Architect Registration Examination (ARE) Five-Year Rolling Clock

At its 2004 Annual Meeting, the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) passed a resolution creating a national five-year rolling clock for the validity of Architect Registration Examination (ARE) scores.

NCARB made the decision to implement a rolling clock because the practice of architecture changes over time and the ARE content, format, and administration can change as well. According to NCARB’s Procedures and Documents Committee, "Requiring that all divisions be passed within a reasonable period will better assure that the ARE remains a valid measure of the level of competence necessary to independently practice architecture."

Under the requirements of the rolling clock, which was implemented on January 1, 2006, candidates for the ARE must pass all divisions of the exam within a five-year period. NCARB has established an exemption provision for candidates who were in the exam process prior to that date and have passed one or more ARE divisions.

Following details how the new requirement will apply to individuals at various stages of ARE completion:

  • Candidates who have passed all divisions of the ARE by January 1, 2006: These candidates will not be subject to the rolling clock requirement, regardless of when each division was taken.
  • Candidates who have passed one or more divisions of the ARE (but not all divisions) by January 1, 2006: These candidates are subject to the requirement. The five-year period commences after January 1, 2006, on the date the candidate takes (and passes) the first division. A passing grade for any of these remaining divisions will be valid for five years. Once candidates take (and pass) their last division, they must retake any division that was taken (and passed) after January 1, 2006 and is more than five years prior to the date on which the last division was passed. Those divisions taken (and passed) prior to January 1, 2006 will not have to be retaken.
  • Candidates who have not passed any division of the ARE by January 1, 2006: Such candidates are fully governed by the five-year rolling clock requirement. The five-year period commences on the date the candidate takes (and passes) his or her first division, and it applies to all divisions.