ARE Update: Get Ready to Test With Our New FREE Practice Exams

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    Olesia Kruglov

    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.

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    Ian Luke

    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.

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    NCARB

    Olesia,

    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.  

    Ian,

    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. 

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    Ksenia Nation

    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.

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    NCARB

    Hi Ksenia,

    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. 

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    Dante Dovali

    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?

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    NCARB

    Hi Dante,

    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. 

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    Vicky Cimmino

    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?

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    NCARB

    Hi Victoria, 

    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.

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    Logan Gemmill

    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?

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    NCARB

    Hi Logan,

    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. 

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    Logan Gemmill

    Does the "FAIL" on the practice exam mean that, during the actual exam ending screen, it would tell me you "likely failed this division"?

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    NCARB

    Hi Logan,

    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.

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    Logan Gemmill

    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.

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    NCARB

    Hi Logan,

    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.

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    Logan Gemmill

    Understood, I will tell my colleagues who are also studying about the divisional cut score. I’m afraid there is misinformation circulating about that.

    Many thanks!

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    Milan Michail

    Why does the practice version with explanation have a timer? It leaves no time to actually review the explanation and take notes

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    Chandler Philpott (Edited )

    Please put the information that the demo exam is not scored in bold text.

    Maybe even on its own page? It could say:

    THIS EXAM IS NOT SCORED. CLICK TO CONFIRM UNDERSTANDING.

    ... I just burned 3 hours hoping to see where I stand as a benchmarking tool to help decide whether I'd like to earnestly commit to completing my record and studying for the exams, only to realize after finishing it that it's not scored. I won't have time to sit and do that again for a few weeks, so all that time I would have spent better knowing where I stand is just ordinary time again. I'm not eligible for testing yet anyway.

    Of course in hindsight I see where that disclaimer was written, but if you're not going to score it then I think making that quite clear would be a reasonable kindness to the people who pay you. Maybe it's helpful for some people to just look at an exam, but it wasn't a very effective use of my time. I've prepared for SAT, ACT, GRE, a few SATII and this is the first time I've ever seen a practice test like this... just not what I was looking for.

    I'm trying not to be snippy here, but I can't help looking at it as hours consumed at my billable rate ... in which I just lost a chunk of value on the scale of my whole yearly NCARB fee ... I'm honestly not mad I just wish the most important info had been communicated more clearly.

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