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About Exams

The Board requires passage of the national Landscape Architect Registration Examination (LARE) as the exam standard for registration as a Landscape Architect in Oregon. 

BREAKING NEWS! The national exam is changing as of December 2023. While there will continue to be four (4) sections, the content of each section will change as of December 2023. The following information is provided to assist candidates currently in the exam process with evaluation of how completed exam sections will transfer over:

Current Exam Sections vs. New Exam Sections (December 2023)
Section 1/4 (need both) =  Construction Documentation/Administration  
Section 2                       =  Inventory/Analysis/Project Management
Section 3                       =  Planning/Design
Section 4                       =  Grading/Drainage/Stormwater Management

Candidates who have completed only one of Section 1 and 4 are advised to complete both sections prior to or during August 2023 to obtain full credit in the new exam. 

The revised exam blueprint shows the content that will be covered on each of the new LARE sections.  CLARB also offers these FAQs to assist exam candidates with questions about the transition.


CURRENT EXAM (through August 2023)
The current LARE is a four (4) part, fully computerized examination designed to test applicants for the minimum knowledge, skills and abilities required to provide landscape architecture services in a manner protective of public health, safety and welfare. The LARE is prepared, administered, and scored by the Council of Landscape Architectural Registration Boards (CLARB) in accordance with current standards for fairness and quality of licensure exams. CLARB is a non‐profit association, and state and provincial registration boards that regulate the profession of landscape architecture are members of CLARB. 
CLARB contracts with a testing vendor to have exams administered at independent testing facilities. There are multiple sites in Oregon and also facilities in neighboring states. Candidates select the facility during the exam registration process. CLARB also offers remote proctoring. Candidates facing potential barriers with getting to a testing facility are encouraged to contact CLARB for information about the remote proctoring option.

The LARE currently consists of the following exam sections:
  • Section 1: Project and Construction Management
    covering pre-project management, project management, bidding, construction, and maintenance
  • Section 2: Inventory and Analysis
    covering site inventory, physical analysis, and contextual analysis
  • Section 3: Design
    covering stakeholder processes, master planning, and site design
  • Section 4: Grading, Drainage and Construction Documentation
    covering site preparation plans, general plans and details, specialty plans, and specifications
Each section is independent of the others. Sections can be taken in any order. Sections may be taken one at a time or multiple sections may be taken in one administration. Sections 1 and 2 consist of multiple-choice and multiple-response questions. Sections 3 and 4 consist of advanced item types ("drag and place" and "hot spot" items), multiple-choice and multiple-response questions. Most exam applicants find it best to start with Sections 1 and 2 but may need to obtain practical work experience before finding success with Sections 3 and 4. For more information about the exam structure and question formats, the Board recommends reading the LARE blueprint (for April 2017 - August 2023) and the LARE Orientation Guide available from CLARB.
The LARE content is based on job analysis surveys conducted by CLARB every five to seven years. Survey respondents are asked to rate all job tasks on three separate scales: how frequently the tasks are performed, how important the tasks are to successful job performance, and whether successful performance of each task was required at initial licensure. The tasks performed most often are considered the most important and are required at the initial point of licensure and thus form the basis of the LARE. The current exam is based on a survey administered by CLARB in early 2016 which involved participation by more than 5500 practicing Landscape Architects from the United States and Canada. Survey results are analyzed by subject matter experts working with CLARB and comprised of licensed (registered) Landscape Architects representing the diversity (areas of practice, geographic, etc.) of the profession. 

The Board will also accept the equivalent of the LARE from previous versions of the national exam, such as the CLARB "UNE" or earlier CLARB versions of the LARE. The Board works with CLARB to determine equivalency of past vs. current exam forms.  The Board does NOT accept any other past or current state or provincial exams in lieu of the LARE or a previous version of the national exam.

The following resources are provided to help applicants in preparation for the LARE. 
Candidates for examination are strongly encouraged to visit the CLARB website to access various resources provided by CLARB to assist with preparation for the LARE. These resources include YouTube videos, the LARE Orientation Guide, a recommended reading list, and related materials.

See also the Board's Exam and Registration FAQs for additional guidance.