I know some of these questions might seem obvious, but they are all real questions we regularly receive. Yes, we think it’s odd too.


Simply chat us (below) or contact us. You can even schedule a free coaching call to get a sense of our coaching style and approach.

Study Packages FAQ

For over ten years we sold our popular study packages as downloadable files (PDFs and MP3s). But people would lose their files, they would lose their passwords, and it required a lot of upkeep.

Plus since we continually update our materials, you’d have to download new files to get the latest updates. Instead, we built an online course portal that just rocks! We’re sure that you’ll love it once you’re using it every day.

Immediately after your purchase, you get access to our online course portal with all 6 study packages. If you also added on coaching, you get instant access to the coaching resources too!

Yes!  You can study on your phone, laptop, tablets, and any other device that can access the internet.  

Yes, your inner Project Manager will love how the portal tracks your progress as you go.

(We’ll even reset your progress for you if you want to “start fresh,” but it’s not necessary.)

You can use, read and review the study content as much as you like during your subscription.  The portal even tracks your progress as you go, but you can use that as much as you want!

(We’ll even reset your progress for you if you want to “start fresh,” but it’s not necessary.)

You can use, read and review the study content as much as you like during your subscription.  The portal will track your progress and show each section as complete, but you can still access all of it during your subscription.  Take the quizzes and exam simulators over and over again.

Any standard internet connection will do.  If you can surf on social media, you can easily use our portal.  The audio and video files are all designed for streaming and adjust to your internet speed.  It’s a responsive and immersive experience.

Sure!  Lots of people prefer hard copies for studying.  The content is all just in your browser.  If you can print from your browser, you can print the lessons.

You are allowed to print one copy of the material for your own personal use.  Read our full Terms + Conditions here.

No, and never have.  Our materials are 100% digital, online content.  Luckily, we designed the guides to be printed.  If you can print from your browser, you can print the lessons.

Keeping the content digital only also allows us to update new content easily, and keeps our prices so low.

NCARB officially switched over to ARE5.0 in November 2017.  That was years ago!  Why drag this out for so long?

Yes, of course, you can still study with the older materials, but keep a few things in mind.  First, we completely revamped our study materials for ARE5.0, including all new flashcards, all new exam simulator, and all new case studies.  We also re-wrote the entire Study Guide for each division and added information on how you should apply this information.

If you want to use your old ARE4.0 study materials, we suggest two things:  one, while studying try to understand the reasons why we do the things we do; two, remember that both Project Management and Practice Management are all new exams, and you should probably study those two to add to your reading.  Also note, we no longer maintain the ARE4.0 exam simulator.

If you’re still unsure, schedule a free call with Eric to discuss it.  Better yet, maybe what you need is some one-on-one or group coaching to help you finish.

Firm Pricing FAQ

Every firm has different policies, but it is very common for Architecture firms to reimburse their staff for study materials and NCARB exam fees.  Some firms even give you paid time off to take the test.

Note:  Most firms will only reimburse you for study packages and exam fees if you pass.  it’s very unusual to get time off to study.  Remember, virtually everyone taking the test is working full-time.  The test is designed for you to study and take it while working full-time.  That’s kind of the point!

Yes!  Discounts for firms start for as few as 2 people!  We show our standard discounts here.  If you need something special or have additional questions, simply contact us and we can put together a custom package for your firm.

It works just like the regular subscriptions, but with a deep discount.  Whether your firm has 2 people, or 200 people, we can put together a special package for you.

We really only need to know the number of people you want to provide access, and if you want that access with our popular Platinum Coaching, or without.

No!  We charge by the subscriber (per person).  If your firm is interested in providing the best study materials for their staff, check out our firm pricing here or contact us for a custom quote.

Our popular Platinum Coaching is incredible at keeping you on track and focused.  It also boasts the highest pass rates in the industry.

If you want to add coaching to your firm package for yourself, simply contact us and we’ll give you a special offer for adding it to your current subscription. 

Package Pricing FAQ

In short:  no!  We designed this as a comprehensive package.  Our goal is to give you the best chance to pass the ARE, so we set out to create the most comprehensive program designed to train you to “think like an Architect” so you can pass. 

The results show that when you use our entire study package, it greatly increases your understanding of the material required by NCARB. For that reason, we only offer the materials as a complete package because we want you to pass! 

Plus unlike our competitors, we give you 3 months of access for less than the price of their 1 month!  Stop trying to shortcut the process and just give in and study!

Prices are broken down showing their cost per month and paid in full for the subscription you select.  We are giving you three months for less than most companies charge you for ONE month!

Since we sell 3, 6, and 12-month packages, we break down our prices by month so you can see how affordable they are, but you pay the subscription in full and we do not bill you monthly.

If you still want to pay monthly, simply checkout using PayPal and select “PayPal Credit” (bottom option) to select a monthly payment plan.  If you pay over 6 months, they charge zero in interest charges, which is great!

Note that PayPal Credit is offered by PayPal and one of the accepted forms of payment (along with credit cards).  Be sure to select “PayPal Credit” and not a credit card option.

No!  We hate auto-renewals and surprise charges.  Unlike our competitors, we will never put an automatic renewal on your credit card.  (We don’t keep your credit card info anyway.)

When your subscription ends, simply subscribe again if you need more time.  There are no monthly charges or hidden fees ever.

Yes, actually! We know that everyone is at a different point of their testing journey, so that’s why we offer our All Access subscriptions in 3, 6, or 12 months (for less than what others charge for one month!). 

Three months is more than enough time to study for one (or maybe two) exams!  Just buy the time you need.

We also offer access to a single division for 2 months if you just need a quick round of access.  Think of it as 2 months for the price of one!

Well, technically everyone studying for these exams is a student.  But, if you’re enrolled in your University’s IPAL testing program, contact us and we will arrange a special discount just for you.  (We love IPAL students!)

Just contact us.

We don’t play those secret discount games.  There are no hidden promo codes on the internet (well, none that work anyway!)

When we discount our packages, we’ll show you on a giant banner at the top of our website!  Very easy!

We also offer free giveaways and special offers on our webinars and Instagram page.  Sign up to be notified of upcoming free webinars to not miss them.

Since your access is granted immediately, and you’ll have access to all of our materials, we cannot offer refunds.  We do offer our Platinum Pass Guarantee, which guarantees you’ll pass all 6 exams in a year or you get additional time for free!  (Terms + Conditions apply, of course!)

If you only eat half of your hamburger, do you also ask the restaurant to give you a refund?  No, there are no refunds and no partial refunds.  

If you subscribe for 3 months but pass your last exam in just 2, that is amazing!  Obviously, it means that your Architect Exam Prep subscription worked!  So you got the value you were seeking.  That’s a good thing, isn’t it?

No!  Yeah, it’s a waste of money, but you chose to subscribe and then not use the access.

Look, you’re taking exams to become a licensed architect and demonstrate to NCARB and your state that you are a responsible professional.  Asking for a partial refund is unprofessional.

If you’re struggling, schedule a free coaching call and we can get you back on track with a plan to finish your exams.

Exam Simulator FAQ

For each exam, we provide more than 4 times the number of questions on the real exam (so if the NCARB exam has 100 questions, we give you 400).

Plus, our quizzes and case study guides offer hundreds of additional questions.  In total, there are over 2400 questions in our exam simulator test bank and hundreds more in the case studies.

Yes, the exam simulator is designed to teach you why the answer is what it is so incorrect answers provide detailed feedback explanations.

You can take them timed, or untimed.  You can even take them by Module (so if you only studied Module 2, you can test on just the Module 2 related questions.)

Yes, as NCARB Approved Test Prep providers, we have unique insight into the exams and our questions mimic the questions as much as we’re allowed.  They prepare you for the real exam.  That’s why our exam simulators are so popular.

Testing FAQ

We recommend you study and take an exam every two months.  Don’t drag it out.  

This way you can take all 6 exams in a year and fit in some retakes as you go.

You’ll never feel totally prepared and most people drag this out for years.  Don’t make that mistake.  Start taking your exams!

Well, on the one hand it doesn’t matter.  You have to pass all six anyway.

But we suggest taking Practice Management (PcM) first since it is the exam that you most likely will not be that biased about (since you probably don’t have experience as a Principal of a firm.)

Do not start with Project Management (PjM) if you assume, “Hey, I do Project Management at work all day, so it will be easy.”  That usually backfires.

Start with Practice Management (PcM), then take either Project Management (PjM) or Construction & Evaluation (CE).  After that, jump over to the Design exams with Programming & Analysis (PA); Project Planning & Design (PPD); and Project Development & Documentation (PDD).

Our comprehensive packages will take between 50-60 hours to just get through one exam.

But you only need to study for around one hour a day during the week, and 2-3 hours on weekends.  That’s a very simple and doable strategy to prepare you in around 6-8 weeks.  This study package is designed for working professionals.

Well, that depends and it’s really up to you.  If you went in unprepared before, then using our complete and comprehensive study package will of course improve your performance.

But if you really studied hard and were surprised you failed, then you likely need coaching.  Most people fail for one of five reasons:  overthinking; second guessing; mis-reading or rushing; bias; or time mismanagement.  Our Platinum Coaching will address all of these issues.

Zero!  Don’t fall into the “hamster wheel retake trap” in taking the same exam over and over again.  It never works.  Instead, move on right away to the next exam.

If you fail Practice Management (PcM), moving on to Project Management (PjM) will only help you with your PcM retake later on.  NCARB data shows that scores typically get worse on the retakes.

If you’re really struggling with a specific exam, we do offer one on one and group coaching.

Coaching FAQ

The Co-Founders of Architect Exam Prep, David and Eric, lead the coaching. You won’t get passed off to some weird strangers!

We have 30+ years of experience as Architects and 20+ years as teachers.  You’re in great hands.

It varies every month, of course.

We do not have you working alone in groups.  This is real coaching, where David and Eric will coach and mentor you through our weekly Zoom calls, on-demand videos, and on our Slack channel (it’s like Teams).

Yes!  We don’t force you into awkward interactions with strangers.  You will not be pushed into groups.  Instead, we coach you through our weekly Zoom calls, on-demand videos, and getting all of your questions answered on our Slack channel (it’s like Teams).

You participate as much or as little as you’re comfortable.  It’s a great group and a safe space to discuss the topics.

The Co-Founders of Architect Exam Prep, David and Eric, lead the coaching and the weekly Zoom calls.  Everyone in coaching, across all 6 exams, is on the calls. The calls are completely different every week and follow an agenda, so you should show up every week.

We use Zoom for our weekly calls with the webcam video on. It lets us all see & hear each other clearly, allows for screen sharing, and always just works. The software is free for you, and if you can’t join by computer, you just dial a typical phone number.

Calls are Mondays (roundtable call) and Tuesdays (coaching call).  All calls are 5pm PT / 6pm MT / 7pm CT / 8pm ET.

The weekly calls are on Mondays (open discussion roundtable call) and Tuesdays (mindset-based coaching call).  The Tuesday calls are recorded are shared in your portal.  The calls are unique and different every week.

All calls are 5pm PT / 6pm MT / 7pm CT / 8pm ET.

If a call falls on a holiday, we typically do not hold it that day.

Slack is so awesome that we predict you might get addicted to it. Some of our candidates already use it at work anyway. Plus, David and Eric are on it every day to answer your questions.  You can also search past comments and answers.

Not really, since you can really only study and take one exam at a time.  If you want to double up and take two exams close together, it’s possible but we suggest doing it with our coaching so you’re getting the guidance you need.

Yes!  Our pass rates are much higher than the national ARE average and higher than those by our competitors.  In addition, we see a 95% score improvement rate among our coaching candidates.

Yes, and shared on the portal so you can watch/listen anytime. We know that sometimes life gets in the way, so if you have to miss one of the weekly group calls, at least you can avoid missing out.

No, our coaching is linked to our study materials.  It’s designed to train you on proper judgment and building your mindset.  It doesn’t work with other outside materials.

If you already invested in other materials (that have failed you) but want to stick with them, then we suggest getting one on one coaching.  It doesn’t matter what materials you use for that since we’ll work on your mindset with you.

We launch new coaching groups typically on the first Monday of every month.  The daily study plan has you studying for 6 weeks and then taking your exam in the two weeks after that.

We ask that everyone in the group schedule their exam for the end of the six-week coaching period. For example, if you join coaching in January, you’d study through January and February and then take your exam in the last 2 weeks of February.  You’d study for your next exam in March/April, and so on.

If you previously bought either our downloadable materials or subscription, simply contact us and we can determine if you are eligible for a discount on a new subscription.

Well, that’s really up to you. If you like the structure of a daily study plan, weekly calls, and posting regularly to Slack, then the group is for you. 

If you really are stuck and don’t get these exams, or if your schedule doesn’t work with the group sessions, then one-on-one is perfect for you. Most people schedule their one-on-one coaching on evenings and weekends.

Yes!  You can schedule a free 15-minute coaching call with Eric.  He can cover a lot of ground in those 15 minutes!  Spots for the free calls are limited so we ask that you not schedule more than one a month.  If you want to get coaching immediately, then you can pay for one on one coaching and get a spot within 24 hours. 

Free coaching calls are not recorded and are only held by phone.  Free coaching calls are limited to select times of the week and only 5 slots a day are available.  Once they fill up, you have to wait.  

Paid one on one coaching can be done by phone or Zoom and is recorded and shared.  Paid calls are available in longer time slots and on evenings and weekends.

Digital Subscriptions FAQ

No, your access begins at purchase.  You set up your account during checkout.

Yes!  As soon as you purchase, you create a username and password.  You now have full access!  If you also added on coaching, you’ll get instant access to the coaching resources too!

No, there is no way for us to do that, plus that’s not how subscriptions work.  You can’t pause Netflix mid-month, right? 

Luckily, we offer all-access subscriptions in 3, 6, and 12-month packages.  So plan accordingly and choose the right subscription length for you.

In short, No. One subscription per person.

The Architect Exam Prep study packages are 100% digital content. Candidates are granted a limited, non-transferable, revocable license to access and make personal, non-commercial, use of the Digital Content provided by ArchitectExamPrep.com including the study packages, the coaching lessons, and its related files.

Sharing your login or subscription is a violation of our Terms + Conditions and can result in the revocation of your subscription.

We designed the packages as a complete and comprehensive set of tools to train you in the right mindset.  Eliminating parts of the package to make an entry-level subscription doesn’t feel right to us.  Instead, we made our prices lower than everyone else.

Charging you over and over again every month seems like an evil business model for people trying to study.  Instead, you choose your term of 3, 6, or 12 months for the all-access packages.

No one is studying for all 6 exams in a single month anyway!

We do offer single division access for 2 months for one test as a time at a lower price.  It’s like getting two months for less than the price others are charging for one month.

When the subscription ends, it’s over.  There are no automatic renewals or crazy things you need to do to cancel.  If you want more access, just buy another subscription.  It’s easy, it’s fair, and it works for you.

No, we do not have a free trial.

We’ve been coaching thousands of candidates to licensure since 2010.  We have the highest pass rates in the industry.  We have a stellar reputation (and work hard at keeping it).

We show you what’s included in the study packages and the portal on the website.  So, there is no need for a trial period.  Either you’re ready to take your licensure journey, or you’re not.  Stop the excuses and dive in!

No.  We didn’t want to play those games.  Your credit card will not be charged again (we don’t keep your credit card info anyway). 

The 2-month single division plans last for 62 days from purchase.  The 3-month all access plans last for 93 days from purchase.  

When it runs out, hopefully, you’ve taken and passed your exam.  If you want more time, simply purchase a subscription.  Nothing will auto-renew.

BTW:  If you buy the 12-month package, you get a great discount!

Web Chat FAQ

Yup! It’s really us. Use the chat to reach out to the founders of Architect Exam Prep to get advice, test strategy, or questions about our study packages.

Yeah we’re sure! Some of you think that they’re chatting with an AI bot. It’s not. It’s really us, and we’re really human! (AI bots don’t make typos!) You’re watching too many sci-fi movies.

We’re busy working architects so we answer the chats when we can. Sometimes we’re in meetings.  Sometimes we’re answering them from the grocery store! Sometimes we’re driving and can’t chat.

If we’re not available, just leave a message in the chat and we’ll respond right away.

Platinum Pass Guarantee FAQ

If you commit to us, we’re going to commit to you!  With our Platinum Pass Guarantee, we’ll guarantee you pass in a year using our incredible program.  Here’s how it works:

  • Join our Platinum Program for one year (12 months All Access + Platinum)
  • Take 6 exams within 1 year
  • If you took 6 exams but didn’t pass them all, we’ll give you another 6 months of access for free to get you over that finish line
  • You commit to us, and we’ll commit to you until you’re done! If you’re working the program, you shouldn’t have to pay another dime!

*** Please note the Platinum Pass Guarantee only applies to those purchasing the Platinum Subscription for an entire year ***

Read our full Terms + Conditions here.


Simply chat us (below) or contact us. You can even schedule a free coaching call to get a sense of our coaching style and approach.