join the ARE e-news mailing list  
ARE e-news - April 2013 NCARB
True or false? Get the facts about changes to the exam process

Last December, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) announced that changes to the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) process were coming this summer. Here's your chance to gain a better understanding of the exciting benefits to come, as we set the record straight and bust a few myths about what these changes mean for candidates.

TRUE: NCARB is launching a new ARE service in 2013, called My Examination.

In late August 2013, NCARB will launch a new service within My NCARB for ARE candidates to access their examination information and schedule appointments. The new service—called My Examination—will be located within your online NCARB Record and will offer several new benefits, such as easy access to exam history, authorization to test information, rolling clock dates, score reports, and more.

FALSE: The exam content is changing in July 2013.

Test specifications for each division will remain the same. The only thing changing from a candidate perspective is the process for scheduling a test, receiving a score report, and accessing exam history data.

TRUE: Exam divisions can’t be scheduled during the blackout period.

In order to support this new service, there will be an estimated eight-week blackout period for candidates beginning 1 July 2013. During this time, exams cannot be administered or scheduled, and registration boards cannot create eligibilities for exam candidates. The blackout period is expected to end in late August.

FALSE: Prometric will no longer be administering the exam to candidates.

You will continue to take exams at Prometric test centers. When My Examination launches, you will schedule exam appointments through your NCARB Record, but the process will still be managed by Prometric.

TRUE: NCARB will automatically grant a 12-week extension to candidates’ rolling clocks due to the July 2013 blackout.

NCARB will grant an automatic 12-week extension to the rolling clock and is working with jurisdictions with their own rolling clock rules to ensure all candidates receive the same extension. Candidates will receive the full 12-week extension regardless of the length of the blackout period.

TRUE: The extension to the rolling clock does not apply to the 1 July 2014 deadline for divisions passed prior to 2006.

Candidates who have passed exam divisions prior to 2006 and have not completed the ARE will need to pass all remaining divisions by 1 July 2014 to prevent those divisions from expiring.

TRUE: The rolling clock extension is based on a candidate’s current expiration date.

If your rolling clock is scheduled to expire during or after the blackout, the rolling clock extension will be based on your current expiration date. For example, if your rolling clock is set to expire on 20 July 2013, you will receive a 12-week extension from that date. The new end date of your rolling clock will then be 12 October 2013.

However, if your rolling clock is set to expire prior to the blackout, the extension does not apply, so it's recommended that you schedule and take your exams before your rolling clock expiration date.

FALSE: The cost of the ARE is going to increase in 2013.

Fees to take the ARE will not increase in 2013 when My Examination launches—the cost of each division will remain the same. However, the fee to reschedule an exam will be based on the following tiered structure when My Examination launches:

  • 0-3 days before appointment: Rescheduling not permitted
  • 4-15 days before appointment: $80
  • 16 or more days before the appointment: $60

FALSE: NCARB Record holders have to pay a fee to use the new My Examination service.

There will be no additional cost to active NCARB Record holders for access to My Examination; it will be included with the current cost of establishing and maintaining a Record. Inactive Record holders will be required to renew their Record. Non-Record holders will need to create an NCARB account and establish access.

TRUE: An NCARB Record is needed to take the ARE.

This has been a requirement for all new candidates since May 2008 and will now be a requirement for all candidates in order to access My Examination.

FALSE: NCARB makes a profit from the ARE.

NCARB does not make a profit from the exam and has held fees down since 2010. While it is not widely known, the cost of the ARE to candidates is subsidized by fees collected from other NCARB services (e.g., Record transmittals).

For more information, see the related FAQs on





Subscribe to ARE Updates
Over the next few months, NCARB will have more information about the new ARE system, processes, blackout, and preparation resources. Subscribe to ARE Updates to receive notification when new information is available. Subscribe

Practice Programs Beta Test Continues
The Council has extended its free trial of the beta version of the ARE Practice Programs service. The cloud-based service lets those with 64-bit Windows operating systems and Macs access the Practice Programs. NCARB will determine the feasibility of offering the service in the future. For full details, see the frequently asked questions on

Authorization to Test Policy Change
As of 1 January 2011, exam candidates must take a division of the ARE (pass or fail) once every five years to keep their Authorization to Test (ATT) valid.

Authorization will not become inactive if the applicant tests and fails; it will only become inactive if the applicant does not take at least one division every five years. Candidates whose authorizations have become inactive will need to establish new eligibilities under the then current procedures of their registration boards.

ARE Divisions Passed Prior to 2006
When the ARE Rolling Clock was implemented on 1 January 2006, all exam divisions passed prior to 1 January 2006 were exempt from the rolling clock. In June 2009, NCARB’s Member Boards voted to have all exempt divisions expire on 1 July 2014 if the candidate hasn’t passed all divisions of the ARE.

If you have divisions that are currently exempt because you passed them prior to 1 January 2006, you will need to complete all divisions of the ARE by 1 July 2014 to prevent them from being affected by this policy. Learn more about the rolling clock here and the transition to ARE 4.0 here.

Metric Measurements
As of 1 July 2013, the ARE will no longer include references to metric measurements. All units will be noted in imperial only.

Attention Canadian ARE Candidates
The NCARB Board of Directors has determined that effective July 2013 the ARE will no longer include the references to Canadian content. The ARE will, however, continue to be delivered in Canada by our testing partner, Prometric, to those Canadian candidates who wish to write the ARE. Learn more

Stay Informed
Follow NCARB online to stay up-to-date on the latest news and announcements:

Follow us on Twitter Be a  Join us on LinkedIn Subscribe to our YouTube channel

National Council of Architectural Registration Boards | 1801 K Street NW | Suite 700K | Washington, DC 20006