Final ARE 5.0 Division Structure Announced

9 December 2013

Washington, DC—The final Test Specification outlining the division structure for ARE 5.0—the next version of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®)—was approved on 7 December 2013 by the Board of Directors of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards. Anticipated to launch in late 2016, the future exam will include six divisions, and each will be standalone, single test administrations. In addition to determining the division structure, the test specification also defines the major content areas, called sections; the measurement objectives; and the percentage of content coverage, called weightings.

Finalized Division Structure

This ARE 5.0 division structure results from an effort to align the exam with the more commonly defined professional architect activities of practice management, project management, and project design. The six divisions of ARE 5.0 will include:

  • Practice Management
  • Project Management
  • Programming & Analysis
  • Project Planning & Design
  • Project Development & Documentation
  • Construction & Evaluation


Development of the Test Specification

In July 2013, the ARE 5.0 Test Specification Task Force began development of the new Test Specification, which was strongly guided by results of the 2012 NCARB Practice Analysis. Comprised of over 40 architects, the volunteer task force was charged with the important task of developing the Test Specification for ARE 5.0. The task force recommendation was reviewed by the Examination Committee in October before being presented to the Board of Directors for final approval in December 2013.

“There should be a great deal of confidence in the new version of the exam,” said Gregory Erny, AIA, NCARB, Nevada Board of Architecture, Interior Design & Residential Design, and member of the NCARB Board of Directors and the Examination Committee. “The exam is responding to the areas of knowledge and expertise that were identified in the practice analysis. It's just being delivered using a different structure and different tools to stay apace with the practice of architecture and also keep pace with the knowledge and areas of expertise that architects must have in the current practice environment.”

Next Steps

Just as a transition plan was established when the examination moved from ARE 3.1 to ARE 4.0, a similar process will be undertaken to determine how ARE 4.0 will roll over to ARE 5.0. Now that the test specification has been approved, the mapping of the current exam to ARE 5.0 will take place. Information about the transition from ARE 4.0 to ARE 5.0 will be announced in late Spring 2014. For more information about ARE 5.0, please visit the ARE 5.0 section.

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About NCARB

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards' membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada.

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