ARE 5.0 to Include Six Divisions with Decreased Test Durations

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.

In December 2013, NCARB announced that the exam would replace vignettes with new question types: hotspots 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,” says 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 NCARB’s YouTube channel.

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

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.

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