ARE 5.0

New Era for the ARE

The next version of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), ARE 5.0, will launch in late 2016 and incorporate the latest testing technology.

ARE 5.0 Division Structure

ARE 5.0 will include six standalone divisions that more closely align with current architectural practice. Each division will include at least 80 questions, one to two case studies, and new question types to replace vignettes. Learn more about ARE 5.0’s division structure.

Transition Plan

With our test development consultant, NCARB mapped ARE 4.0’s divisions to those in ARE 5.0 to ensure competency of candidates who may complete the ARE through a combination of both exams. Candidates who begin testing in ARE 4.0, but do not complete all divisions, will receive appropriate credit for divisions in ARE 5.0 when they transition to ARE 5.0.

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When Will ARE 5.0 Launch?

NCARB will begin the final stages of exam development and administration testing this spring, which will allow us to determine the official launch date of ARE 5.0 in late 2016. In the meantime, we’re exploring exciting opportunities with test prep providers and developing a NCARB Blog series on the new divisions.

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ARE 5.0 Transition Calculator

Our interactive calculator can help you create a personalized testing strategy by showing how 4.0 divisions will be credited in ARE 5.0. Log in to My NCARB, and we’ll automatically load the exams you've passed and their expiration dates. Use the Transition Calculator.

New Item Types and Case Studies

For ARE 5.0, we will be retiring vignettes in favor of two new question types: hot spots and drag-and-place. Plus, each division will include one to two case studies. Watch videos about ARE 5.0’s new question types

Timeline to ARE 5.0

Check out our timeline on when you can expect study materials, exam details, and other information related to ARE 5.0. Review the timeline to ARE 5.0.

Why ARE 5.0?

NCARB updates the exam every 6-10 years to ensure that it aligns with current practice. Learn about the evolution and development of ARE 5.0.

Related Publications

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ARE 5.0: Frequently Asked Questions
Learn the answers to some frequently asked questions about ARE 5.0.

Download (PDF, 75K)

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ARE 5.0 Test Specification
The ARE 5.0 Test Specification, approved by the NCARB Board of Directors in December 2013, identifies the division structure of the exam and additionally defines: the major content areas, called sections; the measurement objectives; and the percentage of content coverage, called weightings.

Download (PDF, 305K)

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ARE 5.0 Credit Model
The divisions of ARE 4.0 are mapped to the divisions of ARE 5.0 to ensure competency of candidates that may complete the ARE through a combination of divisions in both versions.

Download (PDF, 71K)

Related Content

What You Need to Know About ARE 5.0
To help you prepare for the upcoming launch of ARE 5.0, here are a few updates about exam content, scheduling policies, and test prep materials.
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Related FAQs

Why is the division structure different from ARE 4.0?

These divisions are a change from the current seven division structure in an effort to align the divisions of the ARE with the more commonly defined professional architecture activities of practice management, project management, and project design. The Test Specification was strongly informed by the results of the 2012 NCARB Practice Analysis of Architecture. This comprehensive study included multiple surveys designed to engage architects—the most appropriate representatives of the profession—in the evaluation of tasks and knowledge/ skills required of an independent practitioner.

Will there still be graphic vignettes on the exam?

ARE 5.0 is expected to take advantage of new tools and technology in the testing industry. The division structure for ARE 5.0 incorporates graphics throughout the exam through new performance item types like hot spots (candidates are presented a question asking them to identify the correct location, or “hot spot,” on a response image) instead of through the current graphic vignettes. These new item types allow for testing at higher levels of cognition through analytical, synthetic, and evaluative exercises—which will be more like what an architect does as part of regular practice.