Programming & Analysis (PA) focuses on the evaluation of project requirements, constraints, and opportunities. You should be able to demonstrate an understanding of and abilities in project type analysis, the establishment of qualitative and quantitative project requirements, evaluation of project site and context, and assessment of economic issues. 

Programming & Analysis Details:

  • Number of items: 75
  • Test duration: 3 hr
  • Allowed break time: 30 min
  • Total appointment time: 3 hr 40 min

Preparing for Programming & Analysis? NCARB has created a full-length, scored practice exam specific to Programming & Analysis now available for free in the Practice Exam Dashboard in your NCARB Record if you have ARE eligibilities. You can also find more details and suggested references in our ARE 5.0 Guidelines and test prep video series.


PA includes sections on the following content areas:

  • Environmental & Contextual Conditions 
    • Evaluate site-specific environmental and socio-cultural opportunities 
    • Evaluate site-specific environmental constraints 
    • Determine optimal use of onsite resources by incorporating sustainability principles
  • Codes & Regulations 
    • Identify relevant code requirements for building and site types 
    • Identify relevant zoning and land use requirements 
    • Identify relevant local and site-specific requirements
  • Site Analysis & Programming
    • Evaluate relevant qualitative and quantitative attributes of a site as they relate to a program 
    • Synthesize site reports with other documentation and analysis 
    • Analyze graphical representations regarding site analysis and site programming
  • Building Analysis & Programming 
    • Evaluate relevant qualitative and quantitative attributes of a new or existing building as they relate to the program 
    • Evaluate documentation, reports, assessments, and analyses to inform the building program 
    • Identify and prioritize components of the building program 
    • Assess spatial and functional relationships for the building program 
    • Recommend a preliminary project budget and schedule 
    • Identify alternatives for building and structural systems for given programmatic requirements, preliminary budget, and schedule 
    • Analyze graphical representations regarding building analysis and building programming