1. Understand L.A.R.E. Prep   

The Landscape Architect Registration Examination (L.A.R.E.) is unlike any test you have ever taken. It is designed to test your competence to practice landscape architecture. It is not a design competition. As a professional licensing exam, it tests your knowledge, skills, and abilities that directly relate to protecting public health, safety, and welfare.

The L.A.R.E. is divided into four sections.
Section 1:  Project and Construction Management
Section 2:  Inventory and Analysis
Section 3:  Design
Section 4:  Grading, Drainage and Construction Documentation

A candidate for licensure must pass all of them in order to qualify to become licensed. Research shows that candidates who take sections 1 and 2 closer to graduation are more successful than those who wait. For section 4, candidates with several years of experience are more successful. There was no clear determinant of success for Section 3. The bottom line: if you think you are ready and your state allows you to take the exam before meeting the experience requirements, don't hesitate to sign up to take the exam.

The Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (aka CLARB) writes, administers, and grades the L.A.R.E. If you have any questions regarding the L.A.R.E. process or procedures, contact CLARB at

ASLA wants to help guide you through the examination process and ultimately succeed in becoming a licensed landscape architect. Take the time to review the resources provided in this section. If you have any questions or suggestions on materials that could be helpful in support of L.A.R.E. preparation, contact


2. Find out If You Are Eligible for Licensure

Each state sets its own requirements for licensure and the timing of taking the L.A.R.E.  Many states now allow applicants to begin taking the exam after graduation - but not all. CLARB provides the latest information on state rules regarding when applicants can begin taking the exam.  Many states also have a rolling 5-year clock for taking the exam, meaning that you must pass all sections within 5 years of taking the first section. Be sure to review the information provided by the state licensure board where you intend to earn your first license.  

In Louisiana, if you have an LAAB accredited degree in landscape architecture, you may begin the exam registration process. This mean if you graduated from LSU with a BLA or an MLA, you can start taking your exam today. Otherwise, contact CLARB.


3. Create a Study Strategy (ASLA Member only)

ASLA offers a wealth of resources for members.  New materials are in development, so check back throughout your exam experience for more information. Select the links below to begin your study strategy.

Section 1: Project and Construction Management: Resources include practice questions and webinars
Section 2: Inventory and Analysis: resources include practice questions and webinars
Section 3: Design: Resources include content-related materials, practice vignettes
Section 4: Grading, Drainage, and Construction Documents: Resources include content-related materials, practice vignettes


4. Find a L.A.R.E. Review Session 

L.A.R.E. Review sessions are held all over the country. Check to see if there's one around you!

No upcoming review sessions in Louisiana? Contact the Associate Rep if you are interested in participating in a review session hosted by the local chapter.


4.5. Register for the Exam with CLARB

CLARB has a 3 step process for registering and scheduling the exam. This includes starting a CLARB Council Record (a $150 annual fee). CLARB is also used when you complete all parts of the exam and are applying for Licensure in Louisiana, or in any other state.


5. Take the Exam

Upcoming exam dates:
December 5-17. 2016
Registration opens September 4 - November 29
Cancellation Deadline: November 29th

Exams are administered at Pearson VUE test centers (on behalf of CLARB) throughout the United States and Canada. Exam candidates register for the exams by visiting the CLARB website.

New LARE Format

  • Fully computerized sections 1-4 began in September, 2012.

  • Practice tests for the computerized sections are available for Sections 1 thru 4. Other updated exam resources including samples of the new innovative item types should also be available now.

* While the LARE exam format will change in 2012 for Sections C, D and E, the format will not change for Sections A & B

For further details, visit the CLARB website.

Changes to the 2012 exam will include:

Five to four sections – This modest structural change will better align the content of the L.A.R.E. with current practice.  For full details on the structure of the new exam and the equivalency between the current and new exam, please view the L.A.R.E. Transition Chart.  

Full computer based testing – By December 2012 all four sections will be delivered by computer to improve relevance, reliability, and accessibility.  For additional information on the computerization of the current graphic sections, please view the Frequently Asked Questions.

Follow the discussion and frequently asked questions on Facebook.