Get licensed. Get hired. Get promoted.

Providing support through education and inspiration in every stage of your career - ARE prep, software learning and career insight from leading experts in the biz all help you get to the top of your game - and stay there.

Level Up

Stay ahead of the pack with unrivaled test prep materials, software tutorials taught by skilled architects, and career advice from the renowned experts who came before you. It’s continuing education, but better.

ARE Prep

- Featuring -

NCARB Approved ARE 5.0 Test Prep Material PcM NCARB Approved ARE 5.0 Test Prep Material PjM NCARB Approved ARE 5.0 Test Prep Material PA NCARB Approved ARE 5.0 Test Prep Material PPD NCARB Approved ARE 5.0 Test Prep Material PDD NCARB Approved ARE 5.0 Test Prep Material CE

Black Spectacles is the first and only NCARB Approved Test Prep Provider for all 6 divisions of ARE 5.0

  • Online video lectures, practice exams, virtual workshops and digital flashcards
  • Create your own schedule, or jump in to our weekly Virtual Workshops
  • Designed in alignment with NCARB’s exam objectives
Learn More >
Software Learning

Everyone in your office will be coming to you after you boost your software skills with our tutorials.

  • Watch online architecture software tutorials on any device
  • Taught by practicing architects and designers — not by retired instructors
  • Group pricing for firms and schools
Learn More >

For architects, by architects

Prepare for the ARE® and further your software skills with video-based learning.

tablet icon

About the Architecture Registration Exam

Developed by NCARB, the ARE exam is accepted by all U.S. jurisdictions and is a key step on the path to earning a license. It includes six divisions, which are organized around the progression of a typical architecture project. Questions include a combination of multiple-choice, check-all-that-apply, fill-in-the-blank, hot spot, and drag-and-place questions, as well as case studies. Our ARE prep materials cover it all.

About Software Learning

Design programs and software keep changing at a breakneck speed. Black Spectacles helps you keep up so you can do your best work. Individual architects, schools and firms alike leverage our tutorials. The video-based online tutorials make it easy to level up on a single technique, or spend hours diving deep into learning a new software program. Learn architecture programs from scratch, or refresh what you already know.

Get exam prep tricks, training tips from architecture veterans, insight about the future of the industry and more.


Testimonial: Melinda Siew
Melinda Siew
ARE 5.0 Subscription
Testimonial: Desiree Hollar
Desiree Hollar
ARE 5.0 Group Coaching
Testimonial: Anders Nereim
Anders Nereim, School of the Art Institute of Chicago
Academic Membership

“We shut down our own program because Black Spectacles has a lot more content than we could ever provide, and we think by going through Black Spectacles we are providing a bigger and better service for our members who are trying to get licensed.”

Mary Fitch, Executive Director AIA Washington
AIA Chapter License

“The interface is very close to the NCARB Exam interface. We are all visual people so being visually connected is more helpful to me.”

Gordon Lee, Leo A Daly
ARE 5.0 Subscription
Testimonial: Alexander Huseman
Alexander Huseman, Architectural Designer, KPF
Firm License
Testimonial: Mary Fitch
Mary Fitch, Executive Director, AIA Washington
AIA Chapter License
Testimonial: Brian Deyoung & Hans Papke
Brian Deyoung, SOM and Hans Papke, Krueck + Sexton
Software Learning

“Black Spectacles is different because it features architects and people who are actually working in the field. I think it is a very different process learning from somebody who is in the trenches doing the work, rather than somebody who just sits behind a computer and figures out how to work the software. It is a totally different approach.”

Brian DeYoung, Digital Design Director, SOM
Software Learning

“With Black Spectacles we really get to see who has been using the materials, how long they’ve been using it, and get a much better accuracy about the progress that has been made with them.”

Alexander Huseman, Architectural Designer, KPF
Firm License