Before you schedule an online-proctored Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) appointment, please take the time to make sure your computer and testing environment meet the requirements established by both NCARB and PSI. These requirements are outlined in the ARE 5.0 Guidelines.
These requirements help ensure that all ARE divisions are administered under comparable conditions, and that the results represent a fair and accurate measurement. Keep in mind, if you schedule a division of the ARE to be taken via online proctoring, you are acknowledging that both your system and testing environment meet all technical requirements and policies
Step 1: Check Prometric System Requirements
To test using PSI's Bridge, you must meet the requirements and policies within PSI’s Taking the ARE webpage, including the Online Proctoring Guide for NCARB. This PSI documentation includes a link to perform a systems check and download Bridge. This check typically takes 1-2 minutes. When you run the check, please try to replicate the conditions under which you expect to take your test. Use the same computer, at the same time of day, in the same room, and with the same setup
Step 2: Check NCARB’s Systems Requirements
Because the ARE includes many graphic elements, NCARB has several systems requirements that exceed PSI’s minimum requirements. Be sure your system also meets these requirements, including:
- Computer: Laptop or desktop computer in a single monitor configuration. Tablets and touchscreen monitors are not acceptable. Tablet/laptop hybrids must be configured in laptop mode with tablet mode disabled. All cables connected to the computer and/or peripheral devices must be accessible and visible for full inspection prior to testing. You must have administrative permissions on the computer you plan to use for testing. PSI’s Bridge secure browser may require you to modify computer settings and close prohibited programs.
- Laptop Setup: Laptops are required to be plugged directly into a power source and unattached from a docking station. If you wish to use a single external monitor configuration with your laptop, connect a computer monitor cable directly from your external monitor to your laptop and close the laptop screen. You will not be able to use the laptop’s integrated keyboard or trackpad.
- Webcam: External webcam with the flexibility and cord length to provide a 360-degree view of your testing environment including under your workstation and behind any monitor. Integrated webcams are NOT acceptable. To help offset the potential cost of purchasing an external webcam, NCARB is offering all candidates a one-time, $50 prepaid card the first time they schedule an online appointment.
- Keyboard: Laptop or external keyboard. If you use a wireless keyboard, ensure the batteries are fully charged and can last for the duration of the exam.
- Mouse: Laptop trackpad or mouse. If you use a wireless mouse, ensure the batteries are fully charged and can last for the duration of the exam.
- Monitor: Graphics and text on the ARE are designed for a single 19-inch or larger monitor displaying at 1920 x 1080 resolution. Smaller monitors and monitors at lower resolutions will reduce image clarity and necessitate additional scrolling throughout your exam.
- Internet Speed: A minimum of 3 mbps of dedicated bandwidth. Make sure there is no additional load (video streaming, gaming, music, etc.) on your internet connection during your exam administration. Consider scheduling your exam at a time when other individuals in your household/secure testing location will not be online.
- Internet Connection Type: An ethernet cable connected directly to your router is recommended for an optimal ARE experience. If using a wi-fi connection, ensure you have a strong signal throughout your exam administration. You are responsible for ensuring internet connectivity
Step 3: Check Your Room Setup
Whether you test at your home, office, school, or other location, your testing environment must meet the following requirements and any others outlined by PSI:
- Indoors: You must test indoors in a walled environment.
- Privacy: You must have a private space, preferably with a single closing door. No people or animals can be present in the room while you test. If your testing room does not have a door, you can block the entrance with a bed sheet.
- Lighting: Your testing environment must be well-lit.
- Quiet: Your room must be free of background noise.
- Workspace: Your computer must be placed on a clutter-free table or desk. You cannot test with your computer in your lap.
- Free from distractions: The room must be as uncluttered as possible. Your workspace and the surrounding area must be free of:
- Reference materials, scratch paper, pens/pencils, notepads, or language dictionaries
- Cell phones, smart watches, tablets, or other electronic devices
- Headphones, earbuds, or any in-ear device
- Baggage, handbags, purses, wallets, or briefcases
- Food or beverages
- Tobacco or other smoking products If the room you plan to test in has other screens (such as a television), a bookcase, or clutter, please cover these areas with a bed sheet.
Step 4: Familiarize Yourself With PSI’s Testing Policies
Keep in mind, you’ll also need to be familiar with and adhere to the policies outlined in PSI’s Taking the ARE webpage, including those regarding:
- Launching an exam
- Check-in procedures
- Prohibited items
- Candidate conduct
Before you schedule an online proctored division, please read these policies and confirm you can abide by them.
If you are using a computer issued by your workplace, a Mac, or a personal computer with antivirus software or a firewall, please note that you will need administrator privileges in order to test.
During your appointment, PSI will ensure you meet the required conditions before you can begin to test. Please keep in mind, if you do not meet the requirements, your appointment will end and your exam fee will not be refunded.