katebrennan@blackspectacles.com

Kate Brennan

December 22, 2020

Black Spectacles Practice Exams Align with NCARB’s ARE Updates

You come to Black Spectacles because our Practice Exams are the closest thing to the real deal. We want to keep that reputation, so with NCARB’s updates that rolled out on December 14th, we made some changes to our exam module that reflect what you will see come test day. These are the enhancements you will see in our Practice Exams:

Digital Whiteboard 

Whiteboards have never received so much press and attention; they need a PR Agent. Our team has reverse engineered the exact whiteboard NCARB released, and have incorporated all of the features that exist in NCARB’s ARE whiteboard:

  • Multiple pages - This one might need explaining. You can add additional pages/tabs to your sketches to expand and organize however you please. 
  • Pencil 
  • Eraser
  • Draw a text
  • Draw a line
  • Draw an arrow
  • Draw a two-sided arrow 
  • Draw a triangle
  • Draw a rectangle
  • Draw a circle 
  • Color 
  • Size 
  • Opacity 
  • Zoom - Not the platform in which we've all been socializing this year; the function to zero in on a page and make it larger. 

Answers Reduced from 4 to 3

In some instances, NCARB reduced the number of options for an answer from four to three, and you know what we say to that - “We’ll take those odds.” To get you acquainted with only seeing three answers to choose from, we also removed one choice from a select amount of our questions.

Breaks

Depending on the division, you’ll be given 30 or 45 minutes total, and can use the time whenever you so desire. We’ve built this feature into our Practice Exams so you can do what we’ve all done in 2020 - take a quick walk around the block to get a clear mind. If you think you’ll head out of your room to check a formula and come back to answer a question that left you puzzled, you’re sorely mistaken. With the new test delivery method, you cannot view previous questions after your break, so instead of realizing that on test day, we’ve built this into our module for you to face that reality sooner rather than later. 

Timing of Some Divisions 

The clock is ticking. We updated the timer in our Practice Exams for each division, as questions are eliminated and the overall test-taking time has decreased. Overall, you will get more time per questions, so this is a win-win. In our updated Practice Exams, you’ll have the exact time for the division you’re testing for, so you can pace yourself appropriately while practicing.

Since we’re a test prep company, and are fond of assessments , we’ve created a short, five-question quiz which can help you determine if you’ve fully retained the new NCARB updates. Let us know if you are “team test at home” or “team testing center” and find out what other candidates think in our ARE Community. If you’re in the camp of staying home and testing virtually, we outline some protips for setting up your homegrown Prometric center.

As always, best of luck testing! 

*Edit: NCARB has announced they anticipate releasing new cut scores by early February. Per NCARB, they do not publicly release individual cut scores for ARE divisions, but they do anticipate releasing exam reports for candidates who have tested since December 14, 2020. 

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