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Five Years of the NCARB ARE® Rolling Clock

The NCARB ARE Rolling Clock made its debut on 1 January 2006. This January will mark the fifth year of its existence—and the first time under the policy that division scores for candidates who have not completed the exam within five years will begin to expire.

History of the Rolling Clock
NCARB's Committee on Procedures and Documents recommended the Rolling Clock in 2004 after extensively studying the issue for a few years. At the time, several states already had different forms of "rolling clock" requirements, but there was no uniform standard. The committee felt the rule addressed several concerns, the most important being that the practice of architecture and the exam's content, format, and administration change over time. Requiring that all divisions be passed within a reasonable period better assures that the ARE remains a valid measure of the level of competence necessary to independently practice architecture. Also, creating a uniform rule helped facilitate reciprocity among jurisdictions.

After lively debate, the rule was approved at the 2004 Annual Meeting and Conference with an implementation date of 1 January 2006. While no jurisdiction has a timeframe requirement that is longer than NCARB's Rolling Clock, some continue to have clocks that are shorter or do not "roll." Contact your registration board for more information on its rules and requirements.

For the complete policy regarding the ARE Five-Year Rolling Clock, please download the latest edition of the Handbook for Interns and Architects.

How Does the Rolling Clock Work?
Under the terms of the Rolling Clock, candidates for the ARE must pass all required divisions within five years. Divisions passed prior to 1 January 2006 were grandfathered into the rule. However, all divisions passed prior to 1 January 2006 will no longer be valid if a candidate has not completed the ARE by 1 July 2014.

Key Points:

  • If a division was passed prior to 1 January 2006, the candidate's five-year period will begin on the date when the first passed division was administered after 1 January 2006.
  • A passing grade for any division taken after 1 January 2006 will remain valid for five years beginning on the date the division was taken.
  • If a candidate's Rolling Clock end date is reached, only the passing score for the division establishing the Rolling Clock end date will expire.
  • Once a candidate's Rolling Clock end date is reached, a new Rolling Clock end date will be established from the date of the next oldest passed division.
  • Any division passed prior to 1 January 2006 will no longer be valid if a candidate has not passed all divisions of the ARE by 1 July 2014.

Rolling Clock Extensions
Extensions to the ARE Rolling Clock can be requested in circumstances where completion of the ARE is prevented by the birth or adoption of a child, a serious medical condition, active duty in military service, or other like causes. An applicant may request an extension by submitting a timely written application and supporting documentation as prescribed by NCARB. Upon proper application, NCARB will allow parents of newborn infants or newly adopted children a six-month extension to the end of the five-year period if the birth or adoption occurred within the five-year period.

Key Points:

  • A request for a Rolling Clock extension must be submitted by the candidate directly to NCARB.
  • The request for a Rolling Clock extension must be received by NCARB before a candidate's current NCARB Rolling Clock end date.
  • Each applicant must include a completed Rolling Clock Extension Request Form and all relevant and required supporting documentation. Download Form.
  • Extension requests should be submitted to are@ncarb.org.

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Test Center References
Two divisions of the ARE have references available in the test center for candidates to use while testing. Those references are now available on NCARB's web site to help you better prepare and manage your examination time.

Structural Systems
An index of references that can be accessed during the test is available to download. Due to copyright agreements, the actual pages cannot be displayed, but will be available in the test center.

Building Systems
Download the mathematical equations that will be available in the test center.


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