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ARE Study Groups

Hello associate architects and fellow associate AIA members,

So, you've graduated from architecture school with a professional degree; go you! You managed to land a job at a great firm, fantastic! And now you're logging AXP hours everyday; you're on fire! ...but now it's time to think about the dreaded ARE exams.

AIA Charlotte is welcoming any interested associate members to join the 2017 study group! Working in ARE 4.0 and ARE 5.0, this year's study groups will go above and beyond to conquer the last hurdle to becoming a licensed architect. Join a group that will help you accomplish your goals through peer collaboration and mentorship!

Members of the groups will receive the following benefits:

  • Weekly peer study sessions
  • Knowledge from experienced mentors
  • Tips on where to find free resources online
  • Study and work in a group to keep that momentum going

Contact Josh Kieb, Assoc. AIA, for more information.


ARE 4.0 Retirement Update

Click here for a January 2018 NCARB Update for ARE 4.0 test-takers.


NCARB Resources

NCARB Registration Board Licensing Requirements: North Carolina

NCARB IDP Guidelines (Revised July 2014)

ARE 5.0 Guidelines

ARE 5.0 Handbook

 ARE 5.0 Community

ARE 5.0 Video Prep Series



We have partnered with NALSA to provide our members with exclusive benefits and FREE One-on One Support.

To learn more and subscribe, click on this link to and use the following login credentials :

User Name: CLT+firstnamelastname (for example: CLTmarysmith)
Password: AIACLT

You must be an AIA Charlotte Associate Member in good standing with dues paid, to secure these discounted rates.

Contact for details.

Sample Documents Referenced in the ARE found on here 

NCARB NEWS: Beginning October 1, 2014, candidates who have failed a division of the Architect Registration Examination (ARE) will be able to retake the division as soon as 60 days after the previous attempt and up to three times in a running year. Blog here

Information on ARE 5.0 (to launch in late 2016) found on NCARB website here 

ARE 5.0: The Basics
The main things that architects and interns need to know are:

  • ARE 5.0 will launch in late 2016.

  • It will include six standalone divisions, compared to the seven in ARE 4.0, that align to commonly defined professional architect activities of practice management, project management, and project design.
    The ARE 4.0 Test Specification is also available to reference.

  • The current “graphic vignette” software, which has been in use since the exam was computerized in 1997, will be replaced with new question types.

ARE 5.0 Transition Plan
  • Interns who began testing in the current version of the exam have the ability to earn credits for passed divisions that can be applied to divisions in ARE 5.0.

  • ARE 4.0 will continue to be delivered at least 18 months following the launch of ARE 5.0 to give candidates who have partially completed ARE 4.0 a chance to finish.
    • ARE 4.0 will be retired on 30 June 2018.

  • Interns who began testing in ARE 4.0 will have the opportunity to transition to ARE 5.0 at any time after it launches. 
    • This will be a one-way transition—once candidate transition to ARE 5.0, they must complete the examination in ARE 5.0.

Key Takeaways
  • Keep testing! The last day of ARE 4.0 will not be until 30 June 2018. The average ARE candidate finishes all divisions in about two (2) years—we are over two years away from the launch of ARE 5.0.

  • Test strategically. NCARB will be recommending testing strategies to help candidates prepare for the transition.
    • Important Divisions to Pass in ARE 4.0 in order of priority:
      • Construction Documents & Service
      • Programing, Planning, & Practice
      • Site Planning & Design

  • Understand your Rolling Clock.
    • Candidates will not have to transition to ARE 5.0 until June 2018
      —but they may have divisions that expire before then, which could impact how they transition.
    • Exam expiration date(s) of ARE 4.0 divisions will be applied to ARE 5.0 credits earned.



We recommend the following exam order:
BS / BDCS / SS / PPP / Site / CDS / SD

and overlapping certain exams is highly recommended:
PPP / Site / CDS go together well
BDCS / SS go together well

Click on an exam below to view the suggested study outline



Disclaimer: Outline study guides are suggestions and best practices. Reading Kaplan first helps introduce you to all the information, while Ballast takes you deeper into the material. You can always choose one or the other; Ballast has been the best to use material-wise. Best practice: go through archi flash cards after reading the material first.



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