ARE 5.0

New Era for the ARE

The next version of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), ARE 5.0, will launch November 1, 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?

ARE 5.0 is launching on November 1, 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


Your Guide to ARE 5.0
ARE 5.0 will launch on November 1, 2016. The six-division exam will include case studies that simulate real-world practice, incorporate new testing technologies, and feature a format that more closely aligns with modern practice.

Download (PDF, 530K)


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)


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)


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

Download (PDF, 169K)

Related Content

NCARB Announces ARE 5.0 Launch Date
The highly anticipated ARE 5.0 will launch November 1, 2016.

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.

Related FAQs

Is ARE 5.0 the right path forward for the examination?

All of the proposed item types for ARE 5.0 have been judged by outside testing experts to be psychometrically justifiable for purposes of the program. The Standards for Educational and Psychological Testing (AERA, APA, & NCME, 1999) requires test developers to collect evidence that supports the intended interpretations and uses of test scores. Such evidence is typically collected to ensure that the test is measuring the intended knowledge and skills (validity), in a consistent manner (reliability) that is
appropriate for all examinees (fairness).

The proposed direction for ARE 5.0 was informed by:

  • Multi-year efforts by the Research & Development Subcommittee with additional support from the Graphics Grading Subcommittee
  • Expert psychometric advice
  • Research conducted by a multi-disciplinary staff project team
  • Emerging technology, including interviews of industry leaders
  • Results of the 2012 NCARB Practice Analysis of Architecture
Can I start testing in ARE 4.0 after ARE 5.0 has launched?

Yes—if you already have your eligibilities to test in ARE 4.0 before ARE 5.0 launches on November 1, 2016, or if you submit your official eligibility request to test in 4.0 via your My NCARB Record by October 31, 2016. You will be able to maintain ARE 4.0 eligibilities until you finish the ARE or until June 30, 2018 (whichever comes first). If you request your eligibility to test after ARE 5.0 launches, you will receive ARE 5.0 eligibilities only.

I am currently testing, should I wait for the launch of ARE 5.0?

No. Your Rolling Clock will still tick in the time between now and ARE 5.0's launch on November 1, 2016. You should look at what divisions you have currently passed and make a plan to pass the remaining divisions. If you believe you may be affected by the transition to ARE 5.0, you should make sure you test strategically going forward.