Released June 10, 2022.
The “Exams” tab of your NCARB Record is available again, and inside it you’ll find an exciting new resource to help you prepare for the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®): six free practice exams!
To ensure that all candidates have access to affordable, high-quality study materials, we’ve created a full-length, fully scored practice exam for each division of the ARE.
The practice exams were written and developed the same way that our real exams are developed: volunteer architects collaborate to develop questions (also called “items”) that test on the objectives outlined in the ARE 5.0 Guidelines.
You can take the practice exams in two modes:
- Test mode mimics the experience you’ll have during a real exam appointment and provides a score report afterward.
- Practice mode provides the correct answer and rationale behind each item as you go and provides a score report afterward.
The practice exams are available for free to all candidates with an active NCARB Record and active exam eligibilities. Find them by logging in to your Record, navigating to the Exams tab, and going to your Practice Exam Dashboard.
Want to get familiar with ARE questions and tools?
Everyone can access NCARB’s free demo exam at www.ncarb.org/demoexam—available to everyone, regardless of exam eligibility. This free, 75-question experience is designed to help you get familiar with the exam’s format, item types, and tools, and isn’t scored.
Exams Tab Updates
All ARE 5.0 candidates have now been migrated to PSI. When you log in to your Record, you’ll see a new Exams tab. You’ll also have access to updated score reports for all ARE 5.0 divisions (including those taken with Prometric), featuring detailed, percentage-based feedback on your exam performance.
If you’re an ARE 4.0 candidate, you can log in now to transition to ARE 5.0 and continue testing with PSI.
Final RE 5.0 Guidelines
The final ARE 5.0 Guidelines for testing with PSI are now ready. The content from previous versions of the ARE 5.0 Guidelines for testing with Prometric has been fully updated and merged with content from the ARE 5.0 Handbook, so everything you need to prepare for the exam is all in one place—including important policies as well as information about what you’ll be tested on! Updates from the draft version of the Guidelines for testing with PSI include a note about scheduling exams with accommodations and updates to reflect the new score report.
Is it possible to retake one once you've started? I'm planning to use it for the whiteboard practice and take my time reading the explanations, but don't want to be rushed by the time limit.
Is the difficulty of the new practice exams the same as the actual exams? I understand the questions are developed the same but it’s nice to be able to gauge the difficulty for preparedness of the actual exam.
Yes! You can take the practice exams as many times as you need to prepare for your real exam. You are not limited to one attempt, so feel free to take your time and read the explanations thoroughly.
You are correct, items on the practice exams were developed the same way as items on the real exam. Items on the practice exams were written to the defined objectives and cognitive levels for each division of the ARE (outlined in the ARE 5.0 Guidelines), and they are also written to the same rigorous item writing standards as items on the real exam. Because of this, the items are a good representation of what you will see on the real exam.
Are the six new practice exams only available to people currently testing? I have gotten my license, but wanted to see what the new practice exams look like, and I don't see a way to access them. I can still access the one practice exam that has the 75 questions for all the exam sections like before the update.
NCARB’s divisional practice exams are only available to ARE candidates with an active NCARB Record and active exam eligibilities. Since you already have your license, you will not have access to the divisional practice exams. As you mentioned in your post, you can still access the 75-question multidivisional practice exam, which is available through our website.
If you take a practice exam for a specific section and want to retake it, will it have the same questions? Or does each practice exam attempt come with a new set of questions?
Each divisional practice exam contains one set of questions, so if you take a practice exam twice, you'll see the same questions on both attempts.
Are any of the practice questions actual exam questions? I understand that they are formatted the same, etc. But are there any that are the exact question on the Exam?
No, the practice exam questions are not the same questions that you will see on the exam. However, the practice exams were written and developed the same way that our real exams are developed: volunteer architects collaborate to develop questions that test on the objectives outlined in the ARE 5.0 Guidelines.
Is it permissible to discuss the questions/answers from these practice exams in online forums including this official NCARB forum? Or do the same rules apply and no questions/answers can be discussed?
Absolutely! Feel free to discuss any of the practice exam questions/answers within this Community or with other study groups. This is not a problem at all.
Does the "FAIL" on the practice exam mean that, during the actual exam ending screen, it would tell me you "likely failed this division"?
Check out this blog on how to view provisional feedback following your exam administration - https://www.ncarb.org/blog/how-to-view-provisional-feedback-the-are.
Sorry, does this provisional feedback apply to practice exams? I was asking if the FAIL listed here on the practice exam I just took indicates that I would have failed the real exam.
Further, are there required thresholds (%) needed in each topic area on the exams that you must reach, or is the overall score received (%) what counts.
The practice exam contains a different set of questions than the real exam, so just because you failed the practice exam doesn't necessarily mean you'll fail the actual exam. With that being said, we don't recommend jumping into the real exam after failing the practice exam. Use the score report at the end of the practice exam to determine which areas you need to study before the real exam. You can take the practice exams as many times as you need to prepare for the real exam.
Regarding scoring, the ARE is not scored at the section level, so there is not a specific percentage of items in each topic area that you need to answer correctly. The ARE is scored by adding up all the items you got correct (1 point each) from all sections and comparing that number to the divisional cut score. You can read more about how the ARE is scored HERE.
Understood, I will tell my colleagues who are also studying about the divisional cut score. I’m afraid there is misinformation circulating about that.
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