Sneak Peek at New Architectural Exam, ARE 5.0, Offered by NCARB


NCARB Releases ARE 5.0 Details and Question Type Demos

Each division of ARE 5.0 will have between 80 to 120 questions and incorporate the latest testing technology.

The next version of the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®), ARE 5.0, will include six divisions with test durations ranging between three and a half to five hours—a substantial decrease from ARE 4.0. Each division will include at least 80 questions, one to two case studies, and incorporate new testing technologies.

This news is the latest in a series of updates from the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB), designed to prepare aspiring architects for the launch of ARE 5.0 later this year.

ARE 5.0 Question Types and Case Studies

In December 2013, NCARB announced that the exam would replace vignettes with new question types: hot spots and drag-and-place, plus the incorporation of case studies. In addition to these new testing methods, the exam will continue to use multiple choice, check-all-that-apply, and quantitative fill-in-the-blank.

“Case studies are a collection of questions that are used to assess a candidate’s ability to synthesize multiple pieces of information, which is how architects solve problems on a daily basis,” said NCARB Director of Examination, Jared Zurn, AIA, NCARB. “By incorporating the latest testing methods, the exam will more closely align with modern architectural practice.”

To help make the transition to ARE 5.0 as smooth as possible, NCARB created a series of short videos about the new question types, available on YouTube at

• Case Studies • Hot Spots • Drag-and-Place

ARE 5.0 Test Durations

With the adoption of enhanced testing technologies and a more focused content strategy, exam developers were able to shave eight hours off the current exam, saving candidates time away from work and family. ARE 5.0 will also include six individual divisions, compared to seven in ARE 4.0.

Developed by NCARB, the ARE is used to test an aspiring architect’s knowledge and skills, and is required for initial licensure in all U.S. jurisdictions.

NCARB will begin the final stages of ARE 5.0 exam development and administration testing this spring, which will determine the official launch date of ARE 5.0 in late 2016. ARE 4.0 will be available until June 30, 2018.

For more information about ARE 5.0 visit


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.