ARE 5.0 Project Development and Documentation Practical Applications

Your Education, Our Expertise

Cue the scary music because many consider this exam to be the most frightening of them all – we understand that. A lot of people feel like they could easily drown in a sea of terms, details, and processes. But we won’t let you sink into the abyss. Not on our watch. Our team of senior architects will help you navigate your way to resolving and documenting architectural systems/assemblies, building materials, and engineering systems. You’ll methodically plot a course through cost estimates, IBC requirements, and all things civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing. In short, this video series represents the shortest distance between “holy-crap, I’m-never-going-to-get-this” and “that-wasn’t-as-bad-as-I-thought.”

Practice Exam

Practical Application Videos

How We Did it

We’ll take you around the country to see how leading architects put PDD theory into practice. Sara Beardsley of Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill illustrates the integration of building materials into a 72,000 ft2 church. Jim Viviano of 5G Studio details structural systems in the design of Gateway Center II in Atlanta. And in Portland, Sean Newberry of Ankrom Moisan explains the documentation and detailing needed in their recent project.

There’s no getting around it. This stuff is hard, but at least learning about it doesn’t have to be. It’s nice that it doesn’t have to be boring either.

Try It Out First

Practice Exam

Everything should come with a test drive, including your study materials! Click the button below to get an inside look at your dashboard and test out our videos, practice exams, and flashcards. We want you to love what you’re using to tackle the ARE.

Preview the Product

Some Of Our Other Products

video icon

Video Lectures

Sometimes watching video of experts who’ve been and there and done that, can make content a whole lot more understandable...and relatable. That’s the idea behind the PDD video lectures and real-life application videos. Respected architects from around the corner and around the globe use graphs, animations, and 3D models to help you understand everything you need to know about Project Development & Documentation.

Learn more
exams icon

Practice Exams

The PDD practice exam covers off everything you’ll want to know come test-time, making it a great barometer for gauging your Project Development & Documentation skills. As an added bonus, it mirrors the actual exam, down to the functionality, format, and color with 3 forms to practice from. That means you won’t be surprised by the questions, or the look and feel of the exam itself.

Learn more
flashcards icon


Know your way around acronyms like, AISC, VT, and DX. Figure out what “K Factor” is. Identify the difference between “sensible” and “latent” heat. If it’s on the test, it’ll be on the flashcards. Review, shuffle, and mark cards as mastered on your phone. You can even make your own. For those feeling extra motivated, each card links to a video lecture with an in-depth explanation of the term or concept.

Learn more
virtual workshops icon

Virtual Workshops

Everything is better live - same with our Virtual Workshops. They give you comfort and assurance that your studies are on the right path. Weekly, live, in-depth exercises with a licensed architect will have you feeling you’re at the top of the class when it comes to the most challenging topics of Project Development & Documentation. Then, follow up each group lesson with a live Q&A to reinforce any PDD-related concepts with a licensed architect.

Learn more

Choose Your Membership

With your membership, gain access to all 6 divisions simultaneously so you can crank up your ARE studying and save money by taking all the exams in a shortened amount of time! If your life can’t accommodate that right now, sign up for a 6 or 12 month membership and get up to 2 months free. We know everyone has a different learning and studying style, which is why all of Black Spectacles materials are flexible and at your fingertips wherever and whenever you can find an internet connection. So which will it be - the tortoise or the hare? Choose from one of our four membership options and mold your path to passing the ARE to your personal preference.

NCARB Approved Test Prep

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