What to Expect at the Test Center

You’re probably stressed or nervous because exam day is approaching, then your colleagues share stories about the rigid check-in procedures at Prometric test centers. So, what do you have to look forward to on your test day? What do you need to know to be prepared?

Step-by-step, here’s what to expect:

  • Let the test center administrator (TCA) know you’ve arrived.
  • You’ll be given a key and instructed to place your items in a locker. Phones and calculators are not permitted in the testing room for security reasons.
  • Take a seat and wait for the TCA to go through the security protocol. This includes reviewing your ID, checking your pockets, scanning you with a metal detector wand, and going through the biometric check-in process.
  • Details on acceptable forms of ID can be found in the ARE 5.0 Guidelines. Remember, the primary form of identification must bear your signature and a recent photograph. The first and last name on the identification must be the same as the first and last name that appears in your NCARB Record.
  • You’ll receive scratch paper and a pencil, then be taken to the testing room. While you may use the scratch paper while testing, you will not be permitted to take it with you when you leave the test center; It must be intact and turned in to the TCA. If you need more scratch paper, the TCA will provide it.
  • The TCA will start your exam for you. It’s very important to raise your hand immediately if you experience any type of technical problem during your exam administration.
  • If you see a question you believe contains incorrect information, make a mental note of it and contact NCARB Customer Service after your exam. The question will be forwarded to NCARB’s Exam team for review.
  • When you are ready to take a break, click on the break button and exit the testing room. The TCA will ask you to sign out and then back in when your break concludes. If your exam includes an accommodation such as extra breaks, you will follow the same procedure each time you take a break.
  • During your break, you are permitted to take food/drink from your locker, but make sure you don’t access your phone or anything else you’ve placed in your locker. This NCARB policy is in place to maintain test security. The TCAs monitor the lockers in order to enforce the policy.

What to do if you experience a technical issue

While most ARE candidates test uneventfully, sometimes technical issues arise. If the TCA is unable to resolve an issue by starting your exam division on the same or a different computer, they will file a report, which will then be forwarded to NCARB. Depending on the issue, Prometric will contact you to reschedule the exam or NCARB will work with you directly. Any actions taken are completely dependent on the circumstances involved. If you have been exposed to exam content, you will have to wait the 60 days to retest, according to NCARB’s retake policy. The integrity of the exam and security of exam content are priorities, and we strive to make your path to licensure as smooth as possible while remaining focused on these priorities.

Still have questions?  Visit the ARE 5.0 Online Community, where you can post questions and get feedback on your concerns and testing experiences. You can also contact NCARB’s Customer Service online or by calling 202-879-0520.