Effective December 14, 2020, candidates have the flexibility to test online, at Prometric centers, or a combination of both options.
Whether you test online or in-person, the exam’s policies, security protocols, tools, and navigation are the same for all candidates.
- Flexible scheduling: With online proctoring, you can schedule appointments 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
- Exam content: The ARE’s content and division structure did not change, so you can continue to use your existing study materials.
- Fees: Rescheduling fees are waived through December 31, 2020, and will be reinstated at a reduced rate starting January 1, 2021.
- Fewer exam questions: Each ARE 5.0 division now features 15-20 fewer questions.
- Optional breaks: Each ARE 5.0 appointment includes 30 to 45 minutes of break time, which can be used for one long break or multiple short breaks. If testing online, all previously viewed items will be locked upon returning from a break.
- Accessibility: NCARB provides accommodations for individuals with disabilities or temporary medical conditions.
- External webcam: If testing online, you will need an external webcam that can auto-focus.
- New cut scores: Score reports will be held for approximately four weeks while new cut scores are set.
- Demo exam: NCARB's free demo exam includes 75 practice questions over a three-hour testing duration, and will help you become familiar with the testing interface, question types, and tools.
- Whiteboard tool: To maintain the ARE's security, scratch paper is no longer permitted for in-person or online exams. With the exam's whiteboard tool, you can take notes, outline potential solutions, and more using an online whiteboard option.
- PSI: In summer 2021, NCARB will switch to a new test administration vendor, PSI, for both in-person and online testing.
- ARE 5.0 Guidelines
- ARE 5.0 Handbook
- Demonstration Exam
- Guide to Online Proctoring and ARE 5.0
- Online Proctoring Requirements
- ARE Accommodations Overview
- ARE 5.0 Test Prep Videos
Technical and Environment Requirements
- A well-lit, private room, free from distractions and clutter (no adults, children, or pets can be present)
- No headphones or headsets are allowed, and your desk must be clear of things like calculators, beverages, and paper
- High-speed internet connection (ethernet is recommended)
- Live audio and visual feed
- An external webcam that can autofocus to facilitate a “cable-by-cable” assessment of your computer setup
- A laptop or desktop that meets current system requirements
- Ability to download Prometric’s secure testing platform onto your computer
- A large screen size (at least 19 inches) is highly recommended, since a small screen may slow down your testing experience—but keep in mind that docking stations and dual monitors are not allowed by Prometric
$50 Rebate on First Online Appointment
NCARB understands that requiring an external webcam may create an additional expense for candidates. To help offset this, NCARB will provide all candidates who schedule their first online appointment a $50 prepaid card.
Find more information and updates regarding online proctoring:
- Archive of ARE Update newsletters
- How to Schedule an ARE Appointment (Dec. 14, 2020)
- What to Expect on Test Day (Dec. 9, 2020)
- How Winter COVID-19 Spikes May Impact Your ARE Appointment (Dec. 12, 2020)
- Online Proctoring: How to Set Up Your Testing Space (Dec. 3, 2020)
- How to Request Exam Accommodations (Dec. 2, 2020)
- Understanding the ARE Cut Score Update (Dec. 1, 2020)
- ARE 5.0 and Online Proctoring Q&A Video Series (Nov. 3, 2020)
- Digital Whiteboard Replacing Physical Scratch Paper (Sept. 24, 2020)