ARE 5.0 Path to Licensure

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The Amber Book

The Amber Book

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Online Seminar


Info and Tips

Study Tips

I want to extend my gratitude to you and your team. After 3 weeks of using your ARE Building Systems online seminar, I took the exam and on my first attempt I just received a passing grade. I am really glad that I made the decision to take your course, you’re a very talented teacher and have a keen eye for details. Also I must tell you my confidence level before I took your seminar was very low, but I followed your advice and it worked. Once again, thank you.

Andre' Clarke

I took your seminar a couple weeks ago, and I found out today I passed the Building Systems exam.  I greatly appreciate your effort, enthusiasm, and knowledge on the topics you covered. The seminar helped by breaking down the information, and you covered topics that I don’t deal with on a daily basis at work or even learned in school.


Gillian Faircloth

The building systems videos you assembled was the fastest and easiest way to learn a broad variety of material in a short amount of time.  It gave me a great backbone to build on before taking the exam.  With a bit of supplementary review of other items you suggested, I successfully took and passed the building systems exam on my first try this week. I can’t thank you enough for your help.

Paul Gehrke

I ended up taking the BDCS exam and passed it about three weeks ago and, crazy as it may sound, I feel very sad for passing because I am not going to get the chance to experience another one of your amazing seminars. I think I enjoyed watching your videos as much as an amazing Netflix Series. One thing that I will do however, is become your advocate and strongly encourage all the people that are going to take the BDCS and Systems exam to take your seminars because as I once said before, they completely changed the way I perceive many subjects in the realm of architecture, they made me a better designer, will make me a better architect, and also taught me how to study for all the exams in general. I believe your methods are just simply phenomenal. I am forever grateful for your contribution to my architectural education.

Matteo R.

I just wanted to thank you guys for all your hard work with the video and that I received my pass email this morning. This was the first time taking the building systems exam and I felt so confident about the material prior to my test date. Although the questions from the exam were worded to confuse you, I felt that the basic concepts in your video helped me to make an educated decision based on all the factors. I did no prior studying for this exam and just watched all of the videos 4 times over within the 3 week span.

Chunwai Wong

It’s a pass! Second attempt and it was, dare I say, comfortable and easy this time around because of your course. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

Constance Rosado

Just received my results and I passed! Thank you thank you thank you. As this was my 2nd time taking the exam, I know I could not have done it without your seminar. YOU are a great teacher.

Michael Varland

I just saw my exam report. It is a pass. I would really like to thank you for the Amber tutorial, which is the only material I went through. I can’t believe I passed it only after three weeks studying period. This video is super efficient 🙂

Xuan Feng

THANK YOU. I used the Amber Book for my second shot at the Building Systems exam, the last of the series I needed to pass, and I attribute my passing grade solely to your course. My first time around I used Ballast, MEEB and everything in between and came up short, but 3 weeks of watching videos (which is insanely helpful for a visual learner like myself) did the trick. I would certainly suggest to this course to anyone looking to take and pass the Building Systems exam, I only wish I knew of it the first time around!! Thank you again!

Robert Ruggiero

Thank you for this course. It almost covered everything needed to pass the exam. I found the pace, the variety, the visuals, etc very helpful for learning quickly and retaining the knowledge. The vignette tutorial took away a lot of my anxiety about it. I was nervous about taking this exam because it was my first, and because I haven’t worked in an architectural firm before (have been working for years in green building consulting firm). This exam seemed like the best starting point for me given my experience, but I still had a lot of ground to cover with plumbing, acoustics, electricity, fire systems and other specialties. I was looking for a method of studying that was going to get me through the exam, tell me what to look for and what to pay attention to, and just how to pass. Yours was the best I’ve taken, and I passed on my first attempt back in November! Thanks


Waleed A.

I just wanted to let you know that I received my PASS exam result this morning and wanted to say thank you for putting together such great material for studying. Not only was the material incredibly informative and completely prepared me for the exam, but was also interesting and enjoyable. The content was perfectly tailored to the questions that I received during testing and have also helped my level of comprehension/understanding of day-to-day tasks and consultant coordination at work. I have nothing but great things to say about your material and have already recommended it to coworkers and former classmates. Thanks again!

Jay Bills

I passed the exam due to your seminar. So far, it’s been the only portion of the ARE where the studying the material actually felt useful and relevant to the practice. I followed your advice and watched the videos over the ten days before the exam. I was extraordinarily skeptical this would work, but felt well prepared once the test questions began. Best wishes and sincere thanks!

Jenny S.

I found out today it is a PASS!!! Thank you so much for creating these videos, they are worth GOLD. I had very little knowledge on building systems prior to studying for this exam and I have to say Mr. Ermann’s great ability to explain and engage his viewers on this often abstract & tedious material is invaluable. Thanks you again! Keep up the excellent work!

Emma Colon

I just wanted to say thank you soooooo much for your AWESOME videos! I just got my pass for BS yesterday! You make this material so much more interesting to understand.

Nicole Cavanaugh

I cannot overstate the importance of  this course. I purchased the online seminar in preparation of retaking BDS nearly one year after I failed it. The information provided is current, relevant and the principles outlined are critical to understanding and passing this exam. Michael presented this seminar in an easy-going manner and I appreciate his approach. Just received my passing results this morning and needless to say, am thrilled. I highly recommend this seminar to any and all preparing for this ARE section.

Aimee Zielinski