Exam Evolution: When Can We Expect Remote Proctoring?

Editor's note: This article was updated on August 25, 2020.

Test center closures and limited seat availability continue to impact Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) candidates’ ability to progress toward licensure. Understanding how we can enable candidates to take the exam remotely, while preserving the rigor expected from our member licensing boards, is a top priority for NCARB.

Currently, we are evaluating options that would allow the exam to be delivered using remote proctoring—including selecting a test administration vendor and determining what changes would need to be made to the exam’s structure and format. Here’s what you need to know about next steps that would allow interested candidates to take the ARE via remote proctoring.

What Is Remote Proctoring?
An exam delivered with remote proctoring enables a candidate to take the exam in an appropriate location of their choice, but at a fixed time and with a fixed duration. The exam is overseen by a “remote proctor” who observes the candidate throughout their test to ensure compliance with testing conditions.

Exam Structure Changes
In its current format, ARE 5.0 is not designed to be delivered via remote proctoring. Its software navigation, flexibility, and large test time requirements make it difficult to securely deliver the exam using remote proctoring.

To make remote proctoring possible, NCARB is actively working with our volunteers and psychometrician consultants to adjust the delivery of ARE 5.0’s six divisions into a new version deliverable via traditional test centers as well as remotely. 

Timeline
NCARB plans to determine necessary changes to exam structure and testing vendors by July 2020. Once those decisions are made, the restructured exam will be developed, and the new version will be launched.

To ensure the exam is still accepted by all 55 U.S. jurisdictions as a fair and valid measure of a candidate’s ability to competently practice architecture, establishing the next version of the exam will require a focus on rigor through research and testing. Currently, we hope to be able to offer remote proctoring in late-2020.

Is This an Exam Transition?
The new version in development would not require an exam transition like the transition from ARE 4.0 to ARE 5.0. The new version would use the same six divisions currently used in ARE 5.0, and divisions passed in the current version of ARE 5.0 would count toward completion of the ARE the same way they do now.

Remote Proctoring Conditions
NCARB is responsible for assuring our member licensing boards that the security and integrity of the exam is not compromised. To maintain appropriate security, future remote proctoring of the ARE will involve a check-in procedure that includes a video inspection of the testing area, live proctors monitoring and recording the candidate’s audio and video during the entire testing event, and the live proctor maintaining overall exam control throughout the test administration.

To take the exam via remote proctoring, interested candidates will need to provide a private testing area with a continuous high-speed internet connection, as well as a live audio and video feed from your computer.

Once implemented, remote proctoring will allow the flexibility to take the exam in any location where one can provide a private environment and meet the necessary computer requirements.

Testing Options
Once remote proctoring is available, all candidates taking the ARE would have the same test format—whether testing at a physical testing location or taking the exam via remote proctoring. All policies around exam timing, breaks, access to resources, etc., will be consistent regardless of the delivery mode.