NALSA Publishing

ARE 5.0

ARE 5.0 is next version of the Architect Registration Examination, which was released by NCARB on November 1, 2016. This new exam is a significant departure from ARE 4.0, and all ARE predecessors. Below are details and essential information to better prepare you for this change. 


Key Points

  • You have until June 2018 to complete ARE 4.0
  • 18 month ARE 4.0/5.0 overlap, transition anytime
  • ARE 5.0 has six divisions instead of seven
  • Instead of graphic vignettes ARE 5.0 will have new question types


5.0 Divisions

  1. Practice Management
  2. Project Management
  3. Programming & Analysis
  4. Project Planning & Design
  5. Project Development & Documentation
  6. Construction & Evaluation


What's different with ARE 5.0?

The main difference between ARE 4.0 and ARE 5.0 is pretty simple. To make the exam more representative of an architect’s day-to-day experience, NCARB is eliminating graphic vignettes and taking advantage of new testing technology. In ARE 5.0, new graphic question types are shown throughout the exam. In addition to the familiar multiple-choice, check-all-that-apply, and fill-in-the-blank questions, there are three new graphic “item types.”


Hot Spots 

“Hot spot" questions require a candidate to identify the correct location on a graphic image.


Drag and Place

"Drag and place” items require a candidate to select and place a graphic onto an image. 


Case Study

“Case study” questions present a candidate with questions about a particular scenario, and based on a related set of resource documents, the candidate must assess multiple pieces of information.



The transition from ARE 4.0 to 5.0?

Regardless of where you are in the testing process, there is some strategy you should know. The message from NCARB is, “Keep testing.” However, because of the new ARE 5.0 division structure, passing certain ARE 4.0 divisions will be helpful if you need to transition. Passing the CD&S, PPP, and SP&D divisions are most important. CREDIT MODEL

Therefore, it’s possible to complete the ARE in as few as five divisions instead of seven. Determine a strategic approach to maximizing your ARE 5.0 credit, and test accordingly. However, if you have already passed several exams, check your “rolling clock.” You may decide to finish testing in ARE 4.0. We’ll provide more information as it becomes available. In the meantime, keep testing!

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