This panel discussion took place on March 21 and was recorded.

Click HERE to access the recording

This program is an informal discussion with four panelists who have recently passed the exam. Hear about each of their personal experiences. Compare how they studied and what study materials they used; their thoughts behind the order in which they took the exams; the process for scheduling and about how long each step of the process took; what the testing center was like, and tips for taking the exam on the computer.


Eden Garton, Assoc. AIA
Education: MArch 2021, BDA 2016, University of Minnesota
Completed the exams: February 2023
Currently doing: Working at Mitlyng Design and Architecture, designing renovations of older homes for people who love their homes and their neighborhoods. I also teach a section of Design Fundamentals II at the University of Minnesota.
Words of encouragement: Treat yourself! Seriously, these tests are tough to get through, so find ways to make studying luxurious: light a candle, put on a face mask, eat a fancy treat.

Hans-Christian Karlberg, Assoc. AIA
Education: MArch 2009, University of Minnesota
Completed the exams: September 2022
Currently doing: Working for myself, currently designing duplexes as a main course and teaching undergraduate studio at the U as an appetizer. Moonlighting as a parent.
Words of encouragement: Free the body diagram!

James Matthes, AIA
School: BARCH 2019, Dunwoody College of Technology.
Completed the exams: January 2021
Currently doing: Working at NewStudio Architecture in St. Paul. Mainly managing retail projects, but time-to-time dipping my toes into other follies – from a lakeside event center and 20th century renewal, to home kitchens, to a quaint 100sf boathouse.
Words of encouragement: Study hard and trust your knowledge – you can do this!

Celina Nelson, AIA
Education: BArch 2018, Dunwoody College of Technology, inaugural class
Completed the exams: Within 6 weeks in October and November of 2020
Currently doing: A project architect at Collage Architects, completing multi-family buildings in the Twin Cities.
Words of encouragement: Never stop learning.

This ARE 101 discussion was facilitated by Matt Wingard, Assoc. AIA
Education: U of M College of Design
Completed the exams: 2021
doing:Residential design at SALA Architects for six years
Words of encouragement: Failure is the sharpest tool.  Use it wisely.


Contact Deanna Christiansen.