NCARB Launches ARE 5.0

The newest version of the exam required for an architecture license, ARE 5.0, launched on November 1.

Washington, DC—After four years of development, the latest version of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), ARE 5.0, launched on November 1, 2016. The updated exam incorporates new testing technologies and features six divisions that align with current practice and the progression of an architecture project. ARE 5.0 was developed with the help of practicing architects who volunteer their time and expertise, and reviewed by experts who ensure the exam is fair, reliable, and meets national testing standards.

Developed and administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), the ARE assesses the knowledge and skills of all candidates seeking a license to practice architecture in the United States. NCARB periodically updates the exam to ensure it continues to reflect the demands of professional practice.

“We are excited to announce that candidates can now begin taking ARE 5.0,” said NCARB President Kristine A. Harding, NCARB, AIA. “With updates to both the exam structure and supporting technology that allow for a more real-world demonstration of architectural ability, we think candidates will find ARE 5.0 to be a more enjoyable testing experience.”

Aligning to Current Practice

To adapt to changes in the profession, ARE 5.0 content has been restructured into six divisions organized around architectural practice and the progression of a typical project. The new divisions also align with the experience areas of the Architectural Experience Program (AXP), helping candidates connect their practical experience to exam topics and making the licensure process smoother and easier to understand. ARE 5.0 test durations are substantially shorter than ARE 4.0—ranging from three and a half to five hours and reducing total seat time by eight hours.

In addition, ARE 5.0 features the latest graphic testing methods, replacing vignettes with two new question types: hot spots and drag-and-place. ARE 5.0 also includes case studies, which provide candidates with multiple pieces of information and require them to assess and solve the types of problems architects face on a daily basis.

Preparing Candidates for ARE 5.0

Candidates looking for insight into the new exam have access to several free study tools developed by NCARB. These include the ARE 5.0 Handbook, the ARE 5.0 Guidelines, the ARE 5.0 Community, the ARE 5.0 Demonstration Exam, and the ARE 5.0 Test Prep video series. In addition, as an incentive to take the new exam, the first 600 candidates to test on each division will receive a $100 gift card.

NCARB will continue to administer ARE 4.0 until June 30, 2018. This 20-month period of dual delivery will enable current candidates to finish the exam in a way that best suits their needs.



The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural registration boards of all 50 states as well as those of the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB assists its member registration boards in carrying out their duties and provides a certification program for individual architects.

NCARB protects the public health, safety, and welfare by leading the regulation of the practice of architecture through the development and application of standards for licensure and credentialing of architects. In order to achieve these goals, the Council develops and recommends standards to be required of an applicant for architectural registration; develops and recommends standards regulating the practice of architecture; provides to Member Boards a process for certifying the qualifications of an architect for registration; and represents the interests of Member Boards before public and private agencies. NCARB has established reciprocal registration for architects in the United States and Canada.