Reviewing ARE 5.0 Test Results: What Are Your Options?

It can be frustrating and even discouraging to receive a failing score report, and after you’ve taken in the news, you may want to confirm or explore your results. While NCARB won’t be able to provide details regarding incorrect responses or tell you exactly what to study, we do provide support to help you move forward.

If you have questions about your exam results, you have two methods of requesting additional information: score verification and exam review. There are a number of differences between the two and deciding which to opt for—if either—can be confusing, so let’s dig deeper.

Score Verification

This option is available to all candidates. If you request a score verification, an NCARB staff architect will  review your performance on all questions in the division. Through this process, we will verify that the score and descriptive feedback on your score report are accurate. You can request a score verification of a failed division up to 60 days from the date your test was administered by contacting NCARB’s customer service.

The fee for a score verification is $100. If the score or descriptive feedback reported to you was not accurate, NCARB will refund your score verification fee and adjust your score report.

Review & Challenge

Unlike a score verification, the exam review process is conducted by your jurisdiction’s board of architecture. You’ll have the opportunity to review the question(s) you missed, but won’t receive the correct answers or any explanations.

If you choose to challenge a question you missed because you believe your response was correct, your challenge will be forwarded to NCARB for review and response. The challenge option is only available if your jurisdiction’s board permits it. If NCARB determines your response was correct, we will recognize the new score for the purpose of NCARB certification.

Note: If your board of architecture (or a court with jurisdiction) changes your score from fail to pass outside of the NCARB-facilitated review and challenge process, only that jurisdiction is required to accept the new score. NCARB will not recognize the new score for purposes of NCARB certification.

It's important to note that the application and fee for exam reviews must be received by NCARB within four months of the administration of your test, and the review process must be completed within six months of your test date.

It’s always a good idea to check with your board regarding your ability to review and challenge, or to call NCARB’s customer service and speak with a representative about the matter. NCARB charges a $300 fee to review a failed exam and your board may charge additional fees.


Information on score verifications and the review and challenge procedure is available in the ARE 5.0 Guidelines. If you are still confused and would like to discuss your options with an NCARB customer service team member, do not hesitate to call us at 202-879-0520.

You’re also encouraged to visit the ARE 5.0 Community and post questions there. Your peers may have some helpful feedback to support your decision-making process.