ARE Tips


Architectural Registration Exam Tips

Register for your exams with NCARB. You can do this during AXP. Don’t wait. When you pass your first exam, a rolling clock starts. You then have 5 yrs to complete/pass the remainder of exams. If for some reason you are unable to make it within the 5 yrs, the first test will “drop” and the 5yr date will move to the second passed test; you will have to re-take the first one.

Know how you test and work that to your advantage. Everyone has a system.

Bring food to the test site. Wear comfortable clothes. You will not be allowed a watch, or anything else on your wrists. Any jewelry, besides wedding rings, is also prohibited. DO NOT CHECK YOUR PHONE. Automatic fail and you will be put on review.

Check if your firm reimburses costs of tests or has study materials available. Do they provide paid time off for taking the tests?

Study Material

Online Study Programs

ARE 5.0 Test-Specific Information

BDCS (Building Design & Construction Systems)

BS (Building Systems)

CDS (Contract Documents & Services)

PPP (Programming, Planning, & Practice)

  • Contracts, PPP process, money/funding

SD (Schematic Design)

SPD (Site Planning & Design)

SS (Structural Systems)

General Info

Multiple Choice

  • There will typically be two answers you can immediately mark off. Work backwards.
  • Use the “Mark” system. They are your friends.
  • There will always be some “wtf” questions. Don’t let them frazzle you.

Please comment below if you have any questions or tips of your own to share.




  1. Pingback: Recently Registered Discussion – Recap | YAF / Indy - May 29, 2014

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