Six-Month Countdown to ARE 4.0’s Retirement

Licensure candidates have until June 30, 2018, to test in ARE 4.0.

Washington, DC—With the retirement of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) 4.0 around the corner, thousands of licensure candidates have already switched to the latest version, ARE 5.0—and many are finding success with the new exam.

Since the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) launched ARE 5.0 in 2016, candidates have had the option to take ARE 4.0, ARE 5.0, or a combination of both versions to complete the examination requirement. But time is running out for candidates looking to complete the exam in ARE 4.0, which is why NCARB is encouraging test takers to plan their transition strategy or switch to ARE 5.0 now.

Exam Candidates Prefer ARE 5.0’s Content and Interface

Pass the ARE
Additional graphics are available on Dropbox.

ARE 4.0, which retires June 30, 2018, features seven divisions organized around different content areas. In comparison, ARE 5.0 features six divisions organized around the phases of a typical architecture project. These divisions also align with the Architectural Experience Program’s™ (AXP™) practice areas, an improvement test takers find both refreshing and beneficial.

“The ARE 5.0 tests align very closely with the various phases of project development,” said Austen Conrad, Assoc. AIA, who passed all six divisions in just three months. “As long as candidates have had a chance to work in every phase of a project, they should feel comfortable taking the exams.”

ARE 5.0 also incorporates the latest testing methods, replacing ARE 4.0’s vignettes with case studies, hotspots, and drag-and-place questions. The exam will continue to use multiple choice, check-all-that-apply, and quantitative fill-in-the-blank questions.

“While ARE 4.0 divisions are relatively known and predictable after so many years, ARE 5.0 divisions are much better exams—they really test your ability to think and make decisions like an architect,” said recently licensed architect Leah Alissa Bayer, AIA, NCARB, who took a combination of both versions and passed in just five tests.

Making the Switch to ARE 5.0

NCARB first announced the retirement of ARE 4.0 in 2014, providing candidates with ample time to design a personalized testing strategy. Anyone who has not completed the exam by June 30, 2018, will need to transition to ARE 5.0 to complete the ARE.

To help make the upcoming change as smooth as possible, NCARB has developed a number of free resources, including an interactive Transition Calculator that shows how ARE 4.0 credits will transfer to the new exam. Candidates can also get real-time help from NCARB experts through the ARE 4.0 and ARE 5.0 communities.

Developed by NCARB, the ARE is used to test a candidate’s knowledge and skills, and is required for initial licensure in all U.S. jurisdictions. To learn more about the upcoming retirement of ARE 4.0, visit NCARB’s website.

Downloadable graphics are available on Dropbox



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 foreign countries.