In early 2013, the NCARB Board of Directors (BOD) voted unanimously to approve the development of ARE 5.0, the next version of the examination. As part of ARE 5.0 development, NCARB is investigating the incorporation of dramatic new breakthroughs in graphic testing methods and the use of case studies. The new performance item type questions, along with other refinements and enhancements to the examination, will allow the determination of a candidate's competency while not requiring the present outdated CAD software system.
Division and exam structure were finalized in December 2013.
Information about the transition from ARE 4.0 to ARE 5.0 will be announced in late spring 2014.
ARE 5.0 is anticipated to launch in late 2016, with development and integration testing taking place over the next few years.
The final Test Specification outlining the division structure for ARE 5.0 was approved on 7 December 2013 by the NCARB Board of Directors. The future exam will include six divisions, and each will be standalone, single test administrations. This structure results from an effort to align the ARE with the more commonly defined professional architect activities of practice management, project management, and project design.
Programming & Analysis
Project Planning & Design
Project Development & Documentation
Construction & Evaluation
Please see the ARE 5.0 Test Specification for further details. In addition to determining the division structure, the Test Specification also defines the major content areas, called sections; the measurement objectives; and the percentage of content coverage, called weightings.
New Item Types and Incorporation of Case Studies
The new structure incorporates graphics throughout the exam via new “performance item types” that have candidates perform exercises similar to what an architect does as part of regular practice.
Additionally, the incorporation of case studies is anticipated to be implemented in all proposed divisions and will allow more in-depth analysis of architectural scenarios by candidates.
Rationale for the Board’s Decision
Due to dramatic changes in the testing industry over the last five years, technology tools now offer a different way to deliver items. These new item types are successfully being used by other professions/exams and could potentially be incorporated into the ARE. The NCARB Board of Directors decided to conduct more research around options and opportunities for a future exam, including evaluation of:
- Multi-year efforts by the Research & Development Subcommittee with additional support from the Graphics Grading Subcommittee
- Expert psychometric advice
- Research conducted by a multi-disciplinary project team of NCARB staff
- Emerging technology, including interviews of industry leaders, which revealed there are new testing tools and item types available
- Results of the 2012 NCARB Practice Analysis of Architecture
The findings of these R&D efforts informed the Board’s decision to move forward with the development of ARE 5.0. For further background about the research that informed the Board’s decision, watch here!
ARE 5.0 is being developed with significant input from practitioner volunteers from across the U.S. These volunteers range from recently licensed to experienced architects, from large firms to small firms, from education to private practice, all of which allow the future exam to reflect the broad aspects of current practice.
Leading up to the launch of ARE 5.0 in 2016, NCARB will provide ongoing updates to candidates about the development of ARE 5.0 as well as tips and resources to help prepare for the transition to the future exam.
In the coming months, updates will include announcements about the transition plan from 4.0 to 5.0, invitations to webinars, and more. Subscribe to ARE 5.0 Updates to receive notification when new information is available.
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