Reference Matrix

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    Marion Bledsoe

    Brian, could you tell us what materials you have in mind, so that we could add them to our 'personal matrix', please?

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    Michael Ermann

    The Matrix

    There may be a misunderstanding shared by many in the ARE community.

    The potential misunderstanding of the community: 100% of test items are pulled from the resources on the ARE 5.0 Reference Matrix, found in the ARE 5.0 Handbook. Emerging professionals should think about each of those references as a course textbook to read, and if they read the complete list, and remember enough of what they read, they’ll pass each exam, or at least they would then deserve to pass each exam.

    The reality: Test items can be created from anywhere, and are absolutely not limited to the resources laid out on the matrix. Especially for those test items that are higher up Bloom’s Taxonomy, test items aren’t necessarily pulled directly from any book, but rather often involve fictional, but realistic, scenarios and, for instance, ask the exam-taker what the architect should do in those scenarios. NCARB maintains a library of resources to assist volunteer test item writers; and the ARE Reference Matrix is meant as a catalog of the books most often referenced by the volunteers . . . something to provide transparency and a starting point for test takers to understand the shape of the content underpinning many of the concepts tested on the exam. Jared Zurn, NCARB’s vice president for examination wrote to me this morning, “Item writers can use a lot of resources, including personal experience supported by others, as a rationale for an appropriate ARE question. As I’m sure you know, reading all the books isn’t going to guarantee success on the ARE. Candidates need to translate the knowledge they have into appropriate decision making (especially for objectives identified as analyze and evaluate).” --Michael Ermann, Amber Book

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