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ARE Prep / Licensing

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Taking the Architect Registration Examination® (ARE) can be a daunting process. But we’re here to help.

About Architect Licensure

The Architect Registration Exams

The Architect Registration Examination® (ARE) is a series of exams, which are required to practice as an architect, that assess candidates for their knowledge, skills, and ability to provide architecture services. Each state has their own prerequisites for a licensure application to be approved, which can be better explained under three headings: education, experience, and examination.

Preparing for the ARE

The exam covers six practice areas: practice management, project management, programming and analysis, project planning and design, project development and documentation, and construction evaluation—preparing you for professional practice in the US. The BSA and the Emerging Professionals Network (EPNet) are committing to providing mentoring, support, and resources for those studying for the Architecture Registration Exam (ARE).

Architectural Experience Program® (AXP™)

The AXP identifies 96 tasks that are essential for competent practice as an architect. There are two methods of demonstrating competent performance of AXP tasks: reporting hours or submitting a portfolio. At least half of the experience is completed under the supervision of a qualified architect. Experience should be reported within 8-months; experience documented within 5-years but after 8-months will only count 50%. The AXP Handbook is an essential resource.

ARE Resources

Join a BSA "Success Team"

Success Teams at the Boston Society of Architects/AIA (BSA) offer the opportunity to learn from and share with your peers and future colleagues as you prepare for the Architect Registration Examination ® (ARE®).

During a Kick-off meeting, we introduce you to the program and to a NCARB professional who will act as your ARE expert and study teams are formed. Each team coordinates their own schedule to study together, sharing resources and tips to keep everyone on track. Joining a team means agreeing to meet with and support your team members through the completion of their exam series. Kick-off meetings are held quarterly. Email [email protected] to add yourself to the interest list so you will be notified once the next meeting is scheduled.

Fee: $10 (free for members) plus $90 refundable lending library deposit for all library users.

NEXT KICKOFF: Tuesday October 4 | 5:00PM-6:30PM

Register here.

BSA Library

A library of Brightwood (Kaplan) 5.0 study materials is available at the BSA offices for ARE Success team members to borrow. Study materials and supplemental materials are available for two month loan periods. Only one set/topic area may be borrowed at a time. If you need to more time with the materials, you may request an extension. Email [email protected] or call 617-391-4000.

The six ARE 5.0 exam topics. We recommend the following exam order:

1. Practice Management (PcM)

2. Project Management (PjM)

3. Construction and Evaluation (CE)

4. Programming and Analysis (PA)

5. Project Planning and Design (PPD)

6. Project Development and Documentation (PDD)

Overlapping certain exams is highly recommended: PcM / PjM / CE go together well and PPD / PDD go together well.

Curious about what supplementary materials we also have available? Check-out our additional resources page here.

BosNOMA Scholarship

Are you a current NOMA and/or NOMAS member in the Greater Boston Area? Starting October 2022, BosNOMA will launch the BosNOMA ARE Scholarship! For those who meet the eligibility criteria, this scholarship will cover one ARE exam. Selection will take place each quarter through a lottery system. The full eligibility criteria and application can be found here.


NCARB offers a lot of resources for getting through the exams and testing updates. Visit for more information.

Seeking ARE Mentors

Are you an NCARB Advisor? Have you recently passed the ARE exams? What advice, tools, or techniques were valuable for you during your exams? The BSA is seeking ARE Mentors to share their guidance, support, and provide motivation at our Success Team Kickoff meetings and monthly mentoring meetings. Contact: [email protected]

Not a BSA Member yet?

The BSA Future Architect Scholarship program (FAS) entitles those working toward licensure to a waiver for BSA dues for a period of five years while testing. New graduate applicants are already able to claim one free year of BSA/AIA membership. Those participating in a free new graduate year of membership (graduated in the last 18 months) are qualified to receive four years of waived BSA dues under the FAS program. All FAS applicants will still be required to pay the AIA National portion of annual membership dues. Documentation is required. Email [email protected] for comprehensive information and an application form.

Additional Licensure Resources

State Licensure Board

NCARB's Licensing Requirement Tool (Sortable by question or state)

Contact State Licensing Advisor with questions Kerry Bartini, AIA, NCARB - AIA Massachusetts State Licensing Advisor to NCARB; Architect, Principal, Berkshire Design, Inc. Email: [email protected]

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