In this issue: NCARB’s annual data publication provides new insight into candidates’ exam performance by demographics, plus details on the new post-exam survey and an update on tech issues.
Ongoing NCARB Bias Assessment Includes New Data on ARE Pass Rates by Demographics
For several years, NCARB has been publishing data analytics related to progress on the licensure path, including disparate rates of attrition through the lens of gender, race, and ethnicity. This prompted a study on candidate experiences and impediments along the path to licensure conducted in partnership with the National Organization of Minority Architects (NOMA).
The latest edition of NCARB by the Numbers provides additional insight into this area with new data exploring how Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) 5.0 pass rates vary by race, ethnicity, gender, and age. The pass rates show significant disparities for people of color (especially Black or African American candidates), women, and individuals who are 40 or older. Explore NCARB by the Numbers.
These exam performance findings are concerning to NCARB. While the architecture community has understood for some time that candidates from underrepresented groups face disparate challenges on the path to licensure, assessing ARE 5.0 pass rates by demographics underscores how significant these disparities are. By sharing this data, we hope to lead ongoing conversations about essential changes needed at all levels of the profession. Read the new pass rates data.
Through our “Fairness in Licensure” initiative, NCARB has embarked upon a multi-year audit of the examination and experience programs to identify any bias issues in their design or delivery. To date, the audit, which includes studies conducted by external consultants, has not revealed any issues of bias regarding the exam’s content or development.
Responding to the New Demographic Data: Next Steps
NCARB will continue to inform the essential discussion regarding the underlying causes of these disparities. While the profession has seen some improvements in diversity and equity along the licensure path, we recognize that there is much more work to be done.
Resolving pass rate disparities will take time and effort, and NCARB is committed to spotlighting opportunities for change at all levels of the path to licensure, seeking to help achieve the goal of a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive profession that is better prepared to protect the public. Learn more about our ongoing and upcoming work to assess exam performance disparities, and please share your suggestions through our open-ended feedback form.
Reminders for Test Takers
If you have an upcoming appointment with Prometric, here are some things to keep in mind during your appointment:
- Prometric Mask Policy. Keep in mind that Prometric continues to require candidates testing in person to wear a mask throughout the duration of their appointment. Candidates who don’t comply with this policy may have their appointment terminated and will not be offered a refund. Read Prometric’s current policy.
New Post-Exam Survey Questions. In an effort to improve ARE preparation resources provided by NCARB, we updated the ARE post-exam survey to include several questions on the use of third-party and NCARB-provided preparation materials. As we continue to explore ways to improve the ARE for all candidates, we also added a question asking for your feedback on potential improvements to the ARE delivery experience. Your participation in this survey will help us improve our exam resources and determine future enhancements to the ARE. You will receive the post-exam survey by email 2-3 days after an exam administration.
NCARB and our test delivery partners, Prometric and Zoomorphix, continue to address technical issues for both in-person and online exams. The overall proportion of candidates reporting tech issues is now 9 percent overall, down 2 percentage points from early June. Onsite tech issues also continue to decline and are being reported by 4 percent of candidates.
We’re continuing quality assurance reviews of both Zoomorphix and Prometric updates that should improve the overall performance of the ARE and will be deployed later this summer. Also, the majority of exam administrations (approximately 72 percent) continue to be delivered at Prometric centers, while the remaining 28 percent are taken online.
All online test takers should complete a free test run appointment that allows you to verify your online proctoring setup, including your testing environment, meets the necessary Prometric requirements. A test run can be scheduled at no cost through your NCARB Record. Online candidates should follow all recommended guidance, including disabling all antivirus and internet security applications, prior to launching their ARE appointment. Learn more about the Do’s and Don’ts for Taking ARE 5.0 Online.
If you experience a technical issue, immediately notify your proctor and then contact NCARB within 15 days. Remember, if you’re unable to complete the exam due to a major technical issue, we will work with you to reschedule the division at no cost.