Going through my final paper of my professional career as an architect, whether or not I could make it through the final test, it shall be the preparation that I will be doing starting from this week. Counting down, I am still left with 9 days to study. So after today’s sharing about my reading, I will be very much focused on sharing some read up and notes about my learning about architectural stuff like statutory requirements, professional ethic, social obligation and self integrity.
In Malaysia, there are three tiers that a person need to go through before getting their license to become a qualified architect that could certify and establish architectural consultancy practice. The first tier would be LAM Part 1 (LAM stands for Lembaga Arkitek Malaysia or Board of Architects Malaysia), which can be acquired through a three years bachelor of science in architecture study. Then, after a certain period of practice, usually 1 year, the LAM Part 1 graduate could then pursue their Master of Architecture study for 2 years to acquire the LAM Part 2. With that, the graduate is a qualified graduate architect after registering themselves and received the graduate architect ID from the board. Mine is AG/K 249 which you could find in the public directory of the board.
Then, the final stop for the qualification would be taking on LAM Part 3 examination and once passed all three stages, then will be qualified to become an Architect where one can use the abbreviation of Ar. at the start of their name (just like Dr. graduating from MBBS). The three stages for the qualification test would be the logbook & practical report, the oral test and finally the written test. The prerequisite criteria to be eligible to register and submit the practical report is by having at least 2 years of working experience. Therefore, counting from 2017, I had started my planning to accumulate as much experience I could to be eligible to register and sit for examination by 2020 (which luckily I get it). Counting from Aug 2017 to Aug 2019, I had been accumulating experience of different stages of the scope of services that an architect provides. With that, I had to compile the experience into a report format which reflects my understanding about the flow of the project implementation as well as aware about issue arise and professional suggestion provided to solve the situation. As for the oral test, it is an approximate 30 minutes interview by two architects in practice (one serving the public sector and the one the private sector). The oral test is challenging as everything could be asked under the sun. The most important part is to be precise, confident and professional when answering the questions thrown by the panels. With some luck and practice I had, I passed the second stage. So now left with the final stage which is the written test. It is a long haul 7 hours test with 8 questions in total to answer. Paper 1 will be questioning about statutory requirement while paper 2 is more about contractual. Thus, I need to train my speed of writing as well as remembering the referencing of different sections, clauses, by laws for different situations.
At the end of this stage, it is more about practicing on different small yet crucial skill like referencing, writing, extraction of key points from question and fast structuring of answers. All of these would be impossible without the help of all the past years questions and plausible answer sets that we get from our predecessors. It is good to see that we are getting more accessibility to all the resources that can get ourselves prepared for the test. For me, test is about how well we understand the system and hack it. We may not need to blindly study 100% but to understand what are the crucial abilities needed and sharpen those. Every mark counts and by training ourselves to gain marks is more important that the knowledge (for test). That’s why I’m not very fond about test but I love to handle projects which are more challenging and open ended. Yet, in order to acquire certain qualification, we still need to go through the existing system and play by the rule. That is the reality and we need to accept for now.
So, looking forward to grind myself on the different important aspects for the paper and wish me luck!