are ncarb graphicThe Architect Registration Exam (ARE) is administered by the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and consists of 7 Exams that architectural candidates must successfully complete before applying to for licensure in their respective state. It has been adopted for use in all 54 U.S. Member Boards and the Canadian provincial and territorial architectural associations as a registration examination required for architectural registration.

NCARB produced the first national recognized exam back in 1965.  The exam has changed greatly over the years.  Though licensing requirements vary slightly from state to state, there are seven exam sections that everyone must take and you can take them in any order. All of the exams consist of two portions; a Multiple Choice Section and a Graphic Section (the only exception is the Schematic Design which consists of Graphic Sections only).

Architect Exam Prep has created these simple charts, pictured below,  so you can quickly see the overview of each division including the number of questions for the multiple choice section, number of graphics in the graphic section, and the time allotted to complete the exam.

Site Planning & Design (SPD)

The application of knowledge and skills of site planning and design including environmental, social, and economic issues, project and practice management.



 Programming, Planning, & Practice (PPP) 

The application of project development knowledge and skills relating to architectural programming; environmental, social, and economic issues; codes and regulations; and project and practice management.



Construction Documents & Services (CDS)

Application of project management and professional practice knowledge and skills, including the preparation of contract documents and contract administration.



Building Systems (BD)

The evaluation, selection, and integration of mechanical, electrical, and specialty systems in building design and construction. 



Structural Systems (SS)

Identification and incorporation of general structural and lateral force principles in the design and construction of buildings.



Building Design & Construction Systems (BDC)

The application of knowledge and skills of building design and construction, including environmental, social, and economic issues, project and practice management.



Schematic Design (SD)

Application and knowledge of skills required for schematic design of buildings and interior space planning.