All six divisions of ARE 5.0 are organized the same way, varying only in the number of items and test duration. All of the items on an ARE division are authored to assess candidates based on the objectives in that division.

Each exam appointment will begin with a reminder of the ARE Candidate Agreement.  It will conclude with an additional reminder of the Candidate Agreement, a short survey, then the opportunity to see your provisional score. The content portion of each division includes individual (or discrete) items followed by case study items. You don’t need to answer them in a specific order, so you may navigate directly to a case study whenever you feel most comfortable.

Each ARE 5.0 division appointment also includes one optional 15-minute break, which you can take at any time.

Item Types

Each division of ARE 5.0 utilizes five different item types throughout the exam's discrete and case study items. All items are worth one point and there is no partial credit.

  • Multiple Choice: A multiple choice item contains a question followed by four response options. To respond to this item type, you’ll need to select a single response out of the four possible response options.
  • Check-all-that-apply: A check-all-that-apply item, sometimes called a CATA, is similar to a multiple-choice item, except it allows you to select multiple responses out of six response options. All correct response options must be selected in order to answer the item correctly.
  • Quantitative-fill-in-the-blank: A quantitative-fill-in-the-blank item, sometimes called a QFIB, contains a question followed by an input box where you’ll provide a numerical response to the question being asked. The appropriate units for the correct answer will be provided as part of the item.
  • Hotspot: A hotspot item contains a question followed by a drawing, photograph, diagram, or other image. To respond to this item type, you’ll need to click on an area or object within the provided image. If your response is located within the acceptable scoring area, it will be scored as correct.
  • Drag-and-place: A drag-and-place item contains a question followed by a background drawing, photograph, diagram, or other image. You will also be presented with a series of design elements along the left side or top of the background image. To respond to this item type, you’ll need to select one or more of the design elements and place them onto the background image. Design elements may be rotated but no other manipulations are permitted. Depending on the item, multiple design elements or not all design elements will be used in the correct response(s). If all your design elements are located within the acceptable scoring areas, the item will be scored as correct.

Case Studies

ARE 5.0 uses case studies to assess your ability to understand multiple pieces of information and make evaluative judgments based on the information. A case study includes a scenario similar to a real architecture project, providing a description of the case study and key information, as well as several additional resources associated with the scenario.

Each ARE division will include one or two case studies, with approximately 10 to 20 questions per case study (depending on the overall length of the division). The scenario and resources within a case study will not change from question to question; questions do not build on each other based on previous responses.

You will be able to access all the resources associated with a case study while reviewing any of that case study’s items. Case study items cannot be answered without the supporting resources, so you’ll need to evaluate the resources prior to answering each item.