What You Need to Know Before Taking the ARE

Marc Teer

September 26, 2016

What You Need to Know Before Taking the ARE

Your future as a licensed architect depends on passing the ARE. Here’s the 8 most important things you need to know about the exam before diving in.

You’re well on your way to getting your BArch degree, you’re finishing up your internship in the AXP (formerly the IDP), and the next step is finding the right architect exam prep and taking the Architect Registration Exam (ARE). It’s the most difficult test you will take during your career, so being prepared is crucial. We’ve compiled the 8 things you need to know before signing up for the exam.

  1. It’s Expensive.
    The cost of each ARE division is $210. And the fees are non-refundable.
  2. It’s not just one test. It’s several.
    There are 7 divisions of the ARE 4.0, each with their own test, which will be discontinued on June 30, 2018. The new version of the exam, ARE 5.0, has been reduced to 6 divisions: Practice Management, Project Management, Programming & Analysis, Project Planning & Design, Project Development & Documentation, and Construction & Evaluation.
  3. You can take the exams in any order you want, whenever you want.
    This will make things a bit easier. You can focus on studying for one division at a time. Most architect exam prep is organized by test division. And most test centers are open 6 days a week, 50 weeks a year.
  4. It’s a time commitment.
    You have 4-6 hours to complete each division of the test. And you must pass the entire test within 5 years, before your rolling clock runs out.
  5. You only have to pass once.
    Once you’ve passed each division, and you get your license, you are done with the ARE. And as long as you keep up with your continuing education requirements and renew your license, you can keep your license forever.
  6. If at first you don’t succeed, try again in 60 days.
    You failed a portion of the exam? Don’t worry, you can retake it in just 60 days up to 3 times a year.
  7. Results aren’t immediate.
    Results for each division of the test are typically processed within 4 to 6 weeks after you take the exam. Which makes for a month of nervous nail-biting. But relax. You'll pass.
  8. Study courses do exist.
    Black Spectacles offers several great architect exam prep online courses to help you prepare for the exam. And trust us, they are a huge help.

Photo by gadl / CC BY-SA 2.0

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