How to Read an ARE 5.0 Score Report

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    Ricardo Largaespada

    I have taken PPD on May 12th. And I have FAILED! According to my score card, I am at Level 4 on all sections. I have studied for this exam for three months, and I had memorized all the content for it, especially the codes. Is it possible for NCARB to send me my examination to determine which questions I have answered incorrectly?

    I had great determination to get a PASS on my first try in the ARE 5.0, but being at Level 4 makes me feel very uncomfortable.

  • Avatar
    Michelle NCARB

    Hi Ricardo,

    I'm sorry to hear about your failing score.  NCARB does not send candidates their examinations. Be sure to review the ARE 5.0 Guidelines (pages 23-24) for more information on steps you can take.  Depending on your jurisdiction, you may be eligible for a Review and Challenge process, which would allow you to review the questions you answered incorrectly.  Regardless of your jurisdiction, you can also request a Score Verification, through which an NCARB staff architect will review your exam performance and verify the accuracy of your score report.

    Also read through the discussion on this community, for tips on preparing for your next test.  The ARE does not expect you to memorize codes or other material.  Instead, focus on understanding the content areas described in the ARE 5.0 Handbook.

  • Hi, I tried to log in the page http://www.ncarb.com/verification and it says that there is an error in the page... Error 404 and it does not let me request a score verification... kindly advise me how to proceed.

    Also, could you please let me know if Florida is eligible for a Review and Challenge process.

    Many Thanks

  • Avatar
    Nick NCARB

    Hi Stephanie,

    Thank you for pointing out the broken link on your Score Report. We are currently in the process of developing a fix for this issue. It sounds like you are interested in a Score Verification or a Review and Challenge. You can read more about each process on our website. Also, check out pages 23 and 24 of the ARE 5.0 Guidelines

    Regarding your second question, Florida does allow candidates to appeal their exam score. I recommend that you contact the Florida Department of Business & Professional Regulation: Board of Architecture and Interior Design for more information. They can be contacted at 850.717.1982.

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    Cedric Reuter

    Nick, I was wondering, why doesn't NCARB offer the feedback on passing reports? It would have been nice to know if I was just skating by or really nailing an exam before moving on to the next one.

  • Avatar
    Michelle NCARB

    Hi Cedric,

    Descriptive feedback is not provided on passing score reports as the exam is designed to assess general competency, not to be used as a “teaching tool.”

  • Avatar
    Rebecca Weeks Erdman Edmunds

    Hi, Michelle. 

    Is a score 'verification' required? It seems like all is documented properly, so I'm not certain of the function of the verify link.

    Any thoughts you can share would be appreciated.

    Cheers,

    Rebecca

     

  • Avatar
    Michelle NCARB

    Hi Rebecca,

    I assume you're asking about the link on the top of the first page, "To verify this score..."?  A couple things here.  First, no - it's not required.  That link is there in case someone other than the candidate (say, an employer) wants to verify that the score report hasn't been digitally edited.

    We've also updated the language on the score report, so it now says "To authenticate this score..."  That change was made to avoid confusion with the Score Verification process outlined in the ARE 5.0 Guidelines (p. 23).  The image in this Knowledge Article will be updated in the future to match.

  • Avatar
    Ryne Wight

    Can someone tell me the chance of over turning a failing result after a test verification is requested?

  • Avatar
    Michelle NCARB

    Hi Ryne,

    I assume you're referring to the Score Verification process.  NCARB offers this service to help candidates find greater peace of mind in their scores, but no score verifications or exam reviews have resulted in overturning a failing score in at least nine years.

  • Avatar
    Melissa Ehn

    I'm disappointed that there's no descriptive feedback for a passing score. As Cedric mentioned above, it would be helpful to know whether we've passed comfortably, or just barely, in order to guide future studying.

    Also, since the content is often related from one exam to the next (for instance, I just completed PPD and am getting ready to take PDD), it would be very useful to know if there are areas where I'm weaker and should focus my studying.

    Plus, come on, we work hard for these things and we want some detail!

  • Avatar
    Matthew Strope (Edited )

    I'll join Cedric and Melissa in expressing my disappointment with the lack of feedback for a passing score.  I just took and passed my first exam, and even minimal feedback would be very helpful to help gauge future studying strategies for the other exams.  I fail to see the harm in disclosing, for example, the percentage of questions answered correctly.  Furthermore, I do not understand the logic behind refusing to reveal the same level of feedback to passing candidates as failing ones.  In my opinion, if competency level scores can be provided to failing candidates, they can be provided to passing candidates as well.  Did I nail the exam with all Level 1's?  Did I barely skate by with all Level 2's, or a combination of 1's & 3's?  I really wish NCARB would acknowledge the clear desire for such feedback and reconsider its policy, as this would be valuable knowledge for myself and many other candidates. 

  • Avatar
    Michelle NCARB

    Hi Melissa and Matthew,

    Congrats to both of you on your recent passed divisions!  There are a few reasons why you didn't receive descriptive feedback.  First, a pass is a pass...no matter if you skated by or nailed every section.  NCARB doesn't want others to misuse such data - for example, employers comparing scores of test candidates in order to make salary/hiring decisions.  It's a privacy issue, and it's typical of many professional licensure exams, not just the ARE.

    At its core, the ARE is a tool for your state licensure board to confirm that you've demonstrated competency in the various content areas.  The boards don't care how well you did - we don't give them descriptive feedback either.  Really, they just want to know that you met the threshold for competence.

    Descriptive feedback is provided on failing score reports so candidates can better prepare for a retest in that same division.  But using it to prepare for another division would be a misuse of data, as each division covers different content.  Remember to also look to your education and experience when preparing for the exam - don't just rely on score report feedback.

  • Avatar
    Matthew Strope

    Hi Michelle,

    Firstly, thank you for your response and the congratulations. 

    Secondly, I understand your obligation to defend the current NCARB policy, however I still respectfully disagree with it.  

    As for fearing the misuse of data by others, the remedy seems glaringly simple:  Share the feedback in a private communication with the candidate.  Also, the fact that it's a typical practice doesn't necessarily make it a mandatory one, or an appropriate one for that matter.

    I would also argue that it is not a "misuse of data" for a candidate to use feedback for one exam to guide studying for another.  It is widely acknowledged that the ARE exam divisions (especially 5.0) have significant overlap in their content.  I would re-assert Melissa's comment about the PPD and PDD exams, and urge NCARB not to attempt to treat each exam as if it exists within a vacuum.  

    Please know my intent is not to be a thorn in your side, but simply to voice my concern about something I believe could use improvement.  Again, thank you for fielding our questions & comments.  

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    Youssef Matta

    Hi Nick and Michelle,

    so based on the explanation on the fail report, does this mean that you have to pass in all the exam content areas / section in order to pass.

    or You do have to have an overall pass of the whole exam. as a whole only

    Appreciate your feedback

  • Avatar
    Michelle NCARB

    Youssef -

    As noted above, a pass/fail decision on ARE 5.0 is determined by the total number of items answered correctly.  That's across the whole exam, not by content area.  The descriptive feedback is provided for each content area to give you some guidance as you prepare for a retest.

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