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.

ARE 5.0 Resources
  • Join the ARE 5.0 Community for resources, insight, and expert help.
  • Download the ARE 5.0 Guidelines for more information on exam policies and scheduling tests.
  • Download the ARE 5.0 Handbook for details on each division, learning objectives, sample questions, and more.

Need advice? Our customer service team can help! 

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. 

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

Subscribe to ARE Updates

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


ARE 5.0 Guidelines
New! The ARE 5.0 Guidelines include an introduction to the exam, an overview of appointment times, plus five steps to completing the exam. ARE 5.0 will launch November 1, 2016.

Download (PDF, 756K)


ARE 5.0 Handbook
New! The ARE 5.0 Handbook includes a breakdown of each division, sample questions, suggested study resources, and more. ARE 5.0 launches November 1, 2016.

Download (PDF, 6,314K)


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)


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)

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
How was ARE 4.0 mapped to ARE 5.0?

NCARB’s Examination Committee, consisting of subjectmatter expert, architects and psychometricians from our test development consultant, mapped the content in ARE 4.0 to ARE 5.0. Grounded in the science of testing, they used the 2012 Practice Analysis of Architecture as a guide to compare ARE 4.0 to ARE 5.0 to look for a reasonable level of alignment. You can view the credit model here.

Does NCARB have any suggested strategies for preparing for ARE 5.0?

Yes. A good strategy for any candidate who thinks they may transition to ARE 5.0 is to focus on passing three critical divisions in ARE 4.0, which will maximize credits in ARE 5.0:

1. Construction Documents & Services
2. Programming, Planning, & Practice
3. Site Planning & Design 

If you pass these three divisions in ARE 4.0, you will only need to take two additional divisions in ARE 5.0—Project Planning & Design and Project Development & Documentation. If you take this path, you could finish the ARE in only five divisions! When determining your testing strategy to prepare for ARE 5.0, it is important to know your Rolling Clock dates. It may be in your best interest to finish the exam now to ensure exam credits do not expire.

When determining your testing strategy to prepare for ARE 5.0, it is important to know your Rolling Clock dates. It may be in your best interest to finish the exam now to ensure exam credits do not expire.