This post was updated in January 2024 with the most recent information.

In February, NCARB announced that the rolling clock policy will be retired on April 30, 2023. Our new score validity policy went into effect on May 1, 2023, basing the validity of exam scores on versions of the exam instead of a fixed period of time. As part of this change, Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) divisions passed under ARE 4.0 were reinstated for candidates who are seeking licensure from jurisdictions that do not have their own rolling clock requirement.

Under the score validity policy, passed exam divisions:

  • Will remain valid throughout the delivery of the version of the exam under which they were taken (e.g., ARE 5.0), AND
  • Will be used to establish appropriate credits under the next version of the exam (likely ARE 6.0)

We know you have questions about how this implementation will impact your testing progress. Here are answers to common questions we’ve received so far:

Why do some jurisdictions have a rolling clock requirement?

Each jurisdiction can set its own requirements for licensure, and some jurisdictions incorporated NCARB’s rolling clock policy into their own regulatory language. NCARB is working with individual jurisdictions to align their requirements with our new exam validity policy; we expect most jurisdictions to have updated their policies by mid-2024. See which jurisdictions have a rolling clock requirement.

What happens to my exam scores if my jurisdiction has a rolling clock requirement?

If your jurisdiction has a rolling clock requirement, your exam scores will continue to be subject to your jurisdiction’s rolling clock. NCARB will not reinstate your previously expired ARE 4.0 divisions, and you will continue to see rolling clock information on any passed divisions within your NCARB Record.

If my jurisdiction has a rolling clock requirement, can I change my jurisdiction of initial licensure to one that does not have a rolling clock requirement? Will my ARE 4.0 exam scores be reinstated if I do?

If your licensure plans are flexible, you could consider changing the jurisdiction where you are seeking licensure. If you choose to pursue licensure in a jurisdiction that does not have a rolling clock requirement, NCARB will reinstate any previously expired ARE 4.0 divisions, and you will receive ARE 5.0 division credit for those exams per the ARE 5.0 credit model.

Keep in mind, if you decide to pursue reciprocal licensure in a jurisdiction that does have a rolling clock requirement, they may not accept exam scores outside of their rolling clock window.

Why isn’t NCARB reinstating exam scores from ARE 3.1 or earlier versions of the exam?

Because the practice of architecture and the content covered by the exam evolve over time, the score validity policy ensures that candidates becoming licensed are competent in the current practice of architecture. Exam divisions passed in ARE 3.1 or previous versions no longer reflect the content covered on the current exam.

What does NCARB mean by “credit” for reinstated ARE 4.0 exams?

If you have ARE 4.0 divisions reinstated, NCARB used the ARE 5.0 credit model to determine the equivalent ARE 5.0 divisions, and you received a “pass” for the equivalent exam division(s). You do not need to take any divisions for which you received exam credit.

Will NCARB refund me for divisions I retook under the rolling clock policy?

No, NCARB will not provide refunds to candidates who retook expired divisions. Retaking the divisions was appropriate under the policy at the time.

I have expired ARE 4.0 exams, but NCARB told me I wouldn’t receive any ARE 5.0 credits for them. Why not?

Under the ARE 5.0 credit model—which outlines how ARE 4.0 divisions would transition to ARE 5.0—most individual ARE 4.0 divisions need to be combined with other passed ARE 4.0 divisions to be worth credit for an ARE 5.0 division. For example, to receive credit for ARE 5.0’s Practice Management, you must have passed ARE 4.0’s Construction Documents & Services and Programming, Planning, & Practice.

How do I understand how my ARE 4.0 divisions will transfer to ARE 5.0 division credits?

To better understand how ARE 4.0 divisions transitioned to ARE 5.0, use NCARB’s transition calculator. Select the previously expired ARE 4.0 divisions that are being reinstated on the left (along with any other unexpired ARE 4.0 divisions you may have passed) to see what ARE 5.0 divisions you will have credit for once the new score validity policy goes into effect.

Have a question that we didn’t answer? Contact us.