Editor's note: This page was updated in August 2022 to reflect current policies and questions regarding taking online proctored exams with PSI. 

You can choose to take the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) at a PSI test center or via online proctoring. Below are answers to common questions regarding online proctoring. Jump straight to questions about: 

Scheduling Appointments

Can I reschedule an in-person exam appointment to be taken via online proctoring or vice versa?
Yes! You can reschedule an exam from an in-person to an online proctored experience via your NCARB Record. To do so, select "reschedule or cancel" next to the exam appointment you would like to reschedule. Then select the option to reschedule for free, and choose the modality you would like to take your exam in. 


What do I need to be able to test online?
To take the exam via online proctoring, you’ll need to set up a proper testing environment. This includes:

  • A well-lit, private room, free from distractions and clutter (no adults, children, or pets can be present)
  • High-speed internet connection
  • Live audio and visual feed
  • A laptop or desktop that meets current system requirements
  • Ability to download PSI's Bridge software onto your computer
  • A large screen size is highly recommended, as a small screen may slow down your navigation and testing progress—but keep in mind that docking stations and dual monitors are not allowed

NCARB will share a full list of detailed requirements in early-October.

Can I test online if I’m located internationally?
Yes. PSI offers online-proctored exam times around the globe 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. If your testing environment meets the technical and environmental requirements set by NCARB and PSI, you will be able to test—regardless of your current global location.

Can I take breaks during online-proctored exams?
Yes, you can take a break during an online-proctored exam appointment. Keep in mind, you will need to complete the check-in process again after any break. In addition, you will be unable to access any exam items viewed prior to your break for security reasons.

How can I make sure my testing space meets the online proctoring requirements? 
You can take a free test run appointment with PSI to ensure that your exam space and setup meet the requirements for online proctoring. During this 30-minute appointment, you will go through the real check-in process and launch a short quiz to ensure that your system and environment are both ready for online proctoring. 

Exam Changes

Did the changes necessary to enable online proctoring make the exam easier or harder?
Neither. The content you are assessed on when you take an ARE division, as well as the proportion of items each content area takes up on the exam, did not change. Note: Because the exam length changed, NCARB set a new cut score after the online proctoring option launched in December 2020. However, the cut score for each division was set at the same difficulty level in place prior to the launch of online proctoring.

Is the content/length of online-proctored exams the same as the exams administered at the test center?
Yes! Candidates testing online experience the same exam as candidates testing in person, with the same number of items, same testing length, and same exam content and objectives.

Can I use scratch paper during my online-proctored exam?
No. Candidates testing online and in person cannot access physical, paper-and-pencil scratch paper during their exam. Candidates can the digital whiteboard to take notes during the exam instead. 

Can I see my provisional scores after an online proctored exam?
Yes, the option to view provisional feedback is available in both test centers and remotely proctored environments.

Exam Security

How do NCARB and PSI ensure exam security for online proctored exams?
NCARB and PSI have established a number of security measures for online testing, including:

  • Online exams are delivered through a secure browser application, which locks down other applications while running so candidates are not able to navigate away from the exam or attempt to access other online resources
  • Online candidates are watched over a live video and audio feed throughout their testing appointment
  • Candidates have their online testing room inspected via video as part of the check-in process for online delivered appointments
  • Candidates are required to provide a private testing area, maintain a clean desk area throughout the exam appointment, access no objects while testing, and follow all check-in agent instructions, as well as all online proctor instructions throughout the exam
  • If a candidate takes a break during the exam, they must complete the full check-in process again prior to being released back to their test

Testing Disruptions

What happens if my internet connection drops or my computer crashes during my exam appointment?
If you are disconnected from your exam during your appointment, you will be able to reboot your computer, run the system check, and re-launch your exam. You must go through the whole check-in process again; however, your exam will re-start from the point where it was disconnected.

Who do I contact if I experience technical issues during my online-proctored appointment?
If you need assistance at any time during your exam or before starting your exam, please follow these steps

What happens if someone enters the room during an online proctored exam?
Candidates are expected to maintain a private testing area throughout the entire exam appointment. If the privacy of the testing area is broken, the online proctor will pause delivery of the ARE and address the privacy issue with the candidate. Failing to maintain a private testing area may cause the administration to be terminated by the online proctor, and the candidate's attempt would be scored based on the items completed.