September 19, 2016

# The ARE 5-Exam Planâ„˘

*Updated June 1, 2018: To make it easier to decide which of our ARE prep subscriptions you should choose, we no longer offer our ARE 5-Exam Plan subscriptions. Instead, we offer ARE study materials for either the ARE 4.0 or ARE 5.0.*

A faster way to finish the ARE and get licensed.

It’s sort of a weird time to start preparing for the Architect Registration Exam (ARE). With the ARE 5.0 launch on November 1st, 2016, and ARE 4.0 not retiring until June 30, 2018, how do you know which version of the exam to take?

The most strategic and efficient path is a new scenario NCARB is also offering where you can do a combination of ARE 4.0 and 5.0 and finish the ARE in just 5 exams: The 5-Exam Plan.

### The 5-Exam Plan

The 5-Exam Plan consists of two different options, each with 5 tests:

- ARE 4.0 Construction Documents and Services (ARE 4.0 CDS)
- ARE 4.0 Programming, Planning and Practice (ARE 4.0 PPP)
*ARE 4.0 Site Planning and Design (ARE 4.0 SPD)*- ARE 5.0 Project Planning and Design (ARE 5.0 PPD)
- ARE 5.0 Project Development and Documentation (ARE 5.0 PDD)

Or:

- ARE 4.0 Construction Documents and Services (ARE 4.0 CDS)
- ARE 4.0 Programming, Planning and Practice (ARE 4.0 PPP)
*ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis (ARE 5.0 PA)*- ARE 5.0 Project Planning and Design (ARE 5.0 PPD)
- ARE 5.0 Project Development and Documentation (ARE 5.0 PDD)

The difference between these two options is laid out by NCARB. In the first option, your third exam is *ARE 4.0 Site Planning and Design*, but in the second option, your third exam is *ARE 5.0 Programming and Analysis*. With a Black Spectacles 5-Exam Plan subscription, you will actually have access to all of the exams in both of these options, so you can choose which route works best for you!

The reason these options exist is because the content of these 2 or 3 ARE 4.0 divisions overlap with the content on the remaining ARE 5.0 divisions, which is illustrated in NCARB’s Credit Model. You can see that by taking those three exams in ARE 4.0, you are knocking out four of the ARE 5.0 exams. That means you only have two exams to complete in ARE 5.0 once you transition.

That being said, the last two in ARE 5.0 are going to be tough tests because they contain content areas from four of the ARE 4.0 exams combined. But the bright side is, you are able to finish in just five exams.

If you’re considering taking this route, sign up to take ARE 4.0 and take these 2 or 3 divisions of 4.0 first. Once you take - and PASS - those 3 tests, you will need to officially transition to ARE 5.0. Remember - you can’t transition backwards. So it’s super important you successfully pass those 2 or 3 ARE 4.0 divisions before transitioning.

Photo by Rachel Connor