ARE 5.0

New Era for the ARE

ARE 5.0 will launch in late 2016 and incorporate new testing technologies to replace the graphic vignette software, which has been in use since the exam was computerized in 1997. This new version will have six divisions that align closer to how an architect practices today.

ARE 5.0 Division Structure

The future exam will include six divisions, and each will be standalone, single test administrations. This structure results from an effort to align the ARE with the more commonly defined professional architect activities of practice management, project management, and project design. [More]

Transition Plan

Subject-matter expert architects and our test development consultant Alpine Testing Solutions 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.

[Transition Plan] [Credit Model]

Need help or advice? Use the interactive ARE 5.0 Transition Calculator to help find your best plan for completing the ARE—whether it is in ARE 4.0, a combination of 4.0 and 5.0, or waiting for 5.0. You can log in through My NCARB to import your current testing information, including your Rolling Clock dates. Questions? Our customer service can help!

[ARE 5.0 Transition Calculator]

New Item Types and Case Studies

The new structure incorporates graphics throughout the exam via new “performance item types” that have candidates perform exercises similar to what an architect does as part of regular practice. Additionally, the incorporation of case studies is anticipated to be implemented in all proposed divisions and will allow more in-depth analysis of architectural scenarios by candidates.

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 to be released. [Timeline]

Why ARE 5.0?

The Council updates the exam every 6-10 years to ensure that it aligns with current practice. Learn why we are moving to ARE 5.0 and how we are developing the exam. [More]

Stay Informed

Leading up to the launch of ARE 5.0 in 2016, NCARB will provide ongoing updates to candidates about the development of ARE 5.0 as well as tips and resources to help prepare for the transition to the future exam.

Subscribe to ARE 5.0 Updates to receive notification when new information is available.

Subscribe to ARE Updates

Related Publications


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

Download (PDF, 75K)


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, 252K)


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, 66K)

Related Content

ARE 5.0 Transition Plan: It's here...!
Attention ARE Candidates: The transition plan for ARE 5.0 is now available.

New Era for the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®)
The NCARB Board of Directors has approved the development of ARE 5.0, the next version of the examination, which will incorporate dramatic new breakthroughs in graphic testing methods.

Related FAQs

What is ARE 5.0?

In early 2013, the NCARB Board of Directors voted unanimously to approve the development of ARE 5.0, the next version of the examination. As part of ARE 5.0 development, NCARB is investigating the incorporation of dramatic new breakthroughs in graphic testing methods and the use of case studies. The new performance item type questions, along with other refinements and enhancements to the examination, will allow the determination of a candidate’s competency while not requiring the present outdated CAD software system.

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. 

What can I do right now to prepare for ARE 5.0?

Keep testing in ARE 4.0! The average candidate finishes the ARE in two years—meaning most candidates currently testing will be done with ARE 4.0 before ARE 5.0 even launches.