Programming, Planning & Practice (PPP) focuses on the application of project development knowledge and skills relating to architectural programming; environmental, social, and economic issues; codes and regulations; and project and practice management.

Programming, Planning & Practice Details
Intro Time    
Multiple-Choice Testing Time 2 hr 85 Items
Scheduled Break 15 min  
Intro Time    
Graphic Vignette Testing Time 1 hr Site Zoning
Exit Questionnaire    
Scheduled Appointment Time 4 hr  

Study Resources

Preparing for Programming, Planning & Practice? You can find sample questions, examples of passing and failing solutions for a sample vignette, and suggested references in our exam guide. Plus, use our PPP practice program to solve sample vignettes, and our prep video series to learn more about the multiple-choice and vignette sections. You can also access the cloud-based version of the vignette practice program through My NCARB.

PPP includes sections on the following content areas:

  • Programming & Analysis​
    • Assess client needs and requirements to develop master plan and program. Document design objectives including site characteristics, spatial and functional relationships, and building systems considerations. Establish preliminary project scope, phasing, budget, and schedule.

  • Environmental, Social & Economic Issues
    • Obtain and review site and building surveys. Assess physical, environmental, social, and economic issues and project impact. Develop project concepts utilizing sustainable principles, alternative energy systems, and new material technologies. Apply basic design principles and historic precedent.
  • Codes & Regulations
    • Identify, analyze, and incorporate building codes, specialty codes, zoning, and other regulatory requirements. Manage regulatory approval process.
  • Project & Practice Management
    • Develop scope of services and project delivery method. Assess project budget and financing. Identify project team members including consultants. Document project meetings. Manage project schedule and design progress. Assist with construction procurement. Manage legal issues relating to practice including fees, insurance, and professional services contracts.
  • Vignette: Site Zoning
    • Delineate areas suitable for the construction of buildings and other site improvements responding to regulatory restrictions and programmatic requirements. Define a site profile and maximum buildable envelope based on zoning regulations and environmental constraints.