To date, 49 jurisdictions offer early eligibility, or the ability to take the exam while completing the IDP. Not only can taking advantage of this opportunity shorten your time to licensure, but candidates who take the exam just before completing the IDP have the highest pass rate.
Trends also show a rise in the number of interns who’re completing the programs simultaneously. In 2007, the year early eligibility was established, around 25 percent of exams were taken while the candidate was completing IDP. So far in 2014, that number has grown to nearly 53 percent.
Plus, candidates starting the ARE within a year of IDP completion have a higher pass rate, and candidates taking the ARE through early eligibility have the highest—about 80 percent. The success rates drops off as interns delay taking the ARE after completing the IDP. Interestingly, these results hold for every year ARE 4.0 has been offered. It’s possible that candidates already heavily invested in the licensing process, and focused on completing the IDP, are also studying and preparing for the ARE. It is also possible that completing the requisite hours for the IDP—and doing so recently—also increases the success rate on ARE divisions.
Most jurisdictions require the completion of a NAAB-accredited to degree to start testing concurrently; some require that you complete a portion of the IDP. Remember, each jurisdiction sets its own requirements, so it’s a good idea to verify the latest policies with your state board. You can find out if your jurisdiction allows concurrent testing here.
For additional insight into our profession, download your copy of the 2014 NCARB by the Numbers here.
Editor's Note: You can find more recent data here.