Preparing for the ARE

Preparing for the ARE

An exam guide for each division of the ARE is available in PDF format and can be downloaded below free of charge. Each exam guide contains sample multiple-choice questions (except Schematic Design), one passing and one failing solution for each sample vignette, and a list of references for further study.

Each division also has a practice program with sample vignettes for you to solve. The practice programs can be downloaded free of charge, and will run on an IBM PC or compatible computer running Windows 98, Windows XP, Windows NT or Windows Vista 32-bit.

Cloud-Based Practice Program: A cloud-based service in My NCARB allows those with 64-bit Windows operating systems and Macs to access the practice programs. At just $10 for an annual subscription, the new service offers easy, affordable, and unlimited online access to the practice programs. In addition to the paid service, the practice programs remain available for FREE download—see details below. [FAQs]

Our practice programs software, which does not have an End User License Agreement (EULA), is the copyrighted property of the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). The lack of an EULA should be in no way construed to mean that this software is being published under an open source agreement. As such, all content is the proprietary material of NCARB and cannot be copied, modified, altered or used in any manner other than use in its native form personally by the individual downloading the software solely to prepare to take the ARE.

Warning: The programs will not run in a 64‐bit operating system.

Free Alternative: On a 64-bit machine running the Windows 7 Professional, Enterprise, or Ultimate editions, you should be able to create a virtual machine to install the various practice programs. To do so, go here to the Microsoft website to download and install the Windows XP Mode with Virtual PC. After this is done, you will be able launch the XP mode, and install the NCARB practice programs inside the XP mode.

ARE 4.0 Guidelines

All candidates preparing to take ARE 4.0 should download the ARE 4.0 Guidelines. This free publication contains an overview of the ARE 4.0 divisions, as well as information about the practice programs, the rolling clock, and maintaining exam eligibility. The ARE 4.0 Guidelines also explain the six steps to completing the ARE.

Exam Guides and Practice Programs

Each division of the ARE has a free exam guide and practice program available to help you prepare for the examination. Links to these resources are provided below.

Construction Documents & Services
Contains 48 sample multiple-choice questions, one passing and one failing solution for the sample vignette, and a list of references. Updated July 2013.

Construction Documents & Services [Exam Guide] [Practice Program]

Programming, Planning & Practice
Contains 40 sample multiple-choice questions, one passing and one failing solution for one sample vignette, and a list of references. Updated July 2013.

Programming, Planning & Practice [Exam Guide] [Practice Program]

Site Planning & Design
Contains 39 sample multiple-choice questions, one passing and one failing solution for two sample vignettes, and a list of references. Updated July 2013.

Site Planning & Design [Exam Guide] [Practice Program]

Building Design & Construction Systems
Contains 37 sample multiple-choice questions, one passing and one failing solution for three sample vignettes, and a list of references. Updated July 2013.

Building Design & Construction Systems [Exam Guide] [Practice Program]

Structural Systems
Contains 38 sample multiple-choice questions, one passing and one failing solution for one sample vignette, and a list of references. An index of references available during the test is included. Due to copyright agreements, the actual pages cannot be displayed on our web site, but will be available during the test. Updated July 2013.

Structural Systems [Exam Guide] [Practice Program] [References Available During the Test]

Building Systems
Contains 42 sample multiple-choice questions, one passing and one failing solution for the sample vignette, and a list of references. Updated July 2013.

Building Systems [Exam Guide] [Practice Program] [References Available During the Test]

Schematic Design
Contains one passing and one failing solution for two sample vignettes and a list of references. Updated July 2013.

Schematic Design [Exam Guide] [Practice Program]

Related Publications

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ARE Guidelines
Updated August 2013! The ARE 4.0 Guidelines is essential reading for anyone preparing for the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®). The document includes an overview of the exam divisions as well as the exam program, the rolling clock, exam eligibility, and five steps to taking and completing the ARE.

Download (PDF, 4,846K)

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ARE Scheduling Verification Form
Scheduling an appointment to take the ARE is governed by contractual agreements between NCARB and Prometric. If you encounter difficulty scheduling a testing appointment within the guidelines outlined below, please use this form to detail your complaint. Prometric has 48 hours to comply with your schedule request.

Download (PDF, 117K)

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