Changes to the NCARB 5.0 Handbook - Announcement?!?

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    Ksenia Nation

    There are a few books added to the source list. I have been studying according to the previous list and have a test scheduled soon, does it mean I have to reschedule and start searching for the new sources that will add cost? Is the test already updated and includes the new information that people testing today were not prepared for?

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    Mary Puckett

    Agreed! After the fiasco of not being one of the "essential" tests, I would have thought that NCARB learned their lesson to be more communicative. Apparently, not. 

    So, what does this mean for those of us testing soon? New material to study? New objectives to study? 

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    Mitulkumar Patel

    Have the new materials and objectives gone into effect? if not when will that happen? I am testing in about a month I would really like to know if there are more books I need to be reading.

    I love NCARB's way of "thinking about its customers" ... I am using the phrase "thinking about its customers" as a substitute for other verbs that violate NCARB's policies regarding verbal abuse...

    How can we improve our tests that have less than 50% pass rate... change the objectives and recommended study materials and don't tell anyone.

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    Robin Kuc

    I have reviewed/compared the 2019 and 2020 Handbooks and found these changes ....

    The addition of four new resources for PA and PPD (however, the Ching book is for PPD and PDD):

    Daylighting Handbook I
    Christoph Reinhart
    Building Technology Press, 2014

    Framework for Design Excellence
    American Institute of Architects
    Available Online

    Green Building Illustrated
    Francis D.K. Ching and Ian M. Shapiro
    Wiley, 2014

    The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Schematic Design
    Alison G. Kwok and Walter Grondzik
    Routledge, 3rd edition, 2018

     

    NCARB, if there are any other discrepancies, please alert us.

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    Michael Riscica

    Robin Kuc, 

    There are many more changes to the objectives of each exam, besides adding the 4 reference guides you mentioned.  The IBC and the AIA are very transparent and fills people in with what changed, when they make changes to their documents, why doesn't NCARB? 

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    Robin Kuc

    To NCARB,

    I trust that you will be providing us with some sort of a list of the changes in the new handbook.

    However, considering that some of us are studying for more than one exam simultaneously and will need to scan through maybe 100 pages (or more) of the handbook to re-focus or add to our study strategies, it would be considerate of you to release an annotated version with changes highlighted or asterisked so they could be more easily noted -- in a more user-friendly and time-efficient manner.  This is common practice in document updates across the board, not only in architecture, and would be extremely helpful in this case.

     

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    Kathryn Edwards

    I am taking CE soon, and even though less scope was added to CE than some of the others, I am still very disappointed at the lack of communication here.  No email from NCARB?  I had to find out about this by chance from facebook... wow.  This is another action taken by NCARB that illustrates it's lack of understanding of the needs of the test takers, and their lack of interest in our career successes.  

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    Michael Riscica

    Below is the letter i wrote my state board. If you are frustrated with NCARB's lack of communication, I would recommend talking to your State Boards.  


     

    Dear Board of Architect Examiners, 

    My name is Michael Riscica. I am a Licensed Architect in Oregon, currently living in Florida. I have dedicated the past 6 years of my life helping people pass the Architect Exam and find success in their Architecture Careers.

    I am writing to you today due to my frustration and concerns about NCARB. Recently it was discovered that NCARB updated The ARE 5.0 Handbook, which outlines the testing criteria for ARE 5.0. 

    NCARB never communicated that this update was coming, that it ever took place or what was even changed. They just quietly updated the document to say “July 2020”. 

    Thankfully, an ARE Candidate took the time to compare the old document (that everyone was studying with) against the newly released document and it appears that there were many changes to the testing criteria across all exams. They also added several new resources that are now being tested on and changed the testing break from 15 to 25 minutes.

    NCARB isn't communicating. Why wasn’t a document released outlining what has changed in the newly updated 182 page ARE 5.0 Handbook??  The IBC or AIA Documents do a fantastic job of this each time there is an update, to make sure everyone is on the same page. Why are ARE Candidates doing this work and not NCARB?

    What concerns me the most, is when did this testing criteria go into effect? Many people who took exams in June have said that they were given 25 minute breaks when testing reopened. Did that mean they were tested on this new criteria in June, before these changes were released to the public in July? How do we explain June failed exams?

    I probably would not be contacting you today, if I wasn't already frustrated with how poorly NCARB handled the COVID Pandemic and the continuous lack of communication with their Stakeholders. 

    Does the State Architect Board have any ability to communicate with NCARB regarding these changes and if they will be communicating with ARE Candidates?

    I have attached the document the ARE Candidate created outlining all the changes and here is a link to the July 2020 NCARB ARE 5.0 Handbook.   

    Looking forward to hearing your thoughts.   

    Michael Riscica AIA CSI
    Architecture and Design
    Oregon, New York & Florida

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    Juan Perez

    Michael,

    Thank you for having our backs.

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    Nick NCARB

    Hey Everyone,

    Here is an update on the ARE 5.0 Handbook:

    Last week, NCARB posted an updated version of the ARE 5.0 Handbook. Typically, we alert candidates about updates ahead of time with a list of what’s been changed, so you’ll know what to expect. Unfortunately, we failed to do so this time around. We apologize for not bringing this to your attention sooner, and for any additional stress this has caused.

    Our goal with the most recent updates is to clarify existing ARE 5.0 objectives related to two topic areas:

    • Sustainability and resilience
    • Assigned cognitive levels

    The objectives have not changed. But we’ve updated their descriptions; in some cases, that meant expanding the descriptions. Although it might appear that some objectives have become broader, encompassing more content, our intent is to give you more information about the exam as it stands today and more accurately and clearly reflect what candidates are being tested on. The content included on the exam itself has not changed.

    We also added four new resources to the Reference Matrix, all of which focus on sustainability and resilience. We often hear candidates asking for additional resources on these topics, so we went straight to our volunteer architect item writers to find out the best resources they’ve been using as they write items. More information about Daylighting Handbook I, Framework for Design Excellence, Green Building Illustrated, and The Green Studio Handbook: Environmental Strategies for Sustainable Design can be found on page 178 of the handbook.

    Again, there are no content changes on ARE 5.0. This newest release of the ARE 5.0 Handbook is tied to the July 1 start of our fiscal year and is not related to item or form assembly updates.

    On page 3, one additional ability was added to the Definition of Competence. Modifications to reflect the changes mentioned above (i.e. additional language to reference sustainability and resilience or cognitive levels) were added to the following objectives:

    Practice Management: 1.1, 1.4, 2.2, 2.3, 3.1, 4.2

    Project Management: 3.1, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4

    Programming & Analysis: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.3, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2, 4.5, 4.6, 4.7

    Project Planning & Design: 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 4.2, 4.3, 5.1, 5.2, 5.3

    Project Development & Documentation: 1.2, 1.3, 1.6, 2.2, 3.2, 4.1, 4.2

    Construction & Evaluation: 1.1, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 4.2

    ARE 5.0 Guidelines Updates

    In addition, NCARB also made minor changes to the ARE 5.0 Guidelines to reflect changes in Prometric’s updated check-in procedures. 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

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    Michael Riscica (Edited )

    Apparently NCARB didn't even know NCARB updated the ARE 5.0 Handbook.

    NCARB always FAILS to communicate with ARE Candidates and their Stakeholders, it wasn't just this time around. 

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    Mitulkumar Patel

    NCARB a beast with 7 heads and no brain (or mouth, or ears).

    P.S. the breakdown of changes on Michael Riscica study group page is much better, it actually tells you what NCARB changed specifically.

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    Michael Riscica (Edited )

    They tell us the content HASN'T changed, but they aren't telling us what did change or how it changed?

    NCARB is just giving us objective #'s, which doesn't mean anything.

    They need to explain the changes  for each objective. This is NCARB's job NOT the ARE Candidates job. They are the one that made the changes! 

    The IBC and AIA Contracts have no problem providing this information when they get updated.  NCARB's response above is not acceptable. 

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    Jennifer Johnson Madsen

    Nick NCARB, the average license candidate is not privy to the actual exam content, nor should they be.  The only true guide we have to assist in determining our study materials is the ARE 5.0 Handbook.    While we are appreciative of the fact that NCARB is attempting to provide additional information about the exam, this is quite frustrating from our perspective.  From NCARBs position nothing may have changed.  For a licence candidate, this changes our definition of the exam and will have an impact on how we have study for these exams.  For those testing in the near future, it will require that they review their study materials to confirm they have selected those materials appropriately.  The ARE 5.0 handbook is our only true guide to how and what we should study.  "Expanding the description" of an objective, is essentially expanding the content to be mastered.

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