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The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) consists of six divisional exams designed to assess your knowledge and skills regarding the practice of architecture. Each division exam can be taken in any order, but all six must be passed as a key step on the path to earning a license. The ARE is designed to assess aspects of architectural practice related to health, safety, and welfare. Click on the tabs below to learn more about ARE® 5.0.

What is the ARE 5.0 Exam?

The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) is a multi-division exam used to assess your knowledge and skills regarding the practice of architecture. The current version of the exam, ARE 5.0, is developed by NCARB and features six divisions. Completing ARE 5.0 by passing all six divisions is required by all US jurisdictions as a key step on the path to earning a license. The division exams can be taken in any order, but must be taken and passed within a five-year period in order to qualify for architecture licensure. 

ARE 5.0 has a mixture of Alternative Item Types (AITs). There is no predetermined or fixed number of AIT exam questions, nor is there a set percentage of any one type of AIT question on an exam. Here are the AITs found on ARE 5.0:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Multiple Choice (Check-All-That-Apply)
  • Point-and-Click (Hot Spot or Mark Location)
  • Drag-and-Place
  • Fill-in-the-Blank
  • Case Study
The tests are administered at Prometric test centers and must be scheduled three days in advance. 

In addition to testing, there are other education and work experience requirements that must be fulfilled to earn a license. For more information on additional requirements, exam policies, and eligibility, please visit the NCARB website.

What can I expect when taking the Practice Management divisional exam? 

The Practice Management (PcM) division exam focuses on the management of an architectural practice and the regulations governing the practice of architecture. There are 80 questions on the exam with a time limit of 2 hours and 45 minutes. The sections include topics related to these content areas: 

  • Business Operations
  • Finances, Risk & Development of Practice
  • Practice-Wide Delivery of Services
  • Practice Methodologies

For more detailed information on topics for this divisional exam, please visit the NCARB website.

What can I expect when taking the Project Management divisional exam? 

The Project Management (PjM) division exam focuses on the management of architectural projects. There are 95 questions on the exam with a time limit of 3 hours and 15 minutes. The sections include topics related to these content areas: 

  • Resource Management
  • Project Work Planning
  • Contracts
  • Project Execution
  • Project Quality Control

For more detailed information on topics for this divisional exam, please visit the NCARB website.

What can I expect when taking the Programming & Analysis divisional exam? 

The Programming & Analysis (PA) division exam focuses on the evaluation of project requirements, constraints, and opportunities. There are 95 questions on the exam with a time limit of 3 hours and 15 minutes. The sections include topics related to these content areas: 

  • Environmental & Contextual Conditions
  • Codes & Regulations
  • Site Analysis & Programming
  • Building Analysis & Programming

For more detailed information on topics for this divisional exam, please visit the NCARB website.

What can I expect when taking the Project Planning & Design divisional exam?

The Project Planning & Design (PPD) division exam focuses on the preliminary design of sites and buildings. There are 120 questions on the exam with a time limit of 4 hours and 15 minutes. The sections include topics related to these content areas: 

  • Environmental & Condition Context
  • Codes & Regulations
  • Building Systems, Materials & Assemblies
  • Project Integration of Program & Systems
  • Project Costs & Budgeting

For more detailed information on topics for this divisional exam, please visit the NCARB website.

What can I expect when taking the Project Development & Documentation divisional exam? 

The Project Development & Documentation (PDD) division exam focuses on the integration and documentation of building systems. There are 120 questions on the exam with a time limit of 4 hours and 15 minutes. The sections include topics related to these content areas: 

  • Integration of Building Materials & Systems
  • Construction Documentation
  • Project Manual & Specifications
  • Codes & Regulations
  • Construction Cost Estimates

For more detailed information on topics for this divisional exam, please visit the NCARB website.

What can I expect when taking the Construction & Evaluation divisional exam? 

The Construction & Evaluation (CE) division exam focuses on construction contract administration and post-occupancy evaluation of projects. There are 95 questions on the exam with a time limit of 3 hours and 15 minutes. The sections include topics related to these content areas: 

  • Preconstruction Activities
  • Construction Observation
  • Administrative Procedures & Protocols
  • Project Closeout & Evaluation

For more detailed information on topics for this divisional exam, please visit the NCARB website.

 

What does NCARB-approved mean?

NCARB recently launched the Approved Test Prep Provider Program in an effort to help candidates prepare for the ARE 5.0 exam. Through this program, companies submit their ARE 5.0 study materials to NCARB subject matters experts to review. These products are evaluated to determine whether the materials adequately address the content areas and objectives outlined in the NCARB ARE 5.0 Handbook to help candidate adequately prepare for ARE 5.0. PPI, a Kaplan Company, is proud to have designated NCARB-approved materials for ALL six divisions! 

To learn more about the Approved Test Prep Provider Program, please visit the NCARB website.

Where do I begin with my ARE 5.0 prep?

PPI, a Kaplan Company, has decades of experience helping millions of architects prepare for and pass their ARE 5.0 exam. We suggest you start by reading through our tips for exam review success (link to resource on the site) and then explore our PPI Learning Hub.

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