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.
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.
Fee: $30 (free for members) plus $90 refundable lending library deposit for all library users.
BSA / AIANY Study Sessions
AIA New York and the Boston Society of Architecture are teaming up to provide a space for ARE candidates to come and study together to share study strategies, test-taking tips, and content review. Beginning March 13 with Practice Management, each division will have two dedicated study sessions on Saturdays from 11:00 am–1:00 pm Eastern Time to help build and reinforce a community of ARE candidates from Boston to New York. Learn more.
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
Note: BSA Offices Open with Limited Hours
To support public efforts to reduce the spread of COVID-19, the BSA offices will be open for business transactions only with limited hours. Members may visit to pick up AIA Contract Documents and ARE study materials between 10:00 AM and 2:00 PM every Tuesday and Thursday. To request ARE study materials, lendee must be a part of the ARE materials program. Please contact [email protected] to reserve materials for pickup. For those coming in to the office, please enter the building through the 290 Congress Street entrance, get your temperature checked in the Waterfront Square lobby and then proceed to the second floor, where you'll enter BSA Space through the set of double glass doors.
NCARB offers a lot of resources for getting through the exams and testing updates. Visit NCARB.org 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
NCARB's Licensing Requirement Tool (Sortable by question or state)