The ARE 5.0 Loophole You Should Know

 Written by: Katy Leedom
ARE 5.0 Loophole You Should Know

If you are on the path to becoming a licensed architect, you may already be aware that the Architecture Registration Exam (ARE) is being updated starting November 1st, 2016.  You may not know that there could be significant benefits in store for you if you adopt a strategic approach to the update from ARE 4.0 to ARE 5.0. You could be among a group of candidates who can take advantage of a special loophole that may save you considerable time and money.

This “loophole strategy” (or Combo Strategy) involves taking a combination of division exams from both exam versions by beginning your testing with three specific divisions from ARE 4.0 and then completing your requirements with two divisions from ARE 5.0. The key to saving time and money is that you will complete just five divisions total, instead of the required seven for ARE 4.0 and six for ARE 5.0. Completing less divisions will subsequently save you time and money. But you’ll need to act before November 1st to take advantage of the Combo Strategy.


ARE 5.0 Loophole Saves Time and Money


Save Money

The cost of each division, regardless of exam version, is $210. Since you will take fewer divisions by combining the exam versions, you will save hundreds of dollars.

ARE 4.0:                     $1,470                                  ARE 5.0:     $1,260
Combo Strategy:      $1,050                                     Combo Strategy:     $1,050
Total Savings:          $420                                      Total Savings:     $210

Save Time

Saving time is an added benefit of the Combo Strategy. You will save time on testing during exam days and the total testing time difference between the exam versions and the Combo Strategy is significant:

ARE 4.0:                   33 hours:30 min                  ARE 5.0:                  25 hours:30 min
Combo Strategy:    22 hours:30 min                     Combo Strategy:    22 hours:30 min
Total Savings:        11 hours Total                     Savings:                  3 hours

What is even more significant is the amount of time you will save in study hours. Since you will be preparing for just five divisions, your studying will be condensed into preparation for fewer exam days. That means less of your time will be spent studying for the ARE and more of your time will be spent working as a licensed architect.

ARE 5.0 Loophole You Should Know, What To do


Here’s What to Do Before November 1

Before taking advantage of these perks, you will need to make sure you are eligible and that this strategy will benefit you. To begin testing as a ARE 4.0 candidate, you need to receive eligibility to test as a ARE 4.0 candidate prior to the release of ARE 5.0 on November 1st, 2016. If you are already an eligible ARE 4.0 candidate and have completed ARE 4.0 divisions, make sure to examine your five-year Rolling Clock. If your divisions will expire due to waiting for the ARE 5.0 release, this strategy may not be best for you. See NCARB’s website for more details on making the exam transition.

After confirming that the Combo Strategy is right for you, begin studying for the following ARE 4.0 and ARE 5.0 divisions, beginning with the ARE 4.0 divisions. Comprehensive ARE exam prep material for both ARE 4.0 and ARE 5.0 is available from PPI.

ARE 4.0 Divisions:

  • Construction Documents & Services (CDS): Completing this ARE 4.0 division will give you credit for ARE 5.0: Construction & Evaluation.
  • Programming, Planning, and Practice (PPP): In combination with CDS, completing ARE 4.0 PPP will provide you with credit for both ARE 5.0 Practice Management and ARE 5.0 Project Management divisions.
  • Site Planning & Design: In combination with PPP, this will give you credit for ARE 5.0: Programming & Analysis.

ARE 5.0 Divisions:

  • Project Planning & Design
  • Project Development & Documentation


ARE 5.0 Loophole Act Now


Act Now

The Combo Strategy only works if you ensure that you are eligible to begin testing as a ARE 4.0 candidate before November 1st and prepare properly. You will not save time or money if your divisions expire or if you do not pass all the required divisions. PPI provides architects with the prep materials they need to pass their exams. Visit PPI’s website to see the comprehensive ARE 4.0 and 5.0 prep material you need to study for each division and give yourself the best preparation for success on exam day.


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