Are you preparing to take an online-proctored division of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®)? Our new video guide, hosted by NCARB Test Development Coordinator Terrance Gutberlet, has all the information you need to ensure a smooth online appointment—from establishing a strong internet connection to using the whiteboard tool. You can also learn how to take a 75-question demo exam and what identification to have handy on test day! 

Here’s a preview of more helpful do’s and don’ts for online testing that you’ll find in the video: 

Schedule a Free 30-Minute Test Run Appointment 

The demo exam—which you can access through your NCARB Record—will help you identify potential technical problems with your online testing setup or testing space prior to your exam. You should schedule your test run at least one week in advance of your actual ARE appointment and have the space prepared just as you will on test day. 

Connect Via Ethernet, Not WiFi 

Connect to the internet via ethernet and limit other uses of your bandwidth during your appointment. After establishing an ethernet connection, disconnect your WiFi to ensure your computer maintains an ethernet connection throughout your exam. 

Close All Computer Applications  

Allowing your computer to run applications in the background while testing via Bridge will impact the performance of the exam delivery software. To limit technical disruptions, make sure to close all applications prior to testing. 

Adjust Your Network and Computer Security Settings 

Bridge accesses your computer, including your camera and microphone, which may be identified as a security threat by your system. Prior to your exam, adjust or disable the security settings on your computer, router, and those set through your internet service provider (ISP) to ensure Bridge is not blocked throughout your appointment. If you’re unsure how to check your ISP security settings, reach out to your ISP provider directly. 

Disable your Virtual Private Network (VPN) 

Connecting your computer through a VPN can impact the performance of the exam delivery software, so you’ll need to disable it prior to your exam. Reach out to your company’s IT support team for assistance in identifying your VPN and disabling it. 

Make Sure Your Webcam Uses Autofocus 

As part of the check-in process, PSI will confirm your ID via your webcam. If your webcam isn’t able to autofocus, reading the text on your ID can be difficult or even impossible, and you may not be able to finish your security check. 

Lastly, remember that when you schedule an online-proctored ARE appointment, you’re taking full responsibility for setting up a testing environment that meets NCARB's and PSI’s technical and environmental requirements. With the tips included in this video, you should have a smooth and problem-free online testing experience! 

Want more information? Review the ARE 5.0 Guidelines and PSI’s Taking the ARE webpage for all the specific requirements you must follow when preparing for an online exam appointment.