ARE Sections:

Project Development & Documentation: PDD

PDD: This division will assess objectives related to the integration and documentation of building systems, material selection, and material assemblies into a project.
The division will focus on issues related to the development of design concepts, evaluation of materials and technologies, selection of appropriate construction techniques, and appropriate construction documentation. Candidates must demonstrate an understanding of and abilities in integration of civil, structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, and specialty systems into overall project design and documentation.

Multiple Choice Exam — PDD Exam

Project Planning & Design: PPD

PPD: This division will assess objectives related to the preliminary design of sites and buildings. The division will focus on issues related to the generation or evaluation of design alternatives that synthesize environmental, cultural, behavioral, technical and economic issues. Candidates must demonstrate an understanding of and abilities in design concepts, sustainability/environmental design, universal design, and other forms of governing codes and regulations.

Multiple Choice Exam — PPD Exam

Practice Management: PcM

PcM: This division will assess objectives on the management of an architectural practice, including professional ethics, fiduciary responsibilities, and the regulations governing the practice of architecture.

Multiple Choice Exam — PCM Exam

Project Management: PjM

PjM: This division focuses on the management of architectural projects, including organizing principles, contract management, and consultant management. You should be able to demonstrate an understanding of and abilities in quality control, project team configuration, and project scheduling.

Multiple Choice Exam — PJM Exam

Programming and Analysis: PA

PA: This division focuses on the evaluation of project requirements, constraints, and opportunities. You should be able to demonstrate an understanding of and abilities in project type analysis, the establishment of qualitative and quantitative project requirements, evaluation of project site and context, and assessment of economic issues.

Multiple Choice Exam — PA Exam

Construction and Evaluation: CE

CE: This division focuses on construction contract administration and post-occupancy evaluation of projects. You should be able to demonstrate an understanding of and abilities in construction contract execution, construction support services (including construction observation and shop drawing or submittal review), payment request processing, and project closeout, as well as project evaluation of integrated building systems and their performance.

Multiple Choice Exam — CE Exam

What’s New?

There’s no more vignette! NO MORE VIGNETTE!! So in it’s place there are three new question types; Case Studies, Drag and Place, and Hot Spots.  You can watch these YouTube videos to learn more.

We highly recommend using several resources including AEA’s online exams and if you have ARE 4 study materials they can be used for ARE 5, here is our blog post on the conversion to the new exam: ARE 4.0 materials can help you study for ARE 5.0.   Our online practice exams can help you get the feel of taking an exam on a computer, and keep you prepared for the multiple choice sections of ARE 5.  

NCARB has done a great job of providing as much information as they can to get you started in ARE 5.0.  Below are some links. You’ll want to start by reading the NCARB’s ARE 5 Handbook here:

Grading the Exams

Because the ARE is pass/fail based on how other architectural candidates perform, they need to have a aggregate of exams to ‘set the bar’.  That magic number is 600, to set a standard known as the cut score, they are now testing and grading like normal for ARE 5 after the initial 600 early test takers.  ARE 5 will not be harder or easier than ARE 4.0, its just oriented more toward how architects practice in the real world with hot spots, case studies, and different scenarios/situational quizzing. Here are the new ARE 5 pass rates, a little lower than 4.0 meaning that you really got to know your multiple choice.  ARE 5 is offering instant feedback on the exams now, so you will know when you leave if you are likely to pass at the testing center.