ARE Update: Technical Issue With Case Study ItemsPinned Featured
NCARB has completed its investigation into and implemented a solution for the intermittent
technical issue related to case study items in the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®). Over the past week, a small number of candidates encountered some case study resource tabs not loading during their exam administration. NCARB worked with its exam vendors to identify the source of the problem and implement a solution as quickly as possible.
We understand that if you encountered this issue, the impact was significant, and we apologize for the stress and frustration it may have caused.
If You Were Impacted
If you encountered this technical issue and have not already informed NCARB customer service, please do so in writing immediately. If you were unable to view case study resources and answer the case study items, NCARB will provide you with a free exam seat so you can schedule a new attempt at no cost. NCARB will also review your exam results and may waive the 60-day retake policy in this instance depending on your progress and performance prior to the case study items.
If you already reported an issue to our Customer Relations team, we will respond as quickly as possible.
Other Technical Issues
If you have encountered any unrelated technical issues, please keep in mind that you should always contact NCARB in writing immediately to report any issues with your exam administration. NCARB will provide replacement seat credits for technical issues that are outside of your control.
Once again, we apologize for any inconvenience you may have experienced.
Yes, thank you NCARB for taking action. I was impacted Wednesday Jan 25 and look forward to a quick resolution (since the PPD study material is fresh in my head right now). I happened to have read about the Case Study malfunction on this message board so I chose to start at those questions to avoid "seeing the test" if the tabs didn't work. They did not, and therefore, I hope to retake it immediately after your 3-5 business day response time.
Also, though. I had the SAME problem with the PPD practice exam you have posted on this website. Please, NCARB, look into this as well. And please post how to you (or the third party co) resolved the problem since I will use the result to make sure my PC is ready for anything. Appreciated.
Right, it is reasonable and fair to cancel an erroneous exam attacked by technical issues from the count and reschedule the exam right away, no matter how many percentage of questions are opened.
I would appreciate it if you would take action as soon as possible because I have to retake the test asap due to other busy schedules from next month.
Hi Gi Young Oh,
As mentioned in the post above, NCARB has already implemented a solution to the problem. You will not experience these issues on your retake.
If you haven't already, please reach out to NCARB Customer Service and they will provide support. This includes a replacement seat credit. NCARB will also review your exam results and may waive the 60-day retake policy depending on your progress and performance prior to the case study items.
Yes, we are waiving the 60-day retake policy and invalidating the exam attempt for many impacted candidates. As mentioned above, this decision is based on the candidate's progress and performance prior to the case studies.
Our Customer Relations team is working as quickly as they can to respond to every impacted individual.
NCARB That's great that you are looking into the waiting period! That is what I have been trying to get, since time is the most valuable thing at this point! I just tried calling customer service, but unfortunately the person I spoke was very unaware of anything and not very helpful, so my question is, should we wait for NCARB to reach out? Or how do we learn a little more about the waive of the 60 day retake policy?
Thanks again for addressing our concerns! Its great to see that NCARB is trying to make this right to the few candidates that got the opportunity "stolen" from them due to the technical issue.
Thank You very much NCARB for responding but I find it is not fair to base the decision on each individual progress. It should be across the board. I personally leave case study questions till the end of the exam some other test takes don’t. So if NCARB was fully aware of the technical problems before my test and did not notify me or the test center that I should check if the case study references are downloading or not before I continue with my exam then how can you penalize me that I have already gone through the whole test before I figure this out myself?
Also as per the PSI ticket number 3145119, they have reached out to NCARB several times for advice during my test and we not given any advice other than you’re still looking into the issue so they didn’t know if I should continue with my test or not so they advised me to just continue.
Please look into this more deeply.
Just want to share with everyone here that I just got off the phone with NCARB customer service manager, and what she explained is that if you have seen the exam, more than 75%, they will NOT void your waiting period... they did invalidated my exam, and gave me a free seat, but since I saw the exam, (not really the 20 questions... since I couldn't even see the supporting documentation on the case studies) they will NOT let you retake the exam... She also mentioned that there is nothing customer service can do, it is their policy and this decision comes from above her... So just sharing with all the people that have experienced their software issue, what she told me pretty much is "Count your blessings that you are getting the exam invalidated, cause that's a big deal.. and the free seat, and wait 60 days to retake". On NCARB's post when they say "Waiving the 60-day retake policy" don't get any sorts of hope, they will only get that waived IF YOU DID NOT SEE MORE THAN 75% OF THE EXAM... (Page 23 of their handbook) Best of luck for all of us who have to wait the 60 days and retake the exam.
And that is exactly what I am trying to explain to NCARB. If they didn’t officially tell us not to look at the exam questions till we make sure the case study downloads is working how can they penalize us for it? It is very well clear that they were made aware of the problem well before my exam. They should enforce the policy when it is a regular fail not a fail because of their system not working. I definitely foresee a huge lawsuit coming soon.
First, we apologize for the confusion. NCARB Customer Service applied the standard ARE policy regarding technical issues to your situation, however, as mentioned in the email to candidates yesterday, in some cases, we are waiving the 60-day retest policy (based on exam progress and performance). You will be receiving a call shortly from a member of our Customer Service team. Again, we apologize for the confusion.
I already reported these technical issues via https://www.ncarb.org/contact-us and the email (email@example.com) on the testing date, Jan. 25th. I haven't received any feedback on the issue yet, but I received an email today saying my test scores are being reported. I think that it is some error again and I should wait for upcoming follow-up of the technical issue. Please correct me if it is not right.
Would you specify the comment that it may waive the 60-day retake policy DEPENDING ON YOUR PROGRESS AND PERFORMANCE. what are the criteria for the progress and performance?
I would appreciate it if NCARB considers it a little from the perspective of the candidates and tries to be in their shoes. I believe that it is a BASIC measure for all the candidates who have experienced this to be able to retake the exam right away, regardless of the test results, PROGRESS AND PERFORMANCE.
Even if the BASIC measure (waiving the 60-day retest policy) is taken, the candidates are already suffering the following damages from NCARB's technical issues:
- Schedule changes that can cause huge losses and damages depending on the applicant's circumstances
- Rolling clock affected by the schedule changes, in some cases reducing the opportunity to take the exam within the limited time frame
- Stress and psychological damage caused by these events, not only during the test period but also until now.
- If candidates don't take exam right away, they will be at a great disadvantage to spend another time studying again for the next exam, unless someone has a very long-term memory. I think that this is also the one of reasons why there is a policy of 60-day intervals of exams.
I hope that NCARB protect the basic human rights of the candidates by taking the BASIC measures (waiving the 60-day retest policy) at least, apart from compensation for the above possible damages.
Dear NCARB, Thank you for your comments. I’m also one of the candidates affected by the glitch on the case study items during my PjM exam last January 20th. The day of the exam a case number was issue by PSI and I contacted NCARB immediately after.
I’m currently in a “limbo” not knowing what to do next, waiting for NCARB to send me a resolution. One week passed by and I don’t really know what to do: study for my next test or keep studying for PjM in case I’m able to take the test next week (most logical outcome since I have all the exam info fresh on my brain).
You should be more respectful and considerate with candidates since we all have different backgrounds and personal life situations, some of us are only studying for the test, others are actively working and juggling studying with work, some of us are working, married, with kids and other responsibilities juggling all of that to achieve our license goals.
I’m asking NCARB to consider the most responsible resolution that treat all affected candidates with respect and fairness in the least amount of time.
For reading the comments above, waiving the Fee for retaking the test and allowing us to take the exam as soon as possible is a starting point. Also, make sure this issue is fix 100% before any more candidates get affected by it.
Thank you so much and I really believe you will come up with the best outcome for all of us affected by this issue as you always do.
Hi Gi and Xiony,
Our Customer Relations team is working as fast as they can to reach out to each impacted candidate. You both will be receiving a response in the next day or two.
Again, we apologize for the issue you both had during your exams, and as noted above by Rodrigo, we are trying to make it right for all impacted candidates. Thank you for your patience!
Hi NCARB, I would like to know the exact criteria by which it is determined which candidates will get the 60 day retake wait waived and which will not. Per your explanation above, this is evaluated according to "progress and performance" which is clearly vague. When I called your customer support and spoke to the phone personnel in addition to their supervisor, I could not get a clear answer between the "viewed 75% of questions" policy, or submitting the exam, or a holistic review including time spent on each case study question, which is something the supervisor I spoke with cited.
I was told because I submitted the exam I would not get the 60 days waived. However in my case, my proctor did not know how to advise and my tech support didn't even show up the second time the proctor said they would get tech support. Also, as the 75 exam questions are 62 multiple choice and 13 case studies, obviously most candidates would see more than 75% of the questions (divide 62 by 75) by the time they even discovered the malfunction.
And, as you refer above to progress and performance "prior to the case study items," why did the supervisor I spoke with talk about time spent on the case study questions themselves?
Please advise what exactly is meant by "progress and performance prior to the case study items."
This would clearly not make sense as I had my screen open for sometime on the case study questions for the PSI associate trying to figure out what is the problem. She also tried contacting NCARB several times to get advise if I should continue with my test or cancel it and every NCARB personnel she spoke to told her they are still looking into the problem and could not give her advise if I should continue with my test or not. And of course this was after I reviewed the multiple choice questions because I always leave the case studies to the end as they are more time consuming. And all this was happening while the exam clock was ticking and taking from exam time. So I still do not understand why would not NCARB make one fair decision for all who had the case study technical issues since it is clearly their problem and clearly they could have cancelled those tests but failed to notify us or the test center of the ongoing technical issues. How can they make a case by case decision when PSI were not able to get instructions from NCARB of how we should proceed facing this issue? So each PSI associate gave different advise of what should happen. My PSI associate told me just continue with your test because I can not get anyone from NCARB to advise me what I should do. Are we supposed to report this to our State?
Yvette, in my case my timer was also not stopped despite my proctor telling me it would be while I worked with tech support (and it appeared to stop in the top right corner). I had about an hour left when I first encountered the case study tab malfunction, and then by the time I got back to the exam (after browser restart and security checks all over again...) I was down to 25 minutes or so.
Then I realized the solution had not fixed the case study tabs at all, and told my proctor again. They claimed they would get tech support again, who never showed up for the rest of my exam.
NCARB, I think you need to conduct a serious review of your entire coordination with PSI. There are multiple issues here, and the proctors/tech support are not even informed about the format of the exam. Their only solution is browser restart, how are they supposed to advise about an exam they don't know anything about?
Hi, I experienced this issue on 11/15/22. My exam proctors reached out to NCARB during the exam and spent quite a bit of time on the phone with them. Because NCARB had been made aware, I assumed it was automatically taken into account during the scoring of my exam. After reading this article I see that I needed to bring it to NCARB's attention a second time in order for it to be considered. I ended up failing the exam and only by a few questions. As soon as I saw this article, I sent an email to NCARB customer service, this was on 2/6/23. Please forgive the delay, we had a baby at the beginning of the year, so my attention has been elsewhere. I found out about the article when a friend asked about my experience at a particular testing location, and to my surprise he said that was actually an NCARB error and there had been an article written about it. My initial inquiry received an auto response saying it was being reviewed by staff. I sent a follow up email a few days later asking when I can expect to hear back, but I am still awaiting a response. I wish I didn't have to post here in order to receive one. A lot of energy, time, and dedication went into the 3 exams I passed prior, and even more on this exam. This experience has been life changing. Please let me know what I can do to get some answers. Thank you for your time.
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