How to Read an ARE 5.0 Score Report

Along with changes to the division structure and test format, the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) 5.0 also features a refined score report, with four levels of descriptive feedback for failed divisions. Extending ARE 4.0’s three-level score reports, ARE 5.0’s score reports provide an additional level of feedback to give you more information as you prepare to retest. As you test, refer to this convenient guide to better understand the new score reports.

Pass or Fail

With ARE 5.0 cut scores set, candidates will receive score reports within days of testing—not weeks. All score reports are clearly labeled pass or fail along the top of the first page. On passing score reports, the division's expiration date—five years after the date of your exam—is also noted. Reports include a verification link should anyone need to confirm the authenticity of your score. All of your rolling clock information is provided on the lower half of the first page. Learn more about the NCARB rolling clock.

Division Content and Descriptive Feedback

The content areas assessed in the division are described on the top half of the second page. On failing score reports, these descriptions correspond with the descriptive feedback chart provided at the bottom half of the second page. Descriptive feedback is not provided on passing score reports for several reasons—most importantly because the exam is designed to assess your knowledge and skills, not to be used as a teaching tool.

If you failed, use the descriptive feedback to guide your preparation for your retest. It’s a good idea to focus more of your studies on the content areas marked as Level 3 or 4.

The levels as described at the end of a failing score report are:

Level 1: Performance at this level exceeds the minimum performance necessary to demonstrate competency.

Level 2: Performance at this level meets the minimum performance necessary to demonstrate competency.

Level 3: Performance at this level does NOT meet the minimum performance necessary to demonstrate competency.

Level 4: Performance at this level is far below meeting the minimum performance necessary to demonstrate competency.

A pass/fail decision on ARE 5.0 is determined by the total number of items answered correctly; however, performance in the content areas with the larger percentage of content will have the greatest impact on a score.

Questions? Leave them in the comments below, or ask our experts on the ARE 5.0 Community!

About the Author

I joined NCARB in 2014 as a manager in examination development. My work focuses on the development of ARE 5.0 and continued support of ARE 4.0, as well as outreach events. Prior to joining NCARB, I worked as a project architect and project manager in several architecture firms in Washington, DC. My work spanned multiple project types, including institutional, mixed-use, residential, and affordable housing across all phases of design and construction. Originally from the DC area, I left town temporarily to get my architecture degree at Tulane University—Roll Wave Roll!