WASHINGTON — The National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) announced that the wait time for retesting for the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE) divisions will decrease from six months to 60 days, effective October 1. This will allow candidates who have failed an exam division to retake the division as soon as 60 days after the previous attempt, up to three times in a running year, for any one division.

“NCARB is actively listening to candidate concerns, and the six-month wait to retest is often noted as a significant frustration,” said NCARB CEO Mike Armstrong. “A new feature of our exam support capacity allows us to provide greater access while maintaining exam integrity.”

This change, which goes into effect on Oct. 1, is possible because of a recent system implementation of NCARB’s online service, My Examination, in late 2013 that provided NCARB with a sophisticated technology platform to better implement candidate management services. This crucial improvement allows NCARB to decrease the wait time between retesting on a division while ensuring the protection of exam content.


More Flexibility

“NCARB is unwavering in our ongoing commitment to improving our systems, and this innovative advancement allows even greater candidate flexibility,” said Armstrong.

Prior to moving the ARE to its new platform, the six-month wait retake policy was necessary to protect the security of the ARE. With a finite number of exam questions and limits on tracking past exam iterations, there was a risk that candidates would be overexposed to questions on repeat attempts of the same division. Maintaining a wait time policy promotes use of the failing score report to better prepare for a subsequent attempt.

The new retest policy will still protect against overexposure to examination content and provide failing score reports to guide retest preparation. The shorter wait before retesting will maintain candidate focus and interest in the exam.

Starting on October 1, all candidates who have failed a division within the past six months will be able to schedule under the new policy. Candidates who fail a division sometime between July and September may prefer to wait to schedule their retest appointment until after Oct. 1 for earlier access to retesting.

The ARE assesses candidates for their knowledge, skills and ability to provide the various services required in the practice of architecture. The ARE has been adopted for use by all 54 U.S. Member Boards as a registration examination required for architectural registration.

 For more information, visit www.ncarb.org.