Revised ARE Retake Policy FAQs

In June, NCARB announced changes to the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) retest policy. Here's what candidates and supervisors need to know about the new policy.

When does the change to the ARE retest policy go in effect?
This policy change will be implemented on October 1, 2014.

Will the change to the exam retest policy be retroactively applied to my previously failed division?
Yes. Any division failed prior to October 1, 2014 that has not already been rescheduled will have its start date recalculated based on the new policy. For example: A division failed June 20, 2014 would have a new eligibility start date of December 18, 2014 under the now current retest policy. On October 1, 2014 this eligibility’s start date will be recalculated to October 1, 2014.

If an exam appointment has already been scheduled from a previously failed eligibility, that eligibility’s start date is not able to be recalculated and the existing scheduled appointment will remain.

What is meant by "only allowed to test three times per running year?"
A candidate will be able to test on each division of the ARE up to three times within any one-year time frame. The time frame of one year will be calculated based on the oldest of the last three failed administrations of a division. After a first or second failed attempt on any division, the candidate will be able to retest as soon as 60 days. It is only after a candidate fails a division for a third time within a 12-month period that he or she must wait to retest until the oldest of his or her last three attempts is more than one-year old.

By testing as frequently as 60 days, is exam security undermined?
No. The new candidate management system implemented by NCARB this past year allows for advanced monitoring of item exposure and more robust candidate management protocols. This new functionality allows for improved access to the exam while still ensuring items are not over-exposed.

Can I reschedule an existing exam appointment to an earlier test date after this change is implemented?
No. If an exam appointment is already in place at the time of this implementation, the system cannot recalculate a new start date for that exam eligibility, as this action would cancel the exam appointment thus causing the candidate to lose his or her payment for the scheduled exam.

Any exam eligibility with an appointment scheduled at the time of this implementation will have the start date of the eligibility maintained. Therefore, candidates wanting to retest as soon as possible on a recently failed division may want to wait until after October 1, 2014 to schedule a retest appointment.

After this change goes into effect, should I retest as soon as possible or is it better to still wait six months?
Candidates should schedule retest appointments based on when they are prepared to demonstrate their competency on a particular division and not necessarily just "as soon as possible." It is advised that all candidates who fail a division complete additional preparation through more experience or content review prior to attempting the same division an additional time.

Will the change to the retest policy impact my rolling clock extensions or testing accommodations?
No. The change to the retest wait time will not impact rolling clock extensions or testing accommodations.

If the retest period can be decreased to 60 days, can it be decreased even more to allow for immediate retesting?
The 60-day wait between an exam and a subsequent retest has been established to allow NCARB and its psychometric consultant time to continuously monitor testing performance as well as any testing irregularities. This 60-day retest wait time, in combination with the three attempts per running year limitation, is a balance to provide greater access to the exam while maintaining examination security.