also fails to incorporate an accessible parking space as required by the L.A.R.E.
Reference Manual. The accessible parking space would be included as one of the 12 required
spaces.

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Candidate Solution 4

This candidate has also refined the second concept. The parking has been pulled off of the
major circulation route to ensure that vehicles would not back into traffic. The parking uses a
one-way circulation system and the candidate has placed the park gate at the beginning of the
stream crossing.

Once again, the visitors entering the site when the park is closed will not be able to turn around
if they drive to the gate. The entry drive prior to the gate is in excess of 100’ without a turn
around and the parking exit is one-way, making it illegal for a vehicle to turn around at the exit
drive.

This candidate also included two accessible spaces when only one is required. This indicates
to the grader that the candidate did not apply the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual code correctly.

Outside of the turn around issue with the one-way parking lot aisle, the parking circulation will
work correctly. The aisle width shown in the parking area is 24’, allowing cars to back out easily
from the parking spaces.

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Candidate Solution 5

The final solution also pulls the parking off of the main road as indicated in the second concept.
In this case the parking lot circulation is two-way and the gate location allows visitors to turn
around when the park is closed. The minimum turning radii have been provided throughout the
design and the accessibility codes have been met in the parking lot.

This solution has met all of the requirements of the problem statement and has incorporated the
necessary codes from the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual. The setback indications are not
necessary for the final solution. However, drawing the setback lines probably helped the
candidate ensure that all of the codes had been met.

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Practice Problem 3:

You should download the problem and solve it before proceeding on to the problem solutions.
Download from www.clarb.org/Candidates/ExamResources/Documents/SampleC3.pdf

Included in this chapter are several candidate interpretations of this problem and how the
solutions might be evaluated. You should compare your solution to these other candidate
solutions to see where you may have a weakness and determine what areas you should focus
on before taking the exam.

This problem is testing two distinct competencies from the specifications for Section C:

Evaluate design alternatives to determine the appropriate solution


Design circulation systems (e.g., equestrian, bicycle, pedestrian, vehicular)
Create design alternatives to demonstrate the range of options
Develop conceptual design, planning, and management solutions considering on-site
and off-site influences
Predict implications of design, planning and management proposals on natural and
cultural systems both within the site and in the larger context
Synthesize and make connections between aspects of landscape architecture and
disciplines outside of landscape architecture including consultant studies

You have been asked to create a site plan for a neighborhood park considering the on-site and
off-site conditions.

You will need to draw a final site plan incorporating all of the code requirements from the
L.A.R.E. Reference Manual. Before you start your design, it is a good idea to think about the
codes that may apply to this design.

Applying setbacks will be important to your design solution. You may want to draw them on the
site before you proceed. There is a stream that requires a 50’ setback. You should also
consider the setback and orientation issues associated with sports facilities as they are part of
this design. You will also need to consider the description of each use and make a
determination as to its placement on the site.

To respond to the second competency tested, you will need to provide a summary of the
implications of having this use on this site. The summary must address the implications to the
environment, to the external land uses and to traffic flow.

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Candidate Solution 1

The biggest problem with this solution is that the candidate failed to consider the setback
requirements defined in the L L.A.R.E. Reference Manual. The trail and the playground are
placed within the 50’ stream setback. The 30’ active recreation setback is violated in three
locations. This would cause injuries for those passing by the field or for the players if they ran
off of the field.

Another problem is with the relationship to the off-site uses. The conifers can be used to help
protect the neighbors from the lights of the late night uses. However, the solution locates
elements where they will disturb the adjacent homes.

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Candidate Solution 2

This solution considered all of the required setbacks and even indicated the setbacks on the
plan. The uses are located to help prevent disturbance to the adjacent homeowners and the
trail connects all of the uses to the neighborhood for easy access.

This solution works well and responds to the site planning competency being tested.

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Candidate Solution 3

Summary of Predicted Implications:

The playground was located to give the best access to the residential area and parking. The
pool, basketball and tennis courts were located near the commercial area so the lighting would
not be a problem to the residential area.

The soccer area was located in the open area to give access from all points into the park.

The solution to the written summary does not meet the requirements of the competency being
tested. This solution describes why the uses were placed on the site. The problem statement
specifically says not to describe the location of your elements, but to describe the specific
impact this use will have on both on-site and off-site conditions.

The solution does not address the environmental impact or traffic flow at all and does not
address the implications of having a neighborhood park in this location.

Candidate Solution 4

Summary of Predicted Implications:

There will be a very low impact on the environment with the addition of the park. Specifically, no
trees will be removed and the creek will be preserved. The park location is in a prime spot
mainly because of the large amount of residential that surrounds the site. Locating more
children oriented activities away from the commercial will keep the younger users away from
busier commercial streets. The park location is also very accessible to users coming in from
five different access points. This spreads out the pedestrian and vehicular traffic.

In summary, the park is in a prime location that caters nicely to the large amount of residential.

This candidate does a better job of describing the predicted implications of having the park on
this site. However, the candidate fails to recognize some of the negative aspects of the park.
The construction of bridges over the stream and the runoff from fertilized fields will have an
impact on the quality of the stream. The candidate also fails to recognize the impact of the
noise and light from the park uses on the adjacent residential homes.

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Candidate Solution 5

Summary of Predicted Implications:

The introduction of this neighborhood park will have an environmental impact due to both the
increased use and increase in impervious surface. Some mitigation efforts are recommended to
minimize adverse impact. On the positive side, the type of use will protect the existing
vegetation on the site and will require minimal grading.

Although the park will certainly be an amenity, it will also be felt by the adjacent single family
community. Light and noise will be a problem for the homes that are directly adjacent to the
site.

Traffic flow will certainly increase. Existing parking and surrounding infrastructure may need
analysis during the planning process to avoid future traffic problems.

This solution works very well. The candidate describes both the positive and negative impacts
that this use will place on the site and surrounding properties. The environment, the relationship
to external land uses and the effect on traffic flow have all been addressed.

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Section D – Design and Construction Documentation


The following is diagnostic information that can help you study for the actual exam. Included
are 30 practice exam items with the correct answer indicated in bold print. Information about
where the item was obtained can be found below each item under “Rationale”. The “Exam
Subsection” category indicates the knowledge area being tested based on the Exam Content
Guide.

Question 1: In considering the relative benefits and costs of a large-scale neighborhood


[neighbourhood] redevelopment/revitalization scheme, which of these factors would NOT be an
anticipated consequence within the redeveloped area?

A. Increase in tax revenue


B. Decrease in commercial diversity
C. Reduced need for public services
D. Increased neighborhood [neighbourhood] stability

Rationale: Revitalizing America’s Cities, Schill and Nathan, pages 33-37


Exam Subsection: Design Principles

Question 2: Which of the following are items that should be considered in designing
signage for roadway usage?

I. Whether the landscaping will obscure the sign


II. Whether parked vehicles will obscure the sign
III. Locating the sign within 300’ [100m] of the subject
IV. Locating the sign within the normal field of vision
V. Correlating sign graphics with traffic light height

A. I, II and IV only
B. I, II and V only
C. I, III and IV only
D. II, III and IV only

Rationale: Architectural Signing and Graphics, Follis and Hammer, page 20


Exam Subsection: Design Principles

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Question 3: What is the most significant factor affecting infiltration rates?

A. Slope
B. Vegetative cover
C. Water table
D. Soil type

Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture, Harris and Dines


Exam Subsection: Resource Conservation and Management

Question 4: Which of the following occurs when excessive sediment settles in a stream
channel?

A. Reduced plant species diversity


B. Deoxygenated water
C. Increase in algae blooms
D. Reduced soil permeability

Rationale: Introduction to Stormwater, Ferguson, page 7


Exam Subsection: Resource Conservation and Management

Question 5: In the symbol shown, "Y" refers to the

A. detail number
B. key to the plant list
C. sheet number where the detail is shown
D. revision number

X
Y
Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture, Harris and Dines, page 110-9
Exam Subsection: Graphic Communication

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Question 6: Which of the following are appropriate to use when specifying the quality of
workmanship in a specification?

I. Use the phrase "best possible workmanship"


II. Reference workmanship standards of trade associations
III. Reference to applicable government standards
IV. Require mock-ups to establish acceptable quality level and a basis for judging subsequent
work

A. I and II only
B. I, II and III only
C. I, III and IV only
D. II, III and IV only

Rationale: Manual of Practice, Construction Documents, Fundamentals and Formats


Exam Subsection: Construction Documentation

Question 7: A contractor has additional design responsibilities when a specification is


developed around which of the following?

A. Performance
B. Shop drawing preparation
C. A full commissioning of the product
D. A cost plus fee contract

Rationale: Standard Construction Document CCA 29 1995


Exam Subsection: Construction Documentation

Question 8: Which of the following may be shown on a planting plan?

I. Buildings and building overhangs


II. Paved areas
III. Location of existing plant materials
IV. Location of lighting fixtures

A. I and II only
B. III and IV only
C. I, II and III only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture, Harris and Dines, pages 110-118
Exam Subsection: Construction Documentation

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Question 9: Which of the following sequences represents the least-to-most expensive


square foot [square metre] costs for these exterior surface pavement materials?

A. Wood deck, unit pavers, cast-in-place (C.I.P.) concrete, granite, bluestone/slate


B. C.I.P. concrete, unit pavers, wood deck, bluestone/slate, granite
C. C.I.P. concrete, wood deck, unit pavers, bluestone/slate, granite
D. Unit pavers, granite, bluestone/slate, C.I.P. concrete, wood deck

Rationale: Data Sheets Issued by Scofield Engineered Systems for Coloring and Texturing
Architectural Concrete
Exam Subsection: Construction Documentation

Question 10: Upon evaluation of a newly constructed deck, the deck boards bounce under
load. This is the result of which of the following?

A. Deck boards are laid bark side down.


B. Joist spacing is too far apart.
C. Deck board fasteners are not adequate.
D. Deck surface is too high above grade.

Rationale: Wood in the Landscape, page 60


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

Question 11: Which of the following are characteristics of a well designed wetland area?

I. Groundwater recharge is eliminated.


II. Stormwater runoff is controlled.
III. Sediment deposit is increased.
IV. A bio diverse animal habitat is cultivated.

A. I and II only
B. II and IV only
C. III and IV only
D. I, II, III and IV

Rationale: Site Engineering for Landscape Architects, page 148


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

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Question 12: Given the indicated curb height, which of the following items is the most
appropriate for X?

A. 24" [600mm]
B. 26" [650mm]
C. 30" [750mm]
D. 32" [800mm]
E. 34" [850mm]
F. 3' [1.0m]
G. 3½' [1.1m]
H. 4' [1.2m]
I. 5' [1.5m]

Rationale: ADA Standards for Accessible Design, 4.6.6


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

Question 13: What is the recommended minimum depth of water in a pool in order to
provide a satisfactory return system, display jets and submerged lights?

A. 4" [10cm]
B. 12" [30cm]
C. 24" [60cm]
D. 36" [90cm]

Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture, page 530-15 “Key Points”, item 4
Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

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Question 14: For play equipment which is more than 20" [500mm] off the ground, a shock-
absorbing surface should extend no less than

A. 3' [1m] from the play structure


B. 6' [1.8m] from the play structure
C. 9' [2.7m] from the play structure
D. 12' [3.6m] from the play structure

Rationale: Consumer Safety Committee


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

Question 15: Given a frost depth of 23" [575mm], which of the following is the minimum
appropriate dimension for A?

A. 16" [400mm]
B. 18" [450mm]
C. 20" [500mm]
D. 22" [550mm]
E. 24" [600mm]
F. 26" [650mm]
G. 30" [750mm]
H. 32" [800mm]
I. 34" [850mm]

Rationale: Site Design and Construction Detailing, page 248


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

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Question 16: Which of the following erosion control techniques would best be utilized to
direct sediment away from a local street and into a temporary sediment basin?

A. Diversion ditch
B. Hay bales
C. Silt fence
D. Check dam

Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architecture, page 640-5


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

Question 17: Pop-up irrigation heads should be placed

A. only in lawn areas.


B. under 2" [50mm] of mulch.
C. behind tall shrubs.
D. at finish grade levels.

Rationale: LA Handbook, page 372


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

Question 18: The strength of brick masonry walls depends mainly on which of the
following?

I. Brick pattern
II. Individual strength of masonry units
III. Mortar strength
IV. Shape of the brick

A. I and IV only
B. II and III only
C. II and IV only
D. I, III and IV only

Rationale: Construction Materials: Types, Uses and Applications, page 264


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

Question 19: How is plant health affected by a reduction in available phosphorous and
potassium?

A. Modified plant physiognomy


B. Increased susceptibility to disease
C. Reduced stem and leaf development
D. Reduced production of fruits, seeds and root growth

Rationale: America’s Garden Book, pages 161-163


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

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Question 20: Evaluate the detail and determine if there is an error in the detail. Which of
the following is the most correct statement concerning the detail shown?

A. The detail is correct.


B. Material type is not appropriate for the application.
C. Alterations have compromised the structural integrity of the material.
D. Lumber size is not sufficient for spacing and/or span.
E. Fasteners are missing or insufficient.
F. Fastener orientation or distance from edge of material is inappropriate.
G. Fastener or material embedment is not sufficient for the application.
H. Joint size is inappropriate or unsafe.

Rationale: The detail is missing a joist hanger. Toenailing will not adequately support the joist.
Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

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Question 21: Which of the following table designs is most suitable for wheelchair
accessibility?

A.
B.
C.
D.

Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architects, page 240-19.


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

Question 22: In determining the amount of available water in fountain design, the amount
of water pressure is calculated in terms of

A. gallons per minute [litres per minute]


B. weight per volume
C. static pressure
D. head

Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architects, page 530-2


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

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Question 23: Which of the following is a shortcoming of poured-in-place concrete for pool
or fountain construction?

A. Susceptibility to surface cracks


B. Limited constructability
C. High maintenance requirements
D. High cost

Rationale: Handbook of Landscape Architectural Construction, page 491


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

Question 24: Which of the following are functions of wall ties and veneer anchors?

I. They provide resistance to stresses perpendicular to the plane of walls.


II. They allow differential movement between veneer and back up, or between two (2) wythes
of cavity walls.
III. They allow more effective drainage in areas of high moisture and freeze-thaw.
IV. They increase strength and control of expansion and contraction.

A. I and III only


B. I and IV only
C. II and IV only
D. I, II and IV only

Rationale: Handbook of Landscape Architectural Construction - Materials (V.4), Chapter-7:


Walls: Freestanding and Retaining, pages 139-230
Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

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Question 25: Evaluate the detail and determine if there is an error in the detail. Which of
the following is the most correct statement concerning the detail shown?

A. The detail is correct.


B. Alterations have compromised the structural integrity of the material.
C. Material type is not appropriate for the application.
D. Material application does not meet code requirements.
E. Lumber size is not sufficient for spacing and/or span.
F. Fastener type or method of attachment is inappropriate for the application.
G. Fastener orientation or distance from edge of material is inappropriate.
H. Fastener or material embedment is not sufficient for the application.

Rationale: The deck guardrail cannot be safely attached to the wood decking.
Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

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Question 26: Evaluate the detail and determine if there is an error in the detail. Which of
the following is the most correct statement concerning the detail shown?

A. The detail is correct.


B. Concrete thickness is not appropriate (too thick or thin).
C. Footing is inappropriate for the application (size or position).
D. Subgrade is not adequately prepared.
E. Rebar is missing where required.
F. Rebar sizes shown are not appropriate (too large or small).
G. Reinforcing is improperly placed.
H. Joint requires a waterstop.
I. Surface treatment is inappropriate or unsafe.

Rationale: A waterstop is necessary in pool construction at slab joints to provide waterproofing.


The epoxy sealer serves as additional protection, but cannot provide the main source of
waterproofing.
Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

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Question 27: Soils with a high plastic index will generally have which of the following
properties?

I. Low moisture availability


II. Poor internal drainage
III. High sand content
IV. High shrink/swell ratios

A. I and II only
B. II and IV only
C. I, II and IV only
D. I, III and IV only

Rationale: High plastic index soils tend to be clays with low moisture availability for plants due to
high soil suctions. They drain poorly and tend to have high shrink swell ratio. The plastic index
is the best indicator of these properties.
Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

Question 28: Which of the following is a temporary measure to reduce erosion and
sedimentation?

I. Tracking heavy rubber tired equipment parallel to the contour


II. Tracking a bulldozer perpendicular to the contour
III. Laying sod strips parallel to the contour
IV. Seeding and mulching the slope

A. I and II only
B. II and IV only
C. III and IV only
D. I, II and IV only

Rationale: Beckett, Jackson, Raeder Inc. Soil Erosion and Sediment Control, Environmental
Design Press pages 23-25
Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

Question 29: To compensate for velocity loss at manholes, the exiting pipe should be

A. larger, with a lower invert elevation.


B. the same size, with a lower invert elevation.
C. larger, with the same invert elevation.
D. smaller, with a lower invert elevation.

Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architects, Section 330-33. Since exiting pipes
are larger in diameter than entering pipes, the drop is accomplished by holding the pipe tops
(crowns) at the same elevation.
Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

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Question 30: In designing a storm drainage system, piping layouts and inlet locations will
be determined by which of the following?

A. Coefficient of friction in drainpipes


B. Duration of overland flow
C. Manning's equation
D. Impervious surfaces

Rationale: Time-Saver Standards for Landscape Architects, Harris & Dines


Exam Subsection: Materials and Methods of Construction

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Section E – Grading, Drainage and Stormwater


Management
Grading design has been rated by landscape architects from all over the United States and
Canada as the most important thing that our profession does to protect the health, safety and
welfare of the public. Landscape architects are involved in grading issues from small sites to
entire watersheds. Improper handling of ground water runoff is one of the largest contributors to
water pollution.

Practice Problem 1:

You should download the problem and solve it before proceeding on to the problem solutions.
Download from www.clarb.org/Candidates/ExamResources/Documents/SampleE1.pdf.

Included in this chapter are several candidate interpretations of this problem and how the
solutions might be evaluated. You should compare your solution to these other candidate
solutions to see where you may have a weakness and determine what areas you should focus
on before taking the exam.

This problem is testing two distinct competencies from the specifications for Section E:

Synthesize and make connections between aspects of landscape architecture and


disciplines outside of landscape architecture including consultant studies
Design for protection and management of land resources (e.g., land forms, grading,
drainage, vegetation, habitat, erosion and sedimentation control)
Design for protection and management of water resources (e.g., storm water, water
supply, ground water)

The problem statement asks you to provide a new road that links East Road to West Road. The
road should be 24’ wide and should have a minimum centerline curve radius of 200’.

You are asked to show contours within the page limits and conceptually indicate the curb and
crown on the road. This should indicate to you that it is not important to calculate the exact
cross-slope on the contours, however, it is important to convey that the road has a curb and a
crown. You are also asked to provide a 1/2 acre retention pond that is an average of 2’ deep

Looking at the site, you should be able to recognize that there is a distinct ridge and a valley
that should be considered in your road alignment. The drainage through the valley would also
be important to consider when grading your road and designing the proposed retention pond.

Existing trees are shown on the southern part of the property that should be considered when
locating and grading the road.

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Candidate Solution 1

Looking at the first candidate solution, you can see that the road alignment works well with the
existing contours to protect the land forms. Minimal grading is shown to build the road and the
proposed retention pond. A low point is indicated on the road as it passes over the existing
drainage pattern on the western half of the site.

This candidate failed to provide the necessary 200’ centerline curve radius. By not following the
program directions, the candidate has made the problem easier to solve. If we look at the road
contours, you can see that this candidate failed to provide any indication of a crown or curb on
the road. The contours are drawn straight across the road and are not altered at the edge of the
road to indicate a curb line. Although the road follows the existing contours, the candidate failed
to provide a culvert at the low point in the road. All of the existing runoff coming down the valley
is directed across the paving.

A closer look at the proposed 158 contour on the eastern portion of the site also reveals that an
existing tree is destroyed. By cutting the 158 contour away from the tree, there is no way to
save it. This solution also indicates a retaining wall to retain the water for the pond. Although
this will work, the cost to provide the wall will be high. The retention pond could have been
created through landform grading and reduced the costs associated with the development.

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Candidate Solution 2

In the second solution, we can see that the candidate actually drew a double line for the curb
and altered the contours across the pavement edge. The alignment is drawn to protect the
existing landforms and a high and low point have been indicated on the road.

In this case, the candidate used landform grading to provide a dam for the retention pond. An
indication of a 2’ deep pond is shown to meet the problem requirements.

The biggest problem with this solution is with the proposed road grading. The contours on the
road are backwards and indicate a valley down the center of the road, not a crown. The curb
contours are also incorrect and show an inverted curb. The pavement is actually higher than
the surrounding ground creating a safety concern for drivers that may accidentally drive off of
the road edge. This solution also shows runoff flowing directly across the pavement at the low
point in the road.

Although a dashed line is shown to indicate the 1/2 acre water surface, the actual water surface
will follow the 148 contour and will not be located as shown by the candidate. A secondary dam
is also shown that will create a low spot that will fill up with water in addition to the proposed
retention pond.

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Candidate Solution 3

In the third solution, we can see that the candidate proposed a similar road alignment to the first
two solutions. We can see that the centerline curve on the eastern portion of the road will not
meet the 200’ radius requirement as was also the case with the first solution.

The 152 contour and the dashed lines indicate that this candidate used a culvert to
accommodate the existing drainage pattern on the site. The retention pond is indicated through
proposed contours and the road grading provides an indication of a road crown and curbs.

A closer look reveals that although parts of the drawing are correct, some of the details have
been missed. There are several places where the contours are drawn straight across the curb
line indicating the lack of a raised curb. The proposed 158 contour has also been missed. The
candidate should have noticed a problem when he or she was unable to provide connections
back to the existing contour in all places.

An indication of a culvert shows that the candidate has taken into account the large runoff
volume down the valley. However, the road connection to West Road does not meet at the
required 90 degree angle.

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Candidate Solution 4

This candidate chose a different road alignment. The road is located over the saddle to the
northeast of the property and runs through a flatter low point in the valley. The retention pond is
shown to the north of the proposed road and uses the road embankment to dam the water.

Contours accurately indicate a road crown and curbs on both sides of the road. The contours
indicate that the road is steeper on the eastern side of the site, however, the contours are
shown at or below the 8% maximum.

This candidate failed to consider the existing landforms when deciding on the proposed road
alignment. You can see that this alignment created an unnecessary amount of grading which
will damage the environment and add to the costs of development. Although the retention pond
is shown correctly with an average 2’ minimum depth and a half acre surface area, using the
road embankment as the dam will cause high water flows to crest over the paving.

The retention pond should have been located to the south of the road which would also benefit
the environment by trapping sediment from the road runoff. This solution indicates an inability
to analyze the existing environment before moving ahead with a solution.

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Candidate Solution 5

The final solution indicates a good understanding of site analysis. The road alignment protects
the existing landforms and minimal grading was required to create the proposed retention pond.
Proposed contours accurately show a road crown and curbs on either side of the road. The
curve radius requirements have been met and the existing trees have been retained.

This solution meets all of the problem requirements and demonstrates that the candidate has a
good understanding of proposed and existing contours. Existing drainage patterns have been
maintained and the landforms protected.

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Practice Problem 2:

You should download the problem and solve it before proceeding on to the problem solutions.
Download from www.clarb.org/Candidates/ExamResources/Documents/SampleE2.pdf.

Included in this chapter are several candidate interpretations of this problem and how the
solutions might be evaluated. You should compare your solution to these other candidate
solutions to see where you may have a weakness and determine what areas you should focus
on before taking the exam.

This problem is testing two distinct competencies from the specifications for Section E:

Synthesize and make connections between aspects of landscape architecture and


disciplines outside of landscape architecture including consultant studies
Design for protection and management of land resources (e.g., land forms, grading,
drainage, vegetation, habitat, erosion and sedimentation control)
Design for protection and management of water resources (e.g., storm water, water
supply, ground water)

This problem requires you to provide a grading plan to divert runoff around the proposed sports
court. Surface runoff must be directed to the proposed drainage system without disturbing the
marsh that is located to the south of the property. Runoff is not permitted to flow from the lawn
areas onto paving and there are minimum and maximum slope tolerances provided that you
must follow when developing your solution.

If you look at the site, you will see that the existing topography slopes from the north property
line to the south. The elevations of the sports court are provided so that you can provide
grading to divert the runoff around the court and into the proposed catch basin. Pipe sizes and
slopes are indicated. You must provide the invert elevations to ensure that the pipe cover is
maintained while meeting the given pipe slopes. Runoff from the proposed development is not
permitted to flow into the protected marsh.

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Candidate Solution 1

The first solution indicates swales that are capturing the runoff coming from the north and
diverting it around the sports court. The proposed catch basin rim is set at 64.57 with the invert
for pipe A at 61.57. That provides 2’ of cover over the 12” pipe. The inverts for pipe B are set at
61.57 at the catch basin and 62.70 at the man hole. That provides the required 1’ of cover over
the 24” pipe from the rim of the drainage structures.

One of the bigger problems we can see is that pipe B does not have positive drainage. It is
pitched back towards the catch basin as opposed to flowing to the man hole and down the
existing pipe system. Another problem is that the high point of swale, although labeled with a
cross, does not indicate an elevation. We do not know if the candidate understood that the high
point must be below the court elevation to ensure that runoff is diverted around the court and
not onto the paving.

In addition, the candidate failed to draw the contours correctly to provide the minimum 2% slope
for drainage. This occurs in the swale around the court as well as in the area leading to the
proposed catch basin. One foot contours must be no more than 50’ apart and you must
calculate the contour location around the catch basin based on the rim elevation.

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Candidate Solution 2

The second solution provides a high point of swale at elevation 67.80. This is below the sports
court elevation and indicates that runoff is being captured and diverted around the court. The
catch basin rim is set at 64.26 with the inverts at 61.57 and 60.57. The invert in at the man hole
is 59.87. The proposed inverts provide ample cover over the pipes and positive drainage
through the pipe system.

You should have noticed that the contours at the sports court were incorrect. This candidate
failed to take the elevations of the court into account. By tying into existing contours instead of
showing the proposed contours around the court, the solution fails to maintain the proposed
court elevations.

This solution also indicates swales that are less than the 2% minimum. It is important to follow
the requirements of the problem statement to demonstrate to the graders that you have the
ability to grade within given tolerances.

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Candidate Solution 3

This candidate has indicated a high point of swale at elevation 68.80. Proposed contours tie
into existing to create swales around the sports court. The proposed catch basin rim is set at
65.80 and the inverts set well below that to provide ample cover over the pipe. Although there
is more than a 5’ drop from the invert in on pipe A to the invert out on pipe B, the system has
positive flow and will function acceptably.

You should have spotted the fact that the high point of swale is set too high. Runoff flowing
over that point will not be entirely diverted around the court and runoff will flow onto the paving.
The high point must be below the paving elevation to ensure that all runoff is directed away from
the court.

A bigger problem, however, is that the runoff is not being directed into the proposed catch basin.
The rim is set so high that the swales actually direct the runoff into the protected marsh off the
property. This is a big mistake that will harm the environment. The catch basin rim must be set
below the 64.80 spot elevation at the property line to ensure that runoff from the proposed
development is captured by the drainage system.

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Candidate Solution 4

This candidate has properly diverted runoff around the upper portion of the sports court. The
high point of swale is lower than the court elevation and runoff is directed away in swales that
are greater than 2%.

The catch basin rim is set at 64.70, below the spot on the property line and the invert elevations
are set well below the rims to provide ample pipe cover.

A closer look around the proposed catch basin reveals that the rim is set too high. There is a 64
contour shown around the rim that indicates that water will puddle until it can reach the 64.70
rim elevation.

Another problem is with the invert in for pipe A. The drawing indicates that the pipe should have
a half percent slope. The inverts shown here indicate a 5% slope on that pipe. It is important to
double check your calculations before completing your solution.

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Candidate Solution 5

The final solution properly sets the high point of swale and indicates swales over the 2%
minimum to divert runoff around the sports court. The catch basin rim is set at 64.00, below the
64.80 elevation indicated at the property line. The invert elevations match the pipe slopes
shown and provide at least the 1’ of cover required over the pipes.

This candidate has met all of the problem requirements. Runoff is diverted around the court and
directed into the proposed catch basin at the proper slope. The subsurface system is designed
properly and runoff is captured before it can flow into the protected marsh.

This solution works very well.

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Practice Problem 3:

You should download the problem and solve it before proceeding on to the problem solutions.
Download from www.clarb.org/Candidates/ExamResources/Documents/SampleE3.pdf.

Included in this chapter are several candidate interpretations of this problem and how the
solutions might be evaluated. You should compare your solution to these other candidate
solutions to see where you may have a weakness and determine what areas you should focus
on before taking the exam.

This problem is testing two distinct competencies from the specifications for Section E:

Synthesize and make connections between aspects of landscape architecture and


disciplines outside of landscape architecture including consultant studies
Design for protection and management of land resources (e.g., land forms, grading,
drainage, vegetation, habitat, erosion and sedimentation control)
Design for protection and management of water resources (e.g., storm water, water supply,
ground water)

This problem requires you to analyze the existing cover over a utility system and prepare a
grading plan to ensure adequate cover with new site features. Surface runoff must be directed
away from the building and into the proposed drainage structures. The walk grades must be set
to ensure that the accessibility requirements for the building are met. Runoff is not permitted to
flow from the lawn areas onto the proposed walk system and there are minimum and maximum
slope tolerances provided that you must follow when developing your solution.

The problem statement requires that you add six inches of cover for any location where the
proposed walk will be atop the existing telecommunications ductbank. Runoff naturally flows
from north to south and must be diverted to avoid flowing onto the walk or into the proposed
building. Accessibility requirements must also be understood to set the grades outside the
building entries and along the proposed walk.

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Candidate Solution 1

The first solution indicates swales that the center walkway serves as an accessible entry for the
building. Drain inlet #1 is set at 853.50 and drain inlet #2 is set at 853.20.

One of the bigger problems we can see is that the proposed walk grading actually causes cut
over the existing telecommunications ductbank. There is only 12” of cover from the walk to the
top of the ductbank instead of the 30” required. The center walk to the building is required to
have steps in order to provide cover over the ductbank. Another big problem is that the runoff
from the building foundation is not directed into the drain inlets. Drain inlet #1 has the same
elevation as the building foundation and will not allow water to flow away from the building. The
area around drain inlet #2 is sheet drained towards the proposed walk and runoff from this area
will not enter the rim.

In addition, the candidate failed to divert runoff away from the proposed walk. Runoff flows from
the north of the property across the walk causing potential safety concerns. The candidate did
not adhere to the minimum and maximum gradients given in the problem statement either. Part
of the walk is shown below 1% while the west side of the walk exceeds 5%.

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Candidate Solution 2

The second solution also indicates that the center walkway is an accessible walk. As seen in
the first example, the center walkway cannot be shown at 5% or under as per the problem
statement requirements and still maintain 30” of cover over the ductbank. This solution does
not address the information supplied by an outside consultant, namely the cover requirement
over the utility.

This solution creates a swale to the north of the proposed walk to divert runoff away from the
walk. Unfortunately, the swale is not deep enough to divert all of the water entering the site
from the north. The swale should be at least six inches deep to adequately divert runoff.

Contours on the east side of the site are incorrect. The 853 contour is shown undercutting the
building foundation instead of connecting to the existing contour at the bottom of the page. The
area near drain inlet #2 does not drain at the 2% minimum as well.

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Candidate Solution 3

This candidate has indicated steps on the center walk to the building and has provided
adequate cover over the ductbank at this point. However, the spot elevation provided over the
ductbank on the east walk is too low and will not provide the necessary cover at this point.

The east walk is intended to be the accessible entry to this building, however, the spot provided
at the building entry does not meet the requirements outlined in the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual.
A mistake at the bottom of steps also causes a violation of the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual
codes. The minimum height for a riser according to the L.A.R.E. Reference Manual is 4”. The
spot shown indicates risers well under 4”. As a result of the spot grade error, runoff is also
being directed into the building entry. Runoff must be directed away from a building, especially
at entry locations.

This candidate also failed to divert runoff away from the proposed walk. A swale must be
shown to the north of the walk to prevent water from flowing onto the paving.

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Candidate Solution 4

This candidate has properly solved the accessibility issue for the building, but has placed the
top of stairs too close to the main walkway. The result is that the required handrail extensions
will cause a hazard for those walking on the proposed walk.

Again, this solution fails to properly divert runoff away from the proposed walk at the northern
portion of the site. Proposed contours are also a problem. The contours along the existing
building façade have been altered against the directions given in the problem statement. The
855 contour does not connect to existing contours and will require grading outside of the
contract limits. The slope in the unpaved area around inlet #2 is also below that required by the
problem.

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Candidate Solution 5

The final solution properly diverts runoff coming from the north away from the proposed walk.
At least 30” of cover is provided over the ductbank where the sidewalk is covering. The building
is provided with an accessible entry on the east side of the site that meets all L.A.R.E.
Reference Manual codes. Drainage is conveyed to the proposed inlets at a 2% minimum and
runoff is directed away from the center entry to a break point below the steps.

This solution works very well.

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A Step by Step Guide to the L.A.R.E.

Appendix 7 – Now What?


How to Get Prepared

First, go to the CLARB web site and


download the most current L.A.R.E.
Reference Manual. Study carefully and
make sure you understand the concepts. If
you do not understand something, ask. You
can go to other professionals or email us at
CLARB. We all want you to succeed.

Use the feedback that you received from


this publication and from other aids wisely.
Look at your weaknesses and figure out
how you can improve your skills. You may
need to get more education and/or work
experience. You may need to ask your
employer to allow you to do different kinds
of work. You may need to go outside of
your office and seek advice from other
professionals or even go into the field to see
how things are actually built.

You should practice to improve your skills


and the speed in which you can solve
problems. Get together with friends taking
the exam and make up your own problems.
Grade each other to see how you are doing.

Finally, do not be afraid to seek assistance.


You might be surprised at how willing
people are to help you through the process.

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