As test centers begin to reopen across North America, we would like to provide you with clarification on testing access and point you to helpful resources that you can use to monitor the situation in your local area. The ongoing pandemic is still limiting access to the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE®) due to a combination of local reopening limitations and social distancing. The decision to open a testing location or adjust existing scheduled appointments to ensure social distancing is managed by Prometric as they work to ensure all testers’ safety is considered.
Many Test Centers Are Reopening
As of June 1, Prometric has been able to resume testing at locations where local and state mandates allow. You can view Prometric’s current site openings on their website. Prometric will update this list daily as government restrictions continue to evolve.
ARE Candidates Now Classified as Essential Testers
In April, Prometric interpreted the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) guidelines and designated ARE candidates as non-essential testers. NCARB has been advocating with Prometric to explain why ARE candidates should be designated as essential within the CISA guidelines. NCARB’s efforts proved successful just yesterday, and ARE candidates have now been acknowledged as essential testers in the Prometric test center network.
Prometric is in the process of updating their scheduler. Starting Tuesday, June 9, 2020, you will be able to schedule an appointment at any open test center offering “All Programs” or “Essential Only” services.
Unfortunately, currently scheduled exam appointments may still be subject to cancellation if your local test center is not able to reopen, if local mandates change, or if further social distancing measures need to be put in place.
Prometric is assessing the above requirements on a rolling basis with a two week “look ahead.” If Prometric determines the need to cancel an appointment, they will notify the candidate directly, hopefully with two weeks’ notice. If your appointment is canceled by Prometric, NCARB will update your exam eligibility and provide you a seat credit so you can reschedule the appointment for a later date. Please note, some exam appointments may be canceled on shorter notice due to situations such as inclement weather or unavailability of the test center for other reasons.
Recently, Prometric field staff have incorrectly stated that NCARB has directed the cancellation of exams. NCARB has not directed Prometric to cancel any appointments as it is our sincere hope that all candidates are able to test when scheduled. While NCARB has no control over Prometric’s exam cancellation decisions, NCARB has provided Prometric with additional guidance to better address the stress and inconvenience caused to candidates by Prometric’s cancellation procedures.
We recognize that COVID-19 disruption has led to some candidates having their exams canceled or rescheduled multiple times, due to ongoing test center closures or displacements. NCARB is implementing a temporary refund policy that allows candidates who have had the same division appointment displaced two or more times the ability to cancel the appointment outright, and receive a refund of the original seat credit fee.
- If a candidate has already rescheduled the division displaced multiple times, the now current appointment will be canceled at their request and a refund issued.
- If a candidate has yet to reschedule the division displaced multiple times, the seat credit applied to their account to facilitate rescheduling will be removed and a refund issued.
Candidates can request refunds by contacting NCARB customer service and identifying the ARE division they would like canceled. Upon verification of the refund request, candidates should expect the refund within seven days.
Social Distancing Measures in Test Centers
Where testing is taking place, Prometric has implemented safety practices throughout the testing process. Links to Prometric's most up-to-date social distancing policies are provided below. Some regions have specific policies in place based on local guidelines, so please make sure to review the policies for the region you will be testing in.
- For Prometric’s standard global policies, please click here.
- For Prometric’s North America specific social distancing policies, please click here.
- For Prometric’s China specific social distancing policies, please click here.
Along with the local policies noted above, all candidates must bring and wear a face covering to the test center. The face covering does NOT need to be a medical mask. Cloth face coverings are acceptable.
To account for the likelihood that check-out and check-in procedures on breaks may take longer, NCARB has extended the length of the flexible break available during each administration to 25 minutes.
Thank you for your ongoing patience. We are sorry that you have been impacted by these events and we are doing all that we can to help provide you with the testing access and the support you need to be successful in your licensure journey. If we can be of any further assistance, please contact us.
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