Frequently Asked Questions about the ARE 5.0 Exam

The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) consists of six exam divisions 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.

ARE 5.0 Exam General FAQs

All six divisional exams must be completed within a 5-year period, which begins on the date of the first division passed. According to NCARB, the average time frame to complete all six exams in 2018 was 2.2 years.

There are five different item types utilized during each ARE 5.0 exam division. Here are the item types:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Check-All-That-Apply
  • Hotspot
  • Drag-and-Place
  • Quantitative Fill-in-the-Blank
To better assess your skills and abilities, each exam division contains two Case Studies. A Case Study presents a scenario that represents an architecture project and includes supporting resources. Using the information provided, you'll be asked to answer questions related to the scenario.
  • Practice Management: 51%
  • Project Management: 62% 
  • Programming & Analysis: 53% 
  • Project Planning & Design: 46% 
  • Project Development & Documentation: 53% 
  • Construction & Evaluation: 70%
ARE 5.0 is a computer-based test and has content divided into six divisions that may be taken in any order. They are: 
  • Practice Management (80 items, 2 hours and 45 minutes test duration)
  • Project Management (90 items, 3 hours and 15 minutes test duration)
  • Programming & Analysis (95 items, 3 hours and 15 minutes test duration) 
  • Project Planning & Design (120 items, 4 hours and 15 minutes test duration)
  • Project Development & Documentation (120 items, 4 hours and 15 minutes test duration) 
  • Construction & Evaluation (95 items, 3 hours and 15 minutes test duration) 
 
For more information, you can visit the ncarb.org.
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.
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 candidates 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.
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 the ARE 5.0 exam 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 item types. There is not a set percentage of any one type of item type on an exam. Here are the item types found on the ARE 5.0:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Check-All-That-Apply
  • Hotspot
  • Drag-and-Place
  • Quantitative 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.

ARE 5.0 Practice Management Division FAQs

You may not bring a calculator into the testing room. An on-screen calculator is available in every division. A demonstration version of the calculator is available at the NCARB website. Plan to acquaint yourself with it before you take the exam.
Practice Management: 51%
The Practice Management ARE 5.0 division exam is one of six exams to complete ARE 5.0. It is a computer-based test and does not need to be taken in a particular order with the other division exams. The Practice Management exam consists of 80 questions with a 2-hour and 45-minute time limit. 

For more information, you can visit www.ncarb.org.

The ARE 5.0 Practice Management (PcM) Exam Division focuses on the management of an architectural practice and the regulations governing the practice of architecture. There are 65 questions on the exam with a test duration of 2 hours and 40 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 exam division, please visit the NCARB website.

ARE 5.0 Project Management Division FAQs

ARE 5.0 Project Management exam division is a closed-book exam. All codes, equations, and references will be available onscreen during your exam. An on-screen calculator is available in every division. You may not bring a calculator into the testing room. 

A demonstration version of the calculator and references is available on the NCARB website. Make sure to acquaint yourself with all the onscreen tools and references that NCARB provides before you take the exam.

According to NCARB's last published results, the pass rate for all candidates (first time and repeat) for the Project Management division was 63%.

The ARE 5.0 Project Management exam division is one of six exams to pass the ARE 5.0. It is a computer-based test and does not need to be taken in a particular order with the other division exams. The Project Management exam consists of 75 questions with a 3-hour time limit.

The Project Management (PjM) division exam focuses on the management of architectural projects. There are 75 questions on the exam with a time limit of 3 hours. 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 division, please visit the NCARB website.

ARE 5.0 Programming & Analysis Division FAQs

You may not bring a calculator into the testing room. An on-screen calculator is available in every division. A demonstration version of the calculator is available at the NCARB website. Plan to acquaint yourself with it before you take the exam.
The 2020 pass rate for the ARE 5.0 Programming & Analysis Exam Division is 50%.
The ARE 5.0 Programming & Analysis Exam Division is one of six exams that complete ARE 5.0. It is a computer-based test and does not need to be taken in a particular order with the other division exams. The Programming & Analysis Exam Division consists of 75 questions with a 3-hour time limit and a 30 minute break. 

There are five different item types utilized during each ARE 5.0 exam division. Here are the item types:

  • Multiple Choice
  • Check-All-That-Apply
  • Hotspot
  • Drag-and-Place
  • Quantitative Fill-in-the-Blank

To better assess your skills and abilities, each exam division contains two Case Studies. A Case Study presents a scenario that represents an architecture project and includes supporting resources. Using the information provided, you'll be asked to answer questions related to the scenario.

The ARE 5.0 Programming & Analysis (PA) Exam Division focuses on the evaluation of project requirements, constraints, and opportunities. There are 75 questions on the exam with a test duration of 3 hours. 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 exam division, please visit the NCARB website.

ARE 5.0 Project Planning & Design Division FAQs

The 2020 pass rate for the Project Planning & Design division is 45%.
You may not bring a calculator into the testing room. An on-screen calculator is available in every division. A demonstration version of the calculator is available at the NCARB website. Plan to acquaint yourself with it before you take the exam.
The ARE 5.0 Project Planning & Design Exam Division is one of six exams that complete ARE 5.0. It is a computer-based test and does not need to be taken in a particular order. The Project Planning & Design Exam Division consists of 100 questions with a 4-hour and 5-minute test duration and a 45-minute break.

The ARE 5.0 Project Planning & Design (PPD) Exam Division focuses on the preliminary design of sites and buildings. There are 100 questions on the exam with a test duration of 4 hours and 5 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 exam division, please visit the NCARB website.

ARE 5.0 Project Development & Documentation Division FAQs

You may not bring a calculator into the testing room. An on-screen calculator is available in every division. A demonstration version of the calculator is available at the NCARB website. Plan to acquaint yourself with it before you take the exam.
The 2020 pass rate for the Project Development & Documentation exam division is 57%.
The ARE 5.0 Project Development & Documentation Exam Division is one of six exams to complete ARE 5.0. It is a computer-based test and does not need to be taken in a particular order with the other exam divisions. The Project Development & Documentation exam consists of 100 questions with a 4-hour and 5-minute test duration and a 45-minute break. 

The ARE 5.0 Project Development & Documentation (PDD) Exam Division focuses on the integration and documentation of building systems. There are 100 questions on the exam with a test duration of 4 hours and 5 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 exam division, please visit the NCARB website.

ARE 5.0 Construction & Evaluation Division FAQs

You may not bring a calculator into the testing room. An on-screen calculator is available in every division. A demonstration version of the calculator is available at the NCARB website. Plan to acquaint yourself with it before you take the exam.
The 2020 pass rate for the Construction & Evaluation Exam Division is 66%.
The ARE 5.0 Construction & Evaluation Exam Division is one of six exams that complete ARE 5.0. It is a computer-based test and does not need to be taken in a particular order with the other division exams. The Construction & Evaluation Exam Division consists of 75 questions with a 3-hour test duration and 30-minute break.

The ARE 5.0 Construction & Evaluation Exam Division focuses on construction contract administration and post-occupancy evaluation of projects. There are 75 questions on the exam with a test duration of 3 hours. 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 exam division, please visit the NCARB website.

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