Washington, DC —The free Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) practice exams launched in June led to a twelve-percentage point increase in pass rates for candidates who used the practice exams, compared to candidates who did not use the practice exams. Candidates who used the practice exam outperformed those who did not across all six divisions of the ARE.

The National Council of Architecture Registration Boards (NCARB) launched free practice exams for all six divisions of the ARE to provide a free, high-quality resource for candidates. They launched on June 14, 2022, as part of the migration to a new exam vendor, PSI.

Research from the Baseline on Belonging study, conducted jointly by NCARB and the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA), showed many exam candidates spend significant amounts of money on study materials. The study also showed that candidates of color were more likely to spend over $500 on exam study resources and less likely to receive access to free study materials compared to their white peers.

Asian candidates had the largest percentage point increase in exam pass rates. Asian, Black/African American, and Hispanic/Latino candidates have all seen bigger increases in exam pass rates as a result of the practice exams than white candidates.

Demographic Group Pass rate differential between candidates who DO use the practice exam and those who DO NOT
Asian 17.3 percentage points (PP)
Black or African American 16.99 PP
Hispanic or Latino 16.3 PP
Other Race/ethnicity 13.4 PP
White 10.2 PP
Men 13.2 PP
Women 12.7 PP

"We are encouraged by the positive impact the free practice exams are having on ARE pass rates. NCARB is committed to creating a more equitable path to licensure and we believe this is a step in the right direction,” said NCARB President, Bayliss Ward.

For more information about the exams, check out the updated ARE Guidelines.

About NCARB 

The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards’ membership is made up of the architectural licensing boards of the 50 states, the District of Columbia, Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. NCARB, in collaboration with these boards, facilitates the licensure and credentialing of architects to protect the health, safety, and welfare of the public. 

To achieve these goals, NCARB works with its Member Boards and volunteers to develop and facilitate standards for licensure, including the national examination and experience program. NCARB also recommends regulatory guidelines for licensing boards and helps architects expand their professional reach through the NCARB Certificate. Connect with NCARB on Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube