ARE Practice Programs

Frequently Asked Questions

The ARE practice programs service is now available on a subscription basis to all My NCARB account holders. At just $10 for an annual subscription (which is less than $1 per month), the new service offers easy, affordable, and unlimited online access to the practice programs.

The Council will continue to offer the practice programs compatible with 32-bit systems for free on

[About the Service]  [Adding the Service]  [Using the Service

About the Service

How does the ARE practice programs service work?
The service is “cloud-based,” which means the ARE practice programs are hosted on a virtual server, accessible via free Citrix Receiver software. The cloud service is intended to allow customers with 64-bit Windows operating systems and Macs to access the practice programs, which are designed to run on 32-bit Windows systems.

Do I need to use this service to access the ARE practice programs?
The ARE practice programs remain available on for free download and will run on an IBM PC or compatible computer running Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows NT or Windows Vista 32-bit. If you are using a 64-bit Windows system or a Mac, you now have the option to subscribe to the new cloud-based service to access the programs.

How do I determine whether my Windows operating system is 32-bit or 64-bit?
PC users should follow these instructions.

Why has NCARB decided to offer this service?
The Council offered a free trial of the service from 22 January – 30 April 2013, and in a survey of beta test users, 75 percent strongly agreed or agreed that the service would be a valuable resource. Based on this data and the success of the beta test, the Council decided to launch the cloud-based practice programs service. In addition to the paid service, the practice programs remain available for free download.

Why is NCARB charging a fee for this service?
NCARB does not make a profit from the ARE, and the cost of the exam to candidates is subsidized by fees collected from other NCARB services (e.g., Record transmittals). Because there is a cost to NCARB for providing the cloud-based practice programs service, it is being offered on a paid, annual subscription basis. At just $10 per year, the new service offers easy, affordable, and unlimited online access to the practice programs.

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Adding the Service

How do I subscribe to the new ARE practice programs service?
You can subscribe by logging into My NCARB, clicking the “Add” button for the ARE practice programs, and following the instructions on the next page to purchase the service.

My NCARB Dashboard with ARE Practice Program Service

Once your payment has been submitted, you’ll be directed to the ARE Practice Programs Access page, which provides launch instructions. You will always launch the Practice Programs from this Access page in My NCARB.

If you subscribed to the service when it was offered through Remote Desktop, you will now need to access the Practice Programs through a free Citrix Receiver. Follow the instructions on the ARE Practice Programs Access page for installing the Receiver in order to launch the Practice Programs.

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Using the Service

Do I need special software to access the ARE Practice Programs service?
Yes, you will need to install a free Citrix Receiver in order to remotely access the programs, because they are hosted on a virtual server.

How do I install the free Citrix Receiver?
Once you have submitted payment for the service in My NCARB, you will be directed to the ARE Practice Programs Access page. There, you will find instructions for installing the free Citrix Receiver. The installation process varies slightly, depending on your browser and operating system type. Short video tutorials are available below, and on the Access page in My NCARB, to guide you through the installation process.

Click the link below for your browser/operating system to view a short video tutorial on how to download and install the Citrix Receiver:

Note: When installing the Citrix Receiver on a Mac, you will be asked to "enter your work or email or server address" at the end of the process. Please click "cancel" as demonstrated in the tutorial videos below.

Mac Firefox

Mac Safari

PC Internet Explorer

PC Firefox

At this time, the cloud-based practice program is not compatible with the Chrome browser.

Do I need Remote Desktop to access the ARE practice programs service?
No, Remote Desktop software is no longer necessary for accessing the programs. Instead, you will need to follow the instructions above for installing the free Citrix Receiver.

How do I log into the service using the Citrix Receiver?
The first time you install the Citrix Receiver, the Practice Programs will either open automatically or you will see a launch button to open them, depending on your browser type. On all subsequent visits, you will need to log into My NCARB, click the GO button for the ARE Practice Programs, and then click the launch button on the ARE Practice Programs Access page to get to the Practice Programs.

Access Page for ARE PP Citrix Launch

Can I save my work in the practice programs? 
We make a best effort to retain your progress in the practice programs, even after you exit the application; however, we cannot guarantee that it will be saved. As an extra measure of protection, you may wish to capture screen shots of your work for offline reference and review. 

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What should I do after I download the Citrix Installer file?
You will need to click to open the downloaded file. Depending on your operating system/browser type, it may ask you to save or run the file – you should run the file. Once the file opens/runs, it will open up a Citrix installer window. Click to install the Citrix Receiver.

Note for Mac users: The Citrix installer window may pop up behind your browser window—if you don’t see it, try moving the browser window.

Once the Citrix Receiver is installed, the Practice Programs window will open automatically—or, depending on your browser, you will need to click the ARE Practice Programs launch button that appears after the Receiver is installed.

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