About the Architect Registration Examination ® (ARE 5.0) 

What are the current ARE 5.0 pass rates?


     2019 Pass Rates

Practice Management 49%
Project Management 63%
Programming & Analysis 52%
Project Planning & Design 42%
Project Development & Documentation 50%
Construction & Evaluation 70%


How much does it cost to take the ARE?

Each division of the ARE requires a non-refundable fee of $235, as of October 1st, 2018. The total cost of all divisions is $1,410.

How is ARE 5.0 organized?

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, two hours and 45 minutes test duration)
  • Project Management (90 items, three hours and 15 minutes test duration
  • Programming & Analysis (95 items, three hours and 15 minutes test duration)
  • Project Planning & Design (120 items, four hours and 15 minutes test duration)
  • Project Development & Documentation (120 items, four hours and 15 minutes test duration)
  • Construction & Evaluation (95 items, three hours and 15 minutes test duration)

The structure reflects a project’s stages from the idea to the construction, which represents the actual work of a licensed architect. These divisions also align with the Architectural Experience Program.

How do I register for ARE 5.0?

Your jurisdiction’s board of architecture must approve your eligibility to test before you’re able to schedule an ARE division. Each jurisdiction has its own ARE 5.0 eligibility rules. Check and fulfill your jurisdiction’s requirements, found here, before requesting eligibility.

To take ARE 5.0, you’ll need an active NCARB Record. Within your NCARB Record, click on the “Exams” tab and go to “My Examination” to schedule exam appointments and more. If you’re not sure if you’re eligible to test, you can view your eligibility information in your NCARB Record.

How should I study for ARE 5.0?

We recommend looking at our extensive range of ARE 5.0 review materials, including our ARE Practice Exam, which we are confident will help optimize your exam studies and preparation. You should also review our ARE 5.0 Resource Center, the NCARB Handbook, and the blog Young Architect for more information.

How is ARE 5.0 different from ARE 4.0?

NCARB introduced two new questions types with ARE 5.0: hot spots and drag-and-place. Case studies are also a new feature on the exams, and the exams no longer features vignettes.

Hot spot questions have you click on a single target, or hot spoticon, and place it in the correct location or general area on the base image.

Drag-and-place questions have a base drawing and a series of design elements. To answer these questions, you click the correct design element and drag it to the proper place on the base drawing.

Preparing for ARE 5.0? Test your knowledge with a free ARE 5.0 Sample Quiz.

What are Alternative Item Types (AIT)?

Though exam formats have changed question types to include more than multiple-choice questions, PPI review materials continue to be current to exam spec. AIT questions provide opportunities to assess the technical knowledge of examinees using methods not available through paper-based testing, however, question format is irrelevant if you know the material. AIT questions have approximately the same degree of difficulty as multiple-choice questions. Please note there is also no pre-determined or fixed number of AIT exam questions nor of the percentage of any one type of AIT question on an exam

Multiple Choice

  • Select one correct answer from four given options
  • If you are unsure of what the correct answer is you should make an educated assumption. You will not be penalized for a wrong answer

Multiple Choice (Check-All-That-Apply)

  • Select all the correct choices from the list by clicking on each one
  • All of the correct answers (and only all of the correct answers) must be selected; there is no partial credit
  • If you change your mind, click on a choice to de-select it 

Point-and-Click (Hot Spot, or Mark Location)

  • Click on a single target, or hot spot icon, to place on the base image in the correct location or general area
  • If you change your mind, click again on your choice to unselect, or click on the new preferred answer


  • These questions may ask you to sort, rank, place, or label items. Confirm whether all items need to be chosen or moved, then be sure to sort, rank, place, or label each one
  • After you have decided the proper sorting, ranking, placing, or labeling, click and drag an object to the target spot
  • If you change your answer, you can move an object to a different open spot in the target area, or you can move it back to the starting area


  • Read the answer specification carefully; it should state the number of decimal places for your numeric answer
  • Compute your answer, then round if needed to the required number of decimal places (0-4, round down; 5-9, round up)
  • Do not enter the units for your answer
  • Do not spell out a number, like “four”
  • If you change your mind, blank out the entire field before you enter another answer

Case Study

  • May be multiple-choice, check-all-that-apply, hot spot, drag-and-place, or fill-in-the-blank
  • You are able to click on browser-like tabs on top of the computer screen to go back and forth between the case study scenario and resource documents provided

Can I use my own calculator during the exam?

No. 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.